directed by Joe Heslinga

starring Tommy Adkisson, Mike Bowers, Frédéric Collignon

In that dark era before video games pocketed all the entertainment quarters, hip guys and gals played foosball. It’s table top soccer that requires quick reactions and demands enough strategy to keep it interesting. We follow the history of the game from its introduction after World War 2, its explosive growth in the 1970’s and its collapse as Donkey Kong and Pac Man ate its lunch. Like all entertainments, it hasn’t gone way, but its following is small and aging. They meet up in tournaments complete with high energy sports casters describing the action. It’s a professional sport, wrought small. We follow six of the top players as they fight it out for the world’s championship in Louisville, KY. Families get involved, and there are 12-year-old girls playing the game who will kick your but down the video arcade and all the way back to Blockbuster.

Is there enough excitement here to force a comeback? Perhaps, perhaps not. The game offers an appealing retro element and needs great hand/eye coordination and better yet, there is no video screen blasting bad 8-bit music. The filmmaker carefully introduces the characters, their backgrounds and motivations. A doctor, a pot farmer and a man who makes his living at the sport gives us a good cross section of America. Where things drag lies in the lovingly detailed tournament at the end of the film; it seems endless, and the actual foosball action happens so fast it demands a few slo-mo camera shots to let us see just what happens before the ball drops in the goal, I love the people in here, and I’d happily share a beer with them, but I’m not stepping up to a table with any of them.

This film was presented as part of the 2019 Florida Film Festival sponsored by the Enzian Theater in Maitland, FL.;

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • General Magic
    General Magic

    General Magic invented the smart phone in 2002, but just couldn’t get it to market. That’s just how they rolled.

  • Blue October
    Blue October

    Alternative 90s rockers Blue October rolled into Central Florida for a two-night run at House of Blues, and Michelle Wilson was blown away.

  • Pahokee

    Pahokee produces sugar cane and poverty, but some the brighter students might make it to the big time with a college degree and a new zip code.

  • Sumo Princess
    Sumo Princess

    When An Electric Storm. (Educational Recordings) Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Laura Valle
    Laura Valle

    Charismatic. Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Ramen Shop
    Ramen Shop

    A young man searches for the secrets of his family and great Ramen.

  • Southern Avenue
    Southern Avenue

    Keep On (Concord Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Don Felder
    Don Felder

    Don Felder took music fans down Eagles’ memory lane at Disney Epcot’s® Garden Rocks Concert Series, and Michelle Wilson loved every nostalgic moment of it.

  • Alfred Sergel IV
    Alfred Sergel IV

    Alfred Sergel IVtet (The Tam Tam Group). Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Tanika Charles
    Tanika Charles

    The Gumption (Record Kicks). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

From the Archives