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Check the official website for more Las Vegas Monorail information

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The Las Vegas Monorail allows tourists to experience the famed Las Vegas Strip in as little as $5. Its speed is just right to have the eyes feasting on the magnificent lights and structures in this bustling tourist destination from a different vantage point.

Aside from being a very fast, environment-friendly, and practical alternative to taxi and shuttle rides, this strategically located, state-of-the-art transportation system lets the tourists enjoy the sight of the city from above the ground — without the traffic and at the fraction of the cost of a car rental. Even for locals, it has its own benefits as well.

Cost-efficient Transportation

Aside from the single-ride ticket for $5, a 24-Hour Pass for $12, Two-Day Pass for $22, Three-day Pass for $28, Four-Day Pass for $36, Five-Day Pass for $43, Seven-Day Pass for $56 are also available. These rates are updated as of April 2015. Check out for promo codes from various Las Vegas travel and tourism platforms to take advantage of an even cheaper monorail cost.

Nevadans enjoy discounted tickets available at all customer service booths upon presentation of a valid Nevada driver’s license, a State of Nevada government-issued identification card, or a Nevada Sheriff’s Card. The local fare for residents is only $1 per ride with a maximum purchase of two single-ride tickets per person per day.

Convenient Monorail Stops + Free Shuttles

Monorail riders don’t need to worry about city traffic or spend much with car rentals and high fuel consumption when dining, shopping, gambling, and enjoying entertainment venues both on and off the Las Vegas Strip.

The monorail arrives every 4 to 9 minutes at the seven monorail stations along Las Vegas Boulevard. People can explore every stop and take advantage of the free sites in each hotel station: MGM Grand; Bally’s/Paris Las Vegas; Flamingo/Caesars Palace; Harrah’s/The LINQ; Las Vegas Convention Center; Westgate Las Vegas; and the SLS Las Vegas Station.

Commuters can also catch the free Las Vegas shuttle from the monorail’s routes, which further help save commuters more time and money. They also have access to the free shuttle services departing from locations along the Monorail route: Rio Las Vegas Shuttle; Bally’s/Paris Station; Sams Town Shuttle; Palms Shuttle; and Orleans/Gold Coast Shuttle.

Additional shuttle options are not directly connected to the Monorail, but they are mostly about 10-15 minute walk from the closest Monorail station: M Resort Spa and Casino; Palace Station; Green Valley Ranch; and Southpoint Hotel.

For more detailed information about the Monorail stations and free shuttles, check out: Las Vegas Monorail Guide: Nearby Hotels and Attractions

Accessibility

The monorail system is completely ADA compliant with convenient access to wheelchairs, walkers, mobility scooters, and motorized scooters. All stations have accessible elevator services to all levels. Properly harnessed and trained service animals accompanying persons with disabilities are also permitted in the trains. Every child under five years of age always gets a free ride.

Ticket Validity

Monorail tickets are valid for one year from the date of printing. This information is shown at the ticket’s upper right corner. The unlimited passes should be used within a one-month period. Once the pass is used, it will expire in either 24 hours or 72 hours. To serve as guide to pass holders, every used ticket shall be stamped with an expiration date and time upon first use.

Monorail Schedule

The Las Vegas Monorail is open every Mondays from 7 a.m. to 12 m.n., Tuesdays to Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Friday to Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m.

The Customer Service Ticketing Office operates daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the following locations: MGM Grand Station, both The Underground (Formerly Star Lane) and The District Entrances; Bally’s/Paris Las Vegas Station; Flamingo/Caesar’s Palace Station; Harrah’s/The Linq Station; Westgate Las Vegas Station; and SLS Las Vegas Station.

More Las Vegas Monorail Information

The Las Vegas Monorail is an ideal option in specific occasions such as the New Year’s Eve celebration when the Strip is generally not very accessible to motorists, as well as popular conventions like The NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show and CES (Consumer Electronics Show), which attracts visitors from different parts of the world.

