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The Squeeze DVD Review

July 8, 2015 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
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The Squeeze DVD Review  

The Squeeze DVD Review

TheSqueezeDVD

Jeremy Sumpter– Augie
Christopher McDonald– Riverboat
Jillian Murray– Natalie
Michael Nouri– Jimmy Diamonds
Mekia Cox– Lana
Jason Dohring– Aaron Bolt
Katherine LaNasa– Jessie
David O’Donnell– John Tom
Elliott Grey– Raymond

Directed by Terry Jastrow
Screenplay by Terry Jastrow

Distributed by Arc Entertainment

Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, language, drug material, and thematic elements
Runtime– 95 minutes

Buy it here

The Squeeze, written and directed by Terry Jastrow, is one of the best low budget “Christian themed” movies I’ve ever seen. Instead of hitting the audience over the head with “praise Jesus” nonsense and extended sequences of people praying and talking about how much they love God and hate hell and whatnot, the movie spends most of its time telling a sort of underdog sports story, something that most Christian themed movies would never think of doing because… I don’t know why. Most of them just don’t do it. The Squeeze certainly isn’t a perfect movie and loses its mind at the end (I’ll explain) but it is watchable and, in its own way, kind of fun.

The movie stars Jeremy Sumpter as Augie, a young golf prodigy with dreams of making it into big time pro golf one day. Despite his prowess on the links, Augie doesn’t have the connections or money to get into the pro ranks just yet. He’s also worried about abandoning his Mother and sister, as his stepfather (Raymond, as played by Elliott Grey) is an abusive piece of shit. So while keeping an eye on them and, for the lack of a better word, protecting them, Augie does odd jobs around town and saves his money. He’s going to be a pro golfer one day. He is.

One day, out of the blue, a man named Riverboat (Christopher McDonald) shows up in town and tries to get Augie to “work” for him. Riverboat is a small time gambler and hustler always on the lookout for his next “big” opportunity and he believes that Augie can be the one that helps him get that big opportunity. See, gambling on golf is a great way for hustlers like Riverboat to make money, and if it all works out Riverboat and his babe, Jessie (Katherine LaNasa) can move on to bigger and better things. Augie is sort of interested in the prospect of making big money via gambling as he would be able to provide more for his Mother and sister and keep his asshole stepfather away. However, Augie’s girlfriend Natalie (Jillian Murray) advises against hooking up with Riverboat at all. Riverboat represents too easy money and is, essentially, the devil in Natalie’s eyes, and making a deal with the Devil, regardless of the reason, never works out in the end. After some brief soul searching, Augie agrees to work with/for Riverboat and make some money. Augie really needs it.

Augie’s business relationship with Riverboat starts paying off immediately and he’s able to bring some big time money into his house. His stepfather goes away, he’s able to pay for his sister’s expensive cheerleading outfit, and he has real money in his pocket for the first time in his life. Everything is great. Except Natalie, pissed that her boyfriend decided to hook up with the slimy Riverboat, doesn’t want anything to do with Augie anymore. He’s gone down the wrong path and she doesn’t want to go to hell.

So then some stuff happens, Augie wins more and more money, and Riverboat asks him to go to Las Vegas with him and play in a “big money” match. And by “big money” Riverboat means one million dollars. Augie jumps at the chance to go to Vegas, thinking it will be all fun and money. As soon as he gets to Vegas, though, Augie’s life starts turning to shit. His opponent in the “big money” match is employed by Jimmy Diamonds (the great Michael Nouri), a ruthless local Vegas mobster with a deadly reputation. Augie starts drinking hard liquor, something that he isn’t used to. He also gets mugged while drunk. And then he tries to hook up with a mega hot lounge singer (Lana, as played by Mekia Fox) he rescues from a brutish customer. While bedding Lana (oh my God, look at that underwear!) Diamonds appears and, after finding out that Lana is one of Diamonds’ henchpeople, tells Augie that if he doesn’t deliberately throw the big match he will die.

Die? Over a golf match? Screw that! So Augie tries to leave Las Vegas. However, Riverboat can’t allow his golfer to leave town without playing. So Riverboat, suddenly a big time mobster gangster type, threatens Augie and Augie’s family. If Augie loses he dies and his family dies. If he wins he dies. If he loses he dies. Augie is stuck in “The Squeeze” (that’s what the title means).

The movie’s “Christianity” is a big deal at the beginning of the movie. God loves everyone, Augie wears a cross prominently, and there’s a big scene where Riverboat falls asleep in a church while listening to a raucous choir. Augie’s family also prays before eating. However, the “Christianity” goes away after about thirty minutes and then the movie becomes more of a sports movie. The movie’s moral message picks up again when Augie starts experiencing bad thing in Vegas but it isn’t overwhelming like at the beginning of the movie. The movie does feature several “make out” scenes where people not in wedlock have sex off screen. You never see that kind of thing in a “Christian” movie. There’s also quite a bit of swearing in the movie, including one hilarious “f” bomb by Michael Nouri’s Jimmy Diamonds that will shock you because you just don’t expect it.

The movie’s ending is probably going to confuse people because it is so very different from the rest of the movie. It comes out of nowhere, features the main characters engaging in behavior that is out of the norm established earlier in the movie, and is kind of messed up. I mean, would devout Christians really do what they do at the end of The Squeeze? I have my doubts. I like the ending, it’s kind of funny, sure, but it’s also very, very unexpected.

