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|Index||206 reviews in total|
story sort of boring. I didn't think this was that great of a film.
Yes, Terrence Howard gives a good acting performance, but I didn't find
the movie that entertaining since it doesn't have much of a plot. It's
about a pimp who just has a couple of girls he pimps out of his car. He
wants to become a rapper like one of the guys he grew up with. He runs
into an old friend who is in the recording business and gets him to
record some songs. He gets into some trouble at the end, but still gets
his music played on the radio. I don't really find a pimp to be someone
to root for.
Since I'm not much of a fan of rap, I didn't care for all the music in this. Plus, it has a lot of unnecessary cursing I didn't care for.
FINAL VERDICT: Over hyped. But, if you like rap, I recommend it.
This is not a movie as much as it is a film. It depicts the seaming underbelly of the drug-infested music scene in the poor areas of Memphis. The cinematic properties and writing are like something out of a rap video crossed with a John Woo movie. It allows the viewer to delve into the life of an up and coming rapper slash drug dealer going through a mid-life crisis. Everything is so miserable that you can't help but develop a sense of compassion for the struggling performer that is the protagonist. You find yourself wishing for a happy ending. There is actually a sense of purpose within watching the film; something rather rare in this genre. All in all this is definitely a film worth watching.
Hustle & Flow is the Baadasssss of 2005. It's a well-acted, low-budget
flick about black culture and it seems to have been made with equal
parts heart & talent. Both films are emotional, entertaining, and
completely riveting. The more popular comparison is to Rocky, which is
perfectly valid too...if the Italian Stallion had been a Memphis pimp
instead of an illiterate club fighter in Philly. I won't continue
comparing director Craig Brewer's 2nd picture to ones that came before,
except to add that it's not only similar to Rocky and Baadasssss, it's
almost as satisfying as both of those. And for a movie with some dark
themes, it's a lot of fun to watch.
If you're a fan of music, you're bound to love the lengthy scene in which DJay (Terrence Howard, in a fabulous Oscar-nominated performance) is trying to lay down a track for his breakthrough hip-hop (and Oscar-winning) song, "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp." It's fascinating to watch the whole process. Maybe the speed and success with which the song gets put together isn't realistic, but that doesn't stop the scene from being fascinating. DJay had been a fairly horrible guy up until this point in the movie. Here's his turning point. When his natural talent for hip-hop shines through with ample support from his friends and hoes (yes, they have a role to play in this music venture), DJay becomes a new man. Howard is a good actor and it's hard not to be on the side of a good actor, even though DJay does and says some terrible things to his ladies.
His faith in Nola (scrappy Taryn Manning) and his apparently genuine love for Shug (a spectacular Taraji P. Henson, stealing scenes in the Adrian Balboa role) redeem his earlier thuggery. Those 2 actresses are terrific and so are Anthony Anderson and DJ Squalls, who play Howard's music gurus. Brewer, who also wrote the script, guides them all with a steady hand. He even manages to create some real tension in the climax because the end result isn't telegraphed from the start. Can the guy who sells women for a living sell himself to super-rapper Skinny Black (Ludacris)? The final scenes that follow are bittersweet, although more sweet than bitter. What's ENTIRELY sweet about Hustle & Flow is the music, the acting, and coolness factor. Definitely 2005's Baadasssss.
Hustle and Flow is fiction.
Howard does a great job of making a dirt bag seem human.
It is a workable film for its audience -- I (a white dude that believes "Saving Private Ryan" is the most incredible movie ever made) saw it in a theater that was 99% young black movie goers.
The music is good -- expect MTV to work a couple of those in their mix soon.
Of all the characters, Shug was the most believable. That girl is the only Academy Award nominee that might emerge from this easily overlooked mood piece. The humor and anecdotal twists are nice additions, but the underlying message should be: "don't be a pimp in the first place".
I don't mind if you go see it. It's harmless.
People, let me tell you something, and please read this through so you
don't get the wrong impression here: I'm not a big fan of movies
containing similar plots that involve mostly "black" culture, Ebonics,
pimps and the kind of materialism they promote. And that's partly
because I've seen a number of them. So, first time a friend of mine
told me he had "Hustle & Flow" on a DVD, I said "Nah, thanks." But then
after about 4 months, for some reason I went to check the reviews for
this title and decided to take a chance. I rented it and then ripped it
to my hard drive, for those evenings when you have nothing better to
watch. Then one day, I helped this guy with his motorcycle and he
wanted to pay me for that. I refused to accept money from him but
instead he tucked about 1g of pot I'm my pocket. I's been a while since
I've taken any and I though, hey, let me refresh my memory.
So there I am, stoned like an Indian cow, in front of my 24" widescreen LCD, starting this DVD with the following mindset: "If it's not entertaining in the first 10 minutes I'm zeroing this movie for good".
And the the very first scene, where he reveals his riped mind to this ho' who couldn't compose one simple, meaningful sentence as a reply to his 5-6 minutes dissertation, blew my fckng mind to pieces. I couldn't stop watching, my eyeballs where drying up, I didn't want to blink. The whole movie flows with such characters, each is worth studying. But most of them develop throughout certain time period, while DJay was already developed, fully bloomed. So here we are, watching this knightly character who knew what he wanted so much more than the others that he simply hanglides through them throughout the whole movie.
You must see this movie stoned cause I cannot guarantee what would I say if I wasn't. So take no chances, get some weed from your neighbors teen and rent this mottafuka at once. And make sure you watch it with someone who has the similar mindset like you or just be alone.
Let me know what you think.
