6.9/10
9,428
116 user 42 critic

Poolhall Junkies (2002)

A talented pool hustler who has stayed out of the game for years, must go back to his old ways when his little brother gets involved with his enemy, the very man who held him back from greatness.

Director:

Mars Callahan
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chazz Palminteri ... Joe
Ricky Schroder ... Brad (as Rick Schroder)
Rod Steiger ... Nick
Michael Rosenbaum ... Danny
Mars Callahan ... Johnny
Alison Eastwood ... Tara
Phillip Glasser ... Max
Anson Mount ... Chris
Glenn Plummer ... Chico
Richard Portnow ... Toupee Jay
Ernie Reyes Jr. ... Tang
Peter Mark Richman ... Phillip
Christopher Walken ... Mike
Mike Massey Mike Massey ... Louis
Orien Richman ... Brett
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Storyline

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 <ryanmcintosh02@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

money | hustler | jail | beating | revenge | See All (127) »

Taglines:

Being hooked on the game could cost you your life. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 February 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Poolhall Junkies See more »

Filming Locations:

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$301,856, 2 March 2003

Gross USA:

$563,711

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$563,711
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rod Steiger's last film. See more »

Goofs

The people standing behind Johnny when he bets Chico $20,000, change twice between shots. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Doyle: How about I tell you where you got your shoes. If I win, you give me a job. If I lose you can have my ring.
Merv: Deal. But you're never going to get that job, Johnny, and here's why. I bought these shoes on a cruise in international waters, so no matter what you say, you're wrong.
Johnny Doyle: But Merv, I didn't say I would tell you where you'd bought 'em, I said I'd tell you where you got 'em, and right now you got 'em on your feet.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits, a brief scene is played where Danny and Max bet Chris and Tang that Scarlet's breasts are fake. See more »


Soundtracks

Cap N Crunch
Written by P.C. Irving and Tim Bryson
Published by JRM Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Megatrax Production Music, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good hustle
4 May 2016 | by pyrocitorSee all my reviews

You wouldn't be wrong for mistaking Poolhall Junkies as a cocky vanity project for writer/director/star Gregory 'Mars' Callahan (who looks like Jason Lee and Casey Affleck had an affably obnoxious man-baby). Still, it's a slick, snappy sports romp, propelled by a spectacular funky score, and, with the help of some choice casting, more fun than it has any right to be. The story is a tale as old as time, but Callahan wisely ricochets off the main criticism with the most beloved Paul Newman pool precedents (too much talk, not enough pool!), and recognizes that a sterling sports movie is made in its games, not the background drama. The pool hall scenes are flawlessly shot (pun!) with vivacious, crackling energy, and plentiful enough to keep the film breezy and bumping.

The writing on the whole is about as high school calibre as you'd expect, from the hip smack talk posturing which reaches eye-rolling heights at times, to each and every poor female characters, risibly written as 'Male Love Interest Validation Device 101' (Alison Eastwood - yes, Clint's daughter - gamely shoulders the worst of this). Still, some exchanges are goofy enough to genuinely raise laughs, and the cast are all so visibly relaxed and cheery it's hard not to take to them. Callahan himself aces the cocksure swagger, which is enough to carry him through his less impressive melodramatic asides, and he shares some good banter with his younger brother, played by Smallville's Michael Rosenbaum, who, with hair, recalls the wholesome cheekiness of a young Paul Rudd.

Chazz Palminteri's thuggish backer-turned-mortal enemy and Christopher Walken's 'Daddy Warbucks deus ex-machina' may be dopily motivated plot devices rather than characters, but they're both hugely charismatic enough to make it worth the while. Palminteri may be the most stereotypical mobster actor in the industry, but he pours on the threat here, while Walken matches him with enough sly jubilance to reaffirm him as the coolest cat around, owning two characteristic monologues, and nailing an impossibly hard trick shot in one take. Finally, Rod Steiger is delightfully gruff as the pool hall owner with a heart of gold in his final film appearance here.

There are few surprises here as the plot doles out, but the hustling extends beyond the narrative: Poolhall Junkies is too jaunty and enjoyable not to take to. It's not as thought out or engaging as The Hustler (or even The Colour of Money), but Callahan keeps things energetic throughout, and benefits from going shot for shot between pool and drama. Whenever the balls are racked and James Brown blares, Poolhall Junkies has too much moxie not to drink the kool aid, and soak up the sweat of the pool hall anew.

-7/10


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