Hustlers is one of those inspired by a true story movies that I ignore. Then, I stopped ignoring it. Director Lorene Scafaria has proven herself to be amazing due to her past work, yet why couldn’t I wrap my brain around a stripper white collar crime movie? The unique cast plays into a real world take on how this would’ve played out during the 2008 collapse, but there was something more.
There is something uniquely American about the downtrodden turning the tables on those in power. Sure, they were committing credit card fraud, but the people they were targeting were the foot soldiers in an economic collapse. Asking me to feel sorry about that Wall Street trash isn’t going to happen anytime soon. But, that’s the kind of mindset that allows things like this to take place in the first place.
Jennifer Lopez hasn’t been this amazing since Out of Sight. I know that some of you people are Money Train fans, but hang with me. It’s amazing to see the right project line up with the right actress. Lopez has always shown chops, but she fell into that Julia Roberts trap of doing the soft easy audience movies and never branching out. Except, Julia Roberts stuck with Soderbergh for a bit and got an Oscar. Lopez hung with Soderbergh once and then made Maid in Manhattan.
Not everyone is going to have the same career, it’s just that you hate seeing talent wasted. What we get from Lopez in this film is so strong that I can’t help but see an Oscar nomination in her future. Ramona isn’t evil and she’s not good. But, she’s a person who is fighting the system to demand equal stakes of power. The concept of empowerment is a deeply flawed setup that refuses to accept the realities of human pettiness. Ramona’s actions in this movie are the acts of a conqueror.
The rest of the supporting cast is pretty strong. Lili Reinhart, Keke Palmer and even Mercedes Ruehl get time to show their chops. Plus, it’s nice to see what Julia Stiles is doing. Other than that, this show belongs to Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. Both ladies carry the film to levels that no one expected. Hustlers is truly one of 2019’s underappreciated gems.
The Blu-ray comes with a commentary and trailers as the sole special features. The A/V Quality is stunning. Regardless of the hard gels and lighting mix, everything felt fresh and organic in the 1080p transfer. The Dolby Atmos track creates a fun sound stage, but it’s not reference quality. Still, I’d recommend a purchase.