7 items from 2013
The participation of director Stephen Frears and a cast that includes Bruce Willis, Rebecca Hall, Vince Vaughn, and Catherine Zeta-Jones should guarantee a theatrical release, right? Sorry, but no – Lay The Favorite is the movie and it’s gone straight to Redbox (and other home-viewing options) which is a shame because it’s a fun, if lightweight comedy set in the world of Las Vegas grifters and gamblers.
Hall plays Beth Raymer, who leaves her dancing job at a Florida strip club to become a Las Vegas cocktail waitress. Not exactly an ideal career choice, but her borderline-ditzy personality doesn’t give her many options. In walks Dink (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, »
- Tom Stockman
Chicago – Every once in a Hollywood while, a true head-scratcher comes along. How on Earth did this movie, with this many talented people involved, end up so boring? If you told me that Stephen Frears (“The Grifters,” “The Queen”) was re-teaming with his “High Fidelity” scribe D.V. DeVincentis on a dramedy with the great Rebecca Hall and Bruce Willis, I would probably put that flick on a highly-anticipated list. Minutes into “Lay the Favorite,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, one knows there’s nothing to anticipate. Unless you anticipate boredom.
Poor Rebecca Hall (“Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” “Parade’s End”) gives it her absolute all as the naive, sweet Beth Raymer, a girl who becomes a good luck charm to the horribly named Dink Heimowitz (Bruce Willis), disrupting his business and marriage to the high-maintenance Tulip (Catherine Zeta-Jones). An incredible number of talented people flirt around the fringe of this oddball romance, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Cinelinx takes a gamble on the Lay the Favorite Blu-ray!
A stripper named Beth (Rebecca Hall) leaves her small Florida town to find a better life in Las Vegas, but things get complicated when she forms a relationship with a bookie (Bruce Willis). Based on the book by Beth Raymer. Also stars Catherine Zeta Jones, Vince Vaughn and Joshua Jackson.
Directed by Stephen Frears
What in the world happened, Stephen Frears? The director of The Queen, High Fidelity, and The Grifters managed to take an interesting, real-life story (by the real Beth Raymer) and a great cast (Willis, Jones Hall, etc.) and somehow made a completely average film. Lay the Favorite isn't bad, but for all the pedigree involved, you expect much better.
Lay the Favorite should have been a quirky character drama, but fails to provide an interesting story or engaging characters. Somehow, the screenplay made gambling seem boring, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Victor Medina)
There’s something for everyone in next week’s Blu-Ray releases: Wreck-It Ralph will tickle your gaming bone, The Intouchables brings a bit of comedy to its drama, and one my favorite films of the nineties finally gets a Blu-Ray release.
Ready for the latest Blu-Ray releases? Then read on.
Director: Rich Moore
A 3D computer-animated family film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. The film was well-received by critics and viewers alike, and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film and the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Plot: Wreck-It Ralph longs to be as beloved as his game’s perfect Good Guy, Fix-It Felix. Problem is, nobody loves a Bad Guy. But they do love heroes… so when a modern, first-person shooter game arrives featuring tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun, »
- C.P. Howells
Lay the Favorite, 2012.
Directed by Stephen Frears.
An exuberant ex-private dancer Beth (Rebecca Hall) arrives in Las Vegas in search of her ultimate dream to become a cocktail waitress. Fate leads her to Dink (Bruce Willis), a charming, old-school gambler who seeing beyond the ditzy façade, takes a shine to Beth, recruiting her as his good luck charm.
Stephen Frears is a director and filmmaker known for work as varied as Dangerous Liaisons, High Fidelity and The Grifters and is seen to be someone with a propensity to take surprising changes of direction whenever possible. With Lay the Favorite, a lightly amusing, if grossly underwhelming, comedy drama - or dramedy, if you insist on it - Frears takes another unexpected (and many would say, wrong) turn.
Based on »
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: March 5, 2013
Price: DVD $24.98, Blu-ray $29.99
Studio: Anchor Bay
Professional odds-maker Dink (Willis) is running a small-time sports gambling enterprise when a former stripper named Beth (Hall) promises to help him score big — and turns his world upside down. With his connections and her knack for numbers, the lucrative business of sports betting will never be the same.
Directed by Stephen Frears (High Fidelity) and also featuring Laura Prepon (TV’s Are You There, Chelsea…?), Vince Vaughn (The Dilemma), Wendell Pierce (TV’s Treme) and Corbin Bernsen (Bad Actress) in the ensemble cast, Lay the Favorite is based on Beth Raymer’s 2012 memoir-styled exposé of the world »
Lay The Favourite
As a big Bruce Willis fan, I’m interested to see that he’s picking some slightly offbeat roles recently. Firstly in Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom (surely the equivalent to Arnold Schwarzenegger starring in a Coen Brothers film or Sylvester Stallone leading an Alexander Payne flick) and now in Stephen Frears’ Lay the Favourite, which shares its theme of the trials and tribulations of young woman maturing into adulthood with his previous feature, Tamara Drewe.
The film is led by an irrepressibly bubbly Rebecca Hall, who plays Beth Raymer, a vaguely idiot-savant character and private dancer who moves to Las Vegas to seek her fortune. There she falls under the wing of Willis’s charismatic bookmaker, Dink, who employs »
- Jack Kirby
7 items from 2013
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