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Top Customer Reviews
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?Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this movie. The actors are great. The comedy is subtle which I love. I visited Vegas about 50 times during 2007-2009 when this movie was made. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jeff42
This movie is all about characterizations and performance as the story line is very slim and not all that important. However, the characters are interesting and well performed. Read morePublished 9 months ago by SIR
I enjoy playing poker and it was fun to see all the poker pro cameos, but the story was just kind of "meh."Published 11 months ago by Robert Bolin
Love the actors in this film - which is hilarious. Even if you are not a poker player, you will find it amusing!Published 12 months ago by Lynn Newhart
I enjoy watching this movie every now and then.. Great movie!Published 13 months ago by Lionel J Morin
There were tears in the plastic and through the cover. The movie is hilarious, though! I definitely recommend watching it!Published 20 months ago by Kaleena Hampton
I love this movie. I read online that the entire thing is ad-libbed, and after having watched it 10 times, who am I to say that it isn't? Read morePublished on February 6, 2014 by Jeff