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
Yesterday is a British romantic comedy directed by Danny Boyle and written by Richard Curtis, based on an original screenplay by Jack Barth and Mackenzie Crook. A struggling musician who, after an accident, finds himself as the only person in the world who remembers the Beatles. That leaves him with the unprecedented opportunity to become famous by taking credit for writing and performing Beetle songs. The film falls a little short on imagination but since it’s the Beetle’s songs, it “rocks”.
Yesterday opens with Jack Malik (Himesh Patel), a struggling singer-songwriter from Lowestoft. His manager and childhood friend Ellie Appleton (Lily James), begs a bewildered Jack, not to give up on his dreams. During a global blackout, Jack gets hit by a bus, when he awakens, aside from two missing front teeth, he discovers that no one else on Earth had ever heard of the Beatles. Once he confirms his suspicion, he begins performing Beetle songs, claiming he wrote them. Soon he is heard by a local music producer, Gavin (Alexander Arnold) and records a demo for him, which leads to a performance on local television, which leads to Jack being invited by pop star Ed Sheeran (Ed Sheeran) to play as his opening act in Moscow. Ellie declines to join him, saying she has to work her day job as a schoolteacher, so Jack’s roadie friend, Rocky (Joel Fry) travels with him instead. After the gig, Jack is signed by Sheeran’s agent, Debra Hammer (Kate McKinnon), and rises to global fame. Hoping to trigger more memories of Beatles songs, Jack goes to their hometown of Liverpool, visiting landmarks such as Strawberry Field, Penny Lane, and the grave of Eleanor Rigby.
This being a good place to stop, I can only say that I enjoyed Yesterday, especially the music. I felt too much of the story went unanswered, leaving me to fill in the blanks myself. I also didn’t love Himesh’s singing voice and style. He seemed a bit “pitchy”, to coin a phrase. Yesterday gave us lots of school for thought but didn’t really satisfy our need for explanations. This is a totally British production and therefore, culturally different but still entertaining. Perhaps I’m suffering from culture shock but Yesterday could have been better. The acting was brilliant — too bad the story wasn’t. I recommend you wait for the DVD/Blu-ray. FYI: Getting the rights to include the Beatles’ music cost the filmmakers $10 million. Although none of the Beatles were involved in the production, Boyle received blessings of the project from them and their families. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for the premise, performances, light tone, and musical sequences, but criticism at the familiarity and simplicity. Check It Out, after all, this is only my opinion!
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Tagged Alexander Arnold, camile Chen, carol, Debra hammer, Ed Sheeran, Elise Chappell, ellie Appleton, Gavin, Harry Mitchell, himesh patel, jack Malik, Jaimie killer, james corden, Jed Malik, Joel fry, John lennon, Justin edwards, Karl Theobald, karma sood, kate mckinnon, lamorne morris, Leo, lily james, liz, lucy, Meera syal, Michael kiwanuka, nick, robert carlyle, Rocky, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Sarah Lancashire, Shelia Malik, Sophia di Martino, terry, wendy, yesterday, young ellie Appleton
There’s not a whole lot to say about Spider-Man: Homecoming. I liked it and it was entertaining. I think I’ve outgrown the current format, as it no longer appeals to the child in me. Like Deadpool, I found the cheeky lines designed to draw attention like “look at me” and “I don’t think so” pretty corny and adolescent. I guess I’m more attuned to Tobey Maguire’s version of the super hero. This is not to say a younger audience would not find this version great plus this is how the comic book versions are written. I knew there was a reason I didn’t read comic books. Not my cup of tea.
The movie opens at the point when Tony Stark’s / Iron-Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) organization (US Department of Damage Control (DODC) has taken over cleaning up New York after the last big battle involving the “Avengers Initiative”. Adrian Toomes / Vulture (Michael Keaton) and his salvage company were the former contractors until the DODC took over causing an enraged Adrian to be driven completely out of business. Adrian decides to keep the Chitauri technology already scavenged and use it to create and sell advanced weapons. All is well for Adrian until Peter Parker / Spider-Man (Tom Holland) appears, stopping Adrian and his crew at every turn. Peter has been appointed to an internship by Tony Stark as Spider-Man to join the Avengers. Stark has warned Peter against involvement with dangerous criminals in favor of resolving easier local crimes. Believing he can do more, Peter is determined to stop this ring of thugs from advancing any further. Peter totally ignores Stark’s warnings, thus proving to Stark, he is not ready for the position or the Spider-Man suit Stark has entrusted him to wear.
Parker quits his school’s academic decathlon team to spend more time focusing on his crime-fighting activities as Spider-Man. One night, after preventing criminals from robbing an ATM with their advanced weapons from Toomes, Spider-Man returns home and is surprised by his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) who is waiting for him while also discovering his secret identity. On another night, Parker comes across Toomes’ associates Jackson Brice / Shocker #1 (Logan Marshall-Green) and Herman Schultz / Shocker #2 (Bokeem Woodbine) selling weapons to local criminal Aaron Davis (Donald Glover). Parker nearly drowns intervening, and is rescued by Stark, who is monitoring the Spider-Man suit he gave Parker. Toomes accidentally kills one of his own men, Brice, with a modified vibro-blast shooting version of the Crossbones’ gauntlet weapon, leaving Schultz to become the new Shocker. Parker and Ned study a weapon left behind by Brice, removing its power core and so the journey continues. Spider-Man gets into much mischief and even falls for a classmate named Liz (Laura Harrier). You’ll have to check out the movie to see what happens next.
While I’m no longer a fan of this new Spider-Man format, I think there are a great many who will love it. I think it’s just more appealing to a younger audience than an older one. It continues to be well acted and has a brilliant cast. One of the characters who played a rival, gained 61 pounds in order to play the role and guess who saves an announcement party at the end? Oh yeah, does Peter become a permanent member of the Avengers? Check it out to get answers!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged aaron davis, adrian toomes, bokeem woodbine, dodc, donald glover, herman schultz, Iron Man, jackson brice, jacob batalon, laura harrier, liz, logan marshall-green, michael keaton, ned, peter parker, robert downey jr, shocker, spider-man: homecoming, tom holland, tony stark, vulture