Lay The Favorite [Blu-Ray]
Director: Stephen Frears
Cast: Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rebecca Hall, Joshua Jackson, Vince Vaughn
Release Date: Available March 5 on Blu-Ray & DVD.
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 9/10
Beth, a Las Vegas cocktail waitress, falls in with Dink, a sports gambler who swoons for her as she proves to be something of a gambling prodigy, earning the initial ire of Dink’s wife, Tulip.
Continue on after the jump for the full review.
‘Lay The Favorite’ follows a young woman as she tries to find her way in the world. She leaves life as a private dancer and finds her way into the world of organized betting, finding a job with a bookie who she just might be falling for against her better judgment. The film is heartwarming, thought provoking and features an all star cast featuring the likes of Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rebecca Hall, Joshua Jackson and Vince Vaughn. As she struggles to find her way and where she belongs, life throws all kinds of obstacles her way that she must be forced to overcome. Will this bring her down to the point of not being able to pick herself back up, or will it simply make her a stronger person and help her to find where she truly belongs and who she loves in this crazy world? I would highly recommend checking out ‘Lay The Favorite’ when it hits DVD & Blu-Ray on March 5 From Anchor Bay Home Entertainment and Radius TWC.
While the film has some slow moments and focuses mainly on dialogue and emotions, it is still a very powerful film and one that you can’t help but relate to your own life in at least one form or another. The performances are powerful, and this is one film in recent memory that it actually felt as if Bruce Willis was putting his all into it as opposed to simply collecting a check. Rebecca Hall, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Joshua Jackson all give outstanding performances portraying characters that you can’t help but relate to. The film was directed by Stephen Frears (High Fidelity, Dangerous Liaisons, The Queen, The Grifters) and he does a pretty decent job of keeping everything in focus and keeping you immersed in the lives of these unique characters. While it may not be a perfect film, it’s certainly well done and enjoyable. Overall I would deinitely give it my recommendation.
The video is presented in full 1080p HD and features the film in it’s original 1.85:1 theatrical Aspect Ratio. The video is smooth, colors detailed and looks overall pretty impressive. I must admit that Anchor Bay has done a phenomenal job on the Blu-Ray releases of these recent Radius/TWC home video releases. This is one Blu-Ray release that I must admit I could not find any fault with the video presentation, top notch indeed.
The film is presented with an uncompressed DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track which sounds quite impressive for what it is. Obviously with a film such as this one can’t expect the rear speakers to be continually worked and overused. The music plays out well throughout all of the channels, while still allowing perfect clarity and detail in the voices emerging from the center channel during these sequences. While natural noises and certain scenes definitely give the rear channels a little activity, this is one film that you wouldn’t expect the surround sound to the be the high point, and in my opinion the uncompressed 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is done quite well.
While this release is a bit light on the Special Features, it does feature a number of deleted scenes from the film (just over 7 minutes worth overall) and some of them are quite fun. I have always been a fan of Joel Murray (Hatchet, God Bless America, Shameless US) and while he only had a brief couple of seconds of screen time at the start of the film, it was definitely a pleasant to surprise to see some additional screen time and dialogue from him in the first of the deleted scenes.
‘Lay The Favorite’ is a well done and heartwarming film that most everyone out there will find something to relate to about. The Blu-Ray release is pretty top notch overall. The video and audio are as good as one could imagine, and while the special features are a bit lacking, I have always had a soft spot for deleted scenes and would prefer them over a music video, or silly featurette any day of the week. If you are considering picking up this film and your only qualm is how the quality of the film holds up on Blu-Ray, let me assure you that it is a truly phenomenal transfer and doesn’t lack anything aside from maybe a few more special features.
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 9/10
‘Lay The Favorite’ will be released March 5 on Blu-Ray & DVD via Anchor Bay Home Entertainment & Radius TWC. You can pre-order your copy of the Blu-Ray on amazon by clicking here or find it at your local retailer starting March 5.