Thursday Movie Picks: Con Artists


Did you know I can make you lots of money AND make your life better? Nah, I can't, though it doesn't stop these con artists from trying. This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is all about them. There's a lot of choices out there, so I went with three fairly recent ones. 

1) American Hustle

This is still one of my favorite movies from the year it was released. I loved watching Bale, Adams, and Cooper try to put one over on people. (and each other)

2) I Love You Phillip Morris 

This movie was just fun. It's the first comedy of Carrey's I had liked in a while and his con that got him out of prison? Brilliant.

3) The Wolf of Wall Street

Has watching a con ever been so fun? Okay nothing is fun when you think of the people Belfort actually hurt but THIS movie is a blast. 

17 comments:

  1. I really like American Hustle, even if it was just Russell doing Scorsese. On the other hand, I LOVE Scorsese doing Scorsese in The Wolf of Wall Street. Di Caprio was just phenomenal.

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    1. Yes! They were both fine films. I dont see why Hustle got shit on so much during awards season.

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  2. Love that you chose I Love You Phillip Morris! I off and on with Carrey but I really liked this one and since it went relatively under the radar it's great to see the spotlight on it.

    I liked but didn't love American Hustle. I even found Adams who I have limited patience for less irksome than usual. It was a solid story, my only quibble is that even though she was fine in the role Jennifer Lawrence was too young for a part that would have fit Joan Allen like a glove.

    Haven't gotten around to Wolf of Wall Street yet.

    Your right about there being a ton of choices for this week's theme so I tried to vary mine a bit with a heavy drama, a light comedy, a musical and one that's based on something I remember well.

    The Grifters (1990)-Roy Dillon, a small time conman is torn between his loyalty to his ice cold mother and his slightly less ruthless girlfriend, both far more adroit grifters then he. A fascinating examination of a group of unsavory people with a staggeringly great performance from Anjelica Huston as one hard opportunistic woman, a true Medea.

    The Music Man (1962)-Traveling conman Harold Hill blows into River City expecting to fleece the townsfolk by forming a band and selling their children instruments that don't exist. Everything goes smoothly until he meets Marion the Librarian. Sprightly and colorful with great music.

    Bedtime Story (1964)-Lawrence Jameson (David Niven) lives in a castle on the French Riviera seducing wealthy women and persuading them through charm and other methods out of large quantities of their fortunes. Everything is going swimmingly until rival Freddy Benson (Marlon Brando) appears on the scene. The two eventually meet and engage in a bet. The first to successfully bilk $25,000 out of the pocket of Janet Walker (a very lovely Shirley Jones), the daughter of a wealthy business man, will win the title of king of the flim-flam men. When Freddy pretends to be paralyzed, supposedly the result of a sad love story, in order to garner Janet’s attention and sympathy Jameson turns up as his rival's putative psychiatrist and the game is on! Breezy comedy was the basis for the Steve Martin/Michael Caine starrer Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

    Honorable Mention-The Hoax (2006)-I remember so well the outcry this caused when it was happening as it occurred almost concurrently with Watergate and the two together showed the two sides of journalism. Based on a huge scandal of the 70's. Novelist Clifford Irving tells his publishing company that he has partnered with the reclusive Howard Hughes and has been authorized to write his autobiography. Amid much fanfare and a great deal of money the book is published. The catch-the entire project is a con job. The film tells Irving's version of the events.

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    1. This is the 2nd time I've seen The Hoax mentioned today, I need to check that out. Phillip Morris is very underrated, so thank you for saying that!

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  3. Great picks! Phillip Morris was such a wild movie, and Wolf of Wall Street too. American Hustle was a little bit of a mess for me but Adams, Bale and Cooper were great. Sydney is one of my favorite characters.

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    1. Sydney was excellent. The only problem I had with that movie was with Jennifer Lawrence.

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  4. I love the music and fashion (which I had to live through) of the 70's but I wasn't in awe of this film. I have not seen Phillip Morris but I saw The Wolf of Wall Street a couple of months back. There are parts that were quite funny(his poor car!) but I didn't get into it. I am realizing I am not a Jonah Hill fan. There is something about that actor that I don't like and would never want to know. I just don't know why

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    1. Phillip Morris is really out there. You should check it out!

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  5. Great that you mentioned I love you Phillip Morris. That is an underrated Movie. I did not like American Hustle, except for Jennifer Lawrence in that role. The Con was not at all that interesting for me

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    1. Ha. Lawrence was probably my least favorite part. Her role was too hyped.

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  6. I rewatched American Hustle in its TV showings and yeah, J-Law is actually over the top and doesn't seem to fit in. Plus, she's too young to be Bale's wife. Anne Hathaway still would've been better.

    Oh, and The Wolf of Wall Street.... best XMAS film ever that I saw on that day. I strutted out of the theater after it ended.

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    1. I laughed so hard in WOWS that I thought I was going to cry. lol That Quaaludes scene slayed me.

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    2. Same here. I was in tears during that Quaaludes scene as the theater itself (though only less than half were at the screening) were dying of laughter. It was so loud the laughs as I was thinking I was going to wet myself. It was so hysterical. I think that was Scorsese's greatest moment as a filmmaker.

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  7. Love WoWS and American Hustle. Great lineup of BP nominees that year. And I so wanted to see I Love You, Phillip Morris. Never got around to it. Need to queue it up.

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    1. It's a good one! I hope you like it when you do.

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  8. Oh, WOWS is an interesting choice. I still need to see I Love You Phillip Morris. Somehow I never got around to it. :/

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    1. Phillip Morris is insane. Definitely worth a watch.

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No seriously, post one. I need attention.