The Grand (2007) Poster

(2007)

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9/10
Surprisingly I enjoyed this film
lancerama13 May 2007
I have to say I really enjoyed this film. I saw it at Tribeca last month and to be honest I didn't have high expectations. I personally don't like most of the movies the writer/director (Zak Penn) has written of late (mostly big action comic book movies), but this is not that kind of film.

What honestly attracted me to this film was that it's an improv style film starring one of my favorite SNL people ever, Chris Parnell. He doesn't disappoint. He plays a lonely poker player who has some kind of mental problem where he's brutally honest and very, very skilled in math (which makes him a great player). Chris steals every scene he's in, which aren't enough if you ask me, but I'm biased so take that with a grain of salt.

The other actors hold their own in their respective roles all working to try and win a big tournament for 10 million dollars. I don't know enough about poker to know if it's at all accurate, but the good thing is the film doesn't really focus on actual poker all that often.

If you like the films of Christopher Guest (which I do), then I think you'll like this film as well.
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8/10
"Yes, I did get thrown out of my own Casino."
Slickflix27 April 2008
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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7/10
Best Poker movie since Cincinatti Kid
wsuggs7425 June 2008
Yes, its silly, but so was Spinal Tap, which The Grand owes a debt to in many ways.

Gabe Kaplan is hilarious as the father of two poker pros and Dennis Farina has the old time Vegas hood down pat. Phil Gordon, the best live teacher in poker, has some great lines as the tournament commentator.

You will spot a friend or yourself in one or more of the players, and the cameos are fun, including Phil "the hillside strangler" Laak as he was introduced..

If you like poker and still have a funny bone, this is as good as it gets.
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8/10
This movie is a winner
todmercy14 May 2007
Every once in a while a filmmaker is brave enough to try something a little different. This is one of those occasions and it deserves bountiful praise for both bravery and laughs.

The cast is excellent and weird while the story-lines are randomly weaved together gems of the absurd and quirky. Further, the concept of playing out a real poker tournament while asking these actors and comedians to stay within character is nothing short of genius. Not a simple accomplishment and thus, it doesn't always work perfectly and therefore no 10 stars.

The ensemble put together for this movie pretty much ensured some hysterical stuff. It is a good idea to step out of the way and let funny people be funny. Well done indeed.
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8/10
bests Christopher guest
WoodcarverSteiner9 May 2007
I just saw this movie at the Tribeca Film Festival. It was hard to get a ticket to the show and I waited in line for a while. I was lucky to get in because it was raining. But once I got inside, I forgot all about being wet because I was laughing too hard.

Now let me just say that I'm not a fan of Zack Penn's movies. I hated X-Men 3 and all the other superhero crap he's written. But I did love Incident At Lock Ness, which I thought was pretty clever and I really loved seeing Werner Herzog (who is my hero, if you couldn't tell from my name) playing with his mystique.

But I guess I should get to actually reviewing this movie. It was hilarious. Even better than Lock Ness. The movie is also a mockumentary, very much like Best In Show by Christopher Guest, but follows a bunch of poker players who are all crazy, as they reach the final table in a poker tournament. They are played by a bunch of recognizable comedians like Ray Romano, the wife from Curb Your Enthusiasm but even better, David Cruss (my favorite character) from the awesome Mr. Show and Chris Parnell from SNL. And of course, the always awesome Herzog, who plays "The German" a guy who likes to kill animals rather than drink caffeine.

What was really cool is that Zack explained in his Q&A afterwords that the final poker table was played for real and whoever won the game, won the movie. I won't spoil who wins, but just say that it makes it totally impossible to predict who wins the movie because all the characters have the same chance of winning.

I think the other reviewer who gave the movie five stars out of ten has something against the movie. It wasn't great art, like Werner's normal movies, but tremendously entertaining. It is very funny, sometimes very slapstick and other times very absurd. I think anyone who likes Christopher Guest movies or any of these great comedians will love the film.
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6/10
Take your seat at the final table.
trojan_u11 May 2008
Being a regular poker player myself, i was probably more interested in watching this, than a non poker player, but you do not have to be an avid poker fan to enjoy this movie, though it would be slightly more interesting if you was.

