Maybe you didn't see writer-director Craig Brewer's Hustle & Flow when it played theatrically because you thought it wasn't your cup of tea. The film, after all, was about a small-time pimp in Memphis trying to make it as a rapper. And while I respect those of you who figured you'd be put off by such a film, you missed one of the best films of 2005.
Released last week on DVD, Hustle & Flow is more than a film about pimping and rapping. It is really a film about trying to find your own little piece of the American Dream. It's about not being held back by the limitations that surround you and bind you. It is a tale of a morally off-center underdog with aspirations of greatness. In its own way, it is a lot like Rocky, another film about a loser who gets a shot at greatness.
It seems like most DVDs these days are loaded with lame bonus features that amount to tepid filler and uninspired audio commentaries. But Hustle & Flow delivers the goods. Three behind-the-scenes documentaries offer insights into the creative process that went into making the film. The real treat, though, is the audio commentary by Brewer. While many commentaries are self-serving jerk-off sessions, Brewer talks at length about the personal triumphs and tragedies that inspired the making of this film.
If you missed Hustle & Flow in the theaters, now is the time to see it. And if you've already seen it, now is the time to see it again.