ENTOURAGE | REVIEW

When the invites for the ENTOURAGE premiere came around and I couldn’t make it there was only person I just HAD to ask to attend in my stead. I had to just hint at the film to drag retired Kernel, Mitch, out of retirement. Of all the years I have known Mitch he has had two cinematic obsessions bordering on creepy; BOND and ENTOURAGE. He is pretty much an encyclopaedia on both subjects and I knew I needed his review of this. As such I apologise in advance for his essay on the subject at hand. ENTOURAGE is out now at all cinemas with thanks to the fine folks at Warner Bros and Roadshow Films. Like SEX AND THE CITY for the ladies, ENTOURAGE is all about a boy’s night out, so book your Gold Class or Lux seats, buy your expensive food and wine and get a night on with Vinnie, Ari and the boys!! It is rated MA15+ and runs for 104mins. Rock on…..JK.

 

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ENTOURAGE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

BY MITCH LEWIS

Hollywood heartthrob Vincent Chase has built one hell of a career for himself. As a fresh-faced youth plucked from a Mentos commercial by eagle-eyed agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), Chase landed his first leading role opposite Jessica Alba in the 2004 thriller, HEAD ON. Despite less than stellar box office earnings, the critical acclaim on Chase’s part led to volatile indie director Billy Walsh (Rhys Coiro) casting the New York born actor in what would become his breakout role in QUEENS BOULEVARD, a modest indie drama that snagged the Grand Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival and captured the attention of blockbuster director James Cameron (playing himself).

After seeing Chase in QUEENS BOULEVARD at Sundance, James Cameron offered him the titular role of AQUAMAN in his latest big budget superhero flick which would go on to triumph over SPIDER-MAN 3 at the box office, grossing over $116 million becoming the film with the highest grossing opening weekend in history.

On top of the world, Vincent Chase re-teamed with director Billy Walsh on a passion project, the Pablo Escobar epic, MEDELLIN. At the end of a troubled and expensive production, the film tanked along with Vince’s career but after a self-imposed stint in seclusion, Vince returned to the top of his game landing the lead roles in Martin Scorcese’s GATSBY and Frank Darabont’s Enzo Ferrari biopic, FERRARI as well as securing his name as a viable leading action man in the Nick Cassavetes directed film THE TAKEOVER and returning to the Marvel comic world in AIR-WALKER.

 

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ENTOURAGE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | VINNIE CHASE (ADRIAN GRENIER) ON A BOAT

 

Now, in 2015, Vincent Chase takes on double-duty marking his directorial debut and starring in the post-apocolyptic epic, HYDE.

If you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, who the hell is Vincent Chase and how in God’s name have I never heard of any of these movies before – the good news is, you’re not crazy. This is just how HBO’s longest running television series turned movie ENTOURAGE worked throughout its 7 year span.

After a hugely successful eight-season run, ENTOURAGE finally makes the leap from the small screen onto the silver screen and into the very industry in which it is based.

Piers Morgan more or less opens the movie by playing himself on his own TV show with an exposition that works as a catch-up for any unfamiliar cinemagoers while doubling as an episode of Piers Morgan documenting the making of HYDE. I never realised how clever the concept of ENTOURAGE actually was until I had to explain it out loud to people who had never seen it.

The entourage itself, Vincent ‘’Vinnie’’ Chase, Eric ‘’E’’ Murphy (Kevin Connolly), Johnny ‘’Drama’’ Chase (Kevin Dillon) and Sal ‘’Turtle’’ Assante (Jerry Ferrara) are all fictional characters who are involved in the production of fictional movies and storylines that all take place in a fictionalised version of Hollywood that has allowed for interactions with actual celebrities who play themselves and references to actual pop-culture events and storylines throughout the series and film.

 

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ENTOURAGE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | THE BOYS AND ARI

 

E is Vinnie’s best friend turned manager, Drama is Vinnie’s half-brother, chef and a struggling egotistical D-list actor himself and Turtle, also Vinnie’s childhood friend, is his driver turned tequila company owner with an undisclosed net worth of millions. Rounding out the Entourage is Vinnie’s long-time agent, the self-proclaimed super-Jew with a temper as impressive as his clientele, Ari Gold. Together, the five of them are a central hub in which some of the most deeply entertaining television story arcs have sprouted from. So much so that those very arcs have led to this, the ENTOURAGE movie.

