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Lay the Favorite [Blu-ray] (2012)

Bruce Willis , Catherine Zeta-Jones , Stephen Frears  |  R |  Blu-ray
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.99
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Frequently Bought Together

Lay the Favorite [Blu-ray] + Playing for Keeps (+UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] + This Is 40 (Unrated Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)
Price for all three: $48.63

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joshua Jackson, Rebecca Hall
  • Directors: Stephen Frears
  • Format: Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • DVD Release Date: March 5, 2013
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00ATP24XC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,217 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Beth Raymer (Rebecca Hall) leaves her dancing job at a Florida strip club to become a Las Vegas cocktail waitress. In walks Dink (Bruce Willis), a professional sports bettor who sees through her bubbly exterior and offers her a job placing wagers all over town to gain an advantage over the casinos. Her surprisingly impeccable mind for numbers soon cements her status as Dink's good-luck charm, until his gorgeous-but-frigid wife, Tulip (Catherine Zeta-Jones), starts to get jealous. Faced with no other choice but to fire Beth, Dink's luck runs out when she heads to New York to work for a smarmy bookie, a turn of events that lands her squarely on the wrong side of the law. Based on a true story, LAY THE FAVORITE is a heartfelt comedy of finding friendship in the least likely places.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars IT'S JUST A HOOK March 31, 2013
Format:DVD
Beth(Rebecca Hall) is a woman who aspires to be a cocktail waitress in Vegas. She has both brains and looks. She ends up working for Dink, a bookie (Bruce Willis) who she develops feelings. Dink has a jealous wife Tulip (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and a bad side when he loses, which causes Beth to get a job elsewhere. Beth eventually gets into trouble and needs help.

The film is based on a true story, so you didn't know where it is headed. The downfall of the film is that it has a narrow appeal. It is basically a modified chick flick. But it is for chicks who know something about book making. The phrase "lay the favorite" means betting against the favorite, i.e. you always take the points and the underdog, you never give points. Bookies make their money by having a balanced book. They need the same amount of money bet on a team as they do against it. They make their money from taking "the juice" which is a percentage of the winnings. If the juice is 10% and you bet $50 even money, you will net $40 in return. In order to balance their books, they will have to move money around and make bets with other books or alter the point spread. The point spread has more to do balancing the books then it does the ability of the teams involved which is why it sometimes changes from the beginning of the week to the end of the week. This allows a smart better to straddle his bet. The key to book making is to do the math and bet with your head, not your heart.

It is not an inside look at the gambling industry per se, but it gives you enough of a glimpse that you feel you need to know what is going on in order to enjoy the movie. The most unbelievable aspect of the film is that with all the money Dirk and his wife had, she drank Beefeaters Gin. I enjoyed Bruce Willis in this role. Rebecca Hall was refreshing. A light chick flick for people who know something about gambling.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, nudity (Jo Newman, Laura Prepon - Donna from "That 70's Show")
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
It wasn't exactly easy to make it to the end of the tone deaf comedy "Lay The Favorite." When I got there, though, I was in for a huge shock. The credits rolled and I realized that Stephen Frears was responsible for directing this! In case you haven't heard of him, the Oscar nominee has orchestrated some truly great films including The Queen, The Grifters, and Dangerous Liaisons. Well nothing could be further from these excellent films than this flight of fancy. Based on a true story, an expose on the world of gambling by Beth Raymer, the plot had the potential to be absolutely fascinating. In fact, I'd love to read Raymer's memoir. I think it would be very enlightening. But instead of a hard hitting drama, Frears has removed any sense of reality from the picture. I don't care that he wanted to make something light and comedic, but this isn't serious enough for a drama, funny enough for a comedy, informative enough for gambling enthusiasts, or rich enough in character so that anyone might actually care about what happens. In short, the movie has no idea what it wants to be and that is very apparent.

