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!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
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
Captive State is a science fiction thriller directed by Rupert Wyatt and co-written by Wyatt and Erica Beeney. The film follows a young man who is a participant in the conspiracy argument against an alien race that has invaded Earth, and enforced strict martial law on all humans. I had never heard of this movie and after seeing it, I know why. I found it confusing at best. It received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed $5 million worldwide.
Currently, Chicago is placed under martial law when extraterrestrials invade across the globe. The Drummond family is attempting to flee the city but every exit is barricaded. After breaking through an unmanned barricade that lead inside a tunnel, the car had to stop because extraterrestrials were waiting at the other end. Before they could put the car in reverse, the aliens attacked, vaporizing the father and mother in the front seat of the car, leaving their two sons traumatized but alive in the backseat.
Nine years later, the world has succumbed to the invaders and submitted to their governing authority, calling the aliens “The Legislators”, because all subsequent laws and rules of governance come from them. In the years that followed Earth’s surrender, the extraterrestrials conscripted humans to build suitable alien habitats far underground; the Chicago habitat is located in a region called the “Closed Zone” and is walled off from the rest of the city. Access to the Closed Zone is only granted to high government officials and requires intense preparation after an invitation is extended and before admittance. The aliens utilize Earth’s own human resources to police the population, including military and law enforcement, now called “Special Branch” and have placed biological implants in every citizen, which serve as identification when scanned by surveillance drones or other apparatus. Their use of propaganda and false narratives that state the country is prospering, allows the aliens to successfully lull the public into a submissive state.
Gabriel Drummond (Ashton Sanders), the youngest of the sons who survived when his parents were vaporized years ago, lives in the impoverished neighborhood of Pilsen with his girlfriend Rula (Madeline Brewer) and tries to avoid any confrontations with the law. Gabriel is working at a scheme to escape using a boat he and his friend Jurgis (Machine Gun Kelly) have salvaged to cross Lake Michigan, hopefully to freedom. In the meanwhile, his day job is in a data reclamation center where various storage devices are seized to upload private content to a central server, which ultimately delivers citizen’s personal information to authorities and The Legislators. One day at work Gabriel witnesses a coworker attempt to smuggle a memory card out of the building and she is caught by government agents, then deported off-world. He is later confronted by Chicago Police Commander William Mulligan (John Goodman), who was partners with Gabriel’s father before the invasion. Mulligan is convinced that the resistance group called Phoenix has not been neutralized, contrary to what the public has been told.
As you can see, this is a very complicated plot because it gets deeper with each passing minute. I haven’t begun to reveal the meat of this story. Don’t forget, Gabriel has a brother, Rate (Jonathan Majors) or that there was or is a resistance. There are clues and flash drives and all sorts of twist and turns that go into this puzzling story. You never really get the sense that you completely know what’s going on nor do you get the sense that you know where this film is going, even when it goes. I think a lot more story telling was needed in order to bring closure to Captive State. There were too many loose ends introduced that didn’t really flow into the story line, leaving too much to the imagination. I’m unsure what was happening at the end, (maybe it was just over my head) leaving me confused and unfulfilled. I’m not saying someone else might not understand it, but I am saying a descent story could have been a great story with some much needed tweaking. Of course this is my opinion so Check It Out if you dare!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, STREAMING
Tagged Alan Ruck, Ashton Sanders, Ben Daniels, Carrie, Charles Rittenhouse, D. B. Sweeney, Daniel, David J Height, Gabriel Drummond, James Ransone, Jane Doe, john goodman, Jonathan Majors, Jurgis, Kermode, Kevin Dunn, Kevin J. O'Connor, kiki layne, Levitt, Machine Gun Kelly, Madeline Brewer, Marc Grapey, Master of Ceremonies, Mayor Ed Lee, Patrick Ellison, Police Commissioner Eugene Igoe, Rafe Drummond, Rula, Vera Farmiga, William Mulligan