Monday, October 8, 2012

Poolhall Junkies (2002)

Synopsis: Down-on-his-luck billiard genius finds the inner strength to take Schroder, the kid from Silver Spoons?!

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Johnny was a pool hustler, one of the best, until he discovered how his manager Joe had ruined his life. He left Joe in the hands of some heavy-duty drug dealers and split the scene. Now he’s trying to go legit, save his relationship with his girlfriend Tara, and maybe even save his life.”

What Did I Learn?: Never, ever agree to play 8 ball against a better player on the condition that you may remove four of your balls after his first shot – it only makes it easier for him to pocket his.

Really?: 1) So Johnny’s girlfriend is a hot law student with rich parents, and she really wants him to work construction jobs? 2) Johnny meets Uncle Mike (Christopher Walken) at a party, and they become friends; that said, it’s a bit of a stretch when Mike agrees to bankroll Johnny’s big game.  3) Even if you have revenge on your mind, ripping off the local drug dealer by putting a gun to his head is a pretty bad idea. I don’t think Joe would still be in the city, soliciting billiard games after doing so.

Rating: Poolhall Junkies is a fun little movie with fine performances from Walken and Chazz Palminteri, and a decent first outing from real-life billiard master Mars Callahan. The movie is at its best when it focuses on pool; Alison Eastwood isn’t given much to do except huff-and-puff (“you’re playing again, aren’t you?!”), and Danny’s crew is a little too goofy to be believable. 7.5/10 stars.


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