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post #1 of 40 Old 03-12-2014, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
89





Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 138 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH
Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Louis C.K., Michael Pena
Directed by: David O. Russell
Music by: Danny Elfman
Written by: Eric Warren Singer & David O. Russell
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 18, 2014







"Everyone hustles to survive"


Film Synopsis:

AMERICAN HUSTLE tells the story of a pair of brilliant con artists forced to work with an FBI agent on a case that ultimately erupts into one of the most stunning scandals to rock our nation.

My Take:

A fictional film set in the alluring world of one of the most stunning scandals to rock America, American Hustle tells the story of brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), who along with his equally cunning and seductive British partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) is forced to work for a wild FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia that's as dangerous as it is enchanting. Jeremy Renner is Carmine Polito, the passionate, volatile, New Jersey political operator caught between the con-artists and Feds. Irving’s unpredictable wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down.

I didn’t get to see American Hustle in the theater but looked forward to checking it out on Blu-ray. The film is all that I hoped it would be and is a sterling period set piece enriched by wonderfully drawn characters set against a landscape that brims with earthy subject matter and engaging performances. The screenplay, co-written by director David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer, is stylishly infused with character driven emotion derived from base ambition and romantically fueled passion that starts with the rush from a primarily small time con and quickly descends into a high stakes game of cat and mouse. The evolution of the story and its pacing is spot on as the characters of Irving and Sydney become entangled in Richie’s web of blind ambition and misguided planning. As things begin to spiral it’s interesting to see the unraveling nature of the events as well as the reactions of the various players that get sucked in.

American hustle is an intelligently crafted crime thriller with an edgy comedic underpinning and era supported context that enhances its multi-genre thematic tone. It’s filled with memorable moments found in its fusion of sharp wit and pensive melodrama which at its core revolves around an unusual sort of love triangle. The humor is both overt and subtle which makes its correlation to the seriousness of the subject matter all the more entertaining. This is most definitely an actor’s film that at its heart relies on the strength of the performances by the cast and there isn’t a disappointment among them. Nominated for 10 Academy Awards, American Hustle is one of the best of 2013 and proves yet again that David O. Russell has the chops for creating memorable films.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for pervasive language, some sexual content and brief violence.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 86

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency effects: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692
  • *Low frequency extension (non-rated element): NA


Video: 92

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699


American Hustle comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 27 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.8 Mbps.

This is a reference quality Blu-ray offering from Sony that looks terrific in high definition. The video is razor sharp with a slightly edgy but otherwise pristine quality that is visually pleasing. Detail rendering is nearly flawless with lucid visual acuity and fine articulation that brings forth lots of subtle detail in the images onscreen. Colors are rich and delineated with oversaturated primaries and warm tonality that make them pop nicely. The extensive palette of secondary hues that represent the period colors featured in the story, appear vivid and warm. Flesh tones are natural with varying degrees of complexional separation among the cast. Boldly applied contrast and consistent black levels provide excellent balance during bright scenes containing mixed content. Shadow detail is strong which brings out plenty of discernible texture in low/uneven lighting and dark backgrounds.

This is primarily a dialogue driven film however there are elements in the film that require use of the entire system so its ability to clearly render them is essential. Dialogue is reproduced with transparent realism and lucid texture as it is appropriately balanced within the front soundstage. The surround mix utilizes the entire platform to recreate the many acoustic sounds associated with the environments portrayed onscreen. The rear channels contain a mixture of spatial ambience/musical extension as well as directional panning cues that effectively support the front soundstage. This is an enriching audio presentation that mates well with the source material.



Bonus Features:

  • (HD) 11 Deleted/extended scenes

  • (HD) The making of American Hustle – 16 minute featurette

  • Bonus DVD

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy



Final Thoughts:

Nominated for 10 Academy Awards American Hustle is a sterling period set piece enriched by wonderfully drawn characters set against a landscape that brims with earthy subject matter and engaging performances. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring sparkling high definition video, crystal clear lossless surround sound and a disappointingly light supplemental package that consists of a standard making of documentary and deleted/extended scenes. American Hustle is one of the best releases of 2013 and should be at the top of your must see films on Blu-ray. Enjoy!



attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 40 Old 03-12-2014, 12:31 PM
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thanks Ralph! very excited to see this one...

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post #3 of 40 Old 03-12-2014, 03:50 PM
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There are way too many good movies coming out right now...

