Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hustle & Flow: The Review...

Before I saw this move, I went w/ a tremendous amount of trepidation. I thought, "Here we go, another pimp movie," with all the of stuff that brings w/ it. You know, the purple outfits, the bently, etc., etc...

Hustle & Flow was far from that.

The movie is basically about D-Jay (Brilliantly played by Terrence Howard), a low-level, down-and-out pimp who has, for lack of a better term, a mid-life crisis. He has a stable three strong of "ho's." There's Nola (Taryn Manning), the White hooker who he pimps the most and in the end, enjoys the most success (watch the movie to see what I mean). Then there's Lex (Paula Jai Parker), the smart-ass who he's pimpin' at the local strip club. Last, there's Shug (Taraji P. Henson), the pregnant hooker w/ "a heart of gold."

While "doin' his thang" he meets up w/ a childhood friend, Clyde (played by Anthony Anderson, who kicked ass as brutal drug-lord Antwon Mitchell on "The Shield") who's a sound engineer. Clyde brings in Shelby (D.J. Qualls from "The Core.") the beatmaster, and they start making music. With appearances from "ol' school" Isaac Hayes, Ludacris, Big Paul ( 3-6 Mafia), and the beautiful Elise Neal to round out the cast, Hustle & Flow was not what I expected.

It was an excellent movie.

I'm not going to tell you all that happened or the ending because I think that you really oughta see this movie. It's not stereo-typical at all. In fact, part of the time I was watching the flick I was like, "Is this guy really a pimp?" There were no loud, colorful outfits, no bentlys, no "bling-Bling," no "Player's Ball," and they (D-Jay & his stable) lived in a crappy house in a bad part of Memphis, TN. It showed the lower aspects of "The Pimp Game" was real gritty.

D-Jay was pimpin' and selling weed, but he still couldn't make ends meet, believe it or not. And everyone had a story and a dream of their own. Ii wasn't just about D-Jay and his "rap dream," but about everybody's dream to be more than what they are. That's probably the most important part of the film. If you can relate to that, you'll love this movie. The story has a feel similar to the screenplays I write, being that it doesn't glamorize "the street hustle," nor does it seek to judge it either.

What's more amazing is that this movie wasn't written by a Black guy. The writer/director Craig Brewer, is a White guy who used to work strip clubs in Memphis w/ his wife, a former exotic dancer. He wrote it from the POV he had w/ the people he and his wife associated w/ during their time in the strip clubs.

I have an article posted about Craig and "the hustle" it took to get this film on "The Silver Screen" @ my CAFA Yahoo group. http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/CAFAorg

The movie was self-financed in the true indie tradition by John Singleton (The budget was $3,000,000.00) and the domestic distribution rights were sold for a record $9,000,000.00 at Sundance (already making 3 x what it cost to produce).

It grossed approximately $8,100,000.00 on 1,000 screens over the weekend (#7 out of the "top ten" this weekend), insuring that it will make a profit for MTV Films & Paramount Studio.

Just goes to show that a great story can be written by anyone from any perspective.

I walked away from this flick like, "I wouldn't mind buying the DVD and adding it to my permanent collection."

On a scale of "1-to-10," I give it an "8." Go see this movie, you won't regret it.


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