I know Hustle & Flow was highly regarded and that I'm alone in my
viewpoint, but as a musician I couldn't stand it. The best music in the
movie is the Gospel music that supposedly inspires the protagonist
"pimp with a heart of gold." Being inspired to be a rapper after
hearing gospel music is like being inspired by basketball to take up
bowling. What's the connection? Anyhow, it's all downhill after that.
For example, in the scene where the white dude teaches a woman the "hook," it's clear the director is not a musician because every time there was an edit the key of the tune changed. The "hook" itself was not a good one, neither catchy nor interesting: "You know it's hard out here for a pimp/When you're trying to get the money for the rent/With the Cadillac and gas money spent/We'll have a whole lot of bitches jumping ship." Okay, there's a chiasmus in the rhyme scheme (ABBA symmetry) which is quite sophisticated for rap. But the "woe is me, I'm a pimp" sentiment is laughable.
We then have every cliché in the book to show how hard he struggles. The only thing missing is a drunk mother like in 8 MILE. It ends with him having a hit single after getting into a gunfight and doing time, so I guess the moral of the story is "anyone without talent can succeed in rap if you are violent enough." Sadly, this is probably true.
Although I am completely against censorship, I found myself agreeing somewhat with those who felt films like this one, Get Rich or Die Trying' , etc. are a bad influence on everyone, particularly black youths. The fact is people are impressionable. If they weren't, advertisers wouldn't be spending millions to persuade us. So gang violence doesn't happen just because they saw a particular movie, but certainly these movies glorify and validate a lifestyle that gang members will then emulate. Sometimes life really does imitate art.
And as someone who has argued against the negative portrayal minorities in the media, I find it much harder to defend blacks since their negative portrayals are now being perpetrated by black filmmakers themselves. But you can't have it both ways: either the black community is badly served by these movies since blacks are really just good people like everyone else; or these films are truthful, blacks are to be feared and therefore the police are justified in racial profiling. What's is going to be? I sure hope it's the former.
Where's Spike Lee when you need him? He is the lone voice in the wilderness pointing out that rappers and gangstas are nothing more than minstrel acts -- gross caricatures of an entire community. People who think this is reality are selling themselves short.
To paraphrase Public Enemy (when rap actually had something to say), "50 Cent is a hero to most/But he never meant sh*t to me."
At first glance Hustle and Flow may appear to be a goofy film about the hard- knock life of a pimp trying to break into the rap world, but after viewing the film at Sundance it is clear that this dramatic film stands heads and shoulders above its peers. TERRENCE DASHON HOWARD has a break-out performance as DJay, the pimp with bigger dreams of becoming a rap star. TARYN MANNING and TARAJI P. HENSON share the screen wonderfully with HOWARD as his "supporting ladies". ANTHONY ANDERSON and DJ QUALLS complete this rat pack as the men behind the music. As the film unfolded, I found myself invested in the characters fears, hopes, and dreams. They are stuck in a world of prostitution and drugs, and everyone's hopes to break out of that cyclical world are resting on DJay's shoulders. I enjoyed watching the characters develop and learning more about their inner wishes as the plot progressed. They may be rough around the edges, but they know how to work what they have. Also the music in the film should be credited as a supporting role. A great soundtrack will be coming out of Hustle and Flow. The film avoids a cliché ending, yet it still satisfies the viewers needs.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I just saw this movie about 10 years after it was released. It's a typical underdog story, but there's something about the detail and small steps towards achieving something great that I loved. You can feel DJay's frustration, passion and push forward towards achieving a goal and a dream, something that unexpectedly infects the people surrounding him, to the point of creating a cult following and loyalty. An interesting character, crossing thin lines between abusive and comprehensive, but through passion creates empathy. With an AMAZING soundtrack, great acting with heavyweights like Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson and a great pace and story, I think this was one of the most underrated movies of 2005.
Interesting, engaging movie.
A small-time hustler in Memphis, Tennessee reaches a crossroads in his life. Pondering what to do next him and a few friends start to record hip-hop music, written by him, in his house. It's good but will it get them anywhere?
Good, engaging plot. There's a grittiness and realness which makes the story so appealing. The characters are hardly perfect people, which makes the whole experience so much more plausible.
Solid direction by Craig Brewer (who also wrote the script). I'm not a hip-hop fan but the soundtrack works very well.
Terrance Howard is solid in the lead role and gets great support from Taryn Manning, especially, Anthony Andersen, Taraji J Henson and Ludicrous. DJ Qualls is the token white guy in the cast, and is, as almost always, fairly irritating.
Worth a watch.
My wife and I are HUGE of "Empire". So, imagine when I discovered two
of my favorite actors, Terrence Howard ("Lucius") and Taraji P. Henson
("Cookie") had appeared together 10 years earlier in a similarly-themed
movie about hip-hop. Unfortunately, while "Empire" is consistently
entertaining, "Hustle & Flow" builds slowly and unpleasantly. While
Terrence Howard's "Djay" is an earlier incarnation of "Lucius," Taraji
P. Henson's "Shug" appears mentally-challenged. Worse, the two
characters responsible most for the outcome are white. Also, the scene
where "Shug" gives "Djay" comes out of nowhere. Just WHERE did the
very-pregnant "Shug" get the money to give "Djay" this VERY expensive
gift? Not to mention, the Oscar-winning song, "Its hard out there for a
pimp" is not as good as the original song created for "Empire"; and it
pretty much the only song in the movie.
I fear many of those who see the reviews and awards for "Hustle & Flow" are going to be as disappointed as my wife. I liked "Hustle & Flow" for its raw honesty. However I resent the "tools" given to white racists who will watch "Hustle & Flow" and say, "See?" I give "Hustle & Flow" a "6".
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