American Hustle Quick Review

Discussion in 'Movies' started by mattCR, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    One word: Brilliant. I have almost no way to describe this except for Brilliant. From the beginning all the way through, the actors OWN these roles. The movie is filled with solid over the top laughs, from Christian Bale handing his comb-over in the intro, to a few jokes that are so over the top funny I felt as though I might lose track of air.

    The best summary of this I can give is: Goodfellas meets Big Lebowski. There is a section, in which Jennifer Lawrence, playing the wife, runs a double-reverse Con as a friend put it, seemingly trying to point out she only inteded someone to get into a situation where they would be killed in order to make sure that they had the right pressure put on them to invent a solution, because endangering their life by threatening to kill them was the only way she knew to do the right thing by him, and if he died, well it was an accident.

    This verbal salad that comes from her character is delivered in such a straight forward way that it is baffling, hilarious, true to character and if I had been eating any candy I might have died from laughter.

    This is a sensational film that has incredibly high re-watchability. This moves to the absolute top of films I've seen this yea with only one major effort left for me (Wolf of Wall Street) next week to get in it's way.

    Rating: MUST SEE. 5/5

    Oh, and a few quotes to go with:

    "This is a Science Oven. Just don't put metal in it."
    "All perfume have to be a mix of something beautiful and you know, garbage."


    BTW, thanks to Alamo Drafthouse, who put on the show tonight, and offered guys who attended a beauty salon in the lobby in case we wanted a perm. (I don't have enough hair for that)
     
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  2. Yavin

    Yavin Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, American Hustle absolutely blew me away as well. All of the main roles were so well-acted, and it was so thoroughly entertaining from beginning to end.

    Here's a quick bit from my review:
    4.5 out of 5 for me. I'd even go so far as to say this is the best movie of the year.

    Here's my full review.
     
  3. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    I thought the acting was great but the movie was terribly empty and pointless, though breezily entertaining. The Scorsese aping was egregious. My mini-review after seeing it was:

    Often funny but a tonally inconsistent affair. Finely performed - Bale and Lawrence are especially superb - but the narrative is far too disjointed and it apes superior films of its type too obviously (GoodFellas and Casino), which leaves me asking: why retread this kind of ground and not say anything new? 7/10
     
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  4. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I enjoyed "American Hustle", got caught up in the fine storytelling of building up the pairing of Irving (Christian Bale's character) and Sydney (Amy Adams' character) in the beginning as they team up for some small-time loan-sharking plays, though I did find this narrative shift when Richie (Bradley Cooper's character) enters the picture, which left Irving in the dust for a while, creating a more duck-like character (serene on the surface, passive, but paddling like crazy under the water line). I liked the callbacks to Scorsese's signature stamp of movie-making, and editing and swirling interests between the main players. It fits the style of story being told.

    Performances all-around (well, maybe Louis C.K. is a little under the level of the rest of thecast) were solid. But I don't think any of them will take home an Oscar this year. But I enjoyed this yarn as performed by many from the "Silver Linings Playbook" cast from last year.

    I give it 3.5 stars, or a grade of B+.
     
  5. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I like crime movies and the 1970's in general so not surprisingly, I was a big fan of this movie. The entire cast (from the people who get their names on the poster to the more supporting roles) was excellent.

    One of the year's best.
     
  6. Brett_M

    Brett_M Screenwriter

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    I really enjoyed this. I think the film needs to be seen just for the fine performances and the breezy, crackling script.
     
  7. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Screenwriter
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    I felt 'American Hustle' opened strong and finished even stronger. It bogged down a bit in the second act, but patience is rewarded.

    The excellent cast delivered outstanding performances, all around!

    The Booth Bijou gives it 4 out of 5 stars!

    BTW, when the Blu-ray comes out, I predict that some people (that didn't see it in the theater) will complain about film grain! :)

    Mark
     
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  8. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    I thought it was good not great. Pretty much agree with Brandon's review above. Great performances from Bale, Lawrence Renner and Adams. Too many dull stretches. Entertaining but overrated IMO. I would give it *** out of ****
     
  9. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    I'm in the same boat with Tino and Brandon. Good, not great. Absolutely loved Bale and Lawrence, though everyone was very solid. Part of the problem may have been my expectations of what I was going to see; American Hustle just didn't have enough heart for me. I didn't connect with any of the characters.
     
