Under Review

September 26, 2004

The most pressing question left unanswered in Hu$tle, ESPN's movie about Pete Rose (Sept. 25, 9 p.m.), isn't What is Peter Bogdanovich doing directing this? It's What is that thing on Tom Sizemore's head? Wearing a ridiculous wig, Sizemore is an unconvincing Charlie Hustle, and so we learn little about Rose--except that he listened to really bad music (he washes his car to Mick Jagger and David Bowie's Dancing in the Streets) and he owned a collection of silk shirts that would make Paulie Walnuts cringe. The film's most interesting character is one of the sycophantic ne'er-do-wells that Rose surrounded himself with. (In one scene a member of Rose's posse hits for the flunky cycle, snorting coke then injecting himself with steroids while placing a bet on the phone.) Paul Janszen (Dash Mihok) is a slow-witted nice guy whose desire to be pals with his idol leads him to start placing Rose's bets. When a bookie calls Janszen with a threat to break his legs, he begins to feel in over his head. He tries to tell Rose he wants out, but he caves after Rose gives him a simple, "Oh, yeah, so we're not buddies anymore?" and a cheap watch. It's a compelling scene, but like the film's opening montage of Rose slapping hits as he closes in on Ty Cobb, Hu$tle delivers only the occasional sharp single, never a home run. --M.B.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)