AMSTERDAM – Review by T.J. Callahan

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Amsterdam: “I left my eye in France”

Amsterdammmmn! A doctor, a nurse and a lawyer walk out of a bar and witness a murder, but the jokes on us. David O. Russell is known for putting A-List actors in tragic- comedy situations (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle) and he’s done it again on an epic scale by adding in
a side of Wes Anderson and Taika Waititi.

The cast of Amsterdam reads like an Irwin Allen disaster picture lineup…Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Robert DeNiro, Anya Taylor-Joy, Mike Myers, Michael Shannon, Chris Rock, Zoe Saldana, Ed Begley, Jr, Timothy Olyfant and Taylor Swift…and like the Poseidon Adventure, this film is a sinking ship that barely manages to stay afloat.

Set mostly in 1933 New York City, Amsterdam is the “sort of” true story of three friends who not only find themselves accused of the murder they witnessed, but knee deep in one of the most secret plots to overthrow the White House in American history. There’s experimental plastic surgery on WWI veterans, antisemitism, fascism supporters, sterilization clinics, big business and powerful people who do the craziest things. Eyes roll, literally and physically.

Russell wrote, produced and directed Amsterdam…in English, but it might as well have been in Dutch. It took 90 minutes into this 134 minute farce for me to somewhat get what was going on and that was only because I recently watched the Ken Burns documentary, The U.S. and the Holocaust. The saving grace is the acting. Everyone seems to be having fun and Christian Bale could be on an early list for Best Actor for his facial expressions alone.

Amsterdam is not just a Who Done It, but a What Is It. Bring your passport, you may not know where you are going next. My husband, Ricky, stayed awake, but wished he had fallen asleep. Amsterdam gets a 5 out of 10.

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T. J. Callahan

Longtime Houston radio personality, T.J. Callahan switched gears from traffic and news reporting as a member of the award winning Hudson and Harrigan Show on KILT to directing you to the right movie theatre as the resident film critic for The Sam Malone Show on AM 1070 The Answer in Houston. Since 2009, T.J. has exclusively critiqued premiering films on such stations as KRMD in Shreveport, La., KILT in Houston, WCKT in Sarasota, Fla., as well as on The Chris X Blayney Show on The Liberty Eagle Radio Network and streaming on Radio Brave. Entertaining and informative, T.J. gets right to the point and lets you know whether the latest epic is worth your time. Listen to her live every Thursday morning at 9:20 central on KNTH. T.J. is also a proud member of the Critics Choice Association, the Houston Film Critics Society and a board member and 2017 inductee to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.