If you're not reading every review of Craig Brewer's Black Snake Moan, you're missing out on an incredible cultural moment. No matter what you think about the film, the collected reviews say a lot about how the rest of the world views our little corner of dystopia. Take Rex Reed's hazel-eyed hatchet job, for example.
"These are illiterate, joint-rollin', snuff-spittin', fly-swattin', time-wastin' hillbillies from Tobacco Road," Reed says of writer/director Craig Brewer's characters. "Ms. Ricci is Rae, the skanky town slut ... [and] Lazarus [is] played like Uncle Remus by the traditionally militant Samuel L. Jackson."
The Texas-born gossip and former Gong Show regular further complains that Brewer never "bothers to examine the scars from abuse that turn burned-out losers into born-dead boll weevils so early in life" and that the film is set in "a Hollywood movie's idea of the kind of back-of-the-swamp hick town in Tennessee that nobody in Tennessee has ever seen or heard of."
All this harsh commentary raises two serious questions: What in the world does "born-dead boll weevil" mean, and has Rex Reed ever been to Eads?
Memphis is famous for many things: blues, barbecue, rock-and-roll, etc. Now the Bluff City is on the cusp of being famous for something else: fatties.
Producers of the hit reality show Supernanny have been been in Memphis casting a new show for ABC that's all about finding the fattest fatties in fat town and making them a little less fat.
Why are they casting in Memphis? Because we've got back. Casting producer Johnnie Raines told The Commercial Appeal that key markets were chosen based on what "we heard about heaviness in the city." Phat.