Thursday, June 5, 2014

Things may come to those who wait...

...but only the things left by those who hustle. Abraham Lincoln said it best, didn't he! And we saw lots of it in David O'Russell's American Hustle whether it was mastering the combover or actually treading to stay afloat in the world of the Jersey mafia. The trailer takes its audience on a journey four decades back and serves up the soul of the seventies. It is very interesting to note the time in history when and the societal structure that the characters faced. America as a whole was headed upward following a series of conflicts. 

The American Hustle trailer captured me by portraying such a powerful essence of a different decade. It's particularly evident - through retro sounding music like Blurred Lines and other movies like Wolf of Wall Street - that our pop culture is becoming embedded with elements of the past. I have a soft spot for other time periods and so immediately noticed the cringe-worthy hair, flashy costumes, cloudy cigarette smoke, and potty-mouth dialogue. In short terms, that was the pathos appeal for me. If anything, this movie trailer and movie altogether created its own subculture and recognizable style the way The Great Gatsby recently did. 

With that said, there were a number of successful appeals made by the trailer. An ethos was easily established by the big names in the game. So big in fact, that they can get away with first showing scenes from the movie and then proceeding to include all of their names. Oh, in perfectly curved font. Groovy! There is not a great deal of plot given away in this trailer, but it’s not extremely necessary because a lot of relevance comes from the people themselves. The trailer does a good job of name-dropping other very successful movies by the director such as Silver Linings Playbook. And this is yet another connection and sort of verification of the success of Bradley Cooper and Jen Law, both stars from that movie.

Moreover, the logos appeal is also generated by the actors in the movie, especially Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper. Jennifer Lawrence plays a much different role than she did as Katniss in The Hunger Games, but I almost think that this successfully sparks the viewers’ curiosity. After all, watching her go from cargo pants to deep cleavage and a blonde Marilyn-do is pretty exciting. So it’s a combination of knowing she’s a talented actress and interested to see her portray an entirely new persona. As mentioned in the text, if the ‘character is well known, liked, and respected, that reputation will contribute to its persuasive power.’ But if the cast isn’t enough, the genre of the movie (drama/comedy/dramady) makes a logical argument for going to see it. Typically, movies like this one tend to be worth the watch.

Even with all of that under its belt, the movie’s greatest appeal is in my opinion the pathos appeal. This is the arena where it touches a wide array of people. The scenery creates a slight deal of suspense at the beginning so the audience wants to understand more, but it incorporates romance, drama, police arrests, comedy, and lots of money. This makes it a versatile choice and draws in many different tastes in movies. From the music to the dialogue to the wonder created by the taglines, viewers quickly put it at the top of their must-see list. I can comfortably say this is one I could watch on a date night, with my roommate, a group of friends, of just with my mom. This movie trailer gets a three from me!

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