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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Pre Holiday Fun

Olaiya and I hosted our first large-scale movie night at the newly-designed crib. We had five guests over, plus the two of us, for seven total (plus Lulu the Cat.) It was surprisingly accommodating (and I'm now reasonably sure than none of those five guests suffer from claustrophobia.)

O served up some fine grub, including her now famous bleu cheese and grannysmith grilled sandwiches. There were peach mimosas and apple lambic. There was good cheer.

And then, Bummerman showed up.

The evening's screening was Hustle and Flow, and I'm here to tell you, it's crap. Pure, unredeemed suckitude. Well, Terrence Howard nails a Memphis accent, and the movie gets verisimilitude points for making everyone gross and sweaty throughout the Tennessee Summer. But other than that, it sucks. The most disappointing part of the film is that Howard's character, a down-and-out pimp looking to change his fortune by learning to record his musical impulses, has nothing interesting to say. Is Southern rap a great thing... yes. Cee-Lo Green is a soul machine. Outkast are ridiculously talented and interesting. Ludakris is a crossover hit as an actor. Clearly there is something behind the phenomenon of the "dutty south." But Hustle and Flow completely misses it.

This film purports to honor the African American tradition of the blues, but actually just celebrates composing parking lot anthems in order to strike it rich. The music and the meaning behind all of it is just pathetic. Adding to the sleazy feeling is the completely whitewashed misogyny. Just because Howard doesn't actually physically beat any of his hos is no reason to canonize him. But that's how the film feels... like we should give him a pass on being a pimp because he's such a good guy down deep... which is kind of like saying we should give the movie a pass on being insipid because it's about the souls of (poor southern) black folk. Bummerman says, "NO FREE PASSES." Your movie blows, John Singleton. And as for the Oscars, Dolly Parton still got robbed.

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