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Amsterdam (2022, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental) Review

Amsterdam (2022, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental) Review
« on: April 16, 2023, 02:43:54 PM »


Studio:  20th Century Studios
Release Date:  12/6/2022
Rating:  R
Film Grade:  C-

The Story:  Set in a period between the two World Wars, the movie follows the adventures of two soldiers who bonded during their service and the nurse that healed them.  The movie gets rolling with a suspicious death that drags them into a much bigger story that includes flashbacks to their earlier lives.  Part noir mystery, part conspiracy, and a bit of romance are combined in this period piece that is very loosely based on true events.

My Take:  Director David O. Russell’s first feature since 2015’s Joy features a bevy of big-name stars, including Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Robert De Niro, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Chris Rock, and many more.  With all that talent, you might think this would be a slam-dunk recipe for an entertaining movie, but that’s not the case.

The script is simply a mess.  The movie jumps back and forth between time periods, the tone waivers between drama, suspense, romance, and light comedy that sometimes verging on goofiness.  A number of themes are presented, including class stratification, racial disparities, the politics of war, and the use of opioids, but they feel inorganic to the story and drag it down. 

Narration is used to add structure to the story, but oddly it comes from more than Bale’s main character and is largely unnecessary.  The cast is fine in their roles, but a couple of things stand out.  During the movie my wife asked if Bale was doing an imitation of Peter Falk’s Columbo, and after hearing that I couldn’t unsee it for the rest of the movie.  At the end of the film, I remarked to her that it felt like a lot of the dialog was improvised since it just didn’t flow very well, and a quick internet search confirmed that was the case.

While it’s only 134 minutes long, it feels closer to three hours.  It moves in a series of fits and starts, adding to the disjointed flow.  There are imagined scenes, which like the narration, also come from different characters.  The movie would have benefited from tighter control and editing to bring it down to under two hours.  As is, it’s hard to hold one’s attention from beginning to end.

Video:  This is a beautifully shot movie, with the majority interior shots featuring a rose gold hue that feels both richly nostalgic and glowingly warm.  In contrast, the outdoor shots have a natural, almost cold daylight tone.  The Blu-ray does a fantastic job of presenting all the period details of the set design that welcome the viewers into that time period.

Audio:  The disc features a 7.1 DTS-MA mix, which does an adequate job of placing the viewer in the environment.  A few scenes feature audio cues that match with the action, the music sounds fine, and dialog is clear.  Nothing stands out as demo material, but there were no flaws to be found either.

Special Features:  Welcome to Amsterdam featurette.  The behind-the-scenes short is mostly fluff and doesn’t offer much insight into the film or production of it.  There is a little discussion about the events that inspired the movie, but nothing in depth.

Final Verdict:  What could have been an interesting story about a little-explored time period between two wars gets lost in a jumbled plot, inconsistent dialog, and odd pacing.

There isn’t much to recommend this movie, although if you’re intrigued by the large cast or time period, it might be worth catching when it hits a streaming service you’re already paying for.

My Review System:
JVC DLA-RS420 Reference Series D-Ila Projector with 4K eShift4
Elite Screens Sable Frame B2 117” Width with Infinitely Variable Height
Monolith by Monoprice HTP-1 16 Channel Processor with Dirac Live
Monolith by Monoprice 7x200 Watts Amp
Monolith by Monoprice 3x200 Watts + 6x100 Watts Amp
JBL Studio 590 for Left, Center, Right, Wides, and Rears
JBL Studio 580 for Side Surrounds
JBL Studio SCS 8 for Tops
JTR Captivator 1400 Subwoofer X 4
Panasonic DP-UB420 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
NVIDIA Shield Android TV - 4K
HTPC Running madVR (work in progress)
Remote: URC MX-780
Mini DSP 2X4 HD controlling all subwoofers
APC S15 Power Conditioner with Battery Backup

My Room:  26’-1” X 17’-4” X 10’
Equipment:  Monolith HTP-1 feeding X7 and X9 amps, JVC RS3100, Elite Screens 135"", JBL Studio 590 for L, C, R, W, R, 580s for sides and four SCS8 for tops, JTR Captivator 1400 x 4, Panny DP-UB420K, Toshiba HD-A35. Nvidia Shield, Sonos Connect, MX-780 remote

See Youthman's actual tour of my room here: https://youtu.be/PHEaG2xKVhg

Re: Amsterdam (2022, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental) Review
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2023, 02:47:31 PM »
I got a digital screener for this and never bothered watching it. I'm glad I skipped it!
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

