American Hustle

23 Jan

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 9.15.01 AM

I’m a few weeks late, but I saw American Hustle last night and thought I’d share some quick thoughts because in our hearts, we’re all movie critics. In fact, I imagine being a movie, excuse me, a film critic, is one of those jobs where, even though you are an “expert,” no one treats you like one and everyone assumes they know just as much as you. Probably gets frustrating. Anyway, I digress. Here’s my “review”:

  • I’m sure I’m not the first one to make this joke, but Amy Adams’ boobs—specifically, the inner sides—deserve their own credit line (is that the proper phrase?) and probably a Best Supporting Actress nomination, too. The rest of Adams was also really good, and also looked great. And this is coming from someone who is not a huge Amy Adams fan, I think mostly because of Trouble with the Curve, a huge pile of dung that might infuriate me more than any other movie.
  • Jeremy Renner—not really sure what to make of him. He’s always good, or good enough, and this Esquire story about Renner’s work as a contractor makes me like him even more. That being said, he is not a Movie Star, which is something I’m pretty sure many people thought he might become after The Hurt Locker. He just doesn’t do it for me.
  • The movie was good. Not great. Not very good. Not bad. Just good. It could have been better, perhaps if it were an hour shorter and also if I were able to have any clue what the hell was going on. I still don’t understand what the con was that Christian Bale and Amy Adams were originally running. All I picked up was that guys with financial issues would come in, give Christian Bale $5,000 with the expectation that they’d be getting $50,000 from Bale in the future. Why—I have no idea. Same goes for how Bale was able to make these deals and never fulfill his end. Maybe this is the result of my 3rd grade understanding of the financial world, but I just didn’t get. Also, how did Bale get (SPOILER ALERT) Big Mob Boss Robert De Niro to leave him alone? He gave him the $2 million they stole? But I thought that $2 million was used to get the government to give Mayor Jeremy Renner a shorter sentence. Like I said, very confusing.
  • I’m not a movie buff—I love them, but it’s not like I know every director’s filmography— but I read a couple reviews on American Hustle and apparently the film’s director, David O. Russell, has a problem telling stories when they involve convoluted plots. I see the point. Take, for example, Silver Lining’s Playbook, an excellent movie that Russell made last year. In Silver Lining’s Playbook, the world is a small one—and the story that Russell seems to want to tell is one that can be told in this small world, and mainly through the movie’s two main characters, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.  American Hustle, on the other hand, is a movie that takes place in huge world with tons of important characters, all dealing with different issues in different ways. I guess you could say the overriding theme of the movie is “conning,” or “identity,” but there’s just too much going on to even think about this stuff. In Silver Lining’s Playbook, all you’re doing as a viewer is thinking about the characters and how you may relate to them. In American Hustle you’re just trying to follow the crazy plot.
  • All that being said, I’m a sucker for crazy plots and films taken from FBI and CIA files. Like Argo. This is far from Argo, but it’s also a fun movie, that, once the plot starts rolling, you begin to enjoy. If I had to give a letter grade, I’d say a solid B, which is much better than a shaky B. Also, did I mention Amy Adams’ boobs?

2 Responses to “American Hustle

  1. thycriticman January 23, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

    Laughed at the observations revolving around what a fine job Adams boobs did. I loved her costume design and it suited her tremendously. B is a good choice, as it falls short of perfect overall. Well written review for someone who does not consider themselves a movie buff!

    • Yaron Weitzman January 23, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

      Thanks, appreciated! And I agree about her costume. Person in charge of that should get some love

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