Skip to main content

The Boys Are Back

Let's be honest about the film-version of Entourage, the hit HBO comedy series about a rising movie star and his three friends who've followed him from Queens to Tinsel Town: It's the 100th episode of the premium cable's most popular show since Sex and the City, which both works in favor of the film and to it's detriment. While it's great to see Vince (Adrian Grenier) and his pals Eric "E" Murphy (Kevin Connolly), Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) and Johnny "Drama" Chase (Kevin Dillon), along with lovable douchebag super agent-now head honcho of a studio company Ari Gold (the reliable Jeremy Piven) back traversing Hollywood and the spoils of fame, those who disliked the show's eight-year run or those who got tied of the same shtick past season 5 will feel vindicated in their continued frustration as the film does feel like one huge circle jerk of A-list actors making fun of the hand that feeds them, along with having athletes making cameo appearances because they really want to be apart of the show, including Russell Wilson, Rob Gronkowski and Ronda Rousey, the latter of which has a slightly bigger part as Turtle tries to woo her in a cage match. In this regard, Entourage takes its cues from 2008's Sex and the City: it plays to their fans' devotion for sticking with the characters through thick and thin, thus allowing them to reacquaint themselves with old friends. 

Unlike the former, the latter was still able to welcome in audiences who've never seen a minute of the adventures of Carrie Bradshaw and her gal-pals Cynthia, Miranda and Samantha, primarily because each character had their own personal arc and we got to see them evolve, which made for a rewarding experience to a SATM novice like myself. In contrast, the former opens with Vince having a party on a boat to celebrate his divorce and shagging one of the female guests onboard, and it ends with the boys walking the red carpet for the Golden Globes. There isn't much character development with any of the leads, save E who  becomes a father. Vince is still a womanizing Lothario, Drama continues to have personal crises, usually of his making, Ari is still a huge prick, and Turtle is...well, Turtle, but even Ferrara's character isn't given much to do. 

I probably should explain the jist of the plot of Entourage: The Movie: Vince decides he want to take the next step in his career, and he does so by going behind the camera to write and direct a retelling of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with a $100 million budget. Unfortunately, the project went overbudget during post-production and Ari is left with the task of asking for more money from their benefactor Larsen (Billy Bob Thorton) a wealthy Texas tycoon who's financing the movie, in addition to dealing with his horndog son (an unrecognizable Haley Joel Osmet - yes, the kid who saw dead people in The Sixth Sense) who has hijacked the project because he has "concerns" and "ideas" about which direction the film should take. The whole thing is a brisk 105 minutes, and the film, despite the lack of character development and falling back on old tricks from the show, never wears out its welcome; a fact that was sorely missed by the latter HBO series-turned movie, as Sex and the City ran for almost 2 1/2 hours. 

As I said earlier, you'll either love being back with these characters, or hate how the whole thing feels like a self-glorified victory lap, there's not much middle ground. For me, though? Entourage, despite many shortcomings, is still a fun and occasionally funny satire on Hollywood and celebrity culture. There's a kick hearing Jane's Addiction's "Superhero" belting through the opening credits, much like the show's opener did for the past decade. The camaraderie between Grenier, Connolly, Dillon, Ferrara and Piven is still as strong as it was when the show began (well done Doug Ellin, the film's screenwriter and director). And it is funny seeing Liam Nesson telling Ari to go fuck himself, or watching Drama fall prey to his own over-inflated ego. Simply put, Entourage is a blast. Now let's hope Mark Walberg, one of the film's producers or Ellin himself don't do anything stupid, like make an unnecessary sequel (I'm looking at you, Sex and the City 2).

** 1/2 stars out of ****

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Lost in Translation

I think it's fair to assume that a lot of us were very skeptical upon hearing that Masmure Shinrow's cyberpunk manga Ghost in the Shell was being updated for mainstream audiences, in the form of a live-action film. We've seen how this business has handled manga/Anime properties in the past, and the track record, outside of the Wachowskis' Speed Racer, has been dismal, to say the least. When it was revealed that Scarlett Johansson was chosen to play Major Motoko Kusanagi, the Internet went ablaze, the cries that studio suits were whitewashing a beloved Anime character, as well as petitions making the rounds to remove the actress from the role in favor of an Asian actress to carry the role. When the first trailer dropped in mid-November of last year, I think most of us were blown away with just how, on a surface level, it looked like the live-action version might do the original source material justice.

Then, the actual film was released.

It's hard to talk about the …

Spare Me

Sometimes you find something so incredibly stupid and so utterly irresponsible on social media that you have to address it. Last weekend was the Peoples' Summit in Chicago, where a coalition of Sanders supporters and left-wing activists flocked to a three-day event to discuss about where the movement, which started back in 2016 behind then-candidate Bernie Sanders, would and should go in the Trump era, including whether the Democratic Party can be (or should be) saved, or if the time has come to abandon the party and start a new People's party instead. Enter The Young Turks correspondent Nomiki Konst and her thoughts on why the Democratic establishment should accept and embrace independents who don't lean either with the R's or D's in primary battles.
"No open primaries for Democratic Party equals voter suppression and racism with young independent voters" @NomikiKonst#PPLSummit — Holly Mosher (@FilmsForChange) June 10, 2017
*Rolls eyes HARD for several m…

Transformers: The One Good Movie

A bit of backstory here: I was at a bar last Saturday night, chatting with fellow film fan Mason Daniel via social media when an ad for Michael Bay's latest Transformers flick, The Last Knight, appeared on television, in which I had said that I would talk about each of the last four films before I (eventually) pay to see the fifth installment of the franchise. Also, I need to get back into writing and reviewing movies, because given everything that's happened in the world, and everything that has yet come to pass, I could use the distraction and escape. What better way to do that than to revisit the site's original whipping boy (before Jimmy Dore took the crown recently) and his soul-crushing franchise of noise and destruction?

Oh, Michael Bay. You and I have had a long, contentious relationship - most of it (extremely) negative. However, I do think his talent, purely from a visual aspect, is to be commended: every last one of his films has a slick Hollywood feel and shine…