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By Mark Bell | June 8, 2007

Don and I found ourselves in Old Las Vegas tonight, seeing Zak Penn’s “The Grand” at the Golden Nugget. Fun film, a mockumentary entirely improvised about a poker tournament, including the final match of the movie, a championship that was played out live and then, once the outcome was certain, appropriate endings were shot. It starred Michael McKean, David Cross, Richard Kind, Ray Romano, Chris Parnell, Dennis Farina, Cheryl Hines, Werner Gerzog, Woody Harrelson and Gabe Kaplan.

Now, I know nothing about poker, save the game or two on XBox Live, so I was a bit lost when the final game got dramatic, but luckily the film had some announcers / voiceover that made sure dumb-a***s like myself knew what the f**k was going on. Since Don knows considerably more about poker than I do, he gets review duty.
The afterparty was also at the Golden Nugget, at their pool, and… they have a shark tank… with a scuba diver holding a CineVegas sign. I kept wanting to jump into the shark tank too (they had life guards on duty though no one was pool bound) and they even had a water slide that ran, clear-tubed, through the shark tank. Sadly, it was not operating, otherwise there may’ve been pics of me in the pool.

The evening was a blast, and at one point I think Don challenged Trevor Groth to a basketball shoot-out of “Horse,” which I hope occurs. I got to see Trevor play at the Palms’ Hardwood Suite last year and Trevor has got some serious game. The only game Don’s got, as far as I’ve ever seen, is when he beat me by one point at a basketball toss shoutout at the Austin, TX Hooter’s during SXSW. Trevor, however, is way better than a measly Hooters shoot-out. Believe it!

The festival really begins in earnest tomorrow (er, today?) as the films start playing fast and furious. Expect reviews, interviews, pics and more video (in case you haven’t seen enough with our red carpet fun) as we roll on. Don’ll be rocking through Monday, and Jamie rolls in Sunday evening. Me, I’m here the whole fest…

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