“You see the old way wasn’t working so it’s on us to do what we gotta do to survive” – Tupac Shakur (Changes)
The reason why I love Hip Hop a lot is because of the stories of the artists who had to hustle their ways to get to where they are. Jay Z is probably one of the greatest to ever tell his story about being a hustler, and throughout the history of music and film, there have been prime examples of people who were out to live out the American dream by doing what they had to do to survive. A phrase that I learned through Top Dawg Entertainment’s president, Anthony Tiffith, is “hustle like you(’re) broke,” and that’s a great phrase because people like to become complacent with getting to a certain point and coast, but never want to advance their lives in ways they couldn’t possibly imagine. A hustle can turn from a simple get-by to a lifestyle, but often times people can get caught up in the hustle and then it turns into being the only thing they know without getting out of it.
“You get addicted to the flip, the transaction, the hustling
Even more than the money, it’s just your job
You feel like it’s your duty to be the man in between the man
And make this happen for that person, and to do this and do that
You become the go to guy forever and next thing you know you’re in too deep
Way too deep, scare the shit out of you” – Nas (clip from 48 by Tyler the Creator)
When I initially saw the trailer for this movie and the all star cast that was included, I said to myself that there’s no way this movie would be anything less than great, but, there have been movies in the past that have rounded up big names and it turns out to be a flop, so I was being wary. Little would I know that as the movie progressed and developed into a series of: cons, lies, times of distrust, and backdoor schemes to get ahead of the game, the movie came together in a fluid way and was entertaining and witty.
I can’t even begin to talk about the cast because all phases worked together so well. Jennifer Lawrence is already solidifying her position in film as one of the premiere actresses to have longevity for 10 and maybe 20 years to come. Her diversity is what sets her apart, and the awards for her are just going to start accumulating sooner rather than later. Christian Bale has graced the starlight since his academy award winning performance in The Fighter, but he too is a great actor who can prove that he’s better than just playing the Caped Crusader from Gotham City. Jeremy Renner & Bradley Cooper are becoming a couple of my favourite actors because they’ve played roles that bring nothing but sheer entertainment with their timing in their humour, but also their abilities to keep it serious for a moment or so. The natural charisma helps their acting appeal and to have them in the same movie, it made it that much more likeable for me.
What I loved about this movie was how it paid homage to movies in the Golden Scorsese era in a subtle way right down to the characters’ stories and the flow of the movie (and even a surprising cameo appearance). It takes a while to develop, but as you’re getting into it, they’re a lot of things you have to catch to stay within the storylines. My mother put it best when she said “you can’t con a con man” and as a whole the movie is well done and deserves the accolades that it receives. There were great performances and it really signified the essence of a hustler’s mentality who does whatever it takes to not only make it, but also to survive in America. It’s a great movie you should check out, but for now, this is my opinion, this is my review
That’s My Word & It STiXX