Friday, January 1, 2016

The Grand (2007)

Director: Zak Penn

Writers: Zak Penn, Mat Bierman

Composer: Stephen Endelman

Starring: Woody Harrelson, David Cross, Dennis Farina, Cheryl Hines, Richard Kind, Chris Parnell, Werner Herzog, Jason Alexander, Ray Romano, Mike Epps, Judy Greer, Gabe Kaplan, Michael Karnow, Michael McKean, Julie Claire, Barry Corbin, Shannon Elizabeth, Estelle Harris, Andrew Hill Newman, Andrea Savage, Hank Azaria, Brett Ratner, David Pressman, Tom Hodges, Tommy 'Tiny' Lister

More info: IMDb

Tagline: A comedy about the fine art of losing

Plot: Woody Harrelson stars as One-Eyed Jack Faro, a not-quite-fully-rehabbed gambler, party monster, and serial marry-er hoping to save his late grandfather's hotel-casino by winning $10 million cash at The Grand Championship Of Poker. But first he'll have to beat a Vegas field of geeks, gurus, online amateurs, greedy developers, ruthless housewives, old-school pros and more of the top players in the world for the largest prize in poker history.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

Hey, kids, when's the last time you saw Gabe Kaplan in anything?  I know, right?  It's been forever and six weeks.  Looking at his credits, this is the last thing he's been in and that was only the 9th screen project since his classic 70s show, WELCOME BACK, KOTTER.  I love this guy.  He needs to be seen (by me) more.  Oh, yeah, the picture.  It's pretty damn funny.  It's well cast and everyone gets their moments of funny.  Word on the street is most of this mockumentary was improvised.  At an hour and forty minutes this thing flies by super quick.  The pacing is amazing.  It's a fun picture even if you're not a fan of poker or watching poker tournaments.  That's just a means of getting these folks together.  The two commentators are hilarious.  Hell, the whole cast is fun but Kaplan, Farina and Corbin had me laughing out loud.  The Anchor Bay DVD has a nice anamorphic widescreen print with lots of extras (YAY) including a commentary from the director and his writing partner, an alternate ending (with optional commentary), deleted scenes (with optional commentary), select scenes with commentary from Zak Penn along with some of the main cast, Player Profiles which is a couple of minutes of each character introducing themselves as they did in the film but from outtakes (VERY funny), and the theatrical and TV trailers (both anamorphic widescreen).  You can get it new on Amazon for $4 and free shipping (Prime).  It's an easy blind buy. 

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