4 Urban Rap Star Movie Collection: Hustle & Flow/Juice/Tupac: Resurrection/Get Rich or Die Tryin' [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Juice
Cinematographer Ernest R. Dickerson directed and co-wrote this crime drama about a group of friends who get involved in a robbery. Bishop (Tupac Shakur), Q (Omar Epps), Raheem (Khalil Kain), and Steel (Jermaine Hopkins) are four Harlem friends who spend their days skipping school, getting in fights, and casually shoplifting. The only member of the group who has plans for the future is Q, who dreams of becoming a deejay. But one day Bishop happens to see James Cagney in White Heat and the film inspires him to buy a gun. His plan is to rob a corner store and split the money. Everyone goes along with the plan except for Q, who is competing that night in a deejay contest. At the club, Q is a rousing success, but he spies the stern faces of his friends through the cheering crowd and realizes that he has to go along with the robbery, which goes completely wrong. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Get Rich or Die Tryin'
Hip-hop star 50 Cent makes his movie debut in this hard-edged urban drama inspired by the rapper's own life. Marcus (Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, aka 50 Cent) grew up in a tough New York neighborhood and was left to fend for himself after the death of his mother when he was a kid. Marcus fell in with a powerful crime boss (Bill Duke) who gave him an opportunity to make a good living -- by selling drugs. While Marcus has misgivings about his life of crime and has an interest in expressing himself as a rap artist, his success as a dealer makes it hard for him to get away from the life. However, when a heist goes wrong and Marcus is shot several times, he has a change of heart and decides to leave his old life behind. He begins pursuing his dream of making it in music, and with the support of his girlfriend (Joy Bryant) he begins recording a demo tape. Marcus' new songs are inspired by the gritty realities of his old life on the street, but just as it looks like he might be able to land a record deal, he discovers that some of his old business associates aren't too happy about Marcus telling folks about their actions. Get Rich or Die Tryin' was directed by Jim Sheridan, best known for his tough but atmospheric stories of life in Ireland (In The Name of the Father, My Left Foot). ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Hustle & Flow
One man's struggle to rise above his circumstances prompts him to try a career in music in this acclaimed drama from writer and director Craig Brewer. Djay (Terrence Howard) is a low-level pimp and drug dealer who scraped together a living in the ghettos of Memphis, TN. Djay isn't happy with his life, and the realization that he's reached the same age when his father unexpectedly died has made him start thinking about changing his ways. Djay has always had a gift for spinning stories, and after picking up a cheap keyboard, he begins picking out beats to go along with his rhymes. After bumping into an old high-school buddy who works in gospel music, Key (Anthony Anderson), Djay decided to take the plunge and remake himself as a rapper. With the technical know-how of Key and the musical input of a local beat maker named Shelby (DJ Qualls), Djay begins turning his way with words and his first-hand knowledge of the street life into music, as his two live-in girlfriends, Lexus (Paula Jai Parker) and Shug (Taraji P. Henson), add their musical input and emotional support and Nola (Taryn Manning) continues to turn tricks to pay the bills. When local boy-turned-nationwide hip-hop star Skinny Black (Ludacris) comes to town to pay a visit to Arnel (Isaac Hayes), a club owner friendly with Djay, he sees an opportunity to put his demo in the hands of someone who can bring his music to the masses, though it turns out to be far more difficult than he expected. Hustle & Flow had its world premiere at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, where it received a number of rave reviews and took home the Audience Award. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Tupac: Resurrection
Many unauthorized video titles have been released about the life of rap superstar Tupac Shakur. Tupac: Resurrection is the only one to be both executive produced by his mother, former Black Panther Afeni Shakur, and benefit from access to the MTV archives. The documentary is the feature-length debut for director Lauren Lazin, who has created several highly rated programs for both MTV and PBS. Using voice-overs, interviews, and other vocal tracks recorded by the late artist himself, the film explores his life, music, and death from fatal gunshot wounds in 1996. Includes rare footage, home movies, private photographs, and excerpts from his personal poetry, journals, and letters. During the making of the film, MTV reached out to his fan base by requesting submissions of Tupac memorabilia to be used in the film. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Omar Epps
    Omar Epps - Quincy "Q"
  • Tupac Shakur
    Tupac Shakur - Bishop
  • Jermaine Hopkins
    Jermaine Hopkins - Steel
  • Khalil Kain
    Khalil Kain - Raheem
  • Cindy Herron
    Cindy Herron - Yolanda
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