The DVD cover features multiple quotes from real life pro golfers who claim that the movie’s golf scenes are “authentic.” I have no idea what that means, but if you’re a golf aficionado you may appreciate whatever the hell the pro golfers are saying on the DVD cover.

The performances are generally good. Sumpter is a decent enough as Augie. You like him and root for him to make the right decisions while hoping that he wakes up before he gets in over his head with the shifty Riverboat. Jillian Murray is kind of annoying as Natalie at the beginning as she’s the most religious character in the movie. However, you start to understand where she’s coming from because you see what she sees and you, like her, want Augie to make the right decision. Murray also knows how to rock short shorts and a super short pink golf skirt, and that kind of thing is always important.

Christopher McDonald is the movie’s MVP as Riverboat. He’s a total scumbag and piece of shit but he’s so much fun and so charismatic that you enjoy every single second he’s onscreen. You will absolutely love it when he makes change in the collection plate at church. And you’ll also dig his sort of retro attire. Riverboat always looks like he’s about fifty years behind the times in terms of his clothing. I would like to know why the Riverboat character morphs from a small time hustler trying to make one big score to a limo riding gangster at the end of the movie. I mean, was he always that gangster or is there a missing sequence where his ascension is explained? If only the DVD had a behind the scenes featurette or a director’s commentary with Jastrow to explain what the hell is really going on.

And Michael Nouri is hilarious as Jimmy Diamonds. He completely commits to the role and clearly relishes coming off as a gruff asshole. And his “F” bomb is a thing of beauty. He also has great adversarial chemistry with McDonald. He fucking despises McDonald’s Riverboat and he has no problem showing it. Great stuff from the alien hunting Tom Beck.

I liked The Squeeze more than I thought I would. It’s not a great movie or anything like that, but it’s good enough to check out. Christopher McDonald is brilliant in the movie, and for that reason alone the movie is worth seeing.

So, yeah, if you can find it you should check out The Squeeze. See it.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: Maybe 1, but it’s off screen so maybe it doesn’t count. So, yeah, no dead bodies.

Explosions: None.

Nudity?: I wish. Mekia Cox. Jillian Murray. Oh, yeah.

Doobage: A beatdown, young people fucking around with golf clubs, charity, a very nice pool scene where a hot babe shows off her white bikini top, a man falls asleep in church, potential penny pitching, a one handed putt, attempted sex on the couch, bullshit about people wearing hats inside, attempted fight, mild profanity, manual labor, a nifty cigarette truck, talk of potential tax evasion, a question of whether or not armadillos have balls, golf bag thrown in the water, throwing a playing card into a watermelon, trophy breaking, driving practice, a “baby in a dumpster” story that is incredibly depressing, the streets of Las Vegas, a big card game, pizza delivery, golf hustling, a funny “mirror on the ceiling” bit, vodka drinks, a mugging, a mega hot female lounge singer, massive frustration, a very skimpy pink golf skirt, and an ending that comes out of nowhere.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: Pictures of Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus on the wall of a young man’s bedroom, cross country golf, Christianity, a church choir, Christopher McDonald, Christopher McDonald falling asleep in church, Christopher McDonald making change in the church collection plate, bare feet on the dashboard, local golf match on the radio, golf talk, hot chick learning French, grace before dinner, a jellyfish fist bump, house painting, a drunk asshole stepfather, mention of Lee Trevino, Michael Nouri, cutting cards, denigration of delivered pizza, bondage porno on the hotel TV, a white stretched limo, the Wynn hotel golf course, the IRS, and an ending that comes out of nowhere.

Best lines: “What are you doing? I’m playing golf. I love golf,” “Good afternoon, sir, and good afternoon to your hat,” “I’m sorry, sir, but I don’t gamble,” “Look who is growing some balls,” “Smart asses don’t make it to the promised land,” “Nothing wrong with manual labor,” “So, it never is what it seems?,” “Is there no place to hide from you?,” “To kill a shark all you have to do is think like a shark,” “Going my way, gorgeous?,” “Baby, you’re doing it for the right cause, but it’s not the right solution,” “Did your mama ever tell you that it’s impolite to wear a hat indoors?,” “Don’t ever call me brother again,” “Do you want a piece? You gotta be kidding. I don’t eat delivered pizza,” “Do you know this asshole?,” “You bring your gunslinger. I’ll bring mine,” “Fucking clown,” “Who’s the broad?,” “FBI my ass. We’re being arrested by the Taliban,” and “May the worst man lose.”

Movie rating: 7.0/10.0

DVD Info

The Squeeze is presented in widescreen. This version is seen in a “letter box” format that preserves the “scope” aspect ratio of the movie’s original theatrical exhibition. The image has also been enhanced for widescreen TV’s. The picture is a little hazy at times but it looks like that was the way the movie was shot. It’s supposed to look like that.

Audio Info: The Squeeze has 5.1 Dolby Digital sound.

Special Features:

We get trailers for Louder Than Words, Horse Camp, A Little Game, and The Squeeze. It would have been nice to have some sort of behind the scenes documentary or a director’s commentary track, but for whatever reason we don’t get either. I want to hear what writer/director Terry Jastrow has to say about his movie. I really do.

7.0
The final score: review Good
The 411
The Squeeze is one of the best low budget “Christian” themed movies I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen more than I care to admit and almost all of them have been terrible. The Squeeze is more interested in being a movie than a piece of religious propaganda, and that is a breath of fresh air. The ending is from a different movie, but there are some fine performances and the story is decent enough. Christopher McDonald is awesome.
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