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"This is quite simply a precious gem of queer filmmaking. From the extravagant, lush shots of of the twinkling NYC skyline interspersed with the raw and gritty back alleys and cheap bars they hide -- to the many erotically charged, voyeuristic snippets of the NYC hustler world, teeming as it does here with gorgeous boys for rent -- to the move-you-to-tears performances of a top-notch cast -- this is a pure winner as entertainment and as art.Ian McCrudden's direction is nearly flawless here, whether he's revving his audience up with smoldering not-quite-but-almost-pornographic action shots featuring the gorgeous Alex Feldman (and several other unnamed hotties you may recognize from more, er, "artistic" films -- blessedly, these actors don't need large speaking parts here), or whether he's leading you down the shadowy, forlorn path of the emotional mystery story that forms the core of his plot. Skilled craftsmanship and a keen sense of style were required to elevate this world of "smut" to these artistic heights. You will grieve for Bobby Blue as his world is shattered by Mr. Smith's secret. And you will at once love and hate -- and fear -- Mr. Smith for thrusting his mysterious presence into the world he himself made, and for suffering so brutally the consequences. (It isn't quite Hitchcock, and it isn't quite Chi Chi LaRue, but there are brilliant elements of both here.)McCrudden may be legitimately questioned on one score: Are the hustlers' encounters so erotic and the climactic violent acts so brutal that they detract from the very human story that he is trying to tell? Perhaps. But perhaps it is with intent that he means to contrast the startling emotional impact of this story with the raw, super-sexualized energy of the world that frames these weak, lost characters. Either way, this film will yank you from Hollywood's sanitized world of play-acting and move you on many different levels.And, of course, we anxiously await further efforts from the talented Alex Feldman. One hopes that his gifted acting will be as much of a star as his sweaty backside in future films. As both things had significant roles to play here, this lovely and sad film is a wonderful achievement with which to begin writing his resume."
Hustle is Right
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The only hustle here is the poor sap who gets hustled into spending bucks to see this movie because it stinks. Stinks big time. It looks like they took two dollars and got the cheapest sets and cameras they could and they begged their next door neighbors to be in the movie. The so-called hot guy isnt hot either, and if you cant figure out who Mr. Smith is ten minutes into the movie you need to get out more often. Waste of time and money."
One of the worst movies I've ever seen
M. T. Kenney | Florida | 02/09/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The only thing that might be good about this film is its cover art work. Even that leaves a lot to be desired. I wish I hadn't wasted the time watching it. I would have given it negative stars but it wasn't an option."
The cure for insomnia
TX Techwriter | Austin TX US | 11/28/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Having trouble getting to sleep? Get this movie with its bad acting, bad music, bad lighting, bad sound, and a restaurant that never has any customers, and you'll be out cold before the second act.
The only reason I made it through this snorer is that I was waiting for the twist. The relationship between Mr Smith and his hustler is so obvious that I figured it must be a setup. Well, it's just exactly what you think it is, so there's no need to wait around."
Don't look for a Hollywood ending!
Todd Bartholomew | Atlanta, GA USA | 06/04/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
""Mr. Smith Gets A Hustler" is one of those gay-themed films that frequently plays to GLBT film festivals and leaves audiences with a big "What?" at the end. Well acted, directed, and filmed the problem doesn't lie with what's happening on-screen, but the predictable formulaic script and its inconclusive ending. Populated with characters that aren't quite fully-fleshed it's hard to feel any connection or empathy for the characters that come across as two dimensional. Hustlers and Pimps are portrayed as money-hungry and profoundly amoral. The mysterious Mr. Smith reveals perhaps the most of any character in the movie; a former bank vice-president on-the-run after bilking a customer out of money. He's in New York to try and reconcile with his son, Bobby Blue, by his estranged lover, only Bobby has no idea that Smith is his father. His discovers the secret of Mr. Smith's true identity in a way that screams predictability and the film unfolds as an equally shady character tries to track down Smith via the hustlers, although its never clear why. Mr. Smith's pursuer finally entices Bobby Blue up to his hotel suite to get the goods on Smith only to have Bobby's pimp spare him by ratting out where Smith is. Another hustler, Abe, comes to save Bobby only after Smith's pursuer has left to get Smith. Rather than trying to save Mr. Smith from his pursuer Bobby and Abe instead commiserate about what to do. The following day Bobby coaxes a hotel staffer to let him into Smith's suite only to find it emptied, neat, and tidy. The film ends with Bobby getting into a taxi going who knows where; the end! Yeah. No indication of what happened to Smith, no insight into why Bobby wouldn't try and save Smith, no reflection on what Bobby is feeling other than his facial expressions as the credits roll. My hunch is he doesn't really care about Smith, life goes on. The sound quality is terrible...very muddled and mixed very low; I had to max out the volume of it on my DVD player and STILL could barely hear the dialog.
"Mr. Smith" is emblematic of the current rash of gay-themed films without neat tidy endings that not only leave far too much to the viewer's imagination (not necessarily a bad thing), but that fail to engage the viewer. You feel no connection or interest to the characters and as a result none to the film. The theme here is that life is brutal, nasty, and short...if you care about people you'll only get your feelings hurt. Trapped in the Me-First zeitgeist of the 1990s it reveals nothing about the characters and there really is no moral to the story other than to look out for yourself and your own interests; how depressing."