More Las Vegas Monorail information is available at its official website. Travelers are encouraged to tag @LVMonorail for their posts about their Las Vegas Monorail experiences.


Las Vegas Monorail Information: The affordable transportation around the Strip
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Della’s Kitchen at Delano Las Vegas will host a special farmhouse dinner Sunday, May 17 at 6 p.m. The event will tantalize taste buds with locally sourced and sustainable offerings showcased through five elegant courses designed by Executive Chef Jay Calimlim. Guests will be educated on the importance of local produce and how these ingredients come together to create a delicious culinary experience.

The evening will begin with a cocktail reception where guests will have the opportunity to meet Chef Calimlim as well as mingle with other attendees. Passed hors d’oeuvres will be served including Beef Tartare Benedict, Seared Diver Scallops and Chilled English Pea Shooters. At 7 p.m., guests will be seated and the culinary adventure will begin.

The delightful event menu will feature:

  • Spring Asparagus served with smoke crème fraiche, organic beets and pea tendrils
  • Durham Ranch Country Fried Quail served with local honey, lavender, smoked maldon and pepper mignonette
  • Berkshire Pork “Chop” served with creamy grits, baby root vegetables and pickled mustard seeds
  • Tahoe Cheese’s “Black & Blue” served with an oat and walnut crust topped with cherry gastrique
  • Lemon-Lime White Chocolate Cremeux served with oven roasted apricot, almond and hazelnut ice cream

The menu at Della’s Kitchen is focused on local and regional ingredients, including Delano Las Vegas’ own greenhouse, which supplies herbs for the desert-sustainable breakfast and lunch menu. Sustainability highlights for the farmhouse dinner menu include exclusive Nevada vendors such as Painted Hill Natural Beef, Durham Ranch Game Birds and Berkshire Pork, Tahoe Cheese and Mojave Desert Honey. From no added hormones or antibiotics to humanely treated and minimally processed ingredients, all of these sustainable options will provide superior flavor throughout this event.

Tickets are priced at $78 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and are available for purchase by emailing dellas@delanolasvegas.com or by calling the restaurant directly at 702.632.9254. Space is limited.

 

Della’s Kitchen farm dinner in Delano Las Vegas
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Shark Reef Aquarium Hammerheads

Las Vegas — The Shark Reef Aquarium Hammerheads can now be seen by Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino visitors.

This spring, two new curious creatures are lurking beneath the surface of Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. The attraction’s newest residents, a pair of Scalloped Hammerheads, were recently introduced into the 1.3-million-gallon Shipwreck exhibit.

Distinguished by the unusual shape of their heads, Scalloped Hammerheads reside in coastal warm temperate and tropical seas, and can grow up to 14 feet in length, weighing over 300 pounds. Shark Reef Aquarium is one of only three aquariums in the United States that Scalloped Hammerheads call home.

“Scalloped Hammerheads are one of the most distinguishable species of sharks and we are honored to welcome these stunning creatures to our aquarium,” said Adrienne Rowland, director of Shark Reef Aquarium. “Guests will be intrigued when they see these magnificent fish swimming alongside other Shark Reef favorites.”

Each of the Scalloped Hammerheads was retrieved from a sustainable and healthy population in Hawaii. Other populations of Scalloped Hammerheads were listed as an endangered species in 2014.

“We are fortunate to have these animals in our aquarium for our guests who may never have the opportunity to see them in the wild,” said Rowland. “This experience provides guests with a better understanding of the delicate balance of life in our oceans.”

Shark Reef is now home to two species of hammerhead sharks: the Scalloped Hammerhead and the smaller Bonnethead Sharks.

