American Hustle (4K UHD Blu-ray Review) on Why So Blu?

American Hustle (4K UHD Blu-ray Review) on Why So Blu?

July 10, 2024 by Aaron Neuwirth

I often see films by directors I like that exude a lot of swagger and glamour, regardless of the content. My best example of this is Steven Soderbergh and Ocean’s ElevenIt helps that this and similar films are staffed with solid actors who deliver solid work, even in the midst of a story that’s more about having fun. American Rush, from the director David O. Russell (Silver Lined Playbook, Brawler), has that vibe. It’s inspired by a story, it’s been nearly a decade since I last saw the film, but watching it again now in its new 4K UHD release, I find that confidence in the filmmaking remains, even if it doesn’t really mean much.


(Note: This review was originally published on December 13, 2013.)

The story is set in New Jersey and New York in the late 70’s/early 80’s. A crime comedy-heist film using real life FBI agents. ABSCAM operation as the main part of the plot. Christian Bale He plays a man who plays a talented con artist named Irving Rosenfeld and falls in love with an equally cunning woman named Sydney.Amy AdamsTogether, the two pull off many easy scams but are eventually forced to work for the FBI after being set up by Agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). DiMaso wants to use Irving and Sydney to catch various corrupt officials and mobsters. This is done by the Mayor of Camden, New Jersey, Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner). The plan should work, given the talents of the scammers involved. Still, testing the strengths of these different relationships is a challenge for Irving’s wife, Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence).

Let’s get this out of the way right away, my title is not implying that Christian Bale is bad in this movie, but that he is not as appealing as his supporting actors, despite being quite charismatic and giving a lived-in performance once again following his work in the film. Fresh out of the oven. Here’s an actor who gained 100 pounds and wore an “elaborate” forelock to get inside the mind of a con artist. Bale is known for going to such lengths for roles. I won’t say this one surpasses all of them. Still, I can’t deny that Bale continues to impress with the way he transforms into different characters. Similar praise can go to other actors.

Read the rest of this review HERE.


Coding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-100

Clarity/Detail: Russell knows how to make a movie and has some great people to work with, which already made the Blu-ray release impressive. This 4K upgrade surpasses that, allowing viewers to see every detail that went into creating the 70s era depicted in this film. This incredibly clear transfer allows viewers to look at all the intricate details, from the hair in Bale’s hair to the sequins on the various dresses.

Depth: There’s a lot to appreciate about the sense of depth here, as we see people moving all over the frame during various discussions, adding to the sense of dimensionality.

Black Levels: There are many indoor settings and night scenes that talk about seeing the optimum amount of constant black levels, and that’s true. There’s no sign of crushing.

Color Reproduction: This film is about making both the flashy and the unglamorous look equally flashy. We spend most of our time in fancy locations with characters dressed to the nines. As a result, there is plenty of vibrancy in all the colours on display and the film is all the better for it.

Skin Tones: Rich textures make facial close-ups and details stand out.

Noise/Artifacts: There is nothing in sight.


Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English DTS-HD TrueHD 7.1, Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: Sony doesn’t disappoint with its Dolby Atmos track. A lot of work goes into the various settings, with the film providing plenty of music, dialogue and more to fill out the soundstages.

Height: The most obvious feature here is that all dialogue feels like it bounces around. It all serves as a way to deliver a good audio experience.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE output is powerful enough for notes and musical selections without overshadowing what’s going on.

Surround Sound Presentation: All the speakers get a chance to shine here. There’s a lot to enjoy about how the film understands space and how to use it on a sonic level as it moves towards various confrontational scenes.

Dialogue Production: All shouts can be heard clearly.


Along with previously released short films and deleted scenes, these 10pearl The Anniversary Edition includes an additional 15 minutes of footage, which is a nice touch with the steelbook edition.

Features Include:

  • NEW Approximately 15 Minutes of Never-Before-Seen Deleted and Extended Scenes (4K Disc, HD, 14:57)
  • Cinema Trailer (4K Disc, HD, 2:24)
  • 11 Deleted and Extended Scenes (Blu-ray Disc, HD, 22:24)
  • The making of American rush (Blu-ray Disc, HD, 17:01) – A standard behind-the-scenes featurette with cast and crew interviews that delve into the making of the film and the ideas behind it.
  • Blu-ray Copy of the Movie
  • Digital HD Copy of the Movie


Few films of this genre are truly forgotten, American rush a flashy con artist comedy-drama that made a big impact at the time, garnering a bunch of Oscar nominations in the process (and losing them all), but hasn’t quite caught on. Maybe that’s because all the stars have other big movies on their plates, but that doesn’t mean the movie doesn’t know how to enjoy itself. People can now enjoy it at home, because the 4K version boasts impressive audio and visuals, along with a few extras. It’s definitely worth some attention.

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Aaron Neuwirth

Writer/Critic, Movie Buff, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic Reader, Disc Golfer, and Lefty. I have too many movies, TV, books, etc. to list as favorites, but I can guarantee that the amount of movie knowledge I have in my head is ridiculous, yet I’m always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter at @AaronsPS4, see what else I’m up to at, and listen to my podcast Out Now with Aaron and Abe on iTunes.