No one ever said pimpinâ€™ was easy. And thatâ€™s the problem Hustle and Flowâ€™s main character Djay faces. Set in the city of Memphisâ€”the city of Making Easy Money, Pimpinâ€™ â€˜Hos In Styleâ€”Djay is fed up with the ins and outs of his daily pimping and drug dealing days. He decides to turn to an old high school classmate, Key (Anthony Anderson), and his co-worker, Shelby (played by DJ Qualls, who is best known for his stint on â€˜Road Tripâ€™ as that guy who doesnâ€™t count putting peanut butter on his nether regions and having his dog lick it off as sex) to help bring about his dream of producing hip-hop flow. With the help of his two â€œbitches,â€ Shug and Nola, Djay realizes that â€œeverybody gotta have a dream,â€ and he might just be about to live his. Brought to you by MTV Productions, this movie is no Napoleon Dynamite. Itâ€™s a gritty tale about daily life in the ghetto and trying to rise above it.
The film runs on the slightly predictable side. A down-and-out creative genius works hard to get what he wants, suffers several setbacks, continues persevering andâ€¦well, I wonâ€™t spoil the ending, but one can pretty much assume what happens. Yet, itâ€™s a wild, funny, and sentimental ride toward the finale. Hardly a breath will be bated, but the movie manages to evoke charisma from its characters, so one does remain interested in the journey of Djay and his compatriots.
A warning appearing at the beginning of the documentary, Rize, states that in no way has the dancing been digitally sped up. A couple minutes later, you realize why the warning exists. After an introduction of black-and-white shots of the 1965 Watts riots and full-color shots of the Rodney King-spurred 1992 Los Angeles riots, the dancing that fills the movie screen leaves you blinking in surprise, and realizing just why that warning appeared at the beginning.
These dancers are fast.
Rize traces the formation of a dance phenomenon in Southern California, where gangs, drugs and violence are everyday life. Started by ï¿½Tommy the Clown,ï¿½ a former drug dealer whose life was turned around while he spent time in jail, the new style of dancing called ï¿½Clowningï¿½ became his response to the L.A. riots. Fast forward 11 years later, and ï¿½clowningï¿½ has grown to include more than 50 rival groups of dancers, who spend their time honing their skills instead of gangbanging and doing drugs.