Originally made for ESPN in 2004, "HUSTLE" is now being released on dvd by BUENA VISTA. All his personal problems aside, Tom Sizemore can act! Spielberg saw this when casting him for "SAVING PRIVATE RYAN". Thankfully, even after the horrible casting choices of director Peter Bogdanovich in the past, he chose wisely to cast Sizemore in the lead for "HUSTLE". Sizemore is terrific as Pete Rose. He's also the perfect choice to play someone reasonably intelligent, completely lacking the self-control to prevent him from spiraling down the drain of self-imposed ostracism from the community he knows best!
While his rise to fame is engrossing, the film doesn't pull any punches regarding his pending downfall. He's not presented as a very likeable guy. The story also shows Rose's curious and charismatic effect on people, following a good friend so mesmerized as to follow him down into failure. "HUSTLE" is absorbing and innovative in its telling of a sports story without the "NATURAL"-like happy ending.
BUENA VISTA has presented the film in 1.33:1. The image is fine, although lacking in detail during darker scenes. Colors are solid and grain is minimal. Fleshtones appear natural.
BUENA VISTA has provided a DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 mix. It's aggressive and surrounds kick in at just the right moments to really enhance the drama. Separation effects are generally focused towards the front soundstage. The music of the '80s era depicted is well complimented here.
BUENA VISTA has also provided plenty of extras! There's a great "ABC PRIMETIME LIVE" special, the "BANISHMENT FOR LIFE" Bart Giamatti press conference and much more! Baseball fans will certainly be most impressed!