Although the main basis of the film is about 6 people who have made the final table of a £10m poker tournament, it goes into more detail at the start of the film, of each particular person and their background etc, so by the end of the movie when the final is being played, you will probably have a favourite as to who you want to win.

But although the movie was watchable, it wasn't that good that you would want to watch it again and halfway through the film you've a pretty good idea how its going to end.

If you are into poker, look out for cameo appearances of Doyle Brunson and Phil Helmuth.

Verdict: Watchable but don't expect too much out of it.
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10/10
The Grand - Puncturing the Pomposity of Poker
reggie-landers31 January 2008
So I managed to see The Grand a little while ago at the Puerto Vallarta Film Festival... I had no idea what to expect, as I am admittedly not particularly familiar with the director's other work. I knew some of the actors, but I'm not intimately familiar with their work, either, except for Woody Harrelson. I am a poker fan, though, so I was excited on that front. Well, let me just say that sometimes it's good to go in with no expectations because you can really find yourself getting blown away.

Woody is the biggest name in the movie and one of the funniest. He plays Jack Faro, a down-on-his-luck guy who is trying to save the Rabbit's Foot Casino by winning The Grand poker tournament. David Cross from Arrested Development, Chris Parnell from Saturday Night Live and Cheryl Hines from Curb Your Enthusiasm are also in the movie and are all hilarious. Cross does a fine job letting the air out of those poker players who are so full of themselves.

There are real poker stars in the movie. My favorite, as my friends will attest to, is Phil Gordon, who is funny in the movie along with his announcing partner Mike Werbe. Werbe is like the Ron Popeil of poker. I think I need to learn the Werbe method for my weekly game. (Those of you who have seen the movie will know what I'm talking about.) I could go on, but I don't want to give anything away. From what I've read, the guys in the movie actually played the poker straight and they didn't know who was going to win or lose, so the movie was intriguing for its comedy and its poker. Who wants to watch a fixed hand like in ROunders? This is the real deal. Imagine if the World Series of Poker was a comedy like Spinal Tap or something and you have The Grand.

I definitely will recommend it to my friends when it hits theaters and I'll definitely go see it with them (and I usually won't see a movie in the theater twice.)
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9/10
I laughed so hard I snorted!
shultzl14 January 2008
I don't find a lot of films very funny. The Grand made me laugh from beginning to end. I had no idea what to expect going into the film, but I can tell you that I cannot wait to see it again and have recommended it to everyone I know. The cast is outstanding. Woody Harrelson was completely in his element. From the opening credits I was immersed in this world of high stakes gambling, which really isn't so glamorous when you look at it from this angle. The Grand is going to be a cult classic. Zak Penn has done an exceptional job at taking talented actors, great characters and made a film that doesn't go where you expect it to. Thank you for great film making! The Grand is a breath of fresh air.
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8/10
Really "Grand" Movie
timmy-k17 January 2009
I'm not much interested in poker. Actually, I even don't play well. So, when I heard about this movie, I didn't pay much attention to it. But one day, I even can't explain why, I had a wish to watch it, maybe because a lot of really great actors play there. The main thing I want to say about it, is that it really made me to change my mind about poker. Now I really want to play this game and to do it well. It was really nice movie, very original, first I even thought that this is documental one, heh. So, it was very entertaining, it includes very good jokes, deep emotions, it shows relationships between each other and their attitude to game. So, this movie isn't only about poker as someone may think, this is big movie which refers to many important thing. So, I advice it to everyone, to those who like poker and to those who don't. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
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8/10
... we don't need the scallop potatoes ...
jonni30 May 2008
I really love this movie ... some of the set pieces are exquisitely timed and are truly very funny, Woody Harrelson is very good throughout and holds everything together well, Chris Parnell is at times hilarious, Gale Kaplan and Werner Herzog put in two brilliant top drawer comic cameos, and even Phil Gordon manages a good deadpan performance (much, much better than his poker?). There are plenty of other astutely drawn characters like Barry 'Sob Story', the 'Bust You Crew' and, need I say, Fred, Andy, Larry, Lainie and all the main characters are excellent.