This film takes place six months after the final credits scene from the series finale of ENTOURAGE season eight. After being coaxed out of a divorce averting retirement by a multi-billion dollar business offer, Ari and his wife Melissa have amicably decided to return to Hollywood so that Ari can replace John Ellis (Alan Dale) as the CEO of Time Warner. A newly annulled Vince asks Ari, as his first point of business in the new CEO role, to let him direct his first feature film to which Ari reluctantly agrees so long as the movie does not exceed it’s $100 million budget. When it does and more money is needed, Ari must meet with the films rich Texan financiers Larsen McCredle (Billy Bob Thornton) and his son Travis (Haley Joel ‘’I See Dead People’’ Osment) to convince them that their money is not being wasted on a travesty.

 

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ENTOURAGE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | THE BOYS AND ARI

 

Though just like the television episodes, the ENTOURAGE movie shifts it’s story focus effortlessly across to the other players as well. E and Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui) are pregnant but are mutually non-exclusive which makes way for the standard will they or won’t they moments but curiously ups E’s sex game, hilariously adding in a drop of molly and viagra infused water and a cruel roommate prank. Turtle pursues a relationship with MMA fighter Rhonda Rousey (playing herself) and Drama faces extreme career jeopardy not once but twice with very unexpected results.

This is the definitive ENTOURAGE experience. Money, girls, parties, star-power, laughter, story, friends, family and fun. Does that sound like something you might be interested in?

From the moment the swelling electric guitars of Jane’s Addictions anthemic theme ‘’Superhero’’ kick-in over the souped up opening credits right through to the wedding finale, Entourage captivates and entertains far beyond expectation and offers pure escapism and fantastic story telling by actors who are as comfortable in their roles as I was watching it. I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face the entire time or at least until the very end when it had become evident that I would be waiting at least another two years for some sort of sequel to quench my thirst for more carefree escapism.

 

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ENTOURAGE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | THE BOYS LOOK ON AS TURTLE (JERRY FERRARA) GETS BEATEN UP BY RONDA ROUSEY

 

BE CAREFUL – SPOILERS BELOW

I felt that Lloyd (Rex Lee) was underused. In a perfect world, he would still be Ari’s assistant which would’ve garnered him more screen time and a juicier story but if that HAD happened, the dynamic of seasons six, seven and eight would’ve been completely different. I also understand that being an integral part of the supporting cast, it would’ve been criminal had he have been completely omitted from the film altogether. I just didn’t think Lloyd’s storyline did him justice. It’s a tough one because the writers already had their hands full with sharing the load amongst the vast cast but I kind of think old Lloydy was a bit underdone.

The same goes with Drama’s sex tape fiasco. As funny as it was, the big commotion on-screen seemed to be all build up and no climax. It just went limp and dried-up when he received the call about E and Sloan. Maybe they’ll drop a secret series nine on us to flesh these events out further for a little more effect but outside of these two gripes and Haley Joel Osment’s unlikeable character, Travis McCreadle, there is not a whole lot I didn’t like about this movie.

As to be expected, there are cameos galore. Some are blink and you’ll miss them and some are bloody funny but whether a character is on-screen for 4 seconds or 104 minutes, playing themselves or somebody else, ENTOURAGE continues to deliver with it’s incredible dialogue, entertaining direction, unbeatable soundtrack and brilliant story-telling. Here is a movie that you (or I) could easily watch a dozen times or more and not get sick of it.

 

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ENTOURAGE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | THE BOYS AND ARI

 

ENTOURAGE is for men what SEX AND THE CITY is for women. Where Carrie had her girls, her clothes and her carefree lifestyle of labels and love; Vinnie has his boys, his money and his carefree lifestyle of fame and sex and when your fame and sex include Emily Ratajkowski and a just as sexy Cadillac Ciel, you can’t blame a man for dreaming, right?

For seven years, ENTOURAGE was my favourite TV show and remains as such to this day. I haven’t been able to get into a show quite like I have with ENTOURAGE since it ended in 2011 and as a fan, this film delivers exactly what you want just as you like it. Despite the film taking clever consideration to ensure the unfamiliar audience is also catered for, I’m not sure how well it would play as a stand alone feature but having said that, I have included a website link here in which Entourage creator Doug Ellis provides a list of eight integral episodes of ENTOURAGE you should try to watch before heading into the theatres this weekend for the movie.

http://ca.complex.com/pop-culture/2015/06/entourage-marathon/

I’m giving this movie a 4 out of 5. I removed a point because I felt devastated at the end of the movie that my life was a steaming pile of shit compared to the lives of those I’d just watched. Feel good movie of the year? Absolutely. Until you realise you are not hot, rich, famous or living in Hollywood.

 

KERNEL MITCH’S POP SCORE:

4 Pops

JK’S POP SCORE:

3 and a Half Pops