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Four Tet - Live at Alexandra Palace London, 8th and 9th May 2019 Music Album Reviews

Kieran Hebden’s new live album reminds us that he is a stellar performer, not just a producer.
The British producer Kieran Hebden has one of the most distinctive signatures in electronic music. First, a gravelly drum machine; then, some jewel-toned synth pads; and, finally, a strip of harp or chimes or wordless cooing, unspooling like wrinkled ribbon.

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The Hustle Movie Review

Conned

For most movies, pacing is everything. A great film knows when to move and when to take its time, and how to use a runtime in an effective way to pull an audience in. "The Hustle," the feature debut from director Chris Addison, chugs along at a rapid clip, which could provide a decent, diverting night out for people looking to escape. Unfortunately, the movie doesn't have an ounce of substance to it, and when there's only a half-hour or so left, it feels like nothing has happened at all.


As far as comedies go, especially those based on previous works ("The Hustle" is an updated version of 1988's "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels"), the potential success lies with the chemistry of the actors (note: similar sentiments were shared here last week regarding "Long Shot"). Stars Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson do their best to elicit any spark out of the lifeless comedy, but they are working with a screenplay that's dead on arrival.

Wilson stars as Penny, who we first meet as she is catfishing a man on a date and turning the entire situation around to get him to give her money. She has made a moderate living as a hustler, making up stories to tell strangers for them to give her money. Penny packs her bags and heads to the South of France, where she manages to pull off a con on the train. Her efforts are overheard by Josephine (Hathaway), a high stakes con artist. Together they team up to take down a tech guru, but not without clashing along the way.

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"The Hustle" has been a bit of a passion project for Wilson, who serves as one of the producers, but everything about the material is so flat that it's hard to understand why this was the movie she felt she needed to get made. As for Wilson’s performance, she shows up and continues to do what we've become accustomed to seeing from her. She deadpans her way through all her delivery but none of it feels new or exciting. Hathaway, sporting a broad accent, adds jolts of life as the more prim-and-proper counterpart to Wilson's brash Penny.

On the most basic level, "The Hustle" doesn't work because it really isn't funny. The jokes are overly contrived, and the movie bounces from one con to the next without any flow or structure to offset the distractingly pedestrian comedy. The scenery might be nice, but "The Hustle" feels like nothing short of a con.


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