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Polka King, The

Director:  Maya Forbes
Year Released:  2017
Rating:  2.0

Gregarious Polka King Jan Lewan (Jack Black), ambitious but low on cash, lets the elderly folk from his Hazleton, Pennsylvania community "invest" in him - with the promise of "12% returns" - which alarms the Securities and Exchange Commission (represented by J.B. Smoove) ... but the Polski Scheme gets larger and larger, and when Lewan helps rig a Mrs. Pennsylvania Beauty Pageant for his wife Marla (Jenny Slate) to win, that's what triggers his downfall. Black seems to enjoy playing these anti-hero types - I'm reminded of his role as Bernie Tiede - but this unfolds in an unsurprising manner, relying too much on Black's fake accent and snake-oil salesman smirk to make it 'work': he's a skuzzy weasel, but at least he's charming about it. According to reports, he ripped off several hundred (!) people from multiple states ... and only had to serve roughly six years for it - talk about a soft sentence (although the stabbing he endured in prison was probably less painful than listening to his music).

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