Friday, 7 December 2012



La teoria de cordes és un marc de recerca activa en física de partícules que tracta de conciliar la mecànica quàntica i la relativitat general. Es tracta d'un contendent per a una teoria de tot (TOE), un model matemàtic independent que descriu totes les forces fonamentals i les formes de la matèria. Postula la teoria de cordes que les partícules elementals (és a dir, els electrons i els quarks) dins d'un àtom no són 0-dimensionals objectes, sinó més aviat línies oscil · lants 1-dimensionals ("cadenes"). That's the first paragraph of Wikipedia's entry on string theory shoved into Catalan through Google Translate, and it makes about as much sense as the sports gambling background of this nonromantic sort of comedy. What are these people doing? It's more than just placing bets, it's to do with manipulating the odds given by the casinos to get a better return. Or something. It makes Inland Empire look like an episode of Pingu.

That's what occasional stripper and wannabe cocktail waitress Rebecca Hall does in Lay The Favorite: she turns up in Las Vegas and immediately gets hired by Bruce Willis to work in his gambling firm, where they're always yelling on the phones and looking at numbers on the screen like they're in the New York Stock Exchange. But his jealous wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) won't let Hall stay: she moves to New York and works for shady bookie Vince Vaughn - which would be okay except that this sort of thing is illegal in New York and their big client won't pay up and he's on parole and the Feds might want to know who his bookmaker is...

I'm not so much of an imbecile that I can't usually grasp the basics of what's going on in a movie set where the laws and the rules aren't the same as in the UK. I can usually follow a movie about baseball or American football even though I'm rarely clear on exactly what's happening. But Lay The Favorite really needed to explain its scams and loopholes much more clearly than it did, if it wanted to interest anyone unfamiliar with the world of sports gambling. It barely even explains what the title means. As a result you're left with a decent cast bickering about something or other - we assume Willis is the good guy because he's against Vaughn and Vaughn is clearly a despicable sleazeball. There are no laughs, there's no real excitement, and ultimately very little point to it.



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