Barry

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Re: Amsterdam (2022, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental) Review
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2023, 06:08:29 PM »
Totally agree, what a waste of talent.
McIntosh MX170 Controller: Projector JVC DLA-RS4100; Screen: Stuart StudioTek130: Amps: McIntosh MC-611(center),MC1.25KW (lf&rt);  Krell S-1500 Atmos/Surround; 4kDVD Panasonic UB9000; Speakers: Revel Ultima Salon 2, Ultima Voice 2, (Surround) W 990, Atmos C763L; Subs: SVS SB-13 Ultras;  Cable: 4K Verizon; Broadcast: Mediasonic HW-150PVR; Wiring: Shunyata; Apple TV,

Re: Amsterdam (2022, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental) Review
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2023, 06:14:12 PM »
Totally agree, what a waste of talent.
Yes, how often is there a chance to bring together a cast of such a size and ability?  It's rare these days, and with the meager return on the studio money spent, it's not likely to happen again anytime soon, unless they do it as a labor of love.

Scott
My Room:  26’-1” X 17’-4” X 10’
Equipment:  Monolith HTP-1 feeding X7 and X9 amps, JVC RS3100, Elite Screens 135"", JBL Studio 590 for L, C, R, W, R, 580s for sides and four SCS8 for tops, JTR Captivator 1400 x 4, Panny DP-UB420K, Toshiba HD-A35. Nvidia Shield, Sonos Connect, MX-780 remote

See Youthman's actual tour of my room here: https://youtu.be/PHEaG2xKVhg

bmoney

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Re: Amsterdam (2022, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental) Review
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2023, 06:46:05 PM »
How do these movies get the go ahead
SadieMax 2,0 Build thread

Nad t758v3 
7.4.4 diysoundgroup 1099's (3) 
Volt 6 (8 ) 
18" SI subs (4) 
diy 130" 2.40 spandex screen
minidsp 2x4HD
JVC rs600
Lumagen radiance pro 4242
Nvidia shield pro
Emby NAS media player

Re: Amsterdam (2022, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental) Review
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2023, 12:57:29 AM »
I actually enjoyed this quite a bit a few months ago. Maybe it's because I'm a jazz / improv fan, heh. Both are probably good reasons to discount my taste. ::)


Re: Amsterdam (2022, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental) Review
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2023, 07:23:26 PM »
I actually enjoyed this quite a bit a few months ago. Maybe it's because I'm a jazz / improv fan, heh. Both are probably good reasons to discount my taste. ::)
I appreciate the viewpoint, Paul, and glad you can represent the jazz enthusiast fan's perspective, which I can't appreciate.  We both did like the music in the movie.

I do like good improve work, and two of my favorite movies are This Is Spinal Tap and Waiting for Guffman, but the dialog in this movie seemed off and conspicuous to my ears.

Scott
My Room:  26’-1” X 17’-4” X 10’
Equipment:  Monolith HTP-1 feeding X7 and X9 amps, JVC RS3100, Elite Screens 135"", JBL Studio 590 for L, C, R, W, R, 580s for sides and four SCS8 for tops, JTR Captivator 1400 x 4, Panny DP-UB420K, Toshiba HD-A35. Nvidia Shield, Sonos Connect, MX-780 remote

See Youthman's actual tour of my room here: https://youtu.be/PHEaG2xKVhg

AVSCraig

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    • AV Science, Inc
Re: Amsterdam (2022, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental) Review
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2023, 11:13:36 PM »
I actually enjoyed this quite a bit a few months ago. Maybe it's because I'm a jazz / improv fan, heh. Both are probably good reasons to discount my taste. ::)
Jazz is one reason I love the movie La La Land. 
Direct (585) 671-2972 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific 
www.avscience.com  craig@avscience.com
We carry projectors, screens, speakers, receivers etc. !!
Twitter - @AVS_Craig Sacramento CA area

Re: Amsterdam (2022, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental) Review
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2023, 09:18:07 AM »
Just to clarify, I wasn't specifically referencing any music (soundtrack or otherwise) featured in Amsterdam. More a mindset of appreciating (or tolerating at times) some barely controlled chaos with unexpected shifts. There are definitely movies that don't hit me well in that way but somehow this one did. 

AVSCraig

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Re: Amsterdam (2022, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental) Review
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2023, 11:55:47 AM »
Well, that's different. Carry on! 
Direct (585) 671-2972 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific 
www.avscience.com  craig@avscience.com
We carry projectors, screens, speakers, receivers etc. !!
Twitter - @AVS_Craig Sacramento CA area

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