Obsessed by the world of pool, Johnny (Mars Callahan) could be one of the best. But his mentor and "trainer" Joe (Chazz Palminteri), a shady hustler who decides how and who Johnny plays, is holding him back from his dream. When the day finally comes, Johnny breaks from Joe, which leads to only one thing -- violence. Joe is beaten up by some of Johnny's buddies as a sign to leave him alone, and with this final act of freedom, Johnny leaves the world of pool-sharking. After an ultimatum from his girlfriend Tara ('Alison Eastwood'), Johnny finally commits to a "real" job in the construction business, but is soon miserable there. He finds himself spending most of his time with his younger brother Danny (Michael Rosenbaum) who it seems is following in his footsteps on the road to a life Johnny left when he broke from Joe. As for Joe, he is bent on revenge for the beating he took, and soon he has a new protégé Brad (Rick Schroder) who is just as good if not better then Johnny. And he's got ... Written by
Ryan Mcintosh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Poolhall Junkies is one of those little sweet pieces of film that can hold your attention throughout, get you to grin even when a joke isn't that funny, and let the viewer know debut filmmakers, such as Gregory "Mars" Martin, can still serve a purpose in a widening scumish movie season.
Martin plays Johnny Doyle, a poolroom hustler who after being controlled by a gangster (Palminterri) for fifteen years, breaks away in a sudden movie to go for bigger money. Unfortunately, his movie isn't helped by his cocky little brother (Rosenbaum) and friends who try to hustle the money for themselves only to get in deeper trouble with a semi-pro player.
The story and twists may have been seen in similar poolhall movies, yet the quick wit and even quicker style is on the mark. Lest I not forget, Steiger and Walken turn in two grand performances - Steiger, in his last film, as a weary poolroom worker, and Walken, who is very often both creepy and exceptional, gives fans a treat with a monologue that can only be compared to the one he gave in Pulp Fiction. Not everyone may follow this film, and it'll probably be out of theaters very soon, however it remains a treat for those who like quirky indie gangster movies. A-
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