Paramount has released writer/director Craig Brewer's follow-up film after "HUSTLE AND FLOW," "BLACK SNAKE MOAN,"  on blu-ray, hd-dvd and dvd format. Samuel L. Jackson stars as Lazarus, a former blues musician, whose life has been shattered by booze, and a wife that's left him for his brother. Christina Ricci plays Rae, a beautiful, young nymphomaniac who has put her life at risk when her most recent encounter leaves her beaten severely and left to die on a dirt side road. Lazarus finds her and decides to nurse her back to health in his own controversial style, letting the film veer, intentionally towards exploitation in this part of the film. But, most importantly, the majority of the film is actually a poignant, serious look at friendship. These actors are at the top of their game and what they achieve her is nothing less than brilliant. "BLACK SNAKE MOAN" is ultimately, an unforgettable film.

PARAMOUNT has provided a 1080p/AVC transfer for both the hd-dvd and blu-ray formats with the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio. There's no discernible difference between the hd-dvd and blu-ray formats. Colors are strikingly vivid in every scene. The detail is incredible, making this one of the best high-def releases to come from PARAMOUNT so far. While there is some minor grain in a few scenes, it appears intentional for the film's mood and compliments the theatrical presentation. 

PARAMOUNT has provided a Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix for the hd-dvd and a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for the blu-ray.  There is some noticeable difference between the two formats.  While surrounds are used with great impact during a storm sequence, they're mostly delegated to  the music. And, as music is so essential to the film's plot, the surrounds are quite active and effective.  Although both mixes are terrific, the Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 featured on the hd-dvd, offers better bass and dynamic range.  Dialogue is well rendered on both formats, however, due to the southern accents, this reviewer had to rely on captions to understand more than a few scenes.

PARAMOUNT has included deleted scenes and the theatrical trailer, presented in 1080i.  Unlike most "deleted scenes," these ones are all terrific and add to the film. An optional commentary from Brewer explains why these weren't included in the final product.  Several featurettes are presented in windowbox format and standard definition. An audio commentary with Brewer is offered and it's terrific.