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Movie Review: Hustle & Flow

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Hustle & Flow is destined to be the hip-hop movie of the summer! With a street release date of July 22nd, the box office is about to get a visit from hip-hop fans nationwide, eager to see the latest John Singleton produced flick. Written and directed by Craig Brewer, “Hustle & Flow” comes to the screens as the Sundance Film Festival Best Picture winner. By the time the movie is over, it may win your vote as well!

The movie comes off like a Dirty South version of “8 Mile” without a famous rapper playing the lead. Amazingly, Terrence Howard (of recent BET Award, Beyonce lap dance recieving fame) grabs the mic and puts the rhyming work in himself. He plays Djay, a two toned hooptie driving pimp, struggling in Memphis, Tennessee. We watch as he tries to regulate his stable of ho’s, played by Taraji P. Henson, Paula Jai Parker, and “8 Mile” bad girl & Boomkat lead, Taryn Manning. At times it’s hard to see who’s regulating who, as he has problems with all of them.

One day at the local pool hall, he learns that Skinny Black (Ludacris), the hometown legend done good, is scheduled to roll through his old stomping ground. Arnell (played by the voice of South Park’s Chef aka Black Moses aka King Isaac Hayes! excellent casting btw) tells Djay that he should fall through, bring some of the sticky icky, and make a little cash when Skinny Black arrives. Djay has bigger plans though. He remembers Skinny Black from way back in the old school days and plans of giving him a demo. Once Skinny Black hears the tape, it should just be a matter of time before he makes it big, right?

Anthony Anderson plays Key, a friend of his from school, whom he bumps into one day at the corner store. Key has since then become an audio engineer at his church. He too once had dreams of making it big in the music business and remembers Djay’s from school and his talent. It’s only a matter of time before the two start working on songs, in preparation of Skinny Black’s visit. We watch as the crew chases their dreams, while fighting to escape their lives in the streets. They add Shelby (D.J. Quills) to the crew, turn Djay’s house into a mini recording studio and make a demo. Unlike “8 Mile”, where the concentration was on the battles and the storyline of the conflicting crews, “Hustle & Flow” shows us a rag-tag group desperately trying to improve their life with the only card they have left.

The scenes that show the actually working process of making music with limited tools is a reality for many artist. When Djay pulled out that Casio SK-5, I almost fell out of my chair! I don’t know how many song I heard back in the day, made on that same keyboard, that were amazing! Some people might find these scenes too long, but those of you out there on the musical grind should feel it. I thought they added a sense of reality to the overall plot. (“Turn off them fans Nola!”) Soon the demo is done and the day of the party is at hand. When Djay and Skinny Black met, the day he has dreamed of suddenly becomes a nightmare!

“Hustle & Flow” is a hell of a movie. To watch a character like Djay try to change his life with the only this he has left, hip-hop, you can’t help but feel sympathy for his cause, if not his character. In the few scenes where he is allowed to let his pimp hand rest easy, you forget how trill he really is. There are some trifiln’ scenes in the movie as well, but most of them help move the plot. Add to that, the strong performances from all the actors involved and you got yourself a big movie for the summer. Ludacris brings yet another great performance and the bathroom scene makes you wonder where the inspiration for it and his “Get Back” video actually came from. The southern hip-hop vibe seals the deal. With cameos from Three 6 Mafia’s DJ Paul, 1-20, and someone who looked like Haystack, it’s official.

Final Verdict- “Hustle & Flow” – 5 Star Oscar worthy flick! Don’t miss it!

Hustle & Flow – Theatrical Trailers

http://metroencoding.net/clients/paramountclassics/hustleandflow/hustle-and-flow_240x136.mov

http://metroencoding.net/clients/paramountclassics/hustleandflow/hustle-and-flow_320x180.mov

http://metroencoding.net/clients/paramountclassics/hustleandflow/hustle-and-flow_480x272.mov

Additional Links~

http://www.hustleandflow.com/

tons of movie clips here!
http://www.comingsoon.net/films.php?id=8109

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0410097/

http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount/hustle_and_flow/

http://movies.yahoo.com/shop?d=hv&cf=info&id=1808624381&intl=us

http://festival.sundance.org/2005/filmguide/popup.aspx?film=3451

(all photos by Alan Spearman except top still)

