Case Number 23383: Small Claims Court


Lionsgate // 2011 // 101 Minutes // Rated PG
Reviewed by Judge Roy Hrab (Retired) // February 25th, 2012

The Charge

This is where legends are made.

The Case

Game Time is another mediocre straight-to-video release. Case in point: the film depicts childhood trauma via a flashback of the protagonist (as a young child) being berated by his father. But that's not all. The father is hurling abuse at a child playing basketball with one of those mini-tiny tots basketball sets. Parental abuse is a serious issue, but this is so inept that it ranks as one of the most laughably bad scenes I've ever seen.

What are the aspirations of Game Time? I'm not exactly sure. It appears to be some kind of a fusion of White Men Can't Jump and Highlander. The main difference being that those movies were entertaining while Game Time is an infuriatingly inane piece of work.

The premise is that Vance (Phil Haus) and his mother have fled from their abusive father/husband by moving from Wisconsin to New York City. At his new high school, Vance meets Jules (Jason Hurt). Vance has basketball skills, so Jules talks him into forming a two-man team to play cash games around the city. However, Jules has higher aspirations; he thinks their team is good enough to win a big money, underground tournament called "The Gathering." There can be only one (winning team). Yup. Whatever.

If you even watch enough of Game Time to understand "The Gathering," you will have witnessed horribly wooden actors reciting horribly vacuous dialogue. And let's not forget the horrible subplots involving a ridiculously ripped Vance playing basketball against his old, out-of-shape father in some kind of loser leaves town game. There's also a trite romantic thread with Vance and a melodramatic accident involving Jules's little brother. What's worse, every time the plot runs out of steam, the filmmakers throw in a meaningless basketball duel. This film barely has enough story to last thirty minutes.

The production values are reflective of a low budget film. Presented in standard definition 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, the colors are soft and the picture lacks detail. The Dolby 5.1 Surround track is passable. The lone extra is a trailer.

Game Time is just another film that will end-up in the dustbin of straight-to-video history.

The Verdict


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Scales of Justice
Judgment: 10

Perp Profile
Studio: Lionsgate
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)

* English (SDH)
* Spanish

Running Time: 101 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Rated PG

Distinguishing Marks
* Trailer

* IMDb