3 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
They should have called this: "Bars that Just So Happen to Have a Pool Table Junkies".
15 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I went ahead and did the spoiler alert anyway just to be safe, even though I plan to speak generally about the world of pool and what a HORRIBLE job this movie did in portraying it.

At the time this movie came out in 2003, steady business within pool halls that catered only to pool players was (and still is) all but extinct. The movie The Hustler came out in the sixties, and all of the sudden everyone went out and bought a pool cue and starting frequenting pool halls because that movie had made it seem just so awesome. Just as that was dying down about twenty years later, the sequel (The Color of Money) came out and gave the pool industry the kick in the pants it needed again. Fast forward another 20 years, with pool's popularity on the wane, and this movie is released, the only problem is that it, yeah, it's not very good.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear: REAL POOL PLAYERS DO NOT PLAY 8 BALL, EVER! If you decide you want to play the game and you get to the point where you can beat everyone at the local pub in a game of 8 Ball, you've still got a long way to go if you want a respectable reputation amongst those who play 9 Ball, Straight Pool, 1 Pocket, and various forms of Bank. 8 Ball is what the kids down at the Y are playing, and it is so popular because it gives an advantage to the less skilled player. Say you make 4 of your balls and your opponent hasn't made 1 yet, you're doing good, right? Wrong. You now have less to shoot at and your opponent's balls are likely getting in your way. You'd think not making a shot would be a disadvantage to him, but it ends up being some sort of Bizarro World defense. So the fact that this movie depicts what are supposed to be gods of the game going head to head in some epic game of 8 Ball is utterably laughable, but not the kind of laugh they were likely going for.

Let me make another thing perfectly clear: A REAL HUSTLER WOULD NEVER WEAR A SHIRT THAT READS "HUSTLER" SO THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS IT! It is a common notion that a pool hustler just keeps slaughtering his opponents and they are dumb enough to keep agreeing to play for more money. A real hustler must play down his game at all times, all the while never letting his opponent know how good he is. He must make his opponent feel like he legitimately had a shot at winning, that way he will keep playing. If the hustler and his opponent are playing a race to 5 series, his opponent will likely win 4 of those games, not because of his own skill, but because of the hustler's skill at throwing games while looking like he was trying to win. Hustlers don't frequent the "pool halls" that have a huge full service bar that attracts hot twenty something women on Friday nights. Hustlers are in dark and seedy pool rooms on a Tuesday night playing people of their own caliber and often begging the owners to stay open another hour.

If some dude in a faux hawk and his Hustler tee shirt challenges you to a game of 8 Ball, have no fear, he's a sap.

But while he is a sap in the real world of pool, he is the hero of this bastardization of not only the pool industry but also cinema as a whole. This movie could have not only illustrated what's going on these days in pool halls, but it could have also given this generation a genuine interest in the game, had it been done right. In the Hustler, they played straight pool, which was relevant and reflective to the time the movie was released. In The Color of Money, the played 9 Ball, a game whose accelerated pace was also reflective of the time the film was released. I guess, in a way, Poolhall Junkies reflected its period, but not for pool players, but rather for non pool players who think they are pool players. They throw around cliché terminology (that no one uses anymore) and introduce a few lame hustles and tricks to look out for that could ONLY go over on a non pool playing audience.

I'm sorry to say, and I never thought I would have to, but not even Christopher Walken could save this bad boy.
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Bio-Dome (1996)
Oh my!
27 June 2011
I used to love this movie as a kid, and now I have no idea why. Maybe it's because, at the age of 10, I enjoyed watching grown men act younger than me. Look back on your own childhood and you likely enjoyed a few movies with that quality for that very reason.

There is not one funny part in this movie. Seriously, not one. I've even re-watched it stoned (let's be honest, it was probably made to be viewed that way) just to see if the altered perception would make it any better, and it actually killed my buzz.

Pauly Shore and one of the Baldwins that's not Alec seem to be in a pissing contest to see who can come off as more talentless. In the end, it's too close to call, so they both win (or lose, however you wanna look at it).

The only reason I gave this movie 2 stars is because I tend to throw in an extra star if there is nostalgia associated with it. If you're in the mood for this kind of movie, you'd be better off watching Encino Man, even if you've seen it already.
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At Least there was no Conky
7 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Perhaps it is just the nature of the beast. Haven't we all grown accustomed to being disappointed in the last entry to a series (especially a T.V. series, which is what TPB will be remembered as)? It could be that the writers feel extra pressure knowing that they will have their characters immortalized and remembered a certain way once it is over, and in an attempt to make that last impression perfect, they overwhelm the audience with nothing more than caricatures of the characters we once loved. The first ten minutes were probably the best part of the movie, because it leads one to believe that it will be just another great addition to the series. The Big 3 are fresh out of jail and appear to be back to their old ways, but once it was revealed that Julian would be following through with his auto body shop, the movie shifted into neutral and stayed there.

I guess I just have high expectations. As an American, I never saw any of the shows on their original air dates and only caught wind of the series a few years ago when Comedy Central aired The Big Dirty. I would come to watch every episode on google video in about a month's time, and not once did I feel that any of the show's themes had become played out. It took brilliant writing to keep answering the same question over and over, "How many different ways can these guys keep breaking the law and keep pissing off Lahey?" The biggest disappointment for me was the character of J Roc. He was my favorite character on the show, but when dealing with white guys who think they are black (in entertainment and in everyday life), there is a very fine line that makes you love guy for being so ridiculous or hating him for trying to be something he is not. On the show, J Roc was always on the hilarious side of that line, but in Liquor Day he had a new found chip on his shoulder that he never had in the series. At no point did he ever try to clown anybody, it just seemed as if he was always complaining.

Underdevelopment was also an issue. So little was done to develop the subplot of Ricky growing dope on his own that it was hard to care when Lahey ruined everything. The series would spend so much time and involve every step of whatever scheme Ricky and the boys were doing that you really felt for them when everything backfired. In the case of Liquor Day, meh, who cares? The part at the end which finds Lahey atop the bank threatening to jump is the epitome of the caricature point I brought up earlier. He had always been the bumbling trailer park supervisor that was a drunk, but in a comedic way. By the end of the movie one almost feels concern for him as he brings a darker side to how sick he really is (I am in no way saying alcoholism is not a serious matter, but in the series it was always portrayed very lightheartedly).

What was missing was Barb. Barb always had a way of sobering up Lahey just in her presence alone. Lahey would try to be a bad ass to everyone else in the park, but as soon as she showed up it was like she had him by the balls and he was pleading that she wouldn't twist.

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