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Poolhall Junkies

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Product Details

  • Actors: Chazz Palminteri, Alison Eastwood, Christopher Walken, Michael Rosenbaum, Rod Steiger
  • Directors: Mars Callahan
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 4.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 4.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: April 28, 2009
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000A2ZTZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,901 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Poolhall Junkies" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Johnny was a poolhall hustler, one of the best, until he discovered how his manager Joe had ruined his life. he left Joe int he 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. Johnny's younger brother Danny is eager to follow in his footsteps -- eager enough to find himself deep in debt to Joe, who has returned with a new poolhall protege. When Danny robs a store to pay back Joe, it's time for his big brother to take his cue. The final game has a payoff that's bigger than money, bigger than life, bigger than either player can imagine. Because somewhere on the edge of the 8-ball waits a man's soul.

DVD Features:
Audio Commentary:Audio commentary with Mars Callahan and Chris Corso
Biographies:Cast and crew bios
Interactive Menus
Scene Access
Theatrical Trailer:Original theatrical trailer

Customer Reviews

Christopher Walken in a small role is fantastic.
As a result of his weak performance, the film lacks the intensity and grit it needs to succeed.
Roland E. Zwick
If you like to shoot pool, even a little bit, you will love this indie type movie even more.
Wave meister

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By The Jaundiced Eye on August 3, 2006
Format: DVD
The story of how this movie got made is almost as entertaining as the result. A talented pool player, Mars Callahan, wrote the script and sold it, much like Quentin Tarrantino and True Romance, but the script languished on the shelf for ten years. At this point, Callahan decided to take personal control and get the movie made. Somehow, he persuaded noted stars like Rod Steiger, Chazz Palminteri, Christopher Walken, etc. to appear in it, while he would assume the role of author, star, and director. How he accomplished this feat would be an excellent subject for a documentary film (like Overnight, but this time with a heroic principle character).

Mars Callahan has remarkable swagger and presence for a relative newcomer, especially in the company of such a distinguished cast. His personality and appearance remind me of a young Christopher Walken, and their scenes together are riveting.

Regardless of the history, the resulting movie is a bit uneven but overall very entertaining. The roles are cleverly written (possibly why noted actors were willing to play them) and very well portrayed. The pool shooting is first rate. Indeed, they accomplish the difficult task of making the pool games dramatic, original, and suspenseful. There is a lot of humor, very little violence (by today's standards), and no skin/sex. Instead, the movie relies on a generally excellent script and skillful characterization to thoroughly entertain rather than shock, nauseate, or deafen....an accomplishment that is becoming increasingly rare.

The weakness, in my opinion, is that the younger brother (Michael Rosenbaum) and his three pool-playing buddies are a little juvenile, with banter and antics reminiscent of American Graffiti or American Pie.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Glenn A. Buttkus on March 31, 2004
Format: DVD
Gregory Mars Martin (Callahan), aka Mars Callahan, has given us a chunk of his heart, and great waves of youthful enthusiasm. Callahan, an accomplished pool player, and his hustler buddy Chris Corso, wrote this screenplay. It was shopped around for over ten years, and now it has emerged as a sterling Indie; something to aspire to. It was filmed in Salt Lake City, but little was made of that. It could have been any large city.
His directorial style is sideswipe close to that of Edward Burns; urban, hip, gritty, and intelligent. Hopefully Callahan has some other ideas, and he will follow up with new projects.
Callahan obviously loves movies, and he has given himself the lead part; Johnny Doyle. As it turns out, he is a gifted actor. Roger Ebert called him," McQueen cool.". Another critic, a cretin, called him," Vince Vaughn lite.". Ebert wrote further,
" This is a young man's film, humming with the joy of making it.".
One can't help but to notice when Callahan makes his first appearance on the screen that he does have a tall lanky hip young Christopher Walken persona. Brilliantly for the film, Walken himself was cast in the movie. In an early scene, when he and Walken share the frame, Walken said," I noticed you right away; the hair. Are we related ? " The movie is laden with other movie-lover's moments; tongue-in-cheek and over the top.
If a person likes to shoot pool, this film will be smoky eye candy. The cons, the chatter, the grifts, and the trick shots; all slip by smoothly. You can hear the echo in the pool room, and smell the chalk, the felt on the tables, and the cigar smoke. You hear those ceramic balls crash together in a macho symphony of staccato clanks; and what a lovely sound it is.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ken Jensen on April 23, 2007
Format: DVD
If you dig the whole interaction of a well oiled machine-like crew of witty, bantering guys too young to yet be jaded but playing in grownup world then this is for you. I LOVED the back and forth in the dialogue between the buddies. And they're just the backdrop material. The conversations between everyone were just gutter poetry. Chazz and Christopher are right on the money with everything about themselves that I like to see in a movie. The lead character is in control even when he's OUT of control. There is a smooth flow to this flick that makes me think of the perfect Seven and Seven. Goes down easy and you're glad you ordered it. Had a nice seedy feel to it whenever the action was in the poolhalls. This film makes you wish you could hang out with these characters for just one night.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jim on September 20, 2003
Format: DVD
I initially heard about this movie in a pool league newsletter I get, however, I could never find it, and it never came around to Atlanta. I accidently found it the other day, and after watching it last night, I must say I like it the most of the few pool-based movies I've seen. It's a well produced/edited film, but doesn't have the glitzy commercial feel of a mega blockbuster.
I liked the lead role played by Gregory Mars Martin (Callahan). I think it allowed me to focus a little more on the movie than on some mega star (read Cruise in Color of Money.. hated that one). Granted, his character didn't seem as deep as some of the others in the movie, I didn't think it detracted from the movie at all.
As for Rick Schroder, I agree with some of the other reviewers in saying he played the part of a cold, calculating (and quiet) hustler very well. He's made great in-roads into drama from his beginnings and hope to see more serious roles from him.
The other actors also helped move this movie along. Walken is in his typical supporting role (a little more of him would have been nice, though, given the sometimes dark mood of the movie).
Being an avid pool player myself, I enjoyed the scenes of the hustling (verbal and table play), and the trick shots. However, there was footage of some shots re-used a few times throughout the movie. And I didn't like the way it portrayed everyone as needing to drill every shot (minor nitpick).
In the end, I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a good pool/hustler movie.
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