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Still from Joe Dante’s Gremlins (1984)

Gremlins Poolhall Junkies

Poolhall Junkies ★★½

Watched as part of the July 2017 Letterboxd Scavenger Hunt
My list | Dex B's master list
#11: An unseen film from Ivica Pusticki's "Films You Must See Before You Die" list, rated 3.2 or under

2017 movie viewings, #96. Not a lot to say about this one, because it turned out to be as mediocre as its reputation has it, and the only reason I picked it up was to see whether there was any good footage of actual pool games being played. Spoiler alert -- there is -- but this unfortunately doesn't make up for the weak first-time script by Mars Callahan, who also directs and stars; a wannabe character drama about the hard lives of full-time gamblers, Callahan has the problem of making parts of the script too simplistic and other parts too head-scratching, then fills this byzantine story with a series of repulsive bro-types whose every line of dialogue will make you cringe in Entourage-type horror. Perhaps the greatest sin of all, though, is managing to get Christopher Walken to come on board for this movie, then plunking him in an "elder statesman" role where all he gets to do is sit around the edge of a billiards table for two hours, mugging amazed reaction shots to all the pool being played around him, while standing up every half-hour or so and shouting, "I'LL cover that young man's bet!" One of those movies that twenty years ago would've been the exact kind of middling filler eating up Sunday afternoons on syndicated television stations ("POOLhall JUNKies...starring CHRIStopher WALKen...will reTURN in a MOment"), it should be watched in this "just killing time" spirit if watched at all.

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