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The Grand

3.2 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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. Jason Alexander, Ray Romano, Mike Epps, Judy Greer, Werner Herzog, Gabe Kaplan, Michael McKean, Phil Gordon and Doyle Brunson co-star in this no-limit comedy from director Zak Penn (Incident At Loch Ness).

Special Features

  • Alternate Endings
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Wild Cards: Player Profiles
  • Audio Commentary
  • Selected Scene Commentaries with Actors

Product Details

  • Actors: Woody Harrelson, Chris Parnell
  • Directors: Zak Penn
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Anchor Bay - ITN
  • DVD Release Date: June 10, 2008
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0013ERFFU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,086 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Grand" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When Zak Penn is not writing movies about the X-Men, the Incredible Hulk and Captain America, he does some quirky little indie movies.

And the follow-up to "Incident at Loch Ness" is a far steadier animal -- a sort of mockumentary about a professional poker competition, and the wide range of weirdos connected to it. It starts off rather slowly, but Penn quickly hits his stride -- the resulting movie has all of Vegas' flashy glitz, and the quirk factor of a long-lost Christopher Guest mockumentary.

Jack Faro (Woody Harrelson) inherited the Lucky Rabbit's Foot casino from his grandfather, but the casino has fallen on hard times -- primarily because Jack is addicted to everything he can snort, inject or drink, and he's been married seventy-four times. As the movie opens, he's been living in rehab for two years straight.

Now a casino mogul (a gloriously cutthroat Michael McKean) is going to raze the Rabbit's Foot unless Jack can produce the money. His only hope is to win The Grand, a professional poker competition against some of the greatest poker players in the world -- including frustrated housewife, her obnoxious brother, a vitriol-tongued savant, a cutthroat veteran, a psychopathic German and a teacher from the Frostbite Amputation Capital of the World.

So despite sponsoring the Grand, Faro joins it. But to save the Rabbit's Foot, he's not only going to have to survive the first rounds -- he'll have to use luck and skill to deal with the most cutthroat and/or talented poker players in the world. Tensions rise as the players work towards the final round -- but who will win ten million dollars?
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The secret behind any good poker player is ambition -- elevating the poor hand and turning it into a winner -- and THE GRAND, as a film, gives it a good shot. With plenty of recognizable faces (Woody Harrelson, Dennis Farina, Michael McKean just to name a few), the film plays out like a bad poker hand -- through a series of awkward bluffs -- and ends up coming off much better than luck or skill probably intended or deserved, especially for fans of any of these types of films. For harmless laughs, it's a safe bet. The grand problem with THE GRAND is that the narrative never quite figures out what it wants to be: a mockumentary, a reality-show spoof, or a traditional big screen comedy. The film boasts equal parts of each type of film, and, unfortunately, never mesh into a fully formed whole.
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Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There are times when everyone takes a gamble on a straight-to-DVD movie that they've never heard of. Usually that stab in the dark doesn't pay off, for any number of reasons (i.e. bad acting, weak writing, etc). "The Grand" is a rare - and welcome - opposite of that scenario. Though the movie goes on a little too long and has several rather dry spells, I was laughing throughout most of the movie.

There really isn't much plot to speak of. A bunch of eccentric people travel to the Golden Nugget casino in Las Vegas to compete in a poker tournament - with a grand prize of ten million dollars. The large ensemble cast was allowed to improvise most of their dialogue. As is the case with most improvisation-based movies, the results are decidedly hit-or-miss. The strength of the cast - most of whom you will either know or at least recognize - makes it all work. Woody Harrelson is the main character, and as such also carries the movie's main narrative thread. He plays Jack Faro who, after getting out of drug rehab, finds he can't keep the casino he inherited in business. The casino is so far in debt, Faro has no choice other than watch it get torn down - unless he wins the big jackpot at the poker tournament.

The real fun in the movie isn't in plot development, it is the inventiveness of it's varied cast. Former SNL cast member Chris Parnell is spectacularly funny as an emotionally stunted savant-like poker genious. He lives with his mom (Seinfeld's Estelle Harris), who mixes absurd quantities of "brain juice" - vitamin supplement shakes - for her son. Parnell - often very effective during his SNL years, but still not well known outside of that - is hilarious while being very subtle.
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Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This film had its moments of humor, but they were few and far between, and likely as not to be found in one of the deleted scenes or character profiles. In fact, some of the funniest bits are with the real-world poker stars who make cameo appearances in the film.

The story centers on a $10 million poker tournament called The Grand (hence the name of the movie). The film was made on location in the old section of Las Vegas, in and around the Golden Nugget. Woody Harrelson is the main character in the movie and the only one in the tournament who is trying to win for semi-altruistic reasons. A heavy drug and alcohol abuser, who has lived in a rehab center for several years, he wants to buy back the casino he inherited from his dead uncle and then lost through various combinations of substance abuse and stupid decisions.

Of all the main characters, Woody Harrelson is perhaps the most likable, with Dennis Farina taking a close second place. Richard Kind's character is funny at first, but he quickly gets annoying and you find yourself glad when he makes his exit. The rest of the crew is a combination of mean and/or pathetic in different amounts.

The film is somewhat educational in that, if you know nothing about poker, you'll learn a few terms and some of the techniques employed by professional players. It is also good in that it doesn't really glamorize gambling, as the players are generally pathetic losers, each with their own crippling idiosyncrasies and lack of social skills. Harrelson's substance abuse is likewise portrayed in a pathetic light - he only manages to pass out in his hotel room after his "bender".
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