ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – H – Hustle & Flow (2005)

Director: Craig Brewer

Writer: Craig Brewer (Screenplay)

Starring: Terrence Howard, Anthony Anderson, Taryn Manning, Taraji P Henson, DJ Qualls, Ludacris, Paula Jai Parker


Plot: With help from his friends, a Memphis pimp in a mid-life crisis attempts to become a successful hip-hop emcee.

Tagline – The music will inspire them. The dream will unite them. This summer get crunk.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Nice Insight to the Hip-Hop World


Story: Hustle & Flow starts as we see the everyday pimping life of Djay (Howard) forcing his prostitutes to do there thing with Nola (Manning) being he most requested girl, he has girls in the strip club too which Lexus (Parker) being the one he is closest too, he also has a pregnant one in his home with Shug (Henson) waiting to give birth.

When Djay meets an old friend Key (Anderson) he starts to have a craving to try and become a hip-hop star as the two work together to make song where he learns that Shug is the real talent in his household.


Thoughts on Hustle & Flow


Characters – Djay is a pimp going through a mid-life crisis, he is tired of struggling to make his girls collect his money and wants to try and new career as a hip-hop star, he must first shake his old ways though and accept criticisms for his vision. Key is a music producer for a local church, he comes from a very different background to Djay and is willing to give this music venture a chance. Nola is one of the prostitutes that is still working the streets she is his go to girl at the moment with the others out of the picture at the moment, she does get frustrated about being the only one on the streets though. Shug is the pregnant girl working for Djay, she shows herself to have real talent when it comes to singing which only brings the music alive for Djay.

PerformancesTerrence Howard in the leading role is great because we see his character’s full evolution through the story trying to find himself in the world. Anthony Anderson continues to show everyone he can be an great supporting performer while Taryn Manning and Taraji P Henson both show us they were going to go onto bigger projects.

StoryThe story shows us how a mid-life crisis can drive somebody to go down unusual paths with his Djay wanting to become a hip-hop star getting out of the pimping business. The story does break up into a couple of acts with the pimping business playing out like you would imagine, while the middle part of the film focuses for a long time on the making of the song which does go on longer than it needs too. With the third acting showing us just how difficult the industry is to get into. The idea that we can dream helps this movie out big time because it is important to see, though seeing just how far people will go for the dreams is the bleak side to things.

Crime/MusicThe crime world we see is just how the pimping world operates and how close to the line certain hip-hop stars can go to the law, this blends nicely with the music side of the film.

SettingsThe film is set in Memphis which shows us the difficult neighbourhood that Djay is operating in, it shows he tensions can fly and how the special want to get out of the place.

Scene of the Movie –
The club drinks.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too long spent recording the song.

Final ThoughtsThis is a story about dreams and just how far people will go to try and make dreams come true, whether you will go too far too.


Overall: Dreams Big or fail.





The Vault (2017)

Director: Dan Bush

Writer: Dan Bush, Conal Byrne (Screenplay)

Starring: James Franco, Scott Haze, Taryn Manning, Francesca Eastwood, Q’Oiranka Kilcher, Jeff Gum, Clifton Collins Jr


Plot: Two estranged sisters are forced to rob a bank in order to save their brother. But this is no ordinary bank.

Tagline – No one is safe.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Strangely Disappointing


Story: The Vault starts as three siblings Michael (Haze), Vee (Manning) and Leah (Eastwood) put together their team to get what seems like a perfect bank robbery done, to solve Michael’s personal problem. With the hostages locked up and the alarms dealt with things look like they are going smoothly, then they open the vault to discovery next to no money.

Assistant manager Ed Maas (Franco) offer to help get into the old vault, but this is where the terror begins because this bank has a history one, none of the robbers were prepared for.


Thoughts on The Vault


Characters – Vee is the fiery short tempered of the siblings, she will get the rest of the robbers in more trouble, this is a front to her own insecurity. Leah is the leader of the robbers, the calmer of the group that doesn’t go over the limits, until she does and we lose any support for this character, the one we are meant to be following. Michael is the brother who has gotten himself into trouble and needs the money to fix the problem, he wants to no one hurt mentality and seems to be the only good one of the group. Ed Maas is a man that was one of the hostages that offers to get the money for the robbers.

PerformancesThe cast here is confusing, because James Franco is fine, but completely looks out of place in this movie. When we see the sister performers which does work well together as you feel the strained relationship between them.