 

Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay: Welcoming the Hammerheads
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Best Museums in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is not all about hotels and gambling. It has some of the finest museums in the U.S. While there are dozens of museums and exhibits of various themes and interests located all over the city, these are the best ones to check out when visiting Las Vegas:

Atomic Testing Museum

755 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, Nevada 89119;702-794-5161

With 8,000 square feet of gallery and exhibit hall and a specialty gift store called the ATM Store, the Atomic Testing Museum provides multiple viewpoints of the Nevada Test Site and its impact on the country. It features many artifacts from the Smithsonian Institution, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and pieces of the Berlin Wall and World Trade Centers. Its design offers a highly interactive experience filled with touch screens, motion sensitive plasma TV presentations, audio interviews with former workers from the test site, and other valuable multimedia components for the benefit of museum visitors.

Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art Museum
3600 S. Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109; 702-693-7871

The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is Las Vegas’ premier exhibition venue hosting various exhibits of paintings, sculptures, and other works of art by the world’s leading and most influential artists. It has already featured works of many renowned artists from Picasso to Warhol. Its rotating museum-caliber exhibitions offer visitors rare opportunities to view legendary and historical works of art carefully selected from prestigious international collections.

Clark County Museum
1830 S. Boulder Highway, Henderson, Nevada 89002; 702-455-7955

The Clark County Museum provides guests with the uniquely valuable experience of visiting Southern Nevada’s past. Visitors can tour many sites such as the Heritage House, Mobile America, Beckley House, Esslinger Barn, Giles/Barcus House, Boulder City Depot, and Candlelight Wedding Chapel. Its Heritage Street features unique collections of historic homes restored to recreate lifestyles of important periods in local Nevadan history. There are replicas of the 1900s newspaper print shop Donald Reynolds Printshop, outdoor exhibits of a resurrected ghost town, a Paiute Indian Camp, and a Pueblo-style Exhibit Center providing a historical journey through its timeline from the Ice Age to the Age of Entertainment.

Las Vegas Natural History Museum
900 North Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89101; 702-384-3466

The Las Vegas Natural History Museum features animated dinosaurs, Southern Nevadan plant and animal life, international wildlife room, shark exhibit with live sharks, children’s hands-on exploration room, exhibitions about the African Savanna and African Rainforest, and other interactive natural science exhibitions and educational programs geared towards understanding, appreciation, and natural history preservation of the planet’s wildlife, ecosystems, and cultures.

Liberace Museum
1775 E. Tropicana Ave. Las Vegas, Nevada; 702-798-5595

The Liberace Museum features collections of jewelry, pianos, rare cars, costumes, antiques, customized automobiles, and elaborate costumes from Liberace’s million-dollar wardrobe. The entertainer and pianist Liberace was a mainstay of Las Vegas for many decades. His diamond-studded gold piano, fabulous capes, million-dollar furs, a Louis XV desk owned by Czar Nicholas II of Russia, an authentic uniform from Czar Nicholas, a piano played by Frederic Francois Chopin, and a concert grand owned by George Gershwin can all be seen in the museum. It also displays the world’s largest collection of rhinestones and other memorabilia.

Lied Discovery Children’s Museum
833 N. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada 89101; 702-382-3445

One of the largest children’s museums in the U.S., the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum features over 100 hands-on exhibits about science, arts, and humanities. There is an everyday living section where children can pretend to pick a job, earn a paycheck, conduct bank transactions, go shopping, and do the groceries for them to experience the tasks typically available for adults. There is also a section where children can simulate what it is like to be physically impaired. They can also explore a science tower with fiber optics and a weather station.

Nevada State Museum and Historical Society
700 Twin Lakes Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada 89107; 702-486-5205

The Nevada State Museum and Historical Society is a state agency and an educational institution that serves as a museum for the advancement and understanding of the natural history of Nevada, with emphasis in Southern Nevada and its relationship with its surrounding areas. Aside from hosting national and international traveling exhibits in many of its gallery spaces, it has the three permanent exhibits Biological Sciences, Regional History, and Earth Sciences. This museum continues to grow as it continuously collects, researches, interprets, and preserves the state’s past and present heritage.

