The pawn shop is the last resort for most broke people; the place where the impoverished and the desperate sell off their most prized valuables in exchange for an obscenely disproportionate amount of money. In 'Hustlers', it's where three dramatic stories begin; first, a pair of newlyweds find themselves in the shop where, as fate would have it, the groom finds the ring of his first wife who has been missing for some time. While he decides to seek out her kidnapper, a pair of small time criminals are concocting a plan to rob their meth dealer - though their armed robbery plan is inhibited when one of them pawns his shotgun. Meanwhile, one serious-minded Elvis Presley impersonator wishes to pawn his alleged gold Elvis memorabilia as he moves into the town hoping to land a new job in a fairground.
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Eschewing every pitfall of the biopic genre and delving deeply into the essence of both Howard Hughes' genius and his slow burn into madness, Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator" is a film of grand scope and masterfully intimate nuance, portraying a wild young mustang of a man who lived a fast life on an epic scale.
Presenting Hughes' view of the world as one in which nothing is impossible and the most momentous, groundbreaking decisions come instantly and instinctively ("What would controlling interest in TWA cost me?"), the film's crux is not the psychosis the man is best known for today, but his gift for sparing no expense to pursue novel visions no one else could see.
"We gotta reshoot 'Hell's Angels' for sound," Hughes decides on a whim in an early scene, after having already spent four years and millions of his own dollars perfecting his first foray into filmmaking -- a World War I epic featuring dozens of biplanes in an ambitious, jaw-dropping dogfight scene, parts of which Hughes shoots from a plane he flies into the fray himself.
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