StoryThe story is a bank robbery gone wrong, when are they not right? This time it goes wrong when it turns out the location the bank is haunted and now the spirits have returned. This could work for the most part but in the end it doesn’t deliver on the level it could do, mostly because we don’t seem to support anyone because they don’t dive into what Michael has done to need money, the two sisters both come off twisted and evil and the horror side is almost unwatchable.

HorrorThis movie uses the horror to put a twist on the heist idea in the story, the horror side of the film is difficult to watch though as everything comes off just too dark.

SettingsThe film is set inside the bank which keeps the story contained for where the events could go.

Special EffectsThe effects are fine, we only get to see them used sparely which is nice to see when it comes to the horrors.

Scene of the Movie –
Final twist.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many difficult moments that don’t add up.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappointing horror that doesn’t scare us in anyway and has a complete by the book heist movie.


Overall: Lacklustre movie.




Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Devil’s Tomb (2009)

casting card


Plot: An elite group of soldiers on a covert mission to retrieve a scientist from an underground lab encounter an ancient evil in the facility.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Just a Mess


Story: The Devil’s Tomb starts as Wesley (Perlman) is recording the work he is part on inside the tomb and how things started to get out of control needing to get cleaned up. The man they turn to is Mack (Gooding Jr) who has an elite unit including Doc (Manning), Hammer (G), Nickels (Ward), Hicks (London), Click (Fobbs) and Yoshi (Jacobsen) to rescue Wesley.

The site under lockdown so after breaking into the site they find themselves up against an enemy they have never seen before having to find a way to fight against an evil that guns can’t kill.

The Devil’s Tomb is a film that could easily put Doom in the Oscar worthy lists around the world and that is saying something, this is just messy from start to finish with a storyline that just rips off many films around the same genre. This is one of the most predictable too and has big name actors in the most random small parts too.


Actor Review


Cuba Gooding Jr: Mack is the Captain of the unit of men sent into the tomb to rescue Wesley. He has only just taken over the unit after their leader has recently died. He wants to keep his unit safe and wants in and out as quick as possible. Cuba must get a nice pay check for this performance.

Taryn Manning: Doc is a member of Mack’s unit and by her name you can work out she is the medic of the unit, she goes missing early on but is the most trusted soldier to Mack. Taryn is one of the only goodish thing in this movie because she wasn’t a known star at the time.

Ray Winstone: Blakeley is the former Captain of the unit but has been killed in action, he haunts Mack through the film. Ray is completely wasted in this role and I have no idea what the actual point of his character is.

Ron Perlman: Wesley is the man running the site that has lost control of the situation. He has become obsessed with what is in the tomb so much so he records every single moment in there. Ron just isn’t involved in enough for this role until the end really.

Support Cast: The Devil’s Tomb has a supporting cast that are all typical soldier characters involved.

Director Review: Jason ConneryJason gives us a horror that is very easy to follow, leaving very much a been here seen that film not getting the best out of a good cast.


Action: The Devil’s Tomb has very forgettable action with most just being guns shooting the undead.

Horror: The Devil’s Tomb tries to give us a horror story but it really just doesn’t happen in this one.

Sci-Fi: The Devil’s Tomb enters into a world a science fiction with what is going on within the tomb.

Settings: The Devil’s Tomb does keep nearly all the action in the tomb which should work because they are trapped too.
Special Effects
: The Devil’s Tomb has very forgettable effects being used which are all poorly put together.

Suggestion: The Devil’s Tomb is one that could easily be skipped though. (Skip)


Best Part: There was an advert I really liked in the copy I watched.

Worst Part: It is a mess really.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too:


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: An evil entombed for 2000 years… until now.


Overall: Big Names, Big Idea, Poorly Made and Poorly Acted.




Trailer Alert – Low Down

Plot – A look at the life of pianist Joe Albany from the perspective of his young daughter, as she watches him contend with his drug addiction during the 1960s and ’70s jazz scene.

Starring: Taryn Manning, Elle Fanning, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Glenn Close, John Hawkes

Release Date:  Non Set For UK


Heavyweight cast with John Hawkes, Glenn Close with Oscar nominations along with popular stars in Dinklage and Fanning, can they all work in this film?

How much will be focusing on the music and how much will be on the personal issues?

Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating – 40%

My Guess Rating – 75%

Will It Be Number One In UK? – No