Rebecca Hall plays the central character as a chirpy stripper who is simultaneously brilliant and clueless. She dreams of the big time, she wants to be a waitress in Las Vegas! She gets involved, instead, with an odds-maker played by Bruce Willis. She's a natural at the game and soon becomes invaluable to the operation. Willis's wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) doesn't like the closeness between the two and this causes much friction. As Hall sets out on her own, she gets into some trouble from which she may not be able to extricate herself. Hint: It involves Vince Vaughn. It just might require a little help from her friends and a caper is afoot.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I thought it'd be... November 10, 2012
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
The girl playing the lead gets on your nerves, since she seems like she's on hyperspeed all of the time. Did Catherine Zeta Jones get a major face lift? And of course Vince Vaugn is in it, he's very funny. I liked seeing him and Bruce, they were great. But I expected more, in general. It was like watching squirrels run around in those little wheels things....I should have waited until it was ALOT cheaper, like in Prime....buyer beware--
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What a Waste of Great Talents October 11, 2013
Format:DVD
Having finished watching Stephen Frears' "Lay the Favorite," I am still unsure what to make of this "true story" based on Beth Raymer's memoir of her experiences in the sports-betting industry in Las Vegas. The film has one interesting subject matter, to be sure, and benefits from the fine performance from Rebecca Hall as the spirited heroine, but with its unfocused and disjointed narrative "Lay the Favorite" simply doesn't know what it is doing.

An in-home exotic dancer Beth travels from Florida to Las Vegas, dreaming of becoming a cocktail waitress at a casino. As luck would have it, she gets a job working for a bookie Dink Heimowitz (Bruce Willis). Beth, who is good with numbers, becomes a sort of good luck charm for Dink and even gets romantically involved with him before his wife Tulip (Catherine Zeta-Jones) comes back and interferes.

The story may sound interesting. Actually, it is not, jumping from one scene to the next without developing any of the characters. In "Lay the Favorite" you will never know anything about the betting industry. That itself is not a big problem if the film allows us to know the characters. Beth meets characters played by Corbin Bernsen, Frank Grillo, Joshua Jackson, John Carroll Lynch, Laura Prepon and Vince Vaughn. The impressive cast does their best, but frankly, we really don't care what happen to these uninteresting cyphers.

The only exception to the mediocre writing is the film's protagonist Beth, who, thanks to Rebecca Hall, remains attractive even when her character is not really credible. Despite her effective acting, "Lay the Favorite" seems trying not to entertain us, by omitting or blurring critical points of her story that should be more interesting.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars not sur in the begining
Started off a little slow. The longer it played the more it got interesting. Turned out to be a good movie
Published 2 months ago by john
5.0 out of 5 stars Guy Movie for Opening Awareness
Like in the tradition of Little Orphan Annie and Pippi Longstocking where the female protagonist is young, optimistic, innocently gullible and smiles with baring teeth, the heroine... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Celia A. Escalante
3.0 out of 5 stars boring
Hot donnas naked breasts made it worth my time but the movie itself was boring anticipated seeing hot donna naked
Published 5 months ago by M. Gay
3.0 out of 5 stars Lay the Favorite is ok
I was expecting a bit more from this movie. It has a good cast, some comedy and a little nudity but just didn't hold my interest very long. Read more
Published 5 months ago by KSArnold
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie
Overall I thought it was a good movie. Interesting story, based on true events, and if most of what was portrayed actually happened then it was worth the rental. Read more
Published 6 months ago by QM
1.0 out of 5 stars Read the Book. Forget the Unbelievably Awful Movie
The book was one of the best of the year when it came out. The movie is one of the worst of the year.
Published 8 months ago by Constant Traveler
3.0 out of 5 stars Great cast
I love bruce willis in comic roles its just great to watch Willis taking orders from his wife Carherine Zeta Jones its Funny all the way.
Published 9 months ago by Sandor
3.0 out of 5 stars Wish I'd waiting another week to see this on Netflix
Argh! Nothing worse than paying for something you can have for free. If you already have a Netflix account, stream it there. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Marion Douglas
2.0 out of 5 stars Lay the Favorite dvd
Received on-time and dvd appears to be in good condition; however the content leave much to be desired. Hollywood stars, Willis and Jones will appear in anything for a buck.... Read more
Published 9 months ago by B L
3.0 out of 5 stars Discerning Addiction
This movie showed the ins and outs of gambling on a grander side. The acting was superb, but there were moments it dragged a bit.
Published 9 months ago by Kurt Bertrand
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