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Hustle and Flow (It Came from the Bargain Bin!)

Bargain_Bin

Welcome to this week’s installment of It Came from the Bargain Bin! This week’s review is of a film that I have passed up time and time again while digging through the DVD heap known as The Bargain Bin. I have seen parts of this film from time to time on cable but just never actually sat down and committed to it from beginning to end so this week it’s time to give it the time that I hope it deserves. Seeing as though it stars Terrence Howard who I’ve liked as a supporting actor in Oscar winning movies like Crash (2004) and Ray (2004) I figure that this particular movie has to be worth at least the 5 bucks it cost to purchase but one never knows until you actually watch the film, right. If anything, I think that Mr. Howard had been in enough solid films to earn himself this lead role and I am curious to see if he actually holds his own and turns out the great performance that he seems to be capable of pulling off. So, without further delay, lets delve into this week’s pick from The Bin starring Terrence Howard………..

Hustle and Flow (2005)

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Director: Craig Brewer
Writer: Craig Brewer
Starring: Terrence Howard, Ludacris, and Anthony Anderson
Reviewed By: Joe Sikes

Djay (Terrence Howard) pimps out Nola (Taryn Manning) in Memphis, Tennessee to support himself and his baby’s momma, Shug (Taraji P. Henson). Struggling day to day without getting above water, Djay begins to feel like his life is leading nowhere. After hearing from local club owner and friend, Arnel (Isaac Hayes) that the big rap star Skinny Black (Ludacris) from Djay’s hood is coming back to town, Djay begins to wonder if he still has what it takes to make it big. Now in his forties, Djay knows that it’s now or never and approaches his old buddy and sound engineer, Key(Anthony Anderson) to express his interest in recording some songs to present to Skinny Black with hopes of rising out of the hole that he’s in. Key agrees to help his old friend, Djay and gets him into the recording studio.

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Upon entering the studio, Key introduces Djay to Shelby (DJ Qualls), a scrawny white pianist from Key’s church. Although hesitant to accept Shelby, Djay goes along with Key’s instincts and hits the studio. With the assistance of apparent beat master, Shelby and sound engineer, Key, Djay hits the ground running and turns out jams that have the potential to make him a star. Although possibly on to something big, struggles persist for Djay while chasing his life-long dream of being a famous rap recording artist. While maintaining focus on his dream of making it big, Djay must still hustle on the unforgiving streets of Memphis to support himself and Shug. Surrounded by turmoil, Djay continues to work with Shelby and Key in the studio while awaiting the arrival of Skinny Black who holds Djay’s future in the palm of his hands. This may be Djay’s only shot to make it and he isn’t about to let this chance pass him by without a fight.

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Although fictional, Hustle and Flow comes across as a very realistic story that inspires with the help of convincing performances by the whole cast and the musical talents of Mr. Howard as well. Terrence Howard does not disappoint in this classic story of struggle and the will to succeed despite the outside forces that may stand in the way of a dream. Hustle and Flow’s plot may sound cliché but do not be fooled, there is a lot more to this movie than just a story about making it out of the ‘hood. If you give Hustle and Flow a chance you will not be disappointed. I give Hustle and Flow 2 and 1/2 Guys. See you next week with another pick from The Bin.

2 and a half

 

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Wendell December 4, 2013, 8:53 am

    Nice review. I am a big fan of this movie and this performance rightfully earned Howard an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

    • Joe December 18, 2013, 5:21 pm

      Hey Wendell,
      I agree, Terrence Howard definitely deserved his Oscar nomination. A great movie with even better acting. Thank you for your post and have a great week.

  • Nostra December 4, 2013, 10:27 pm

    This is indeed a great movie and I occasionally still listen to some of its songs :)

    • Joe December 18, 2013, 5:22 pm

      Hey Nostra,
      This is definitely a great movie that surprised me and Yes, the music definitely helped. Thank you for your post and have a great week.

  • Dan O. December 5, 2013, 2:49 pm

    This one surprised the hell out of me because I just expected it to be a dark, dirty and gritty movie about a dude trying to be a big-time rapper. However, it was surprisingly inspiring and very well-told coming from Craig Brewer. Good review.

    • Joe December 18, 2013, 5:26 pm

      Hey Dan O,
      Thank you. I was surprised as well with this one and I agree that Craig Brewer definitely made a movie that really could have been generic but turned out to be inspiring and entertaining. Thank you for your post and have a great week.

  • Evan Crean December 7, 2013, 6:32 am

    I recall the preview making this film seem really silly and unrealistic, so it took me some time to give it a chance too. Once I finally saw Hustle & Flow after numerous recommendations from friends, I really enjoyed the movie It’s gritty and authentic, while telling a great tale about someone who’s trying everything legitimate he can to dig himself out of the hole that he’s in. His ticket out is this rapper from the hood, who Djay hopes will help, but he’s still taking a major risk by putting all his eggs in this basket. Because of that you spend the whole time rooting for him, even though he normally wouldn’t be the kind of guy most people would do that for.

    • Joe December 18, 2013, 5:28 pm

      Hey Evan,
      I agree that the preview definitely does not do this film justice but like you said, if you give H&F a chance you will be pleasantly surprised by a film that has a lot going for it. Thank you for your post and have a great week.

      • Joe December 18, 2013, 5:29 pm

        ….and yes , Djay is a great anti hero. Thanks again for the post.

  • Jaina December 8, 2013, 8:30 am

    Another fan of this film. Terrence Howard does a great job, and found myself humming so much of the music after I was done watching it. Catchy stuff!

    Shame it gave Terrence Howard a bit of an ego after his Oscar nom for the role. Which he definitely deserved, but wow… did he love himself after that.

    • Joe December 18, 2013, 5:32 pm

      Hi Jaina,
      I totally agree that the music does stick in your head which is a good sign of a movie that has a great original score and it is too bad about Howard but I have a feeling that he will come around……or maybe not :) Thank you for your post and have a great week.

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