Via the bliss of Bittorrent, I watched Hustle and Flow last night. It's good! MTV films is a hit-or-miss operation, but this is a real winner. I've been meaning to see it since I met (rather was picked up by) the assistant location manager in Memphis on the road this summer and los Vagabenderosos spent a day with her parents (her mom was the Memphis location hefe), but never got around to it.
The movie essentially rests on the shoulders of Terrance Howard, and he carries it with style and grace. He really makes you believe that a Pimp can be a good man, and really makes you want to pronounce "man" like he does, kinda like, "main." The rest of the cast is quite good as well, even the token nerdy white kid producer. It's a bit of a cinderella story, and the Moral Majority would see it as bedrock proof that hip-hop, MTV and "those people" are out to ruin the US of A, but it's thoroughly enjoyable and even a little bit moving.
It's also really nice to see a little bit of the Dirty up on the big screen. I think the rising cultural gravity of the South is a good thing overall, CMT included. Regionalism helps drive innovation, quality, etc, and frankly I think the old-line cultural centers (NYC, Hollywood) need competition. They're getting fat and lax. I also appreciate the re-appropriation of the verb "to hustle" and the noun "hustler," which I think have a lot of potential in postmodern America.
Hustle and Flow, people; thoroughly worth your netflix/rental dollar.