Marjorie Barrick Natural History Museum
University of Las Vegas Campus, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, Nevada; 702- 895-3381

The Marjorie Barrick Natural History Museum offers a dedicated collection about native cultures in the Southwest and Central Americas. It carefully illustrates the natural history of Southern Nevada and its bordering regions and also serves as a valuable learning facility for students at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). This regional center for natural history features survival arts and native artistry of the Southern Paiute, dramatic weavings of the Navajo, beautiful carvings of the Hopi, dance masks of Mexico, and huipils of Guatemala. Guests can explore the earlier periods of Las Vegas, the building of the Hoover Dam, and the pre-Columbian cultures. Many of its exhibits also showcase diverse and fascinating wildlife and fragile ecosystems.

Best Museums in Las Vegas, Nevada
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Las Vegas is not the “Entertainment Capital of the World” for nothing. The city’s bars offer much diversity to take nightlife fun to the next level. From the elegant and upscale Vegas club-going experience to the weirdest and wildest textures of club extravagance, this tourist-driven city has so much to offer for people’s varying tastes and preferences.

Drai’s

3595 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89109; 702-737-0555, 702-737-7801

Located at the basement of the Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon (formerly Barbary Coast), Drai’s is a notable gourmet French restaurant during the the day and night’s regular hours, then it transforms into an after-hours nightclub by midnight. To date, Drai’s is the only after-hours bar and nightclub in Vegas where guests can literally go partying until the morning drops. It has consistently been the favorite of those looking forward to partying well after the regular nightclubs close their doors. As an iconic Vegas nightlife spot, it establishes itself as the longest-running late-night venue in this bustling tourist destination. This bar is known for its great house music and fine bottle selection and service.

As a trendy bar and Art Deco lounge bringing house beats and chill vibe to partying guests, this Vegas hotspot boasts interestingly hip, library-like furnishings and intimate interior design. It showcases moody bookshelves, plush sofas, decorative chairs, and tropical plants all with that impressive slice of artistic flair. It features a nightly performance of a small jazz ensemble that entertains the audience with light and soulful grooves. The warm and mostly reddish lights also set the mood for a taste of the newest sounds from the most popular and experimental DJs around.

Double Down Saloon

4640 Paradise Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89109; 702-791-5775

Double Down Saloon is a punk rock site located east of the Strip and one block south of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Upon arrival, guests are greeted with the sign “Happiest Place on Earth.” This dark biker bar showcases vivid chaotic and psychedelic murals covering the walls and ceiling. Wild videos abound in all directions. A diverse list of touring bands and various local and regional artists provides live music every weekend.

Going to Double Down becomes a complete dive bar experience with its eclectic and varied mix of both locals and tourists enjoying dirty jokes, goth murals, live punk music, jukebox, poker and pinball machines, and stage performances. As threatening and crude as it is, it has that weirdly warm and inviting atmosphere in a completely punk rock way. The bathroom looks like a crime scene filled with pornographic images and graffiti smeared with a number of God knows what. Punk converts including hot girls, male execs, bums, hipsters, bohemians, and regular Joes and Janes can grease up with the signature Bacon Martini or the Ass Juice (a combination of a number of liquors and fruit juices). The bar also offers the infampus Leprechaun piss (a green concoction that hides its kick-ass strength through its well-masked sweet taste) and the awesome Schlitz beer.

Beauty Bar

517 Fremont St. Las Vegas, NV 89101; 702-598-1965

Beauty Bar is not your typical bar nor your average nightlife spot in Vegas. It packages itself as a unique place complete with full salon-style atmosphere. It is located in the east side of the historic Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, right between Fremont and the 6th. This gaming-free joint outfitted with a retro-salon interior is a 2,100-square foot location with salon equipment salvaged from the old Capri Salon and Style in Trenton, New Jersey. Its alcove lighting comes from the Algiers Hotel in Las Vegas. It features retro deluxe dryer seats, elaborately mirrored vanities, and other old school salon accessories and furnishings.

