By Chaz Lipp

Okay let’s just face it, Bruce Willis is a machine. He’s constantly working and we just can’t seem to get enough. We checked out A Good Day to Die Hard and our review can be seen here. Hopefully Mr. Willis can break the miserable box office streak set this year by his fellow Expendables alumni, Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Last Stand), Jason Statham (Parker), and Sylvester Stallone (Bullet to the Head). We actually enjoyed all three (to varying degrees, as our reviews show) but they haven’t ignited at the box office the way we suspect Die Hard will (when hasn’t it? Then again, the fifth one kind of blows).

Of the six (!) movies Willis appeared in last year, we’ve already reviewed four: the truly awesome sci-fi mindbender Looper, the better-than-the-first The Expendables 2, the icky, overpraised Moonrise Kingdom, and a real wild card—the Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson-produced, direct-to-video Fire with Fire.

Turns out we’re not done checking out 2012 Bruce Willis flicks. Lay the Favorite stars Willis alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rebecca Hall (The Town), and Joshua Jackson. Impressive cast, but what struck me even more is that it was directed by two-time Academy Award nominee Stephen Frears. This guy has directed numerous great movies, including Dangerous Liaisons, The Grifters, Dirty Pretty Things, and one of my all-time favorite comedies, High Fidelity.

So how did Lay the Favorite wind up getting dumped in 61 theaters last December with no promotion? That’s a lot of talent for a movie no one seems to have heard of (I didn’t even mention that D.V. DeVincentis wrote the screenplay, co-writer of High Fidelity and Grosse Point Blank). We haven’t seen the movie yet, but we will be soon so stay tuned for a review. Definitely looking forward to checking it out.

The press materials call Lay the Favorite a “vivid exposé of the world of gambling based on the Beth Raymer’s best-selling memoir, Lay the Favorite: A Memoir of Gambling” with Bruce Willis playing odds-maker Dink, who is “running a small-time sports gambling enterprise when a former stripper named Beth (Rebecca Hall) promises to help him score big—and turns his world upside down.”

Lay the Favorite will be available March 5, 2013 on Blu-ray and DVD (with deleted scenes as a bonus on both formats) from Anchor Bay Entertainment and RADiUS-TWC.

Chaz Lipp

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