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Hustle and Flow [HD DVD]
|List Price:||CDN$ 35.99|
|You Save:||CDN$ 24.60 (68%)|
• IMPORTANT NOTICE: This high-definition disc will only play in an HD DVD player. It will not play in a Blu-ray player or a PS3.
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The idea of a soulful pimp as the hero of a movie will strike some viewers as objectionable and perhaps even repellent, but Terrence Dashon Howard's complex and fierce performance will challenge such easy moral decisions. DJay (Howard, Crash, The Best Man) hustles a small stable of whores, including corn-rowed Nola (Taryn Manning, A Lot Like Love). When he learns that former local rapper turned superstar named Skinny Black (real life rapper Ludacris) is coming back to town for the 4th of July, DJay teams up with a frustrated sound engineer (Anthony Anderson, Kangaroo Jack) and a geeky musician (DJ Qualls, Road Trip) to put together a demo tape that he hopes will be his ticket to fame and fortune. What's most impressive about Hustle & Flow is that it doesn't oversell its hero. DJay's aspirations are more economic than poetic--he's not out to create art, he just wants a better life. This lack of pretension allows the movie to capture a genuine sense of how creativity can improve people's lives, which surprises DJay as much as anyone. The movie's other strength is a keen eye for social behavior, in particular the ways in which DJay manipulates everyone around him. Howard, who's almost always stood out in every movie he's made, plays these scenes with what can only be called smooth desperation. The entire cast gives substantial performances, but it's Howard who drives the movie irresistibly forward. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
A movie night with hubby while the kids were in bed, popcorn and cuddle on the couch. This would make a great movie night with a loved one
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The story centers on a pimp and drug dealer named Djay, played by Howard. Djay is sleepwalking his way through life until fate taps him on the shoulder. He is given an old Casio keyboard for a dime bag of pot and he runs into an old buddy of his who is now a recording studio technician. The two things light a spark in Djay and he decides to take a shot at being a rapper. Using egg boxes to soundproof a room in his rundown house and using his whores for backup singers, Djay creates magic.
The movie manages to make a pimp into a sympathetic character, which is an accomplishment on its own right. But the movie isn't really about pimps any more than it's about whores or drug dealers. In fact, it's not even about black or white. The only two white characters in the movie are one of Djay's whores and a geeky keyboards guy and they are both shown in a fairly positive light. The movie is about realizing one's dreams and how the drive to do can bring meaning to even the most dismal situation. It's an old story but one I never get tired of.
Craig Brewer brings the South to front with a raw and inspiring film about dreams. Brewer did an excellent job with the soundtrack which featured memorable sounds of the present and future south sound. Terrence Howard is amazing and even raps his own tunes! Supporting cast members also brought a fresh and personal feel to the movie. Taraji P. Henson as Shug was a warm and beautiful character that holds Djay's heart. Also Anthony Anderson plays a good straight character as Key.
All in all a surprise and very well written and acted movie!
But I'm a huge fan of Terrence Howard and had heard that the movie had won the Audience Award at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and was even Oscar nominated (for best actor in a leading role and best original song). As we all now know, Terrence lost out on the former to Philip Seymour Hoffman but "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp" shocked many by taking the golden statuette.
I decided to buy the DVD in the end because the movie didn't screen in my area, as far as I was aware, and my local video store wasn't holding it.
Well, I'm pleased to say I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I'm really glad I bought it and look forward to watching it over and over again. I guess, as with the last movie I reviewed here, it just goes to show how a good script, good direction and good acting can make good art out of any story, infuse it with humanity and move us.
Yes, it's true, Djay is a pimp but he seems to be a pimp with heart. He not only takes care of his girls, he actually seems to care about them. They definitely care about him, especially the lovely Nola (played by Taryn Manning) who takes care of business when Djay finds himself behind bars, and ensures that his dream of becoming a successful rapper is kept alive and well. The story, probably from start to end was pretty predictable but thoroughly entertaining nevertheless. Howard brings complexity and magnetism to what could've been a cardboard cut-out role.
Good support from the always watchable Anthony Anderson and D.J. Qualls was mouth open wide astounding. I'd never even heard of him before this movie but will be looking out for him now.
And to round it all off the movie has a banging soundtrack. I may be a bit late but I'm definitely beginning to feel southern hip-hop. "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp" deserved the Academy Award it won. The soundtrack CD is already on my wish list.
A brilliant portrayal of one man's struggle for redemption and inspiration, despite all the odds. Magic.