Fly on the Wall 

Black Meme Watch

Even if you don't like his films, you've got to hand it to Craig Brewer for knowing how to plant an image in the public consciousness. After the release of Hustle & Flow, it was impossible to turn on the television without hearing someone say, "It's hard out here for a [fill in the blank]." With the opening of Black Snake Moan, watch for the emergence of a new catchphrase: "Chain [fill in the blank] to a radiator."

It all began when the snarky entertainment and gossip Web site The Defamer suggested that Britney Spears would be back in rehab "just as soon as one of her concerned parents tranquilize her and schlep their daughter's unconscious form back to Malibu, where she'll be chained to a gold-plated radiator until she lasts at least two days in a treatment facility." The Defamer followed that post up, noting that "[Kevin Federline] found the mother of his children undergoing the latest in rehabilitatory advancements, chained to a radiator in a Confederate flag cut-off."

Trash-film guru John Waters jumped in on the action when he showed up at the independent-film Spirit Awards with a chain around his waist saying, "I wouldn't mind if Samuel Jackson chained me to a radiator." Finally, in a glowing review for New York magazine, critic David Edelstein asks all the Brewer-haters to search their hearts. "Wouldn't you have chained Anna Nicole to your radiator if you could have saved her?" he writes. "Wouldn't you chain Britney to your radiator?"

Spellcheck Moan

"Are you ready for The Sexorcist?" asks Boston Herald critic James Verniere at the top of his scathing Black Snake Moan review. Verniere says BSM is like the Erskine Caldwell novel "God's Little Acre on Oxycontin and acid," though his criticisms are somewhat diluted by the fact that he refers to Christina Ricci's character Rae as Mae ... five times. Somebody needs to chain that guy to a radiator.


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