What story lines there are may be a bit obvious, but they do effectively drive the comedy right through to the epilogue and outtakes - I mean, who criticises the plot of Airplane? Story is not what The Grand is about, it is about laughing at poker, people and poker people.

If you are a poker fan you should love this movie ... I am, so I can't comment if not ... perhaps you won't find it funny at all.
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4/10
Not A Bad Film, But Not Very Good
heffay1112 May 2007
"The Grand" is funny in parts, but overall there are three unfunny minutes for every funny minute. The movie starts fairly strong, and I was honestly hoping that it would keep up the humor, but it did not. Which is a shame.

Interestingly, what does not work in this film is the poker. At a Q&A after the movie (at the Tribeca Film Festival), the director made a point of immediately stating that the poker was real. They dealt the cards and the actors played in character and the results were up to fate. Very interesting idea. Unfortunately, that did not carry to the movie. There was almost no excitement or tension to the poker tournament, perhaps because it is impossible to build tension in the results of a game when that game is severely edited. I hate to say it, but this film is less exciting and less entertaining than an episode Bravo's "Celebrity Poker." Even though the poker tournament itself is boring, this movie still could have been laugh out loud funny. Unfortunately, it isn't. I hold no grudge against the filmmaker for taking a direct copy of the Christopher Guest play book and running with it. I only wish he'd been more successful so that I could have laughed more than infrequently.

Hopefully this movie's failure will not discourage others from using this formula. I would love to have more comedies in this style. It is not like Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy are the only two people alive who can come up with a concept for a mockumentary. Actually, it's my opinion that "The Grand" has a better premise than several Guest/Levy creations. It should be very funny and entertaining. Unfortunately, it is not.
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10/10
Brilliant and hilarious
adrian5123 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was sublime. I love improvisation and it was so interesting to see this ensemble cast able to do this. I loved how the games that they were playing was in an actual tournament, which I had no idea of whilst watching the movie, only after reading this IMDb profile. It is also interesting to note that the final poker game in the movie was not scripted and that it was actually a game between woody harrelsson and cheryl hines (not the $10 million at stake though).

For myself, I found that David Cross was the star. His dead pan style as well as his hilarious anecdotes and almost Gervais-like ability to create awkwardness made th scene with him in it an absolute treat to watch.

This movie will not disappoint anyone who can appreciate non-scripted humor and how difficult it is.

Adrian
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10/10
Eat your heart out Christopher Guest
cal-k-constenot14 May 2007
Someone should put a fork in the whole category of mockumentaries, they're done. But the Grand isn't really like that, it's much crazier and faster paced. There's a lot of really funny (bleep) going on, and the improvisational skills of the actors really shines through. Werner Herzog is God by the way. So is Michael McKean. Didn't appreciate waiting on line though but I guess it was to be expected for such a great movie. Best thing at Tribeca by far. Oh yeah, shouts to Adam Corolla for his autobiographical boxing flick. The ozzman rules. Most of the poker stuff seemed accurate and if you ever get to see any memorabilia, the chips are a riot. How can you go wrong with a cast that includes Dennis Farina, Woody Harrelson, and Michael Karnow.
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9/10
A Hilarious Film
jts04055 October 2008
The main reason I rented The Grand from the video store was because of the huge amount of stars in this movie. First you have Woody Harrelson, David Cross, Gabe Kaplan, Ray Romano, etc. This movie is packed with a ton of stars that have made huge success in their own right. I thought that the movie was very solid and had a huge amount of laughs packed into it. The characters were develop first and then it all came to a head when the placed all of the main characters into the huge Grand poker tournament. I personally thought that writer Zak Penn did an amazing job with this script and letting the actors improvise was a well made decision.

