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Gail Mancuso
Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Alex Sharp
Writing Credits:
Stanley Shapiro, Paul Henning, Dale Launer, Jac Schaeffer

Female scam artists team up to take down the men who have wronged them.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$13,007,709 on 3007 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English DVS
Spanish DTS 7.1
French DTS-HD MA 7.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 94 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 8/20/2019

• Audio Commentary with Director Chris Addison
• “Hitting the Mark” Featurette
• “Comedy Class” Featurette
• “Con Artists” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


The Hustle [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 18, 2019)

Back in 1987, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remade 1964’s Bedtime Story, with Michael Caine and Steve Martin in roles originated by David Niven and Marlon Brando. 2019’s The Hustle gives us another take on the tale, with Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson as a female spin on the parts.

Josephine Chesterfield (Hathaway) works the French Riviera as a high-level con artist. On a train trip, she meets Penny Rust (Wilson), an American who runs scams on a much cruder level.

Initially they butt heads, but Josephine agrees to tutor Penny. The pair come into conflict again when wealthy tech magnate Thomas Westerburg (Alex Sharp) comes to town. They compete to see who can land this big fish, with wacky results along the way.

Unexpected if you didn’t see either of the prior films, that is. While Hustle finds its own way at times, it definitely adheres to the already-set template to a pretty large degree.

And I can’t complain about that. A remake shouldn’t simply duplicate the source, but I can’t dock Hustle because it uses so many of the same character and story elements.

The question becomes what – if anything – fresh the movie can bring to the table. In theory, Hustle comes with the more “woke” vibe via the cultural views dominant in 2019 vs. those in the 1960s or 1980s.

The gender change offers the main avenue for this shift. Obviously the change from male scammers to females gives the movie new paths to pursue, with social commentary along the way.

At least you’d think that, but that “woke” tone I mentioned exists only in theory. In reality, Hustle plays as a pretty straight remake that barely reflects the current era and its attitudes.

That really surprises me. Why bother to do a female-oriented version of the story if you don’t plan to twist the scenarios and circumstances to a reasonable degree?

But that doesn’t occur, so Hustle gives us a much more straight remake than anticipated. Sure, it makes some changes in the gags themselves, but the plot follows its predecessors closely and barely deviates from the template.

As mentioned earlier, I really wouldn’t mind the fairly literal nature of the remake if Hustle still managed to do something fresh and fun with the material, but unfortunately, it fails in that regard. Any changes we find work less well than what we got from Scoundrels.

At its core, Hustle lacks the bouncy, frisky charm of Scoundrels. It hits the same beats but fails to deliver the same kind of light romp, so many of its attempted laughs fall flat.

Much of the time, the movie feels a bit obligatory, like it wants to cut loose but doesn’t know how to break out of its box. The filmmakers want to replicate the lithe humor of Scoundrels but can’t figure out how to do so.

This means that Hustle repeats scenarios from the prior films but it lacks cleverness. In general, it takes a cruder path, especially in terms of Wilson’s characters, as we get seemingly endless jokes about her body and its parts.

That’s one of the bigger problems: Hustle substitutes crassness for actual wit. It consistently takes the easy way toward laughs, and these fail to display real mirth.

Hathaway seems miscast, at least as the core Josephine/Penny/Thomas plot evolves. Sorry, but in the real world, any time a knockout like Hathaway throws herself at a nerdy-looking guy like Sharp, he’ll immediately succumb to her charms – and he certainly won’t spurn her to be with someone who looks like Wilson.

Even if I ignore that improbability, the actors can’t generate a lot of laughs. Hathaway isn’t quite good enough with comedy, and Wilson just plays another version of her typical “fat and sassy” persona. They show some chemistry together at times, but in general, they sleepwalk through their underdone roles.

As much as I like Scoundrels, I don’t view it as the be-all, end-all, and I came into The Hustle with hopes it’d add a fun spin on the material. Instead, it brings a limp, uncreative reworking that lacks charm or much humor.

Footnote: a deleted scene follows the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

The Hustle appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a satisfactory presentation.

Overall sharpness seemed solid. A couple of wide shots looked a smidgen soft, but those were the exception to the rule, as the majority of the flick was accurate and detailed.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I noticed no edge haloes. Source flaws were absent, as the movie looked consistently clean.

Like most films of this sort, Hustle gave us an amber-tinted palette. Some teal appeared as well, but the golden feel dominated. Within those parameters, the hues were positive.

Blacks seemed deep and dark, while shadows showed good smoothness and clarity. I felt happy with the transfer.

As for the DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Hustle, it lacked a ton of ambition. The soundfield focused on music and ambience, though it opened up on occasion, mainly in terms of casino or club atmosphere. Nothing especially memorable occurred, though.

Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, without edginess or other issues.

Music offered good clarity and range, and effects worked well enough. They didn’t have much to do, but they appeared reasonably accurate. All of this ended up as a perfectly satisfactory soundtrack for this sort of movie.

As we head to the set’s extras, we start with an audio commentary from director Chris Addison. He provides a running, screen-specific look at the source and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, editing and other domains.

Peppy and chatty, Addison offers a fun commentary. He covers a lot of useful subjects and makes this a lively, informative view of the film.

Three featurettes follow, and Hitting the Mark lasts four minutes, 34 seconds and brings notes from Addison, co-writer Jac Schaeffer, and actors Rebel Wilson, Anne Hathaway and Alex Sharp.

“Mark” examines the source and remake issues, story and characters, cast and performances. It gives us a fluffy and insubstantial reel.

With Comedy Class, we get a five-minute, 50-second reel that provides comments from Hathaway, Schaeffer, Wilson, Addison, and Sharp.

“Class” discusses cast, characters and performances, costumes and sets. A few decent shots from the production emerge but like “Mark”, this one largely feels promotional.

Finally, Con Artists goes for six minutes, 31 seconds and features Hathaway, Addison, Schaeffer, Wilson, Sharp, costume designer Emma Fryer, and actor Ingrid Oliver.

Via “Artists”, we hear about costumes, sets/locations, and Addison’s work on the shoot. Though still fairly superficial, “Artists” manages a better level of information that its siblings.

The disc opens with ads for Fighting With My Family, Little, There’s Nothing Like Family, Wild Nights With Emily and Operation Finale. No trailer for The Hustle appears here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Hustle. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

A remake of a remake, The Hustle fails to find much new to due with the material. Despite the charm of its actors, the film never really ignites. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture along with adequate audio and supplements highlighted by an energetic commentary. Stick with Dirty Rotten Scoundrels instead of this tepid reimagining.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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