This is another one on my list. I wish it had better video and sound scores though...I'm trying to make it a point to only buy movies that are close to reference quality.....atleast on bluray.

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post #4 of 40 Old 03-12-2014, 06:16 PM
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Ralph - much thanks for the review.

Given the story, cast and your words, I feel comfortable putting this on my must view list.
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post #5 of 40 Old 03-12-2014, 10:11 PM
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Ralph,

When you say "edgy" are you seeing some edge enhancement/ringing?

Thanks,
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post #6 of 40 Old 03-12-2014, 11:11 PM
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I think King P said this was reference quality.... 86/92 is not good enough ??? I guess he wants Disney Pixar numbers. Day 1 purchase for me. Nice review King P.
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post #7 of 40 Old 03-13-2014, 03:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Monahan View Post

Ralph,

When you say "edgy" are you seeing some edge enhancement/ringing?

Thanks,
Tom


Greetings,

No ringing Tom. The image has a tack like sharpness that would suggest a bit of artificial enhancement has been applied but nothing deleterious. I know you're sensitive to EE but I see nothing here to worry about.. wink.gif


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post #8 of 40 Old 03-13-2014, 06:37 AM
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It is really nice movie. I am looking forward to watch it at home.

Nice review Ralph!

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post #9 of 40 Old 03-13-2014, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzalc3 View Post

It is really nice movie. I am looking forward to watch it at home.

Nice review Ralph!

Greetings,

Thanks Chris! smile.gif

Be sure to post back after you've seen it.


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post #10 of 40 Old 03-13-2014, 09:01 AM
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Really disappointed by this one considering how well received it was and how much fun it looked in the ads/trailers. Still, it's well made and really well acted, it just meanders substantially more than I'd like. I recall watching this and Wolf of Wall Street in the same week and being struck by how much shorter WoWS felt by comparison, despite being 30 minutes longer.
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There's a scene where Louis CK yells at the FBI agent about what happened to his brother at the hallway, and the audio is really terrible, it is just completely distorted when he screams. I had to check my setup a couple of times and then decided to check it with headphones, turns out that's the way it's been recorded.
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post #12 of 40 Old 03-14-2014, 05:56 AM
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Definitely want to check this movie. Thanks for review Ralph

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post #13 of 40 Old 03-14-2014, 09:50 AM
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Can't wait to get my copy on Tuesday
Quote:
Originally Posted by odedia View Post

There's a scene where Louis CK yells at the FBI agent about what happened to his brother at the hallway, and the audio is really terrible, it is just completely distorted when he screams. I had to check my setup a couple of times and then decided to check it with headphones, turns out that's the way it's been recorded.
The sound mixing in this movie is not as good as other blurays i heard yet the music soundtrack is pretty good. I liked the score by Danny Elfman. The cinematography when i saw it in the theater looked very soft and 70s ish kinda like Argo but with less grain. Some scenes such as the closed circuit cam footage are in 4:3. I liked the opening logos from the movie, this movie was the first movie from Columbia Pictures to feature their shortened byline in the intro and closing credts and also features 70s style versions of the other companies involved in the movie. The movie starts out a little slow but gets going later on. What a shame that this movie didn't get the Oscar love it got. As for sales of this movie, Frozen will crush it with Hunger Games 2 behind it and Gravity third.
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post #14 of 40 Old 03-14-2014, 01:12 PM
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Real excited to see this. Can't decide if ill rent or buy but either way love the all star cast of actors.

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post #15 of 40 Old 03-16-2014, 01:51 PM
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Was also very disappointed by this one when I saw it at the cinema after hearing all the hype. A well made film but overrated in my opinion.
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I'm only half way through, finishing it tonight. I really enjoyed what I've watched so far. I did make the mistake of watching the premier of Cosmos just before I started it, which might have been a mistake because Cosmos was so darned good it gave me goosebumps and it's just a hard act to follow. I can't wait for Cosmos on Blu-ray, but I also can't wait to finish American Hustle.

 

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post #17 of 40 Old 03-18-2014, 09:34 PM
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American Hustle was my favorite film of the Oscar season. I thought it should have won the Best Picture award and was disappointed when it did not. I saw it in the theater and was so impressed, I took my daughter and son in law to see it with me the next weekend. 10 Stars out of 10!

I cannot say enough about the brilliant performances of the film's wonderful ensemble cast, particularly Jennifer Lawrence as the deeply flawed but charming Rosalyn. Lawrence was my pick for Best Supporting Actress.