9/10
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7/10
better than expected
pepekwa13 October 2008
a comedy-poker film immediately sounds like a flop but this delivers and has some genuinely funny moments. There's a great cast here and some great cameos to boot, David cross and chris parnell, perhaps two of the lesser-known "stars" had me in stitches at times. You can easily enjoy the movie with no knowledge of poker but Hold-em players will appreciate some of the intricacies on the tables and some cameos from poker greats with some scenes unashamedly hamming up ESPN"s World series of poker coverage. There's great chemistry between all the leads which is what you would expect from good actors but Zak penn deserves credit for making a good film and should do more work behind the camera on this evidence.
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1/10
horrible attempt at "indie film".
chomskyreader24 July 2008
for some reason the cover of this movie had me worried it was corny and awful, but with actors like David cross, werner herzog, and cheryl hines, i really wanted to give it a chance. what i ended up watching was hours of horrible snl style skits, done over and over again, with no punch-line, no intelligent thought, and terrible film-making/acting. how all these actors got together and decided to do this is beyond me, unless they were already going to be in town to play poker anyways or something. don't waste your time seeing this movie, its seriously the worst thing I've seen in a long time. it tries to be a "David guest" style mocu-mentary, but fails horribly, and ends up giving whoever watches it a headache and a horrible impression of who people like werner herzog and David cross are, don't judge them by the fact that they are in this movie, they are both talented individuals.
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4/10
dull, unfunny parody
Buddy-5113 November 2008
"The Grand" is a mockumentary about six internet poker players who gather in Las Vegas for a $10 million, winner-take-all tournament.

A game, eclectic cast - Woody Harrelson, Hank Azaria, Chris Parnell, Ray Romano, Werner Herzog, Gabe Kaplan - struggles with a mediocre script that, in tone as well as in style, steals clumsily from all those far superior Christopher Guest movies like "Waiting for Guffman," "Best in Show" and "A Mighty Wind." In the case of "The Grand," the humor is largely lacking, as each eccentric character plays out his little assigned shtick over and over and over again.

As executed by writer/director Zak Penn, the poker scenes are particularly languid and lifeless and utterly incomprehensible to any non-poker players who may happen to be a part of the audience.
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4/10
Flat, no not good actors
moviebug0613 April 2008
On the way home after seeing this, I figured out why it wasn't so funny: It had too many regular actors doing semi-improvisational roles.

Christopher Guest's movies work--when they do--because he uses comic actors & writers. Particularly skit comic actors (SNL, Second City) like Guest, Harry Shearer, Eugene Levi, Michael McKean, Fred Willard, and Catherine O'Hara. They're used to performing semi-improv and as writers of sketch comedy. They're at home with the style. Regular actors in this movie don't far as well. Even stand-up comedians don't seem to do as well with this stuff, though somewhat better.

Dennis Farina was bad, Richard Kind wasn't (esp. bad), etc. Ray Romano was decent, but not quite good. Chris Parnell was really good, but his character was too limited, too one-dimensional. What would have been better was to have a regular actor play the role, and just do what Parnell came up with. Let Parnell do it, write it, and then hand it over to someone to do the part. Then Parnell could've been used for a better part where more improv was possible. A waste of his talent.

Michael McKean is a highlight--a Guest regular, but his role wasn't given much screen time. Ditto for Hank Azaria--very good, but very, very limited time on screen.

Gabe Kaplan was the worst. He wasn't funny at all, and he just sort of stood there with little to say. You could tell in one looong scene in particular where he was with the bald(er) guy with a beard--a highlight he was--where he was given set-up after set-up but came up blank. Painful. His scenes ran way too long for them joke-to-time ratio.

Woody was good.

The concept of having some good, lively characters played by good comic actors a la Guest, sitting around a poker table could be a great set-up for improv. No go here.

Prescription: Sketch comics who write--maybe for some semi-improv stuff--or others who are very glib and verbally gifted, like Azaria.