The allure of a 1950’s-era salon makes this trendy beauty salnghon-themed nightspot a refuge outside the usual buzz of the Vegas casino culture. It mixes the unique martinis and manicures experience and the manicure demonstration sessions that are comparable with the best masculine sports bars around. It also features live entertainment from top DJs seven nights a week at no cover charge, except during special events.

Diversified List of 2010 Best Bars in Las Vegas
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As an occasion of ethnic pride celebrated throughout Mexico and the U.S., the Cinco de Mayo festivities in the Las Vegas area offer a lot of great food and drinks, fun events, and themed contests around the valley.

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta at The Chef’s Table

Star and Will’s Residence 10029 Artistic Walk Avenue Las Vegas, NV 89149

Keeping up with the Mexican tradition of eating, drinking, dancing and celebrating during the occasion, the Chef’s Table invites guests to celebrate with them the annual observance of the Mexicans’ historic day of unity and patriotism on May 1, 2010, 5:00 p.m. Guests are expected to enjoy festival food including Barbacoa, Carnitas, Arroz, Frijoles, Pico De Gallo, Tortillas, Chips and Salsa, Pan Dulce, and Margaritas. There will also be a salsa contest for those who can whip-up the best homemade salsa. Those who are interested should bring their labeled entries during the celebration.

There is a $10 per person fee to be collected at the door. Reservations should be made on or before Apr. 29, 6:00 p.m. There is an option not to pay the $10 fee by bringing a bottle of tequila. Interestingly, there is a welterweight boxing match on the same night: Mosley vs. Mayweather. And if there’s enough interest and donations, guests can enjoy watching the pay-per-view fight while enjoying the rest of the festivities. The event will be hosted by Star M and Vernalisa, The Party Chef.

Lindo – Centennial’s The Gringo and Me ‘Cantina’

7870 W. Tropical Parkway Las Vegas, NV 89149

The Lindo Michoacan Gourmet Mexican Cuisine invites everyone for the 2nd Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Lindo Centennial. On May 5, 2010, guests will enjoy festivities all day long with food, beer, and margarita specials, the featuring of the Karma Tequila (a top shelf 100% blue agave tequila); the live Mariachi Band “Mariachi Franco” performing from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., the Lindo T-shirt Giveaway, the FUZE Jamis Mountain Bike and Coleman Roadtrip Grill Giveaway, and the featuring of the Karma Tequila Girls to further spice up the occasion.

Pre-Cinco de Mayo Celebrations at the Rio Hotel

3700 W. Flamingo Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89103

A two-day event intended to kick off a weekend before Cinco de Mayo 2010, the Pre-Cinco de Mayo at the Rio Hotel and Casino will feature the most popular Tejano bands including popular groups and folk and regional performers at the hotel’s pavilion.

The Friday event will feature: David Lee Garza y Los Musicales, Roberto Pulido Y Los Clasicos, Chente Barrera, Tobias Rene and Gabe Nieto and Jalapeno Express. The Saturday event will feature: Little Joe Y La Familia, Flaco Jimenez, Augie Meyers and Charlie Rich, Jr.

Comedian Rick Martinez at Harrah’s The Improv

3475 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89109

May 3, 2010 shall mark an early celebration of Cinco de Mayo at the Harrah’s Hotel and Casino by sharing a few margaritas and laughs with Latin comedy sensation Rick Martinez. Bringing his style of hilarity to The Improv stage by 8:30 p.m., this special one-night-only performance by the Mr. “Spicy Latino Nights” himself will offer Latino music and stand-up comedy performances for guests to enjoy.

Tickets are sold at $19.75 (plus applicable taxes) for general admission and $27.45 (plus applicable taxes) for VIP tickets. The VIP treat includes special seating, meet and greet with Rick Martinez, and a complimentary T-shirt. Tickets can be purchased at the Harrah’s Box Office (702-369-5223) and online at www.harrahs.com.

