Lucky You (2007)

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Released 27-Dec-2007

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Deleted Scenes
Featurette-The Reel Deal: The time and place of Lucky You
Featurette-The Players at the Table
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2007
Running Time 118:29
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (73:15) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Curtis Hanson
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Eric Bana
Drew Barrymore
Horatio Sanz
Joey Kern
Debra Messing
Jean Smart
Charles Martin Smith
Robert Duvall
Delaine Yates
Phyllis Somerville
Robert Downey Jr.
Yetta Gottesman
Saverio Guerra
Case ?
RPI ? Music Christopher Young


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.1 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Huck Cheever (Eric Bana) is a professional poker player and compulsive gambler. His one aim in life is to earn himself a seat at the 2003 World Series tournament. The cost? $10,000. It doesn't seem like much for a pro, and indeed Huck frequently finds himself with the funds in his left pocket, but Huck's compulsions keep that goal increasingly further away. Huck's resentment of living in his father's shadow doesn't help either. Huck's father, L.C. Cheever is a two world series winner whose own gambling addiction had wreaked havoc on the Cheever family in days past.

    Along the way, Huck meets and falls in love with aspiring Las Vegas lounge singer Billie Offer (Drew Barrymore). Alas Huck's gambling makes their love a rocky road.

    Though it is reasonably watchable thanks to the good sense of pacing, Lucky You is disappointment on many fronts. The acting is solid but isn't helped by the rather clichéd, two-dimensional characters that fill the central story. The story is flimsy at the best of times and relies heavily on amusing minor characters and unlikely events and comical wagers to keep the ball rolling. Many of these minor characters would have made for a much more entertaining movie but few get more than one or two scenes. The romance aspect of the film seems particularly forced, both by an unconvincing storyline and a distinct lack of chemistry between the characters.

    By the looks of it the writer/director Curtis Hanson was more interested in impressing any pro poker players who may watch the movie than the wider audience that the film feigns introducing poker to. Many of the gambling scenes are difficult for anyone but a poker pro to follow, despite extensive explanation (even for casual poker players and watchers), and the poker itself lacks any sense of tension. The myriad of social problems associated with gambling are briefly touched upon only to be laughed off, assumingly so as not to offend real poker players. The latter part of the movie seems far more concerned with creating a plausible version of the 2003 World Series Poker Tournament than wrapping up the story and its various subplots. Even with this focus on historic plausibility ahead of story, the movie fails to capture the sense of change of the era.

    Heed the ironic title, you'll probably have better luck watching something else.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The film is presented its original 2:35:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The video is a little soft. Shadows and dark areas contain a good level of detail. There is a mild level of film grain visible throughout the feature.

    The colour in the video is a little pale, but is consistent throughout the feature.

    There are no MPEG compression-related artefacts visible in the transfer, nor are there any film artefacts or other nasties noticeable.

    The film features English subtitles for the hearing impaired that are white with a black border. The subtitles appear accurate and well timed, based on the few minutes I sampled.

     This is a RSDL disc. The layer break occurs at 73:15 but was not noticeable on my equipment.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    An English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384 Kbps) audio track and an English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (192 Kbps) track are present.

    The dialogue is quite soft compared to the music and effects. The soundtrack needs to be turned up significantly to hear it all properly. The dialogue is well synchronised to the video.

    The score is a fairly laid back acoustic guitar-led affair. It fits the film well.

    The surrounds are put to reasonable use to set the mood in the casinos and gaming halls, including some well placed silence, but little used in other scenes. The subwoofer barely registers a note throughout.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Deleted scenes (9:09)

    A handful of deleted scenes provided without any context information or commentary. Most of these deleted scenes give Drew Barrymore's character more screen time, but they appear to be more like padding than character development.

The Players at the Table Featurette (18:02)

     A series of self congratulatory interviews with the countless number of real poker pros who have cameos in the film. Whilst some of the discussions of how characters in the film are like real poker players, this really adds up to little more than promotional fluff.

The Reel Deal: The time and place of Lucky You Featurette (14:26)

    The film is set against the backdrop of the 2003 World Series Poker Tournament in Las Vegas. It may seem like an arbitrary date, but it is in fact the point that the recent televised poker fad began to significantly take off. This featurette explains the obsessive lengths that Curtis Hanson went to in order to "get it right".

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The only difference between the Region 1 and Region 4 editions of Lucky You is the languages and subtitles. Where Region 4 gets an English Descriptive Audio track for the blind, Region 1 features English and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks. The Region 1 edition features additional French and Spanish subtitle tracks.

Summary

    A shallow and occasionally confusing look at the world of pro poker at a time the game was undergoing a popularity boom. There are a handful of extras that may appeal to poker celebrity trainspotters.

    The video is quite good, although colours are a little pale. The dialogue is a quite soft, but the audio is otherwise OK.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
Display Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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