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  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Love this film with a great script and acting performances.
     
  11. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I thought Jennifer Lawrence was phenomenal as the main character's hot mess of a wife, an absolute lock for a Best Supporting Actress nomination. I also thought Christian Bale was terrific as Irving.I didn't think the rest of the movie lived up to those two performances. The rolling after-the-fact testimony voiceovers didn't play right for me, and the movie went over the top too much too often. Even in the 1970s, I can't imagine an FBI agent could get away with assaulting his direct superior. I didn't believe that someone with Bradley Cooper's temperament in this movie would ever get hired by the FBI.I also didn't like the whitewashing of the mayor of Camden. Carmine Polito was portrayed as a selfless servant of the people who had to get his hands dirty to save his beloved community. While the real Camden mayor who got swept up in Abscam, Angelo Errichetti, had a reputation for being deeply personally invested in his community, he was a blatant criminal who also had connections with money counterfeiting and drug smuggling.All in all, a decent movie, but not one that deserves a Best Picture nomination or a Best Screenplay nomination.
     
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  12. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Didn't the film post a warning that some of what is about to be shown actually happened. I have no problem with the filmmaker taking dramatic license to tell their film's storyline.
     
  13. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    It's purposefully non-factual in many areas, which is why it opens with the jokey disclaimer of "Some of these things actually happened".Sent from my VS920 4G using Tapatalk
     
  14. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Yes, it definitely gave itself artistic license to play with the facts, and I loved that disclaimer at the beginning. That particular change just didn't sit right with me, though.
     
  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Hell, each of us can say the same thing about any film that was based on some actual event. Of course, we've been down this same road many times beforehand, recently with The Wolf of Wall Street and Saving Mr. Banks. I've never understood people having issues with such things as Hollywood has always taken artistic license with such films. It's been that way going back to the silent film days and has continue that way over 100 years since then. For many of us, such films does inspire us to do easy research of the facts in today's internet age.
     
  16. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I don't mind changing facts if it assists the story. I think it worked for Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle. I won't deny, to me, American Hustle is the best film I've seen this year, out of quite a few.

    But a film like 'Saving Mr. Banks' doesn't work in that the changes they made to the facts aren't changes that increase the narrative, they tend to be ones that suck the entire interesting parts out of the story in favor of wholesale replacement with something else.

    If the original story is good or solid, you can embellish it, alter it, whatever.. but if you just abandon it and replace it with something else that isn't very entertaining, you'll get the criticism ;)

    The only films I -really- get on for historical accuracy are those that go out of their way to say they are historically accurate.
     
  17. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    I walked into this movie a little wary considering how much of a letdown Silver Linings Playbook was (which was the most overrated movie of 2012). But I found American Hustle to be thoroughly engrossing and frequently laugh out loud funny. And while everyone is really good in this movie, Jennifer Lawrence is an absolute standout for me -- I shrugged at her Oscar winning performance from last year, but she had me howling in this movie. I went into this movie wondering why everyone was mooning over her and then leaving completely smitten.

    Still standoffish about Bradley Cooper. He's just "some guy" for me.
     
  18. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    I thought he offered one of the movie's more effective performances because he didn't seem to try too hard.

    I've been a Bale fan for years but I'm starting to sour on him somewhat. It just feels like he's ACTING!!! too much of the time. In "Hustle", it felt like he decided he wanted to "do De Niro" - gain weight ala "Raging Bull" and emulate every De Niro wiseguy role.

    I never felt like Irving was a real person - he was a cinematic creation with all the seams on display...
     
  19. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    After watching The Wolf of Wall Street, I appreciate American Hustle even more. Wolf is a rollicking crowd pleaser with many LOL moments. But none of the performances in that film can touch anything in Hustle. Jennifer Lawrence is better than the Wolf cast put together. Hustle is loaded with characters. Wolf is a collection of anecdotes. And that's all due to the actors involved.
     
  20. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I tend to agree. As time has went on, a film I already thought was the years best improves. Jennifer Lawrence is riotous in this, from her moment with the 'Science Oven' to trying to rope in the mobsters. I also greatly appreciated the end piece of her in a neck brace that they never bothered in any way to explain outside of her waving it away and saying 'eh, it happens'
     

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