• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Big Money Hustla$

TITLE: Big Money Hustla$

YEAR: 2000

GENRE: Comedy and Crime/Film Noir

Movies that star musical celebrities are usually a hard sell and simply exist to promote the performer’s musical endeavors. To be honest there are some gems here and there but most of these films are terrible: for every Yellow Submarine or Rock ‘n’ Roll High School there are ten or more bombs like Glitter or Get Rich Or Die Trying. I had several B-movie fanatics who recommended Big Money Hustla$ which was created by and stars shock rappers the Insane Clown Posse. I have to admit that I believe that their music is not much more than juvenile garbage, but I learned that this twosome are also surprisingly good film makers. Big Money Hustla$ is a unexpected quality production that is a loving salute to the blaxploitation era while at the same time an entertaining parody of low budget films in general.

The police in New York City have a problem with the gangster Big Baby Sweets (played by Violent J), who runs roughshod over the city and runs its crime syndicate with bumbling sidekicks Big Stank (Jamie Madrox) and Lil’ Poop (Monoxide). The Chief of Police (John G. Brennan) decides to bring in a specialist and contracts San Francisco detective Sugar Bear (Shaggy 2 Dope) to come to the Big Apple and clean up the dastardly deeds in the community with the help of blundering cop Harry Cox (Harland Williams). Sugar Bear meets an overweight stripper named Missy (Sindee Williams) and falls in love with the obese topless dancer. Big Baby Sweets is not pleased with the new gumshoe locking up his associates, and has Sugar Bear’s love killed in an act of revenge. Will Sugar Bear and Harry Cox be able to clean up the streets?

Big Money Hustla$ is a salute to the 1970’s blaxploitation action films such as Dolemite and Cleopatra Jones, and much to my surprise this is a passionate salute to that era of film making that may poke some fun at the genre yet is also an acknowledgement of its history and importance. Another aspect of the film is its not so gentle ribbing of the inefficiencies of independent films and incorporate lines that poke fun at their own efforts: for example, when Big Stank and Lil’ Poop propose killing Sugar Bear their leader exclaims “if we kill him then that’s the end of the movie” plus occasionally the director and assorted grips will be obviously seen in the background. There are also several scenes throughout Big Money Hustla$ that just have to be seen to be believed; the love making scene between Shaggy 2 Dope and BBW porn star Sindee Williams is bizarre to say the least, Big Baby Sweet’s shakedown of an elderly woman has an unexpected ending worthy of a giggle, and the robbery of a donut shop with a guy in a monkey suit screaming “I’m wearing an ape suit, that means I don’t give a f^$%!” is epic in its comedic element. Cameos throughout the film by the legendary punk rock band The Misfits, hardcore wrestler Mick Foley, and even Dolemite actor Rudy Ray Moore adds to the fun of Big Money Hustla$. The film does use a lot of profanity in its comedic efforts, but considering the fact that Big Money Hustla$ is a salute to films that were riddled with profanity this is more than acceptable. The movie of course also acts as a promotional vehicle for ICP and includes their music in the background and jokes about the band including their passion for Faygo pop, but this does not detract too much from the finished product.

Ten years later the rap duo made another film called Big Money Rustlas (so much for creativity in titles) as a salute to spaghetti westerns which unfortunately does not capture the magic of this effort. This film will not win any film festival awards, but Big Money Hustla$ is a more than acceptable salute to an era of film that most of their fan base knows little to nothing of its history. Fans of movies that use many over the top elements in its acting and situations will also find Big Money Hustla$ to be an entertaining and satisfying addition to their collection. I know, I was skeptical as well when first watching this film but I am glad I was able to watch Big Money Hustla$ and enjoy the clown rappers’ quality efforts. It is head and shoulders above Glitter, that is for sure!

* * * *

–Mark

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