Three 6

http://www.triplesix.com/

Eightball & MJG

http://www.8ballandmjg.com/splash.html

Hustle & Flow soundtrack info from Atlantic Records & Vibe.com

http://www.atlanticrecords.com/article/?article=32500099

http://www.vibe.com/news/news_headlines/2005/06/hustleandflow_soundtrack/

…oh yeah…IF YOU AINT FROM MEMPHIS>>>>YOU BULSH!T~~WHAT YOU SAY?>>>>a lil’ something from the old school…don’t sweat it…


hold..hold..hold..hold..hold..hold..hold..hold..you..you..you..you..you..you..you…you..doooooowwwwn!

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About QRock639

  • http://www.justwired.com Fei

    You can’t spell CRAP without RAP.

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    i know i won’t be seeing this one…not because of the musical stylings

    i just realy fucking hate pimps

    if it were up to me, each one would be sodomized by a jackhammer for every woman’s life they have ruined

    not that i have anything against prostitution, per se…

    but i do have everything against slavery, and those that woudl do such to any human being deserve nothing but contempt…not being “idolized” in some film

    we each make Choices, and they define who we are…the Choice to enslave another against their Will revokes that Individual’s liscense to being a member of the Human Race

    did i mention i fucking hate pimps?

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    You can’t spell country without cunt either.

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    damn you Temple..you go and bump my perfectly good piece of prose for an awful Pun!!

    waitaminnit…that’s what I do at times…

    aaAAaarRRRrrrrgGGGGGhhhHHhhhh!

    did i mention i fucking hate pimps?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    That wasn’t a pun, that was (almost) a joke.

    I like Eminem and I like most rap, however I have had zero desire to see either film.

    These probably aren’t “chick flick” either.

    Maybe they are “chic” flicks. (That would be a pun. Groan.)

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    did i mention i hate pimps?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    I quoteth Ice-T – Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy.

    – Those lyrics really are absurd – in a good way.

  • HW Saxton

    Gonzo, Sadly many of these women give
    in voluntarily to these scum and are in
    love with them in some twisted sense of
    the word. It’s hard to blame these guys
    when the women give in willingly to them
    in too many cases out of stupidity, out
    of desperation and who knows what else.

    Yeah,sometimes it is forced through some
    sort of blackmail(physical and/and or of
    the emotional type),a drug addiction or
    some other human weakness that these
    guys see and exploit and that IS verrry
    despicable. But when they are doing it
    voluntarily is it still as despicable?

    That’s rhetorical of course, as I really
    find them to be lowlifes of the first
    degree personally speaking. But we are
    all someone’s whore aren’t we?

    One of the most perversely fascinating
    movies I’ve seen in the last few years
    is the Hughes Bros. film “American Pimp”
    released about five years ago (I think).
    It left me with an uneasy and haunted
    feeling that lingered long after the
    movie was over.It really hit on some of
    moral ambiguities involved in the flesh
    trade. It was not preachy or trying to
    put any message across at all,that being
    a Pimp was cool or anything.They just
    let the Pimp’s be themselves and ditto
    for the whores. It hit much harder that
    way than any kind of preachy video tome
    could’ve ever dreamed of.If you can ever
    bring yourself to watch it,I’d say to do
    so,it’s that interesting. On the up side
    side it did have a KILLER soundtrack,all
    70’s funk and soul.James Brown,Johnny
    Guitar Watson,Ohio Players,Sly and lots
    of obscurities as well.

  • HW Saxton

    Temple, Big Daddy Kane also had a tune
    called “Pimpin’ Aint Easy”.It starts out
    w/:”Anything goes when it comes to hoes,
    ’cause pimpin ain’t easy..”

  • http://www.canheadrecords.blogspot.com Laron Cue

    This really is a good movie.

    While America’s pimp/ho fascination is unforgivable, the movie wins because you see that everyone involved is trapped in their circle of crime and dependency and want out. They all see music as their only way.

    It is hard to feel for Djay the pimp, but Djay the man, looking for a way out, is a compelling story.
    The movie does have it’s low points, like Taryn Manning’s break down after turning yet another trick for a microphone.(seriously)

    This turns into one of the biggest scenes in the movie as she finally voices her rage and hatred for her life. Yes, we all hate pimps. But you may actually like this movie once it’s done.

