I CAN SUM THIS MOVIE UP IN THREE WORDS: AMY ADAMS. BOOM!
Oscar Nominee Movie Review – “American Hustle”
Review by Justin T. Bowler
I am not a particularly smart man. Opinionated? Yes. Smart? Questionable. So, don’t expect an in-depth review pondering the prolific successes and inadequacies of the cinematic display David O. Russell has created. The good news is… it’s easy to find a ton of reviews for “American Hustle” on more “reputable” sites like The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, or a myriad of other places online (let’s be honest, any site that would let me write for them has to be put together with duct tape and chicken wire). Therefore, instead of trying to compete with their intellectual prowess, let me just own up and say “I am mentally, cognitively, cerebrally, and academically insignificant compared to the ‘scholars’ of those sites.” Not that I am “Entertainment” Reporter Sam Rubin dumb (see below).
But lets face it, I do not have a degree in film or writing, and do not have any authority to speak on film theory. That being said, I will expunge those thoughts and focus on what I am good at… judging people. I will elucidate… specifically, judging how people look: good, bad, fat, skinny, pretty, ugly, etc.
Jennifer Lawrence: Let’s be honest, while Jennifer is no slouch, they made her look FANTASTIC for the movie poster. At 23, she is the youngest of the leads, yet looked mature enough to fit right in. Furthermore, the dress she wore on the poster, certainly told audiences they should disregard their previous image of her as a teenage heroine. She looked HOT HOT HOT! Yes, her acting was great (she has been nominated for an Oscar for this role). I had to rewind two scenes just to watch them again, I was so taken with her ability (yes, I saw it on DVD. Yes, that means I had a screener. No, I did not STEAL it).
Christian Bale: As the closest one can come to a male ideal in the Batman films, Bale has branched out. It isn’t enough to have countless women and gay men thrown at him, now he wants the chubby chasers and bald bunchies to want him as well. Mission: Accomplished. In this film, he puts on forty pounds, shaves his head, and plays the perfect “imperfect” man with a cunning brain and a heart of gold, thus earning him an Oscar Nom (this is a tricky role, too. It required him to be the bad guy, but be so understood that you genuinely felt for him. Many an actor has attempted this, but not many have been successful. Bale performs it flawlessly). Who WOULDN’T want him? He was perfect when he was perfect (as Batman), and he is now perfect when he is imperfect (it makes me sick, and gives me hope all at the same time) (Furthermore, who says imperfect is the equivalent of fat and bald? I do. I’m the one judging) (Plus, he’s not fat and bald in real life anyway) (It’s not like I’m talking about Paul Giamatti here. Then, it would just be mean).
Bradley Cooper: How do you take a perfect guy and make him imperfect? Wait, but Bale has already chosen to be bald and fat. I got it, just add a perm. Curly hair is typically used in the movies to show characters that are unkempt (this happens quite frequently with romantic comedies BEFORE the make over scene: “The Princess Diaries”, “Sex and the City”, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, etc.). So, Bradley Cooper instantly becomes less better looking with a perm right? I slightly agree. He is still unbelievably good looking. But, I have to give him kudos here. Fresh off the heels of his Oscar Nom performance in “Silver Linings Playbook”, where he played a likable (and unlikable, at times) slightly skewed, love sick, mentally unstable guy next-door type (quite the overused stereotype by the way), he delivers another great performance (He was nominated for this role). The only down side to this film, in my opinion, was that he was just a bit too likable. For my money (which isn’t much, since I’m not too bright), I would have liked this film even more if his character was slightly more jerkish and less charming (just a guess, it is hard for Mr. Cooper to be less charming? It would be playing too much against type).
Jeremy Renner: His haircut says it all. Have you seen the poster? It doesn’t do his pompadour justice. Seriously, he has giant hair! Does it look bad? Well, we aren’t talking about just any actor here. With two nominations under his belt, Renner is in top form in this film, charming as he can be, doing things in an underhanded way to genuinely help people. He is Robin Hood, but with a pompadour haircut instead of a hood. So, he’s really more of a Robin Hair. At first, you notice the hair (it’s impossible NOT to notice), then his acting prowess and charm take over. By the end of the film, you want to be as cool as his character (you may honestly start thinking about getting a haircut like his). It’s too bad he wasn’t nominated for this role.
AMY ADAMS: (I HAVE TO WRITE THIS ENTIRE PARAGRAPH IN CAPS, BECAUSE SHE IS SO UNBELIEVABLY ATTRACTIVE IN THIS FILM, IT JUST WON’T DO IT JUSTICE TO USE LOWERCASE). WOW. HER ACTING IS PHENOMENAL AS THE SMALL-TOWN GIRL WHO JUST WANTS MORE…MORE LOVE, MORE MONEY, MORE IMPORTANCE, MORE WORTH. I’VE ALWAYS APPRECIATED HER ACTING ABILITY (OBVIOUSLY, SHE HAS BEEN OSCAR-NOMINATED FIVE TIMES), BUT IN EVERY SINGLE FRAME OF THE 198,720 FRAMES IN THIS FILM (138 MINUTES X 60 SECONDS X 24 FRAMES PER SECOND) (HOW’D YOU LIKE THAT MATH, HUH? WHO SAYS I’M UNSMART NOW. BOOM!), AMY ADAMS IS OVERWHELMINGLY STUNNING IN EVERY WAY. SHE IS BEAUTIFUL, TANTALIZING, BEWITCHING, GLAMOROUS, MESMERIZING, WINSOME, AND A BUNCH OF OTHER SYNONYMS, ALL AT THE SAME TIME. HER PORTRAYAL IN THIS FILM IS UNLIKE ANYTHING I’VE SEEN FROM HER BEFORE. HER OUTFITS ALONE ARE REASON ENOUGH TO OWN THIS MOVIE ON BLU-RAY OR DVD, JUST SO YOU CAN BEHOLD HOW GLAMOROUS AND ELEGANT SHE LOOKS THROUGHOUT THE FILM. THE ’70S WERE NOT A GLAMOROUS TIME. MOST OF THE STYLES OF THE TIME WERE JUST SILLY, BUT SHE PULLS THEM OFF WITH INCREDIBLE ALLURE.
INCREDIBLE ALLURE! OMG! OMG! OMG! (IF THERE WERE A LONGER WAY TO SAY OMG, I WOULD SAY IT).
Well, there you have it, a review of the film from… (something that means the opposite of scholarly). So, to sum up… AMY ADAMS. BOOM!
I give it 4 out of 4 stars.
Justin T. Bowler
Editor’s Note – TheMovieGuys.net is now interviewing “reputable scholars” on film for a writing position.
Directed by: David O. Russell
Release Date: December 20, 2013
Run Time: 138 Minutes
Distributor: Annapurna Pictures