Erik Estrada at the Tacos & Tequila’s 12-Hour Cinco De Mayo Fiesta

3900 Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89109

Erik Estrada will host the tribute to Tacos and Tequila’s (T&T) most beloved holiday on the second annual 12-hour celebration of Cinco de Mayo on May 5, 2010 (starting at 11:00 a.m.). T&T at the Luxor Hotel and Casino will provide sizzling Cinco de Mayo food and drink specials, a Mariachi happy hour from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., “Cock-a-Doodle Duel” competitions, and an action-packed fiesta hosted by former “CHiPs” star and Cinco de Mayo celebrity favorite Erik Estrada.

Estrada and surprise guest judges will also host the Tacos & Tequila’s “Miss T&T Hot Tamale” pageant. Guests will expect a stunning lineup of Vegas’ hottest muchachas to go head-to-head in a competition of brains, beauty, and brawn. The winner will receive $5,000 in cash and will become a spokesmodel for T&T and Hennessey Black.

2010 Cinco De Mayo Celebrations in Las Vegas
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2010 Local Easter events in Las Vegas

Local Easter events in Las Vegas provide bonding and celebration opportunities to children and their families.

Alice and the Mad Hatter’s Dance Along Celebration (1300 W. Sunset Road, Henderson, NV; 702-434-0202)

The Easter Bunny Arrival will feature an interactive show with Alice and the Mad Hatter’s Dance Along Celebration and a parade at the Galleria of Sunset Mall’s Center Court. Children can have their photos taken with the Easter Bunny during mall hours from Mar. 13 to April 3, 2010. Each kid will also receive a free activities book after the photo session.

Family Flashlight Easter Egg Activity Night (Mirabelli Community Center 6200 Hargrove Ave. Las Vegas, NV; 702-229-6359)

The children and the whole family can enjoy carnival games and a Flashlight Egg Hunt meant for ages walking up to 12 years old on March 26, 6 p.m. This Family Flashlight Easter Egg Activity Night offers free admission to all the games and activities. Advance registration is recommended.

Easter Festival Egg Decorating Workshop (East Las Vegas Community/Senior Center, 250 N. Eastern Ave. Las Vegas, NV; 702-229-1515)

Create personalized Easter eggs with instructor Bobbie Ann Howell on Mar. 27, 2010, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The works are meant for display as official entries to the Easter Festival Egg Decorating Contest. The competition is open from ages 7 to adult. The $3 fee includes supplies needed for the workshop.

Easter Cultural Festival (East Las Vegas Community/Senior Center Bandstand, 250 N. Eastern Ave. Las Vegas, NV; 702-229-1515)

Bring the whole family for fun and bonding with a number of Easter activities including art projects, games, live entertainment, Easter Bunny, and information booths at the Easter Cultural Festival on Apr. 3, 2010, from 12 noon to 3 p.m. Information will be offered in English and Spanish.

Arts and Entertainment – Other Events,” Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Local Las Vegas Events – March 2010,” Vegas4Locals.

2010 Local Easter events in Las Vegas
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The Hangover movie review

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“The Hangover” is a guilty pleasure comedy. Who knew a hangover could be this fun?

This guy flick about a bachelor party gone wrong is really nothing special; but the simplest reason for its comedic success is the fact that it achieves a rare balance between character and vulgarity. There is a sort of perverse brilliance, or maybe brilliant perversity, thrown by the characters against the gambling streets of Las Vegas.

Director Todd Phillips (“Starsky and Hutch,” “School for Scoundrels,” and “Old School”) is successful in promoting strong comic performances in the film. This Las Vegas-set movie centering around three groomsmen who lose their about-to-be-wed bud after their drunken misadventures proves that it’s not all about the big Hollywood names just to get the big laughs. While it would be misleading to claim this as a brilliant film, this cleverly vulgar bromantic comedy is an assured escapist offer.

