USA Today - 03/21/2008
"THE GRAND is in the grand tradition of Christopher Guest 'mockumentary' comedy satires: Its greatest asset is its eclectic, quirky-funny cast."
New York Times - 03/21/2008
"The actors certainly look as if they're having a good time, and if you're in the right mood, you might to."
In the tradition of such improv-driven comedies as BEST IN SHOW and A MIGHTY WIND, director Zak Penn (INCIDENT AT LOCH NESS) casts an affectionate eye on the world of professional poker in his highly entertaining mockumentary, THE GRAND. Penn assembles an impressive ensemble of comedic performers and poker personalities to tell the story of six competitors in a $10 million winner-take-all Las Vegas poker tournament. Leading the way is One-Eyed Jack Faro (Woody Harrelson), a charming rogue whose addiction to drugs and quickie marriages has put his grandfather's casino on the brink of bankruptcy. Also vying for the prize are Lainie and Larry Schwartzman (Cheryl Hines, David Cross), two hyper-competitive siblings still angling for their father's favor; old school Vegas tough guy "Deuce" Fairbanks (Dennis Farina); socially inept math whiz Harold Melvin (Chris Parnell); and impossibly "Aw, shucks!" amateur Andy Andrews (Richard Kind). As the six fight their way to the final showdown, they cross bets and bluffs with a colorful cast of skills and sharks ranging from real-life poker legends such as Doyle Brunson to director Werner Herzog's scene-stealing cameo as "The German." Though the dialogue was frequently unscripted and the winner determined by the play of the actors, Penn does an exceptional job of crafting a cohesive poke at poker's current pop-culture stardom, as well as the quirks and dreams that drive individuals to risk fame and failure. Filled with jargon and laughs, THE GRAND is an insider's invitation to sit at the table and enjoy the games people play.
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