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HTF REVIEW: "4 Dogs Playing Poker"

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#1 of 2 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul

  • 42,152 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted December 08 2001 - 04:20 PM

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4 Dogs Playing Poker

Now that all the big titles are out for the

fourth quarter, the studios are now hoping that

you will take a look at some of their lesser-known

releases that will be making their way to store

shelves over the next few weeks.

I received a small handful of Warner titles that

I had never heard of. They all seem to be sleeper

titles that although did not play wide theatrically,

they received some sort of critical acclaim. One

such title, 4 Dogs Playing Poker, seems to

have been showing at a few film festivals and

receiving small critical praise.

I took a chance and spent the evening watching

this 92 minute film that stars a relatively new

cast of talents working with veteran actors

Forest Whitaker, Tim Curry and George Lazenby.

To tell too much about what happens in this

film will ultimately spoil the surprise. I can

tell you that four friends owe a crime lord $1

million. These four friends devise a scheme where

they will take out a $1 million life insurance

policy, draw a playing card, and pending on the

outcome one of the four becomes the victim and

another the killer.

The film was pretty darn good and should keep

your interests throughout. As a viewer, you are

kept in the dark untill the very end as to who

the victim and killer really are, as you go through

interesting plot twists that are sure to keep

you entertained. The cast of newcomers that

include Stacy Edwards, Balthazar Getty and

Daniel London all give terrific performances.

Of course, it's great to see Curry, and

Lazenby round out the cast. Special note goes

out to Whitaker who plays a tough Crime Lord

not willing to negotiate.

It's unfortunate that this entertaining release

is marred by inferior transfer quality. Picture

is very grainy throughout, and at times, looks

like a VHS transfer. Though presented in Dolby

Digital 5.1, I found the sound to be lackluster

with minimal action in the surround channels.

There are no extras on the disc other than the

theatrical trailer.

This is the sort of film I would recommend as

a rental only. It's one of those films you

should select when you browse the aisles looking

for something a little different. You can then

take it home, watch, and decide if the title

will be worth purchasing.

Release Date: December 11, 2001


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner


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#2 of 2 OFFLINE   Rollie


    Stunt Coordinator

  • 218 posts
  • Join Date: May 30 2000

Posted December 09 2001 - 09:09 AM

Thank you Ron! This is a movie I've been wanting to check out for a while. I was reading about some of Lazenby's movies on IMDB, and I ran across this one. However, it didn't have any video information. I'll definitely be picking it up come the eleventh.
"Some people play hard to get, I play hard to want."

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