It will come as no surprise that I rented the BD today and watched the film again tonight. I am pleased to report that it was better than ever the third time. thorough. American Hustle passes my acid test for outstanding movies: It gets better every time I see it. Thought the PQ and HD audio quality were wonderful. This is a BD that I will be buying.
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post #18 of 40 Old 03-19-2014, 04:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

American Hustle was my favorite film of the Oscar season. I thought it should have won the Best Picture award and was disappointed when it did not. I saw it in the theater and was so impressed, I took my daughter and son in law to see it with me the next weekend. 10 Stars out of 10!

I cannot say enough about the brilliant performances of the film's wonderful ensemble cast, particularly Jennifer Lawrence as the deeply flawed but charming Rosalyn. Lawrence was my pick for Best Supporting Actress.

It will come as no surprise that I rented the BD today and watched the film again tonight. I am pleased to report that it was better than ever the third time. thorough. American Hustle passes my acid test for outstanding movies: It gets better every time I see it. Thought the PQ and HD audio quality were wonderful. This is a BD that I will be buying.
10/10 that's awesome gwsat. Looking forward in receiving my copy soon

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post #19 of 40 Old 03-19-2014, 06:02 AM
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Not since King Pin has there been a need for best male hair category at the oscars.

The women in this are amazing, Bradley Cooper nails it. Even De Niro seems more like De Niro for once
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

10/10 that's awesome gwsat. Looking forward in receiving my copy soon

My daughter and son in law liked American Hustle well enough but were far less enthusiastic than I am. I suppose that's because David O. Russell's recent work, aided and abetted by the distinguished members of his David O. Russell Players (smile.gif) has been in the middle of my wheelhouse. I Don't think he has missed a step since then. The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, and, of course, American Hustle, are among my favorite films.
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post #21 of 40 Old 03-19-2014, 04:35 PM
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I want to know, was the music tracks the real thing??
The real good old 70 ies songs, not some remixed, reworked rewritten music of today, made available by the artists/ record companies to the movie producers??

This is important to know for me:-)
I was 22 at this time the movie was supposed to happen. I do like to know I once knew all these songs, they were the foundation of my adulthood, at the time we lelft home, made babies, built a home, got a job, got a life, these songs is what I remeber now as a grandad looking back forty years what might I have done different of my life ....
(you did understand all that didnt you??)

Even if the time was a tad to late, like 5 years, for when the songs were actually written and performed.
Goodye Yellow Brick road is sooo 1973, I was still in highschool then.

I wont comment on the movie itself, it was perfect, it was so perfect, I enjoyed every second of it!

But I really need that info on the songs, Elton did sound right, nowadays his voice is much darker....
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post #22 of 40 Old 03-20-2014, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
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but nothing deleterious. ,

Excellent word, ralph!
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post #23 of 40 Old 03-21-2014, 02:20 AM
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Just saw the film tonight via Blu Ray disc from Netflix. This film has me unsure if I liked it or not. It has some really clever moments in it as far as writing goes yet at the same time, felt that trade offs were being made to deliver those moments. There were moments that seemed to pay homage to Goodfellas, modern gangster movies, touches of real film noir a la Postman Rings Twice and a bit more. This film has strange layering and I'll be the first to admit it may require a second viewing to have some of the nuances shine through as far as the art aspect of this cinema adventure. This certainly is not a film for everyone but seems to have different things going for it to appeal to a larger audience than one might expect.

While not shot at night, this is more of a noir film than a thriller so to speak. It is all about the character studies of the darker side of society and all those that directly or indirectly get sucked up in to the action caused by these characters. - This is a bit more of what I got out of this story. Some of the dopey behaviors by all the characters really were on mark with the era being portrayed. I'll just say the actors did a fine job with the script they were given and some gave truly excellent performances.

So in short, not sure if I liked the movie, good acting, trade offs made for creation of interesting clever moments, and more of a noir film than a thriller as this was about development of characters, the seedy side of society and a couple of salutes to modern gangster movies as well.
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post #24 of 40 Old 03-23-2014, 03:43 AM
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Purchased this blind and after 3 late night viewings with one of those being with the wife this movie really gets better with each viewing. I enjoyed everything about the movie as I thought it was masterfully crafted. As with most movies like this it was mostly all dialouge along with music. Enjoyed the fantastic music of the time period although to me Ralph you were generous with the audio score. Weird to talk about rear channel effects in a 5.1 mix too. Little to no bass other than some door slams so not sure how you come up with the 3.5 stars for low frequency. Other than that I agree this movie is just fantastic and am very glad I purchased it. Amy Adams is so beautifull!

