Hustlers is a crime drama written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, based on New York magazine’s 2015 article “The Hustlers at Scores” by Jessica Pressler. Jennifer Lopez is also a producer on the film through Nuyorican Productions, alongside Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, and Adam McKay through their Gloria Sanchez banner. The plot follows a crew of strippers in New York City who begin to steal money by drugging stock traders and CEOs who visit their club, then running up their credit cards. I had no idea the New Yorker article would become a movie, they did a good job.
**** SOME SPOILERS BELOW ****
In 2014, former New York City-based stripper Dorothy/Destiny (Constance Wu) is invited for an interview with Elizabeth (Julia Stiles), a journalist working on a story involving Dorothy’s former friend and mentor, Ramona Vega (Jennifer Lopez). Seven years prior, Dorothy, known by her stripper name as Destiny, is working at Moves, a strip club, to support her grandmother (Wai Ching Ho) but is barely getting by. Mesmerized by Ramona’s performance plus all the tips she earns, Destiny meets her on the roof of the club. Ramona looks Destiny over and decides to take her under her wing thus forming a formidable team. Destiny enjoys her newfound wealth and friendship with Ramona. A year later (2007), the financial crisis strikes and both women find themselves short of cash. Destiny becomes pregnant and bows out of the stripper scene. Unable to find a regular job,
Destiny goes back to stripping at the club but Moves has changed: the financial crisis has impacted their business, and the club is primarily staffed by immigrant women from Russia willing to perform sex acts for money, a line Destiny is unwilling to cross. She reconnects with Ramona, who introduces her to a new scheme. Along with her two protegées, Mercedes (Keke Palmer) and Annabelle (Lili Reinhart), Ramona targets rich men at bars, get them drunk, then escorts them to Moves where the girls steal their credit card numbers and charge them to their limit. Destiny joins in and learns Ramona uses a mix of ketamine and MDMA to impair judgment and cause memory loss in their targets, a tactic deemed worthwhile since their victims will rarely admit to being robbed by strippers.
Hustlers is a pretty decent, indecent movie about some very hard working women who feel instant, illegal money is worth the risk of jail. I must first mention 50-year old J. Lo has done a magnificent job of keeping her body sexy, tight and presentable for any role she’s up for. While she looked a little amazon-ish next to 37-year-old Constance Wu, she still has it going on. However, none were a match for Keke Palmer (26 years old) who was a fantastic addition to the gang. Hustlers is obviously not for children nor is it for sanctified worshippers who don’t need to see how some desperate women choose to live their lives for money. Hustlers pretty much keeps you intrigued and entertained. The film has grossed $110 million worldwide and received positive reviews from critics, with Lopez’s performance singled out for praise. I enjoyed Hustlers, especially the brilliant performances by J. Lo and Constance. I recommend Hustlers for those who don’t mind a good sexy movie. Check It Out!
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Tagged alpha, Annabelle, Big Jay Oakerson, Brandon Keener, Cardi B, constance wu, Dawn, Destiny, Devin Ratray, Diamond, dj, Dorothy, doug, Elizabeth, Frank Whaley, G-Easy, Gerald Gillam, Hustlers, Jennifer Lopez, joe, Johnny, Jon Glaser, journalist, Jovanni Ortiz, julia stiles, Justice, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, liz, Lizzy, Madeline Brewer, mama, mark, Mercedes, Mercedes Ruehl, Mette Towley, Ramona Vega, Reese, Rhys Coiro, Spencer, Stephen, Steven Boyer, Trace Lysette, Tracey, usher, Wai Ching Ho
Crazy Rich Asians is a romantic comedy/drama directed by Jon M. Chu from a screenplay by Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim and is based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan. It is the first film by a major Hollywood studio to feature an all-Asian cast since “The Joy Luck Club” in 1993. I’ve seen Joy Luck Club and thought Crazy Rich Asians couldn’t possibly live up to the Brilliance of Joy Luck Club — well, I’m known to make a mistake or 2. Crazy Rich Asians was fabulous!
After dating for over a year, Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), an economics professor at New York University (NYU), is invited to Singapore by her boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding), a history professor, also at NYU. Nick is the best man at the wedding of Araminta (Sonoya Mizuno) and Colin (Chris Pang). Also, the trip will be the perfect opportunity for Nick to introduce Rachel to his family. Having said yes to Nick’s invitation, the couple arrive at JFK airport when a gossip personality (Stephanie Auyeung) takes a picture of them and launches it to all Nick’s family and friends, exposing their relationship online where it eventually reaches Nick’s mother, Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh). Just before boarding the plane, Rachel is shocked to learn that Nick has upgraded their tickets to first class. When she asks him how they could afford the upgrade, he casually tries to brush it off, but eventually reveals that he is part of a family of wealthy real estate developers.
In Singapore, rather than going to an intimate family dinner, Rachel is brought to a large party where everyone is already aware of her. She makes several awkward faux pas, including mistaking Nick’s nanny for his grandmother, Lisa Lu (Shang Su Yi) and spilling wine on Nick. She also briefly meets Nick’s mother, Eleanor, and quickly realizes that Eleanor dislikes her. Fortunately, Rachel makes a good impression on Nick’s grandmother who invites her back to the family home to make dumplings.
An ensemble cast portrayed so many interesting people in Crazy Rich Asians. The Young family has every walk of life included in their lineage, from the most Flamboyant to a renown fashion aficionado. The crazy in Crazy Rich Asians has to pertain to how rich they are, “crazy rich” as outlined by Rachel’s college best friend, Goh Peik Lin (Awkwafina) who also lives in Singapore with her rather crazy, wealthy family headed up by her father, Goh Wye Mung (Ken Jeong). There is so much more to come in this movie, I couldn’t possibly write it all. From the bachelorette party to the most beautiful wedding dress I’ve seen in some time to bullying and non-acceptance to true love and a tour of Singapore’s richest and best communities. Some of the celebrations were so breath takingly elaborate, I was immediately ready to take a plane to this paradise city. I figured the budget for this movie must have been in 7 figures but found it was only $30M. Despite all the shenanigans and bad blood, the plot was pretty typical — the haves vs the have nots. I was transported into another world while watching Crazy Rich Asians. The ending was so good, the audience applauded. I loved it — it received 97% rotten tomatoes, for those who don’t know, that’s a good thing. Check it Out!
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Tagged alexandra 'alix' young-cheng, alistair cheng, amanda "mandy" lig, amy cheng, araminta lee, astrid leong-teo, awkwafina, bernanrd tai, carmen soo, charlie wu, chris pang, colin khoo, constance wu, crazy rich asians, eddie cheng, eleanor sung-young, felicity young-leong, fiona tung-cheng, fiona xie, francesca, gemma chan, goh peik lin, goh wye mun, harry shum jr, henry golding, jacqueline ling, janice koh, jimmy o yang, jing lusi, ken jeong, kerry chu, kitty pong alistair, koh chieng mun, kris aquino, lisa lu, michael teo, michelle yeoh, neena, nick young, nico santos, oliver t'sien, pierre png, princess intan, rachel chu, remy hii, ronny chieng, selena tan, shang su yi, sonoya mizuno, tan kheng hua, victoria loke