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DVD review: 'Lay the Favorite' is sturdy at a glance, but not for a betting man

DVD review: Lay the Favorite

Rating:
Star2
Star
Star
Star
Star

Studio Synopsis: Beth Raymer (Rebecca Hall) leaves her dancing job at a Florida strip club to become a Las Vegas cocktail waitress. In walks Dink (Bruce Willis), a professional sports bettor who sees through her bubbly exterior and offers her a job placing wagers all over town to gain an advantage over the casinos. Her surprisingly impeccable mind for numbers soon cements her status as Dink's good-luck charm, until his gorgeous-but-frigid wife, Tulip (Catherine Zeta-Jones), starts to get jealous. Faced with no other choice but to fire Beth, Dink's luck runs out when she heads to New York to work for a smarmy bookie, a turn of events that lands her squarely on the wrong side of the law. Based on a true story, “Lay the Favorite” is a heartfelt comedy of finding friendship in the least likely places.

DVD: Lay the Favorite
Anchor Bay Entertainment

Studio: Anchor Bay
Running Time: 94 minutes
Rating: R
Number of Disks: 1

Special Features:
- Deleted Scenes

Every now and again directors; even good ones like Stephen Frears who brought us ‘High Fidelity’ and ‘The Queen,’ shun their shooting style and divert their attentions to a bit of fluff. And although the perky quirks of “Lay the Favorite” offers authentic escapism into the world of high stakes gambling and unbeatable ‘systems,’ the only safe bets it brings are of heavy hitters Willis, Zeta-Jones, Vaughn and Jackson being harnessed with an unmotivated, unbridled film.

Central charm Rebecca Hall – known for her work in ‘The Prestige,’ ‘The Town’ and slated to play Maya Hansen in the upcoming ‘Iron Man 3’ – likewise puts forth a great effort as the bubbly and brainy waitress turned wiz-kid Beth Raymer, whose real life memoir is the inspiration for the film. But the disjointed handling of the film, its choppy conveyance, and the utter lack of any true detail prove that even with the bright light backdrops and big name stars, a film laid out flat is just that.

The sheet continues to be weak moving into the extras, with only a handful of deleted scenes, none of which make the film or its break-neck pacing any easier to absorb.

So with odds-on favorite performances, but a poignant run that lays 10 to 1, “Lay the Favorite” seems sturdy upon first glance, but not if you’re a betting man.

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Additional Resources:
Central Cast: Bruce Willis | Catherine Zeta-Jones | Rebecca Hall | Vince Vaughn | Joshua Jackson | Laura Prepon
Director: Stephen Frears
Central Writers: Beth Raymer | D.V. DeVincentis
Theatrical Release: January 21, 2012 (Sundance Film Festival)
Blu-Ray/DVD Release: March 5, 2013
Genre: Comedy
Supporting Cast and more Writers found HERE

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