The film’s stumbles and slurs become effective with a fine ensemble cast. Lewd and rude, the gags generally come from a fun script from Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. This aptly titled movie has some spirited moments of devilishly smart absurdity. It turns out to be every bit as crass, offensive, and incorrect as people would expect, but they are victimized by its bizarrely gripping comedy.

Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galafianakis are a great comedic trio with each one bringing a different element to the movie. Justin Bartha as the groom-to-be Doug Billings blends his matinee idol appeal with the thoughtfully funny twist in the end. The good chemistry extends to the solid performances of the other supporting characters, including the cameos — Heather Graham as the stripper Jade, Ken Jeong as Mr. Chow, Mike Tyson as himself, among others.

What makes this flick work is how the antics seem innocently awkward rather than deliberately awkward. And that’s what makes the movie so funny. Yes, it’s not in any way pleasing the way it handles the female characters. And that’s the not so good thing about it. Yet, the jokes can really victimize the general viewer. Anyway, the audience knows that it has no other major intention but to provide dim-witted comedy with immoral, ruthless characters not to be taken too seriously.

But where exactly did the chicken inside the hotel room really come from? At least, the tiger has a pretty clear role with Mike Tyson…

‘The Hangover’ Film Review: Hanging Over a Guy Flick
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For “Ocean’s Thirteen,” watching the inventive and spontaneous bunch of professional men pulling off an impossible heist for the third time, is a guilty pleasure to watch.

The usual suspects known for delivering their witty lines in effective, nonchalant ways, as well as doing impossible tasks in various capacities, are back with sophisticated humor, peppered ironies, comedic suspense, and contagious energy that has marked the franchise since “Ocean’s Eleven.”

Centering the saga on male camaraderie, team loyalty, and cool professionalism, it has clear personal motivations: brotherhood in the middle of revenge. The clan is reunited again to avenge their mentor from the moral crime of his swindler x-partner.

This star-driven genre flick maintains the grace and manners the franchise is known for. The gentleman heistmeister Danny Ocean (George Clooney), along with his best dressed tactician and sidekick Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt) and the rest of his wild bunch, return to Las Vegas. They recapture much of the spirit of “Ocean’s Eleven” by pulling off another con to get even with the egomaniacal Vegas kingpin Willie Bank (Al Pacino) who double-crosses one of the original eleven Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould). Without being exploitative of the original film’s reputation, this motion picture’s familiarity and interconnections become a confection of silly gags and great visuals adhering to a clear and simple premise — all spiced up with a complicatedly breezy plotting.

“Ocean’s Thirteen” looks fresh and sharp amidst the touches of that formulaic Hollywood style. Making up a true fun escapist heist movie, its smart one-liners and cool references to its previous chapters, and even to the stars’ off-screen personas, put the right chips on for a good deal.

“Ocean’s” helmer Steven Soderbergh proves his bravura wits as he engages the audience with grand visual and aural pleasure. The technical and scientific aspects of the heist are so complex that they may be hard to follow, but Soderbergh knows his way around. He has a firm grasp of technical devices to elevate the story with his splendidly staged scenes, fast tempo, and stunning framing. They all work together to keep up with the textual properties missing in the raw material. Indeed, his masterful direction and the lensing by Peter Andrews, along with the contributions by the rest of the equally-delivering staff, crew, and cast, make the film awesome to watch.

Credit is due to the clever script from writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien, also the ones behind the poker drama “Rounders.” The film consists of hundreds of brief scenes where the new heist is for the sake of friendship, not money. The cool and witty lines build a sleek narrative momentum throughout the film.

Each of the well-crafted characters deliver lines with relaxed wit, which makes the screenplay work for its best purpose. Danny and Rusty have the biggest parts in the screenplay, while the rest of the gang in smaller but still well-written parts often operate individually in their own fun times.

