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Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game

Directed by Austin Bragg and Meredith Bragg
Produced by Tony Glazer, Lana Link, Summer Crockett Moore, Stacey Parks, and Rob Pfaltzgraff
Written by Austin Bragg and Meredith Bragg
With: Mike Faist, Crystal Reed, Dennis Boutsikaris, Christopher Convery, Connor Ratliff, Mike Doyle, Damian Young, Bryan Batt, Todd Susman, Kenneth Tigar, and Toby Regbo
Cinematography: Jon Keng
Editing: Michelle Botticelli
Music: Rob Barbato
Runtime: 95 min
Release Date: 17 March 2023
Color: Color

This oddly structured docudrama comedy tells the true(ish) story of pinball lover Roger Sharpe and his heroic fight to legalize the pastime in New York City, where it was considered an illegal game of chance and banned from legit places of business. Sharpe is played in a fiercely committed performance by Mike Faist, wherein a fake mustache so bad the makeup folks should be committed. The older Sharpe, played with sardonic distance by Dennis Boutsikaris, narrates the film as he is interviewed about how things went down. Once you get used to the conceit of the elder Sharpe wandering in and out of scenes with his younger self and commenting on the proceedings, the film is perfectly watchable. This is largely do to the two lead actors, who both have a lot of self-deprecating carisma. But this is one of those true stories that someone discovered, and it seemed wacky it just had to become a movie because of how wacky a true story it is.