Will never watch again.
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3/10
I disagree...shoulda' been a sports channel Sunday special...or...
sirvertual21 June 2008
I'd be hard-pressed to even classify this as a 'real' movie...It's more of a display of Penn's attempt at 'riding on the edge' of any conventional-type comedy film, meaning it's an (obviously)'improvisational comedy that centers around a cardgame ('The Grand')...Fairly enough, it's taglined as 'an improvisational comedy...using a handful of actors playing characters competing in an actual poker tournament', which is quite accurate...So, you have been warned...I think the problem here (aside from the old 'ust because someone gives you the money to do soething, doesn't mean you should), no the problem is that it's a little 'too improvisational' and feels like it might 'all-be' an improvisation...LIKE NO SCRIPTED LINES WHATSOEVER...It's like a musical where the orchestra didn't have any sheet usic, but a guy going "like this: dong-cha-dong-chucka-dong-dong-dong"...At least that's the way I felt watching this...In fact, the thought 'kept' coming into my mind...I said "self"..."I don't think they had a written script"... The other problem is that it's really 'not funny'...The characters aren't funny...they are irritating and I get enough irritating people when I go out in public...and they are 'sometime (usually) funnier!...So for my money, it's a comedy..THAT IS NOT FUNNY... It probably pitches like it could be funny (and even successful), but it falls apart as a film, completely...If you understand this, then you also understand it sounds more like an off-Broadway play...As a matter of fact (and the ore I think about it), this 'movie' would probably do very well in a live theatrical format...Heck, it could take on a life of its own and become syndicated, making the US cities tour, complete with building sized promos appearing in each city months before it premiers to build the anticipation...I'm certain performing arts centers all over the country will sell out all the shows quickly as anticipation grows and of course the wealthy season ticket holders would let everyone know they'll be busy on Friday evening, because they will be at the 'premier' of that play...'The Grand'...As a matter of fact, the more 'I' think about it, given the opportunity; 'I'd' pitch it! (as a play), because it 'would' be successful (as a play)... The problem (again) is that we aren't talking about 'The Grand-the play'...we're talking about 'The Grand--the movie'...which sadly, doesn't work...The other alternative for this material would be a SNL skit...or maybe the Comedy Channel coud've made it an hour and a half long TV comedy-movie, but even then there would need to be some casting revisions and a lot of editing... The way it is just doesn't work and shouldn't have been financed or released onto an unsuspecting public...I'll take a second look at anything Woody Harrelson is in from now on and won't spend my oney on anything Penn's in charge of...How does Jr. say it???...Trick me once shame on Penn...trick the public twice...and I get two terms to rape the country...(that's not an exact quote, but that's probably a bit more accurate!)...
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1/10
How did this movie get made?
mikschulz25 May 2016
I am unsure why all the actual actors said yes to making this movie... I like poker and poker movies but this is without a doubt one of the worst movies I have ever seen.

The acting is bad, the poker scenes are bad and a lot of the time not accurate. I get that it is slap-stick but if you are going to make a movie that appeals to poker players, at the very least make it accurate!

If one person reads this and decides not to watch the movie, writing this review was a better use of my time then watching this.

I wish I could give a worse review but I don't want to have this removed.
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8/10
Nice movie
feneo5 December 2014
Very funny and hilarious movie showing the colorful and odd personalities in the poker world. Some real pro-poker players staring this movie so their interaction with the actors is even more funny. As absurd and funny some scenes may seem as a guy who watch and play poker a lot it brings me so many memories. The cast is great and when I see some of the actors elsewhere they immediately bring me back to this movie. There are so many quotes from the actual poker players in this movie which are present so well and spot on. Even commentators in this movie are some weird funny guys as it is in the World Series of Poker for example.
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5/10
Pretty funny
PeterRoeder22 May 2012
Although this movie is no "Rounders" it does give a pretty good view of poker. The characters are interesting and the poker is pretty precise. There might have been some more about poker and less silly jokes. A few scenes could have been cut out of the movie. Really, I found the poker very interesting but didn't find the characters that impressive. Anyway, it's nice to see a movie that one can learn something about poker with. I really don't have too much to say about this movie other than that the poker was pretty good in this movie. The movie is from 2006. A lot has happened since then and it sums up poker until 2006 pretty good. I didn't find it funny or anything and I watched it because of the poker, and it really is worth watching if you want to learn about poker. Pretty good movie actually.
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7/10
A funny movie for people with the right sense of humor and a bit of poker knowledge
michaeljhuman12 March 2012
I can see where this movie would polarize people.

