Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hustle & Flow (2005) R - 4 Stars

I can't believe I am saying this but, this has got to be one of the best PIMP / hustler films I have ever seen. The writing for the movie, the acting, the story line, man it's all great!!! You'll actually feel for the pimp and the women that stand behind him. The movie shows how you can have your life long dreams one moment and everything turn around in the next.

Djay (Terrence Howard) is a hustler / pimp / drug dealer living in Memphis, TN. With one girl Shug (Taraji P. Henson), pregnant, Lexus (Paula Jai Parker), with a kid and Nola (Taryn Manning), his bank. Djay isn't happy with the way his life has turned out and yearns to be doing something different. He takes a keyboard for one of his drug deals and starts plunking around on it. It brings back memories of his dad and now that he's about the same age as when his dad died, he takes a good hard look at his life. Djay starts to playing the keyboard to go along with some lines he tries to lay down. As he begins writing "his flow" down in a notebook, things start feeling right for him. While he's scoring some drugs down at the local store, he runs into and old friend from high school, Key (Anthony Anderson).

Key is a happily married man and technical sound engineer, involved in gospel music. He too has been itching to try something new to get his skills taken to the top of the charts. With Key's mixing sound abilities and Djay's rapping, together the two set up a studio in Djay's house complete with egg carton lining for sound. But something is still lacking until they enlist the musical input of a beat maker named Shelby (DJ Qualls).

This unlikely bunch, start producing different beats and lines till they come up with a catchy beat that flows from the soul. Now they just need someone to promote it as they can't even afford to cut a CD. Djay brags that he knows hip-hop star Skinny Black (Ludacris) and how he will meet with him and promote the cassette. At the club, Arnel (Isaac Hayes), the owner arranges Djay to get to Skinny's table. Now he must make his biggest hustle ever, to get Skinny on his side and take his music to the charts.

Awards include:

2005 - Hustle & Flow - Academy - Best Song.
2005 - Hustle & Flow - Broadcast Film Critics Association - Best Song.
2005 - Hustle & Flow - Sundance Film Festival - American Dramatic Audience Award.

MTV Films
Director: Craig Brewer
Writer: Craig Brewer
Producers: John Singleton, Stephanie Allain
I viewed 6/08

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