The Grand Movie (2007)


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Fun becomes the order of the day when a bunch of nobodies for whom luck is just something they hear in movies descend on Las Vegas for a game of Winner takes all poker with the hope of taking home ten million dollars.

Fans of Christopher Guest will have some idea where this is going. He has done some really good work, including the documentary. This is Spinal Tap (1984), the film Waiting for Guffman (1996), and A Mighty Wind (2003), to mention a few. Collaborative work between Werner Herzog and Zak Penn brought forth the film Incident at Lochness, although neither can claim legitimacy.

In this film, one cannot miss the fact that Penn has traversed, or trespassed, if you like, on to Christopher Guest’s niche with this tale of battling poker enthusiasts. This film is devoid of the pretense that whatever is on our screen is existent, although it does a good job maintaining the inherent rules that govern all documentaries. The cast feature people the director has worked with in the past – Michael McKean and Werner Herzog.

The film falls in the category of Mockumentaries and involves various characters taking part in a real game of poker, with most of the comedy being makeshift. The documentary features Cheryl Hines, Chris Parnell, David Cross, Dennis Farina, and Woody Harrelson.
An attractive feature of the film is the way Chris Parnell comes up with jokes. Being an alum of Saturday night live, it only natural that he does a great job playing a loner with a mental issue. The line flaw ou of Chris effortlessly.

Again being a documentary that looks real, the characters play other people, although it seems like a true story with a real game of poker. Woody Harrelson plays Jack Faro, a chap trying his best to win money that he hopes would come in handy and clear debts owned by his father’s casino establishment. It is obvious, even as the film kicks off, that it is everyone for themselves.

Also, Jack is a recovering former addict who finally saw sense in living in a rehab facility and is starting life new after his marriage failed 75 times. The Hotel in question was a hand me down from his grandfather, Lucky Faro, played by Barry Corbin. Sadly, he sucked it dry. Traditionally, the Hotel, Named The Rabbit’s Foot, has been holding a poker tournament each year, and this time around, Jack needs to win money to turn things around. Otherwise, it will be taken from him.

Other than Jack’s many troubles, everyone else in the game got a seat from another online game. Each person brings with them individuality, comedy, and flaws, including a pair of twins competing against each other, a German, and some guy who had to sacrifice animals to increase his odds of winning.

As the film draws to an end, you are very likely going to be rooting more for Jack to walk away with the cash and maybe even find the 76th wife.

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