    “Big Daddy Kane also had a tune
    called “Pimpin’ Aint Easy”.”

    as did Nice and Smooth and way too many rappers after that.

    peace~

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    nice one Laron. i hope this is as good as you say, man. i been dissapointed by every damn thing Singleton’s done since Boyz In Tha Hood. Here’s hopein!

    mind you, i didn’t see Baby Boy…

  • AccidentalVisitor

    Aaron, Singleton put up the cash for this film as a producer. But he did not write or direct this movie. So its not his film.

    I want to see this movie because of all the great reviews I’ve seen for it since this past winter and it success at Sundance. Plus Terrence Howard is a real actor, not some rap star getting a movie gig.

    For all of you who have problems with his character being a pimp let me ask you have you had the same problems supporting movies in which the lead characters are mobsters, gangstas, thieves, etc?

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    in answer to the “do you have problems with…”

    it’s the enslavement bit that i hate

    read my rant above

    did i mention i hate pimps?

    Excelsior!

  • AccidentalVisitor

    You’re still ignoring the question. Do you have problems with movies in which the leads are mobsters or other type of criminals? Or are you a hypocrite and save your ire only for pimps? You say you have a problem with “enslavement”. Understandable although despite how despicable the pimp business is calling those women slaves is an insult to REAL slaves (both past and present) who didn’t/don’t have any choice or any rights. These women have choices albeit their choices are limited. They just made bad decisions. This is not to excuse the pimp who is lower on the totem pole. This is simply to point out any woman who use an excuse such as poverty to excuse her becoming a hooker is not much better, morally speaking, than the thug who use that excuse to break into someone’s home and take money.

    So gettig back to your hatred of enslavement, which you consider prostitution to be, I have to ask if you have equal hatred for murder, assault and battery, intimidation, theft, etc? Because if you think those things are just as bad or worse (which I hope you do) then films such as “Scarface”, “Goodfellas” and “Godfather” should also be off your list considering the type of offenses the lead characters in those films commit. In fact those movies even go as far to romanticize the lifestyle of the criminal underworld.

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    not ignoring the Question, but perhaps i have not made myself clear enough

    go up to comment #2 and read what i wrote, i clearly delineate between “enslavement” and prostitution

    to clarify further, the position of “professor” in a bordello is a time honoured task, he is there to ensure everything goes smoothly and to protect the women at all costs…he is paid a salary, and occasionaly makes tips from tending bar, or from the women for helping them in extreme circumstances with a recalcitrant customer…

    far different form a pimp who takes the lion’s share of the woman’s money, and will abuse her for excercising her own free will

    on to your mention of other films…

    ok…”Goodfellahs”…note, that while there is indeed some “glorification” of the mobsters in the beginnings…the film clearly shows a morality tale..Joe Pesci’s character gets whacked..many wind up in jail, and even Ray Liota’s character pays a price for his deeds

    in all of these “mob” movies, there is clearly a trend to show consequnces fo the character’s actions…Sonny killed, Fredo murdered by his own brother, Michael’s wife leaving him, estranged from his children and in GF3, the death of his daughter in his own place…dying alone in the end…in GF 2, DeNiro killing Don Cicci in revenge for his Father…

    on and on….consequences and Responsibility for their wrongdoings

    from what i understand of the movie in question here, the pimp, rather than suffer the consequences for his action, instead hit’s the “cinderella” jackpot of getting what he wants…i have not seen the film…

    does he show Responsibility or remorse for what he has done?

    does he “pay” any consequences for his actions?

    that’s the kind of thing i am talking about, hope that clears it up

    i will admit, i was possibly a bit harsh..but i consider it reasonable based on my own Position of thining that abuse and physical crime against women or children to be about the most heinous of human behaviour

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • AccidentalVisitor

    Gonzo, I did indeed read your post the first time I visited this site abd the second. I just read it a third time to make sure I didn’t miss out on anything. Here is what you wrote:

    “not that i have anything against prostitution, per se…

    but i do have everything against slavery, and those that woudl do such to any human being deserve nothing but contempt…not being “idolized” in some film”

