All dressed up and nowhere to go, AMSTERDAM came and went from theatres and bewildered most that bothered to even watch it. This period picture set in and around the first World War and the roaring 20s. Everyone is in this movie it appears, but it features an unlikely friendship between three people (Margo Robbie, Christian Bale and John David Washington) and all of the exploits they go through after witnessing a murder, having that murder pinned on them, and then through way too many characters (and famous faces) slowly exposing a massive political plot, of which IS based on a true story.
Oh about that cast. AMSTERDAM lives on all of the familiar faces you see on screen. Robert DeNiro! Rami Malek! Mike Myers! Anya Taylor-Joy! Even Taylor Swift, yes THE Taylor Swift, has a cameo, yet that wasn’t enough to bring out the Swifties. This all-star cast is mostly thanks to filmmaker David O. Russell’s ties to the industry. He has been through several decades of various projects and even led Jennifer Lawrence to an Oscar. Yet there are too many cooks in the kitchen here and so much dialogue to the point where we feel like characters are just standing around TALKING about doing things and not actually doing them. All of the faces here just cancel everyone else out in what is a truly bizarre movie experience.
ABOUT: Written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker David O. Russell comes an original crime epic about three close friends who find themselves at the center of one of the most shocking secret plots in American history. Based on facts that meet fiction, the film stars Academy Award® winner Christian Bale, two-time Oscar® nominee Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Alessandro Nivola, Andrea Riseborough, Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Rock, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Shannon, Mike Myers, Taylor Swift, Timothy Olyphant, Zoe Saldana with Oscar winner Rami Malek and two-time Academy Award winner Robert DeNiro.
About the 4k Blu Ray:
Disney sent along a digital code which DID redeem to 4k/HDR, so I got to look at the transfer. I saw this movie in the IMAX format so I got a good look at the bizarre digital cinematography to match along with the even more strange movie itself. I can’t quite put my finger on it but the “look” here is all off. The digital look is inherent to the original production, and even lensed by Emmanuel Lubezki (known for his collaborations with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Terrence Malick, and has both experience in film and digital). Everyone looks like they are phoning it in here, but this IS representative of what the movie looked like in theatres, for what it’s worth. The soundtrack fares much better in 5.1 surround here with some very good surrounds and use of music score and sounded really strong on my system.
Welcome To Amsterdam – Learn how this original, witty crime epic was made. Hear from the writer/director about his process, the actors who transformed into their characters, and discover how the production created the period look of this visually spectacular film.
If you saw and liked this movie, I think you’ll be quite pleased with the 4k HDR transfer and the disc will be a good addition to your collection. I do think you’re kind of crazy, however, as I could not stand most of AMSTERDAM and would be surprised if someone came out with a more positive take on this cinematic mess. All said, I’m still happy I got to check it out again this way.
AMSTERDAM is now available on 4k Blu Ray and Digital where available. Note that Disney did NOT send us a physical review copy for this article, however they did supply a Digital Code to evaluate the transfer, which is the same on Digital platforms.