Check out Mr. Sammich’s debut post! (He’s taken, ladies, so kindly just delete that marriage proposal you’ve drafted, thank you very much.)
Taking into consideration most of the readers on this blog are that of the fairer sex and not the target demographic of these two movies, feel free to share this with whatever knuckledragger wants to hit you over the head with a club and plop you into a comfortable theater seat.
Two of the hottest movies right now not named Frozen are The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle. I had the rare opportunity to actually go to the movies and catch both of these fine gems. While neither is big-screen necessary (I would argue that if you didn’t see Gravity in theaters, it will not be as spectacular), they are both movies I would recommend seeing.
With that being said, while The Wolf of Wall Street has a little more hype (8.7 IMDB.com score as opposed to American Hustle’s 7.9), American Hustle is a far superior movie and a way better watch. So much so that when I was watching the latter, all I could think about was how much better it was. So I’ve compiled a list of reasons why (along with one reason, the BEST reason, to see The Wolf of Wall Street).
Before I get into my list, I want to make a couple of clarifications. First of all, Scorcese is one of my favorite directors (Goodfellas and The Departed are easily in my top 10, while Casino and Gangs of New York are top 25 material), and Leo is quite possibly my favorite actor. Furthermore, David O. Russel is one of the most overrated directors in Hollywood (The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook, while both decent, are not the Best Picture material they were made out to be) and a lunatic to boot.
Lastly, I will try my best to avoid spoilers, but if you want a completely fresh viewing of the movies, then I’d avoid reading further so you don’t find out that the giant ship Leo is on sinks and he’s killed.
OK, here we go:
1) 138 Vs. 180–
The run times for each of these is above average to say the least, and while neither movie EVER drags, 2 and change is easier to swallow than 3 full hours. Cost of parking, babysitters, hospital visit for bladder explosion- all things made lighter by seeing American Hustle.
2) “What in the shit just happened?” Vs. “Oh cool, that’s what happened!”
The Wolf of Wall Street was a whirlwind of excess. While all very exciting, I wasn’t sure what the point of it all was. I didn’t need some big moral lesson, but all I felt when the end credits rolled was “wow, that was exhausting.” American Hustle has a much more deliberate flow to it, and while there is no real twist ending, you’re constantly left wondering who the true grifters really are.
3) Late 70s Vs. Late 80s
Since both of these are based (somewhat) on true stories, it’s of no fault to those involved, but the design of American Hustle is way cooler than that of The Wolf of Wall Street. The sets, sounds and costumes (ESPECIALLY the costumes) all give American Hustle a more important feel.
4) Irving Rosenfeld Vs. Jordan Belfort
Most people would rather identify with DiCaprio’s Belfort than Bale’s Rosenfeld. Belfort is rich, handsome, and married to a model, whereas Rosenfeld is pretty much the opposite in every single way. The biggest difference, though, is heart. Belfort spends the whole movie proving that he is better than everyone (you, the viewer is included in this as he often breaks the fourth wall). Rosenfeld spends the whole movie trying to get himself and those he cares about out of a pickle he is all too ready to admit he is responsible for. Neither character is a role model, but Rosenfeld has redeeming characteristics that make you root for him, while Belfort is remorseless.
5) The supporting cast Vs. those other guys
There is one MAJOR exception to this part, but we’ll get to that later. The supporting cast in American Hustle is not really supporting at all, but rather an ensemble. The acting is absolutely outstanding. Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner are all extraordinary. Each character is unique and carries their own struggle, and you legitimately want them all to be fine in the end. The supporting cast in The Wolf of Wall Street is utterly forgettable (with that one exception). I recognized faces, but didn’t remember any of the characters’ names or what their roles were once the movie was finished. They all did fine, I guess, but the performances in American Hustle were memorable.
The 1 thing that makes The Wolf of Wall Street an award winner: Jonah Hill.
If he doesn’t walk away with a Best Supporting award (although it might very well go to Cooper), I will eat my hat and shoes. Jonah Hill is not just that fat kid from Superbad. He’s not even that surprisingly good actor from Moneyball. In fact, despite all best efforts, Jonah Hill steals the show from Leo. And that’s saying quite a bit, because DiCaprio does an excellent job acting like an asshole for three hours.
And some other random reasons American Hustle is better than The Wolf Of Wall Street (without explanation):
6) Louis CK is in it!!!!
7) Half of Jack Huston’s face isn’t missing (as it is in Boardwalk Empire)
8) Robert DeNiro has about 2 minutes of screen time and doesn’t look like a schmuck
9) Bradley Cooper’s perm
10) Christian Bale’s AMAZING comb-over
11) Jennifer Lawrence dances (though much differently than in Silver Linings)
12) The ice-fishing story (as told by Louis CK)
13) Michael Pena’s ironic idea of racism
14) The Science Oven
15) Jeremy Renner is actually (kind of) a good guy and doesn’t stab anyone in the back like he usually does
16) Amy Adams’ “accent”
17) Jennifer Lawrence is in no way, shape or form, Katniss Everdeen
18) The Duke
19) Nobody has a candle in their butt (for pleasure or otherwise)
20) For a third time, so you know I’m for real: Louis CK is brilliant!