I think people will like this the most who - a) Have a dry sense of humor b) Like "quirky" movies c) Have played and more importantly, watched enough poker on TV to recognize some of the people being parodied

If you have only (a) and (b) going for you, you will perhaps find some scene funny, but not as funny as you would if you meet (c)

For example here's some things to look for - * Gabe Kaplan is a REAL poker player, so it's nice to see him in a poker movie * Larry is somewhat of a composite guy, but definitely seems to be parodying Phil Helmuth (one of his quotes is lifted from an infamous Helmuth quote) * Larry and Laney (sp?) are bother and sister, with the sister usually coming out on top - there's two famous players who are brother and sister, and Annie the sister beat her brother Howard in a number of big events

(Just to name a few references)

Anyway, at times the dialog is awkward. But if you give it a chance, and can laugh at some of the awkward moments, you may enjoy it.

Props to Parnell, Kaplan, Harreson, the female who played Laney (sp?), Phil Gordon and the person who played the "amateur" from Wisconsin for some pretty funny performances.
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9/10
Parnell to Negreanu "You play poorly..."
alassnsane4 March 2012
There are so many nuggets of gold in this flick that every time I watch it I take away something new. Because I'm an avid poker player I catch a great many of the inside jokes and much of the subtext that those who don't play are bound to miss; including the fact that several well known players are not so subtly, or gently, parodied in this film. So, I'm quite sure that to really get the most from this movie requires a good bit of poker familiarity. However, even for those out of the know it's a great watch if for no other reason than its reliance on improve...what a great call that was on Zak Penn's part.

As for the actors, everyone did a good job but kudos Must go out to Chris Parnell, Werner Herzog and Gabe Kaplan. Parnell is flat out brilliant in this, stealing every scene and as another reviewer mentioned you truly are left wanting more and more. And Kaplan and Herzog, so good, these men have great chops and are a pleasure to watch, as always.

If you're looking for something a little different (which I always am) then this film is not to be missed.
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8/10
As good as the Christopher Guest mockumentaries? No....but still well worth seeing.
MartinHafer18 December 2011
In many, many ways, this is highly reminiscent of the mockumentaries made by Christopher Guest--especially "Best in Show". So, the idea isn't super original--but it is rather enjoyable. One thing you should be aware of, however, is that the movie is a bit crude--so you might want to think twice about having kids or your mother-in-law watch it.

The film purports to be a film about a winner-take-all poker tournament in Las Vegas. And, like "Best in Show" is features certain key players AND has a color commentator much like Fred Willard's clueless commentator--but this one is intent on selling his book on how to be a great poker player (and some of Mr. Werbe's tips are hilarious). Many of the individuals featured are quite funny. The one that struck me most was 'the German'--played wonderfully by the film director Werner Herzog. His character was VERY scary and made me laugh--especially since it was Herzog--who you DON'T think of as a funny guy! I also loved Gabe Kaplan as the demented father of two of the top contenders. He was absolutely horrible--but made me laugh. Overall, it's original, funny and engaging.

By the way, if you do watch it, a couple things you may want to look for would include Harold Melvin (who is a pretty classic individual with Asperger's Syndrome) and the website. As for Melvin, his name is actually taken from a 1970s soul group--Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes who sand "If You Don't Know Me By Now" (a great song). And the website that one of them hawks on their baseball caps is NOT a real website--I checked.
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