The physicality of “Ocean’s Thirteen” relies on elaborate play on light and color. The whole film boosts of a rich and diverse color palette. The stylistic flourishes and ostentatious interior design of Bank’s spanking new high-rise casino named appropriately as The Bank boasts bright and hot colors, mainly sumptuous golds and reds. Shot on a lavish set built on Warner Brothers’ biggest soundstage to date, the lurid colors, sterling sets, fabulous costumes, and illustrious props really keep up with the demands of an eye-catching Vegas. Add up The Bank’s impeccable CGI work, the absurd but nonetheless amazing twisting structure dominating the Vegas skyline yields to the film’s grand production demands.

The bright and warm colors of the casino spots render effectively opposite the blues and grays of the exterior scenes. The”Ocean’s” troupe aptly maintains that “cool men in cool clothes” look wherever they are. Production designer Philip Messina and costume designer Louise Frogley should be given due credit to their enormous contributions to the movie’s physicality. So goes with cinematographer Andrews, editor Stephen Mirrione, and composer David Holmes — all complementing each other’s work for the good of the final picture.

‘Ocean’s Thirteen’ Film Review: The odds of guilty pleasure
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Editing
VFX/Animation (if any)
Acting/Voice Acting
Commercial Flair
Average

A romantic drama set in the gambling world of Las Vegas, “Lucky You” tells the story of Huck Cheever (Eric Bana), a happy-go-lucky bachelor whose life revolves around the green felt poker tables. In between his games, he also confronts his personal conflicts including his problematic relationship with his father.

The film gives a gist of how poker works. It makes the game look generally interesting and less “sinful.” However, for somebody who is not knowledgeable in playing poker at all, it’s hard to catch up with the basic mechanics of the game while watching the film. It straightforwardly shows the grueling world of gambling and betting as the various characters inside this realm create a whole new world of their own. While within the high-stakes back-drop of Las Vegas, they bring us a gist of stories about human relationships, inhabiting a number of snapshots of personal dramas that unfold in every laying out of the cards.

The front story is clear — Huck is a hotshot poker player whose emotions at the table often gets the better of him, amidst his really exceptional skills, especially when he goes heads up with his estranged father, a living legend in the poker world and a two-time world champion L.C. Cheever (Robert Duvall). While living a life without clear direction, he meets the struggling singer Billie Offer (Drew Barrymore). From then on, he finds himself keeping up with something more than just poker.

The boy-meets-girl premise clearly features a romantic story in the making. Within the film’s physicality lies a character-driven story based on the usual formula for a Hollywood narrative.

Huck deals with life through his instincts. This enables him to take advantage of his opponents at the poker table. Meanwhile, Billie uses intuition to see the truth and sympathize with what she sees around. As they fall in love, the turn of events shows how their instincts play big parts in their lives. However, their biggest difference becomes more apparent: Huck is a very talented man who uses his instincts to win the games while expertly avoiding emotional connections and long-term commitments at the same time; while Billie lacks talent but she uses her instincts to open her heart while becoming emotionally connected for the sake of what is right and what is good. These two people who are clearly looking for better lives try to gamble for love in a narrative filled with drama, humor, and metaphors.

The characters inhabit certain personalities while following the tried and tested mainstream formula of the main character overcoming adversity and succeeding in the end for that feel good effect. At some point, the film tries to cut the predictable formula by turning a bit away from its predictable twists; however, the mere breaking of it turns out quite syrupy and formulaic still.

With “L.A. Confidential,” “Wonder Boys,” “8 Mile,” and “In Her Shoes” under his belt, director Curtis Hanson tries to keep the story character-driven. Working with scriptwriter Eric Roth (the man behind the Academy Award winning script of “Forrest Gump”), he tends to make the general interior scenes within the poker tables and well-lit hotels and casinos interesting enough for both the big-time and real-life gamblers and those curious ones who are not that familiar with the gamblers’ domain.

‘Lucky You’ Film Review: A poker life
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