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The Grand

A fake mockumentary about gambling ends up working out well with a lot of well done jokes and spoofs off of televised poker shows like "The World Series of Poker" and "WPT". The actors make this film with the odd stories and odd quirks of the characters.

Woody Harrelson leads the cast playing a drugged out, sex crazed owner of a casino, Lucky Strike. He does a good job being slightly crazy. Cheryl Hines and David Cross do a good job playing a sister and brother poker duo that is in conflict, and with David Cross's character, completely off the wall and slightly crazy. I was also impressed with how many actual poker stars they were able to get in the film. Daniel Negranu, Doyle Brunson, and Phil Hellmuth all were willing to do cameos in it, and I likely missed some other actual poker players who showed up. This cast did a good job of being slightly crazy and eccentric like most poker players are and they seemed to cover what generally seems to be the most common at poker tournements.

The story is an fairly normal one, the tournement is similar to the main event at "The World Series of Poker". Woody Harrelson needs to win the tournement so he can save the casino, which he doesn't really like to run. The other players at the final table are all pro or semi-pro players who are in it to win it. The final table ends up being an odd collection of people. The story isn't profound, but it makes fun of the poker world and all of the odd people. It is more a character sketch in many ways then a film with a typical storyline.

The jokes in the film are good. A good number of them are based off of the odd quirks of the poker players. It doesn't work like a typical comedy in many ways as it has some of the sophomoric types of jokes, but it doesn't always have a ton of them. For being a comedy that works around the quirky type of humor that shows up fairly often in the area it is mocking, it does a very good job.

Overall this was a good comedy, it doesn't have a ton of heart like some other indie comedies and relies more on being quirky. If you have watched poker on the television ever, this could be entertaining as it has a good amount of humor that people who recognize the poker worlds quirks.

Overall Grade: B
Acting: B
Story: C+
Audio/Visual: B-