Tuesday, June 10, 2014

American Hustle

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! One day...one day, I shall have a comb-over like Bale has in this film.

American Hustle – 3 out of 5

This film has been on my “Must See” list since it hit the theaters but for one reason or another (usually ninjas trying to set off a nuclear bomb-based reasons) kept me from getting to view it. However, thanks to the miracle called “home media,” I finally got to watch it and…I was a little underwhelmed by it all.

Cooper can make a man in curlers look badass and manly.

Work it...work it.
Loosely based on the Abscam sting of the 1970s, American Hustle sees a comb-overed, pot bellied Christian Bale as con artist Irving Rosenfeld. After living a successful life on the con with his con artist lover who loves cons (drink every time I write “con”), he and his partner in con and love; Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), end up getting caught by FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper in a terrific perm) and are forced to work their conning magic in magically conning ways in order to bring down corrupt political figures including a New Jersey mayor (Jeremy Renner). Rosenfeld gets more than he bargained for as mobsters start to come into play and his uncontrollable wife (Jennifer Lawrence) starts to throw a wrench into the gears.

He ran on a platform of no Chitauri invasions.

I really enjoy David O. Russell’s films (even though he has a reputation for having a temper that resulted in George Clooney kicking his ass and just being all around insane), so with I Heart Huckabees, The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook dancing in my skull alongside all the praise the film was getting from cinephiles and movie critics, I think I might have oversold myself with this one and expected more than what I was getting. The critics told me the film was overloaded with energy and was “uproarious” with its humor and the performances were fantastic, so I sat down thinking this was going to be a film that was sure to get my perfect score and I was going to go crazy over it…that never happened.

Dat comb-over!

Lawrence will never be an attractive crier.
First off, I didn’t think American Hustle was a bad film, not in the least. The cast is filled with extremely talented folks (even Bobbie De Niro shows up) and they are all performing the fuck out of their roles. Even Jennifer Lawrence, an actress I don’t think too highly of (or really think that low of, either) has finally shown me what all the hype was about with her as, even though her role is limited and her screen time isn’t very numerous, I was captivated by her for the first time. Literally every single actor in this film was awesome to watch and it is, without a doubt, the strongest thing about this film…that and the kick ass soundtrack the film has. 

I'm fairly certain Bobbie just showed up on set and demanded a role.

At this point, I want to remind you all that he is a talking raccoon
in Guardians of the Galaxy.  If that isn't awesome, I don't know
what is.
As far as the film being funny…well, that’s up to the viewer. Sure, some critics, as it sounds from their reviews, were pissing themselves from laughter and, sure, some of my friends who have watched it told me that they didn’t find it funny at all. Well, I fell into the middle ground. Overall, I found myself chuckling here and there (and more towards the beginning and end of the film and when Louis CK shows up) but I never really found myself laughing to a large or predominately noticeable degree. There were some decent gags here and there but most of the humor felt few and far between. That’s kinda expected since the film is a sort of dramedy and there needs to be some serious times along with the Ha-Ha times. Unfortunately, it never felt like the non-funny times were utilized for drama the best.

You either love Louis CK or you're wrong.

The real killer for American Hustle for me, and what kept it from being something as special as my expectations made me think it was going to be, was the fact the film’s story and plot tend to drag and feel like it is going somewhere but going somewhere extremely slowly. I didn’t think the film was boring or uninteresting but the story is unfurled at such a pace that I literally felt every second of the two hours and change running time. Even though I was sucked into the performances and was digging the epic classic soundtrack, the film just felt like it was moving too slowly for me. I wasn’t expecting a fast and flashy film but, at the very least, I wanted something that didn’t make it feel like two hours were trudging by.

Amy Adams just screams class.  Not me, though.  I was picking my nose while I typed that.

For me, American Hustle was just a decent, alright film. I loved the music, I liked the premise, I was enamored (I never use that word) with the cast and their performances were immaculate (another word I never use); however, I just couldn’t get sucked into the slowly unfolding plot to the point it didn’t feel like the seconds were slowly ticking away. While not a bad film, it just proved to be not a film I could get completely into.

I'm sorry, Bale.  I'm sorry I didn't give it a better score.

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