Thanks for the review!
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post #25 of 40 Old 03-23-2014, 05:06 AM
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I wasn't sure how soon I would see this one, due in large part to the widely varying reviews that I read. I was really starting to get the impression that this one may be overrated, but then I just came back to what I always do - rely on King Ralph. I knew Ralph had given it very high marks, so last night I went ahead and fired it up. And...Ralph was spot on again smile.gif The on-screen charisma was just bursting out of my display, and I found most aspects of the film very well done. As much as I enjoyed Bradley Cooper and my boy Jeremy Renner, I was even more impressed with Jennifer Lawrence and absolutely floored by Christian Bale.

I found this film very engaging for the 2hr running time and even though I very rarely do it, I could see myself re-watching this again down the road.

Thanks Ralph!!
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post #26 of 40 Old 03-23-2014, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summa View Post

I wasn't sure how soon I would see this one, due in large part to the widely varying reviews that I read. I was really starting to get the impression that this one may be overrated, but then I just came back to what I always do - rely on King Ralph. I knew Ralph had given it very high marks, so last night I went ahead and fired it up. And...Ralph was spot on again smile.gif The on-screen charisma was just bursting out of my display, and I found most aspects of the film very well done. As much as I enjoyed Bradley Cooper and my boy Jeremy Renner, I was even more impressed with Jennifer Lawrence and absolutely floored by Christian Bale.

I found this film very engaging for the 2hr running time and even though I very rarely do it, I could see myself re-watching this again down the road.

Thanks Ralph!!

Greetings,

Awesome AJ. cool.gif

I am so glad to hear you enjoyed this one and of course you're quite welcome my friend. smile.gif


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post #27 of 40 Old 03-23-2014, 05:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Reddig View Post

Purchased this blind and after 3 late night viewings with one of those being with the wife this movie really gets better with each viewing. I enjoyed everything about the movie as I thought it was masterfully crafted. As with most movies like this it was mostly all dialouge along with music. Enjoyed the fantastic music of the time period although to me Ralph you were generous with the audio score. Weird to talk about rear channel effects in a 5.1 mix too. Little to no bass other than some door slams so not sure how you come up with the 3.5 stars for low frequency. Other than that I agree this movie is just fantastic and am very glad I purchased it. Amy Adams is so beautifull!

Thanks for the review!

Greetings,

Thanks for your post Reddig. smile.gif

As for the low frequency effects I found that it supported to track well which included the music. A film like this wouldn't contain much in the way of deep bass response. As for the rear channels I was referring to the surround channels with respect to their blend with the front soundstage.

Regards,
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post #28 of 40 Old 03-23-2014, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Thanks for your post Reddig. smile.gif

As for the low frequency effects I found that it supported to track well which included the music. A film like this wouldn't contain much in the way of deep bass response. As for the rear channels I was referring to the surround channels with respect to their blend with the front soundstage.

Regards,

Cool Ralph thanks a lot!

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post #29 of 40 Old 03-24-2014, 06:17 AM
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I just watched this yesterday and must say I enjoyed it thoroughly. The on-screen chemistry of the entire cast was fantastic. Jeremy Renner reminded me of a young Joe Pesci. Christian Bale outdid himself as Irving. Those that have only seen him in Batman or American Psycho are in for a welcomed surprise. Ralph's review hit the nail on the head. As other have mentioned, I will definitely watch this again. Thanks for the review.
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post #30 of 40 Old 03-24-2014, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by dharel View Post

I just watched this yesterday and must say I enjoyed it thoroughly. The on-screen chemistry of the entire cast was fantastic. Jeremy Renner reminded me of a young Joe Pesci. Christian Bale outdid himself as Irving. Those that have only seen him in Batman or American Psycho are in for a welcomed surprise. Ralph's review hit the nail on the head. As other have mentioned, I will definitely watch this again. Thanks for the review.

Renner won his spurs with me with his performance as an adrenaline junkie Army bomb tech in The Hurt Locker. The guy is really good, as he proved with his performance as the mayor in American Hustle. Unfortunately, he has been cast in so many action hero roles, such as the two dimensional Hawkeye in The Avengers, it's easy to underestimate his talent. Of course, Scarlet Johansson did the same thing, so there's that. smile.gif More seriously, even talented, serious actors are glad to get gigs in blockbuster franchises because they pay so well.
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