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Screener Squad: Hustle

Hustle Movie Review


Melina, Chad, Ryan, and TC take on the seemingly dangerous task of watching an Adam Sandler movie and surviving with mental wellness intact. But don’t be fooled. This isn’t a standard wacky voiced, inexplicably hot wife, hanging out in an exotic location with SNL alum friends performing a very thin, shallow plot Happy Madison movie. Oh no-no-no. This is Sandler showing up to actually act, as he’s done in his rare pieces of cinema, like Uncut Gems, Punch Drunk Love, and The Meyerowitz Stories. Sandler came to continue to prove that he can in fact make a good movie. Pro basketball scout for the Philadelphia 76’er Stanley Beren (Sandler), is excited for the first time in a very long while, when he serendipitously discovers Spanish phenom amateur baller, Bo Cruz (newcomer Juancho Hernangomez), hustling in a park outside Madrid. This guy is as if Scottie Pippen and a wolf had a baby. After a falling out with the head of the 76’er, bald and bearded Vince Merrick (Ben Foster), Stan is fueled with new-found purpose, and with the blessing of his wife (Queen Latifah), Stan the Man makes it his mission to groom Bo for the NBA where he believes they both can make it. And while the Squad might not be NBA level ballers, they know the pros of a good sports movie, and surprising every one of them, the good that Adam Sandler can bring to a flick.


DIRECTED BY: Jeremiah Zagar

STARRING: Adam Sandler, Queen Latifah, Ben Foster, Juancho Hernangómez, Silas Graham, Robert Duvall, Jordan Hull, Heidi Gardner, Maria Botto, Ainhoa Pillet, Anthony Edwards, Kenny Smith, Fat Joe, Jaleel White, Trae Young, Jordan Clarkson, Khris Middleton, Aaron Gordon, Kyle Lowry, Seth Curry, Luka Doncic, Tobias Harris, Tyrese Maxey, Matisse Thybulle, Aaron McKie, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, Dirk Nowitzki, Brad Stevens, Doc Rivers, Dave Joerger, Sergio Scariolo, José Calderón, Leandro Barbosa, Álex Abrines, Maurice Cheeks, Boban Marjanovic, Moritz Wagner, Grayson “The Professor” Boucher, Larry “Bone Collector” Williams, Waliyy “Main Event” Dixon, Felipe Reyes, Piere Oriola, Willy Hernangómez




T.C. De Witt (Screener Squad)

T.C. De Witt is a multi-awarded writer/director originally from Wisconsin and now based in Los Angeles. His life has been devoted to the arts since he was a child. He’s been a stage performer, playwright, stand-up comic, film and television actor, radio DJ, podcaster published author, recorded musician, and comic writer/illustrator. He is now a professional screenwriter and has been thriving for the past decade, regularly offering his talents to production studios in LA, Chicago, Milwaukee, and internationally in Sydney and Poland. He’s provided content for Amazon Prime, Netflix, and several YouTube partners. His films have screened internationally, and his stageplays have been performed across the country. In the last ten years, he has directed 57 films, 23 episodes of his series The One Minute Rewatch, 300+ episodes of podcasts, and his multi-award-winning short film Screen: Righter screened at the Festival de Cannes in 2016. He has released two feature films, The Princess Knight and A Christmas Sunset. He thrives on collaboration and the thrill of sharing stories in all forms.



Melina Eames (Screener Squad)

Melina first discovered that she carried the nerd gene at the tender age of four following her exposure to a little film called A New Hope. In the twenty-some years that followed, Melina continued to grow into her geek identity through the discovery of Batman, Mst3k, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and The Mandalorian. But perhaps her most significant discovery came at the age of fourteen when a night of YouTube mining led her to the review site of Melina became a devoted follower whose fandom did not end with the site’s demise. By then, it had worked its dark magic and left her with a love and appreciation for film criticism that she has yet to shrug.



Chad Halvorsen (Screener Squad)

Chad Halvorsen currently resides in Milwaukee, WI, where he produces and edits commercials, films, and everything in between. He was always a fan of film/television growing up, spending days in the Summer, making (terrible) home movies with his brothers. Little did he know that passion would carry on into adulthood. Since 2006, Chad has worked for several agencies in various departments. Shooting, producing, editing, production management, directing, and when forced to, writing copy. In 2015, Chad decided to take the big leap and become a freelancer. Since then, he’s produced content for Lyft, AT&T, Target, and Discovery Network. His passion lies in entertaining people, making them feel better, even for a moment. All the pain and suffering of this business is worth it, if even just one person views his work. Chad is a frequent podcaster, most notably posing as a co-host for the podcast “The Film Illogical Society.”



Ryan Aleck Hill (Screener Squad, Video and Audio editor)

Ryan is a Washington D.C. based filmmaker & video editor who loves watching and talking about movies more than just about anything. He currently works at a creative agency as a director of photography/video editor, and does freelance video editing for Anthony Fantano/TheNeedleDrop. He also has a YouTube channel (Downhill Media) where he works on a weirdo art explainer series called “Artsplained” with his partner Michelle. He was a part of the community way back in the day, where he was cursed with an obsession for movies. In an effort to break the curse, he shows up on the Screener Squad podcast every once in a while and edits for One Of Us. Chris Cox claims that this is the only way it can be broken. You can follow him on Twitter but you’ll probably regret it.



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