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The Grand (2007)

R | | Comedy | 7 June 2007 (USA)
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An improvisational comedy using a handful of actors playing characters competing in an actual poker tournament.

Director:

Zak Penn

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Woody Harrelson ... One Eyed Jack Faro
David Cross ... Larry Schwartzman
Dennis Farina ... LBJ 'Deuce' Fairbanks
Cheryl Hines ... Lainie Schwartzman
Richard Kind ... Andy Andrews
Chris Parnell ... Harold Melvin
Werner Herzog ... The German
Jason Alexander ... Dr. Yakov Achmed
Ray Romano ... Fred Marsh
Mike Epps ... Reggie Marshall
Judy Greer ... Sharon Andrews
Gabe Kaplan ... Seth Schwartzman
Michael Karnow ... Mike Werbe
Michael McKean ... Steve Lavisch
Julie Claire ... Dr. Jamie Sellers
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Storyline

An improvisational comedy using a handful of actors playing characters competing in an actual poker tournament.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A comedy about the fine art of losing

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 June 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Zak Penn Project See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,454, 23 March 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$8,114,669, 27 April 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The script was barely twenty-nine pages long. Co-Writer and Director Zak Penn had the actors and actresses improvise. See more »

Goofs

Chips spread across the table disappear during the Blausteen-Schwartzman game. See more »

Quotes

The German: To feel alive and to get this energy, it is essential for me to kill something each day. It doesn't have to be a large animal. I squish an ant once in a while, or spiders, they come very easily. I've shot stray dogs. Goose.. is a very, very troublesome animal. I've had a goat. To strangle a goat, that makes you feel really alive.
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Soundtracks

Who?
Written by Anton Newcombe
Performed by The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Courtesy of The Committee To Keep Music Evil
Under License from Tepid Peppermint Wonderland, Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Yes, I did get thrown out of my own Casino."
27 April 2008 | by SlickflixSee all my reviews

It's hard to be a poker fan in the world of movies. Let's face it, how many great poker movies can you think of? "Rounders" perhaps. Despite "Texas Hold'Em" growing extraordinarily popular over the last few years, Hollywood has really failed to capitalize on the trend. I'm happy to report that the wait is over. "The Grand" not only emerges as a wonderful poker film, but also one of the best comedies I've seen in ages. While it doesn't seem to be well known now, I predict it will find a massive audience on DVD and Cable, ala "Office Space".

"The Grand" is a mocumentary (in the tradition of Christopher Guest), following six players as they compete in huge Texas Hold'em tournament in Nevada. Along the way we meet many other supporting characters, including family and friends of the main six, as well as other participants in the tournament. The initial six are…

Woody Harrelson as "One Eyed" Jack Faro. He is a lifetime drug abuser who has inherited the "Rabbit's Foot Casino" from his grandfather. A large debt has forced him to enter into the tournament his Casino is hosting.

Cheryl Hines as Lainie Schwartzman. She is a mother of five who supports her family (which includes a deadbeat husband) as a professional poker player. She is also the sister of…

David Cross as Larry Schwartzman. He is also a professional poker player, known around the circuit for his obnoxious behavior. The fact that his father puts his support behind his sister Lainie only motivates him more to win the tournament.

Chris Parnell as Harold Melvin. A statistics expert who uses his knowledge of numbers to his advantage as a poker pro. He is also ludicrously Anti-Social, and lives still lives with his elderly mother.

Dennis Farina as Deuce Fairbanks. The old timer who's been on the scene for years, and has nothing but contempt for what's become of the game over the past few years.

Richard Kind as Andy Andrews. A novice player who won an online poker tournament by chance to win his seat at "The Grand", despite knowing absolutely nothing about the game of poker.

Some supporting performers include Judy Greer, Michael McKean, Ray Romano, Jason Alexander, Hank Azaria, and Shannon Elizabeth. Real life Pro players Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, and Phil Laak also make appearances, as well as filmmakers Brett Ratner and Werner Herzog.

As you can see, this is a huge ensemble, and director Zak Penn handles it impeccably. Every performance shines, and the pace is fast and fun. I think I laughed three times as much in this film than in any feature all year. The humor is always there, be it in the witty dialogue, the great ensemble, or the various clever scenarios.

As stated before, the film is structured similarly to a Chris Guest mocumentary, alternating between testimonials of the characters, and following the players around as they play in the tournament. The tournament itself is presented similarity to a telecast of "The World Series of Poker", complete with mismatched commentators.

I'm not the biggest fan of Penn's superhero stuff, but I thought he did something clever with his Herzog Loch Ness project. Here, he hits a real sweet spot, creating a real love letter to fans of poker and smart comedy alike.


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