'Hustlers' [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital]
(Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, et al / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital / R / 2019 / Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)
Overview: Inspired by a true story, 'Hustlers' follows Destiny (Constance Wu, Crazy Rich Asians), a young stripper struggling to make ends meet.
That is, until she meets Ramona (Jennifer Lopez), the club's savvy top earner, who shows her the way toward making big bucks.
But when the 2008 economic collapse hits their Wall Street clientele hard, Destiny and Ramona concoct a plan with their fellow strippers to turn the tables on these greedy power players.
Blu-ray Verdict: As we are reminded right from the off, 'Hustlers' is "Inspired By a True Story". As the movie opens, it is 2007 and an Asian-American girl named Dorothy is getting ready for work at a strip club.
Then a Latina woman named Ramona makes her grand entrance and does a spectacular pole dance as Fiona Apple's 'Criminal' blasts from the speakers.
Duly impressed, Dorothy reaches out to Ramona for some dancing tips, and the two hit it off. We then move to 2014 where we see Dorothy being interviewed by a journalist (Julia Stiles).
At this point we are still only about ten minutes into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience (you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out).
This the latest movie from writer-director Lorene Scafaria, whose Seeking a Friend For the End of the World some years ago was one of my favorite movies of that year.
Here she takes a New York magazine article and turns it into a wild, wild movie. Beware: not much is left to the imagination. The grand entrance of Jennifer Lopez in that opening scene's pole dance is nothing short of stunning!
In fact, the same can be said about Lopez's overall performance, which should be Oscar nomination-worthy, and certainly is a career-best performance.
I mean, Lopez turned 50 this year and still only looks about 35! She takes control of the movie and in every scene demands your attention (of which you are more than happy to give it to her, of course).
Constance Wu, Keke Palmer, and Lili Reinhardt round out the primary performers. Oh and check out Cardi B and Lizzo as part of the "strip gang"!
When a movie's principal set is a strip club, you can expect a lot of fist-pumping music, and the movie more than delivers on that level. In addition to the aforementioned Fiona Apple track, there are songs from Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, Fat Joe, Queen She, 50 Cent, and many more.
This all said, 'Hustlers' is a film that predominantly centers around the economic collapse of 2008 and the lives it upturned in trickle-down effect. It critiques capitalism brilliantly, as it arguably captures one of the most obvious ways we assign inherent value to individuals; through sex work.
In closing, 'Hustlers' reminds us that we're all the same players in this violent game we call the American dream and that some of us are simply better, smarter, more ruthless players at that game than others; those who learn to work the system. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via 1080p and comes with the Special Features of:
Feature Commentary with Director Lorene Scafaria
Official 'Hustlers' Trailer
'Hustlers' Blu-ray Combo Pack Amazon Purchase Link
Official 'Hustlers' Website
Official 'Hustlers' Instagram Page