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Kiss Shot
cast: Whoopi Goldberg, Dennis Franz, Tasha Scott, David Marciano, and Teddy Wilson

director: Jerry London

88 minutes (PG) 1989
Prism Leisure DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 4/10
reviewed by Martin Drury
In the hallowed halls of the movie industry there sits a book with: 'The Rules of the Business' engraved upon it in gold leaf. This bible of the industry dictates what a director and his crew should and should not do when creating a movie. One of the main rules on movie construction, detailed towards the back of the book, is that you should never construct a motion picture around a sport. Jamaica has a bobsleigh team. Nobody cares. Movies about ice hockey are doomed to be repeated ad nausea on American television at Christmas and baseball films fall flat on their faces as acting talent is replaced by a photogenic appearance and the ability to hit a ball for a short distance.

Kiss Shot is about Pool. Once again, Whoopi Goldberg plays a downtrodden woman living on limited money and borrowed time. This time, Goldberg calls herself Sarah Collins. Sarah Collins has a daughter to take care of and a house to save. To do both, she must compete in a series of Pool tournaments, coached by the fat detective with the hooked nose (Dennis Franz) from NYPD Blue, taunted by the tall bald cop (David Marciano) from Due South and torn apart by some guy she fell in love with who turned out to be a two-timing scoundrel (Teddy Wilson).

Goldberg is unconvincing throughout and her confrontations with her uncaring parents about money are tedious to the point of ennui. Franz looks like he's seconds away from challenging Batman for dominion over Gotham City as the Penguin. The idea that he's a top-notch Pool coach is laughable and it's impossible to take Franz's character seriously or like him as a person, especially when Franz's character jokingly hits on Sarah Collins' 14-year-old daughter. The love interest is pathetic and you'll see the confrontation between Collins and her lover's bit on the side coming hours before the rest of the cast catch on.

The film is made all the more irritating by the cheesy, frenetic, misplaced 1980s' music that accompanies each long, drawn out Pool session. The soundtrack features little more than lift music gone mad and synthesises dance music with a dodgy electronic edge appears to be the order of the day in the Kiss Shot universe.

This vanilla DVD release robs you of any extras or special features and instead the Prism Corporation treats one to a chapter selection facility and a brief look at the DVD covers of future vanilla releases. The picture quality is superb and - unfortunately - the sound quality is above par, which means that you can hear the nonsensical dialogue and the cheesy music all in crystal clear digital sound. Kiss Shot is a film devoid of notable performances from any of its cast members and Marciano is the only person in the entire film interested in portraying a believable character. Resist the temptation to pocket this vanilla DVD release and instead, if you must watch Pool being played on television, purchase a satellite television package and pay attention to the sports channels.

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