    By that its clear to me at least that, since H&F is the film that is under discussion, you consider prostitution to be equal to slavery. Or, to be more exact you are essentially equating what pimps do to what slaveholders do. Am I to believe that while condemning this movie that you hadn’t seen and condemning pimping that you all of a sudden shifted your focus to a different topic in slavery? In a matter of a few words? Come on. Here’s more:

    “we each make Choices, and they define who we are…the Choice to enslave another against their Will revokes that Individual’s liscense to being a member of the Human Race”

    Since your repeated slogan was how much you hate pimp its obvious that again you are equating what pimps do to what slave masters do. When you talk about making choices you’re referring to the choices pimps make to get involved in such a shameful business and abuse their authority amongst the women that “work” under them.
    You go as far to indicate they aren;t members of the human race because of it. Its a morally superior position albeit one that’s understandable. Lets just be truthful about who and what we’re talking about.

    Which goes back to my point about other criminals in films and whether you stay away from them at all costs. What mafia people do is far worse IMO than pimps because mafia people regularly engage in murder and bribery, they destroy the lives of entire families and intimidate a far greater number of people, they have more connections to people in power which allow them to get away with far more terrible actions than pimps are capable of, and, unlike pimps, they are far more likely to execute individuals who are Not in their business (witnesses, people who take a stand against them, etc.) In no way am I excusing pimps. The vast majority of them are brutish thugs. They deserve to be locked up without a doubt. But at the same time I don’t view prostitutes as inocent victims. They made a decision just as the slaveholders, mobsters and pimps did. They are willingly involving themselves in an illegal activity and they can’t justify that. Plus most of them know of the brutality that awaits them once they get into that type of business. Its like a guy who starts working for a drug dealer and is shocked, SHOCKED, that he gets caught up in situations in which rival dealers or desperate customers start shooting bullets his way at the drop of a hat. Or that the dealer they work for would try to have them killed if there’s any concern that they’re stealing. Tragic? Yes. But those dudes knew what (or should have known) what they were getting into when they engaged in a life of crime. Same goes for prostitutes who could avoid such abuse by getting a REAL job.

    Now as far as mafia/gangsta flicks are concerned…you do have some on which not only are the lives of mobsters/criminls glamorized, the mafia characters get away with what they’ve done and are presented as heroes. This trend of making the mob guys the good guys can also be seen on TV these days in both primetime shows and in daytime soaps. Where is your stance on something like that? “Godfather” is truly one of the greatest movies ever made but it ultimately romanticized that type of lifestyle.

    Also unlike you I don’t consider the crimes against women and children to be worse than crimes against men. To do bodily harm is wrong. Period. I hate crimes committed against any human being. However when it comes to films I can put that aside if the movie is of quality and if its responsible. I have no idea if the lead character in this movie gets to be some type of hero who has a happy ending. But from what I read this film does not glamorize or condemn what pimps or prostitutes do. So why jump to conclusions? And why are Americans so hypocritical that the thought of a pimp as a lead irks them while other types of criminals as leads don’t bother them much at all? Do they really think a thoughful movie centering around a pimp is impossible? Hell, a good filmaker could make a thoughtful film about Hitler if he’s skilled enough.

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    true enough…but Hitler dies…

    no worries, as i say many times, it’s just my one sixth billionths of the worlds opinion

    and your mileage may vary…

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • Tom Campion

    I also thought the DJ in the strip club looked like Haystack.

  • Babygurl

    Well, this is a good movie even though I dont agree with the pimping and the females being hoes.I didn’t look at it like that I looked at it as a film/movie which turned out to be good

  • Joe P.

    I like pimps they are my heroes as long as it does not involve force or minors I am happy to see a man/pimp get over on a whore. I have been through a nasty divorce and the bottom line is women are at the very best freeloaders and at the worst gold digging whores who will destroy your life if they get mad because you didn’t let them have their way. They practice sextortion and do the same thing to us that the pimps do to the prostitutes. So I say a big F-CK you to all the idiots who hate pimps. Your girl or wife has most likely pimped you for your money and you just except it from her the way these whores accept being pimped by real pimps. Kudos to all the pimps you are my heroes keep breaking these whores for there bankroll lol!