And, yes, I am the last Black man to see the critically-acclaimed story of a pimp who aspires to be a rapper. With a full time job and 15 minutes of fatherhood every night, I'm lucky to see any movie during its initial theatric run, but it's the so-called "Black" movies that I miss the most.
I mean, was Soul Plane really as bad as they all said?
Anyways, we'll keep this one short since Hustle & Flow was so 2005.
Positives: Terrific performances by just about everyone involved…and, damn it, I mean everyone. Terrence Howard got the Oscar nod, but Anthony Anderson and DJ Qualls are terrific in smaller roles, while Taryn Manning and Taraji P. Henson are phenomenal as a pair of hoes with heart.
Negatives: The music is terrible and the entire film is based around it. Watching everyone stand around slack-jawed while Howard's "Djay" is spitting garbage as if he's cobbling together a classic is awkward and embarrassing. The accomplished Elise Neal plays a poorly-written supportive wife, while Paula Jai Parker plays a L-O-U-D Black woman for the 100th time. And, the last 30 minutes nearly ruin the film.
Overall: Watchable, but somewhat disappointing, given all the hype. Howard's character is hardly sympathetic, so it's hard to connect with his struggle. If you like that Dirty South sound, you'll like this one more than I did. If you abhor Hip Hop, the strong performances still might not be enough to win you over.