Hello and welcome to the movie blog of author John DeFrank - FilmZ and Guy Sobriquet Malone - Researcher

Judy and Hustlers by Guest Reviewers

As many of you know, we have a moviegoing Gang of Six (known as the "Serfers").  Afterward, we get together for food and beverages and FilmZ and I get to hear our cohorts' reflections on said movies.  Then, as we write our reviews, we either ignore their thoughts or actively oppose them.  It's also true that we can't get to every movie, and Serfers end up seeing the movies themselves or dragging their significant others along to them.  By absolutely no popular demand, here are two film observations from members of our august contingent. 
--  Guy S. Malone, Researcher

Judy -- a guest review from Captain HE

Judy focuses on Judy Garland's youth training at MGM, seeds of her substance abuse, psychological fragility and tragic career end. It's a story we know but it deserves to be told.

The movie opens with a harried, middle-aged Judy comforting her children (Lorna and Joey Luft) while desperately searching for housing after being turned out from the hotel they called home. She turns to former husband Sid, with whom she has a contentious relationship. It's the late 60's and the former "girl next door" is at the bottom of a decade long spiral caused by heavy drinking and drug abuse.

 As the story progresses viewers are transported to 1938-39. Judy is on the set of Oz. Louis B. Mayer is giving her a pep talk to get her through her fatigue, reminding her of her commitment and duty. Scenes like these are sprinkled through the movie as we see the origins of her amphetamine addiction and her desire to be like "normal kids."

 Alcohol is a constant companion and sleep is always an elusive desire. Insecurity about her abilities rises when she lands a London concert gig which becomes a mixed triumph and debacle. The story closes with the London audience helping her finish "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" as she contemplates her life during her final performance.

 There are numerous uncomfortable moments during the film as the audience is drawn toward Judy's desperate fight to be a good mother and the expectations of her fading stardom. She dies of an overdose 6 months after her London engagements.

SHE went with HE to see Judy and agree, Renee Zellweger gives a marvelous performance and the story is poignant.  Maybe an Oscar nod for Zellweger.  It was a hit with the septuagenarians who attended the Geezer matinee at the Montage Mountain Cinemark.
7.5 out of 10

Hustlers -- guest review from a different He, but One Who Shall Not Be Named

Hustlers presents a story of four women who use their entrepreneurial skills to gain financial independence.  Their attempt, however, involves criminal activity and unravels with police intervention.

The film paints a vivid picture of the goings-on in "Adult Entertainment Clubs".  It highlights the conditions facing the women who willingly perform for paying male patrons.  Viewers are exposed to nudity, pole dancing, and lap dances.

Unhappy with the conditions facing the dancers, the story shifts to the dancers leaving the confines of their employment and becoming independent contractors, using previous clients and gaining new ones through previous contacts.  Drugs and alcohol become the means of taking advantage of their customers and ultimately is responsible for their financial destruction.

The acting is acceptable but the storyline is weak.
One note of caution to solo male movie-goers:  while watching the film, do not place an overcoat on your lap.
5.0 out of 10


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