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October 9, 2015

Hustle to hit the big screen

by Annie Wu, posted Jun 22nd 2006 8:31PM
HustleOur friends at Cinematical recently posted that FOX has picked up the rights to create a feature-length version of the BBC/AMC show Hustle. The original minds behind the series are going to work on the film, so that's good news. This is nice and all (Hustle really is a fantastic program), but each episode already runs over an hour. I hope they figure out something really exciting to do, because I'm not sure I'd be willing to fork over $10 to just watch what is essentially an extended episode.

Meanwhile, the third season starts June 28 at 10:00 PM EST for the Americans, with a fourth season in the works.

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It only runs over an hour because it's a BBC series and AMC, unlike the BBC, has ads. I can see a movie working out rather well, but I'm also a bit doubtful.

An essential part of every con movie ever made is that there is always a twist in the end. If you don't have that twist there isn't any clash and the viewer is left cold. I mean, where's the fun in seeing a scheme come off perfectly? The person being conned is always really the viewer. Thus the best con films or shows always have a clever, logical twist that isn't predictable, but is something you could have reasonably figured out.

The problem with this is that I tend to be really good at figuring out the twists. The Sixth Sense gave itself away in the first few minutes (well, and the trailers that basically nullify the first half of the film), The Village I didn't even need to see since it was obvious from watching the trailers (and confirmed on release via the internet), The Sting was likewise very predictable and I found it very boring as a result. Other times it's a great twist. Fight Club was just about perfect in this respect and Memento (despite not really having a traditional twist) holds up to repeated viewings (and a brief freeze-frame that seals the deal) to finally figure out what really happened.

Hustle falls into the middle. Some of the episodes are easily figured out while others go off rather cunningly in plain sight. With a TV show though it's generally easier to spot the twist because there's less time for legitimate throwaways. Thus almost everything that seems inconsequential is likely to be relevant in the future. In a movie you have more time to stretch out and lay down some false leads thus giving you a way to fool the audience into accepting the con.

With a larger budget and more time it sounds like a sure winner.

July 03 2006 at 8:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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