HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  American Hustle Would I Lie To You?
Year: 2013
Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, Louis C.K., Jack Huston, Michael Peña, Shea Whigham, Alessandro Nivola, Elisabeth Röhm, Paul Herman, Saïd Taghmaoui, Anthony Zerbe, Colleen Camp, Robert De Niro, Jack Jones
Genre: Comedy, Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Some of this is true. In 1978, New York City, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) was fixing his hair in a hotel room mirror, applying his hairpiece and combing over the rest of what he had left to fix it in place. Once he was satisfied, he went to meet his business partners, Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) and Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) who were trying to encourage him in their latest endeavour, getting a mayor, Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner), to take a huge bribe of two million dollars in a sting operation. These were con artists, you see, but Irving and Sydney had backing from the authorities, having been recruited by Richie instead of going to prison for fraud. Yet some cons are bigger than others...

American Hustle was obviously an actor's dream, and you could tell the thespians were having a ball since with the permission of their director David O. Russell, they were allowed to improvise as much as they wanted, even to the point of rewriting the plot. But isn't this a true story, you may ask, how could they claim that when they were not sticking to the facts? It was only mostly true as the caption stated at the start of the movie, so essentially all those involved had carte blanche to tell the story of the major Abscam operation of the late seventies and early eighties as they saw fit, and besides, how often did you hear sticklers for detail complaining that a movie was playing fast and loose with what really happened?

Quite often, was the answer to that, therefore the best you could say was this stuck to the gist rather than the letter of the true life tale, and was probably better if you simply forgot about the facts and appreciated it as a yarn, like a shaggy dog story, that had something to say in its wild and wooly manner about the pretences and subterfuge people need to get by in life, though most settle for little white lies and don't go to quite the lengths that the scammers do here. Decked out in the most garish period-appropriate fashions the costume designers could find, and with hair that was teased and coiffed to within an inch of its life, at times the storytelling was so dense you found yourself watching the scenery as the plot passed by, lost in its own world.

If you did manage to get a handle on American Hustle and its weird, apparently unironic crime endorsing developments, you would find what amounted to a Martin Scorsese pastiche, specifically of his cult classics Goodfellas and Casino, with zippy scenes, elaborate cutting, old records abundant on the soundtrack and - was that? Yes it was, Robert De Niro uncredited as a Mafia boss. His appearance was important as it was at that point, somewhere about halfway through the movie, that the stakes were raised significantly; you may have been chuckling at the trappings of the era so luridly recreated in what was called the decade taste forgot by lazy cultural commentators, but once De Niro appeared and was taking this very seriously in one crucial sequence it was like a swig of very bitter black coffee, waking both you and the characters up.

Irving has already had a scare when Richie threatened to charge him with fraud, and using his love for fake-accented Sydney as a hook he is landed in an F.B.I. operation right up to his neck. Richie thinks he's very clever indeed, and for a while he is, but overconfident as the thrill of getting one over on his victims, both actual and potential, goes to his head and he forgets he is on the side of the law and these folks he is mixing with are all too experienced in crime from the other angle. That's not to say Irving and Sydney get it all their own way either as Richie coaxes her away romantically then Irving's wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence going about as brassy as it was possible to get without descending into reality TV caricature) and her dumb cunning become a liability when she has hooks in him too. Although it looked like a comedy, and there were some laughs, it played more like an overexcitable drama with overemphasis on what that entailed, not just the visuals but the performances as well, and if it was exhausting no matter how superior you were invited to feel, it was an impressive marathon. Music by Danny Elfman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3713 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: