This Rotten Week: Predicting The Hobbit, Saving Mr. Banks, American Hustle and Madea Christmas Reviews

By Doug Norrie 2013-12-08 11:53:45discussion comments
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American Hustle
There are a few reasons I wouldnít be exactly perfect for an FBI sting operation. First off, my receding hairline renders my once "intimidating" good looks fairly moot, meaning criminals wouldnít, at first glance, be obliged to welcome me into their organizations. Iím a bit too "everyman" for nefarious activities. Additionally, my chest hair doesnít allow for good "stickage" on any wires needed for covert listening. Also, I tend to perspire a bit more than the average person which could be mistaken for nerves, but is actually just overactive sweat glands. And finally, Iíd have a bit of trouble distancing myself from my family in order to work "undercover" because Mrs. Rotten Week and Little RW like to spend time with me.

In all of these ways, I donít think Iíd fit into David O. Russellís American Hustle, a cinematic take on the ABSCAM operation run in the late Seventies that targeted corrupt elected officials (I know that sounds a bit redundant). What we get is a look into the seedy underbelly of combovers, leisure suits, perms and bellbottoms and the folks who got wrapped up in the greed of high-powered political machinations and mob-influenced wheelings and dealings. But the players here look the part. Christian Bale, as a conman-turned-informant, proves he can nail just about any role (especially if substantial weight gain/loss are involved). Bradley Cooper is a permed-up FBI agent. Jennifer Lawrence rocks the disco age like she was born into it. And really the list goes on and on. This thing is stacked.

Russellís body of work marks him as one of the best directors in Hollywood, with his last two flicks, Silver Linings Playbook (92%) and The Fighter (91%) earning Academy Award nominations for Best Director. This film might make it three. Early reviews are near perfect (93% through 24 reviews) and there isnít a lot to suggest the score will dip too much over the course of the week. And while I canít see the Feds approaching me any time soon to help bring down any crooks, this film looks like a playbook for criminal mischief and maneuvering with a seventies vibe to boot. The Rotten Watch for American Hustle is 91%


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