Ralph Potts reviews the Blu-ray release of The Hustle from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, which stars Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson who play scam artists from different worlds who join forces to take down the dirty rotten men who have wronged them.
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal – 2019
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 94 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, DTS-HD 7.1 HR, Spanish DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Alex Sharp, Dean Norris
Directed by: Chris Addison
Music by: Anne Dudley
Written by: Stanley Shapiro, Paul Henning, Dale Launer, Jac Schaeffer
Region Code: A,B,C
Release Date: August 20, 2019
“The Hustle stars Academy Award® winner Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson who show off their electric chemistry playing scam artists from different worlds who join forces to take down the dirty rotten men who have wronged them.” – Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Josephine Chesterfield (Hathaway) is a glamorous, seductive Brit who defrauds gullible wealthy men. Penny (Wilson) amasses wads of cash by ripping off her marks in neighborhood bars. Despite their different methods, both are masters of the art of the fleece so they con the men that have wronged them. Finding themselves suddenly competing against one another, the pair of scammers pull out of the stops to swindle a naïve tech billionaire, played by Alex Sharp.
I am not particularly a fan of Rebel Wilson’s schtick but, I really didn’t mind the last film I saw her in and, Anne Hathaway is, well, Anne Hathaway, so when The Hustle showed up at my door I was willing to give it a chance, despite hearing predominantly bad things about. The narrative, on its surface addresses themes of self-esteem, female empowerment and not judging a book by its cover etc. There are contradictory elements where overt situational humor/gags poke fun at those very same themes. Some land softly while some are of the kick in the teeth variety.
The situational humor relies too heavily on uncouth trappings that lean more toward nonsensical than engagingly quirky with a helping of humorous charm. When it wants to reach out and warm the heart it misses the mark. Having said that there are a few enjoyable moments nearly all of which involve Wilson plying us with her zaniness. Aside from Wilson and Hathaway, who do in fact have a few decent moments together onscreen, the list of actors featured, phone in their various cameos, serving to add another disappointing element to the proceedings.
While there are sporadic chuckles, the truth is that The Hustle feels like a rehashing of better films. It’s far from a knee slapper but, is light entertainment that is of the swing and miss variety that may appeal to those that have a high tolerance for its brand of humor.
The rating is for crude sexual content and language.
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.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialog Reproduction:
- DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
The Hustle comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.
High definition detail is notable as images are firmly resolved, with defining sharpness and dimensional depth. Colors are beautifully rendered with revealing delineation tonal warmth and vibrant textures. Fleshtones appear descriptive with discernible complexional variety that brings out the finest gradations in the differing complexional types among the cast. Blacks are a solid shade of deep black with excellent dynamic range and discernible highlights. Contrast is well balanced which enriches both light and dark onscreen elements.
The lossless soundtrack doesn’t consistently engage the entire surround platform however it has moments where it comes to life and reproduces the source elements with aplomb. Dialog has definitive presence with refined vocal character and excellent room penetration. Dynamic range is very good which lends subtle distinction to low level sounds and gravity to broader ones. This soundtrack isn’t demonstration worthy but for a comedy it readily delivers a satisfying listening experience that didn’t leave me disappointed.
- Hitting the Mark
- Comedy Class
- Con Artists
- Feature Length Audio Commentary by Director Chris Addison
- Digital Copy
The Hustle has a few moments but, overall lacks comedic freshness, clever writing, and the direction needed to make for a worthwhile genre entry. It comes to Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring solid high definition audio/video and a fan friendly supplemental package. The Hustle isn’t a bad film, it’s just not a very good one. My advice would be to catch it when it comes to cable TV or if you happen to be a big Rebel Wilson fan that hasn’t seen it, toss it in your Blu-ray rental queue.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems