I have taken to DVRing random movies to watch at my leisure. I blame the HD movie channels, really. This has led to some interesting choices showing up on the old hard drive. For instance, I have no recollection of recording "The Grand" an improvisational mockumentary about a poker tournament.
It had a pretty good cast, but I have no interest in poker at all. I don't get the game, and have no interest in gambling in general. It annoys me that ESPN shows it on TV (and it makes for incredibly boring TV – something GTAIV did a good job of making fun of..)
So, what made me watch this movie all the way through? Simple: Werner Herzog. For the uninitiated, Herzog is the insane director of such films as Fitzcaralldo, Aguirre Wrath of God and Grizzly Man. He has a legendary love-hate (literally) relationship with Klaus Kinski. He is ridiculously compelling, and anytime he is on screen he will say something crazy.
He is not an actor. In the Grand, he plays a poker player called only "the German" and he has one bizarre monologue where he discusses his need to kill small furry animals before he plays poker. It really is terrifying. He plays it completely straight.
That's the thing about him in this movie, everyone else goes broad, and looks for obvious comedy. Herzog is just Herzog, and that is strange and wonderful enough. How the heck did the makers of this film get Herzog? The film is worth seeing just for Herzog's few scenes. however for the true and full effect of Herzog's insanity, I recommend either Grizzly Man or My Best Fiend (a documentary about Herzog & Klinski's complicated relationship – one spoiler: they have both tried to kill the other on more than one occassion..)
Last 5 posts by Ezra
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