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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


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:

  • Low frequency effects:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

  • *Low frequency extension (non-rated element): NA


Video: 92

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

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:


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!









Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:



JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector

(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal )

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System

Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)

Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
 

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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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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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Ralph,


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


Thanks,

Tom
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Monahan  /t/1522228/american-hustle-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review/0_20#post_24475904


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..




Regards,
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzalc3  /t/1522228/american-hustle-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review/0_20#post_24476575


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


Nice review Ralph!

Greetings,


Thanks Chris!



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



Regards,
 

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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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Can't wait to get my copy on Tuesday
Quote:
Originally Posted by odedia  /t/1522228/american-hustle-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_24478724


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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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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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.

 

Amy Adams is great
 

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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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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat  /t/1522228/american-hustle-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review/0_100#post_24501084

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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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  /t/1522228/american-hustle-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review/0_100#post_24501692


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 (
) 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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