- 2 BD-50 Blu-ray Discs
- 1080p/AVC MPEG-4
- English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- English SDH, French, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish
- Audio commentaries
- Inside the Hollywood High Life
- The Shades of Sasha Grey
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Entourage: The Complete Seventh Season (Blu-ray)
HBO / 2010 / 330 Minutes / Unrated
Street Date: July 12, 2011
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- List Price: $39.98
- Amazon Price: $19.99 (50%)
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Reviewed by Aaron Peck
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
'Entourage' has always had a light-hearted feel. I've long admired the show because, even though it's full of cussing and the back-stabbing world of Hollywood, it's never seemed intentionally mean-spirited. Even when Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) paints portraits with his profanity, the show has always had a charm about it. Many people thought the sixth season was lackluster, I thought it was just fine. It may have not been as full of conflict as we'd like it to have been; Vince (Adrian Grenier) was coasting on his new-found popularity and the biggest problem he faced was what to do when he was bored.
Season six had more to do with the other guys around Vince and how much they wanted to come out from under his shadow. Sure Vince was taking care of them, buying everything they needed, but that wasn't enough. There came a point where they all felt they weren't accomplishing what they wanted to accomplish, and so they set out to do it. E (Kevin Connolly) quickly found a home at one of the biggest managerial firms in Hollywood, but was still dealing with his feelings for Sloan. Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) tried to get funding for his "Limhos" idea – a limousine company with very attractive female drivers. Drama (Kevin Dillon) tried his hardest to harness his hot temper in order to keep an acting job on a syndicated TV show. And Ari fought to become the town's most important agent, and by the end of the season a merger had happened that put him exactly where he wanted to be, up on a pedestal looking down on everyone below him.
Season seven starts out with Vince still atop the fame ladder. He's now starring in a huge action movie directed by Nick Cassavettes. After a near-death experience during a self-involved stunt, Vince seems to go off the deep end. It happens slowly, but Vince seems to go through a Charlie Sheen story arc. He starts doing cocaine, starts dating real-life pornstar Sasha Grey, and begins worrying his friends with his unruly behavior.
E and Sloan are finally getting married, and E is having a hard time realizing that he won't be able to party with his buddies every night. Drama sits at home sulking because he doesn't have a TV show, but he's still on retainer from the network in case something comes up. He's desperately searching for his own show, but when E comes to him with the prospect of doing an animated show called 'Johnny Goes Bananas' Drama freaks out thinking that everyone is making fun of him. Turtle's storyline this season was by far the most uninteresting and at times annoying. After the failure of his limo business Turtle finds a business partner in a Mexican tequila maker. It's a small company, but they want Vince as the face of it. The story goes on to involve numerous awkward appearances by Mark Cuban wanting to invest.
Since season six spent most of the time with Vince at the top, lounging about like nothing was wrong, season seven really brought him back down to a real-world level. His stardom has finally gone to his head. By the end of the season he's out of control and we're left wondering if he'll ever be at the top of the game like he has been the past couple seasons. But, by far, Ari's storyline has the most confrontation and conflict. His hurtful words finally come back to bite him in a huge way. Not only is his career affected, but Ari – who is a staunchly faithful husband – is finding himself in deep trouble with his wife. When word gets out about the kind of language Ari uses on his subordinates, things will never be the same.
I liked season seven just as much as I liked season six. It's funny, and its storylines (excluding Turtle's) are just as interesting and involving. Watching Vince spiral downward is tough since he's so likeable. Still, it's easy to see the comparison between him and Charlie Sheen, and if he doesn't clean up his act he may fall out of the good graces of his fans fast. If you've followed along with the show for this long then you'll be just as interested in season seven as the others. I can't see why fans of the show would like this season any less.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
Season seven comes to Blu-ray on two 50-GB Dual Layer discs (as opposed to the three discs that were in the season six set). The discs come packaged in a similar packaging as season six, but there are differences. It's a slimmer package, but the discs are still contained in a cardboard fold out with its own disc hubs. The foldout slips nicely into a cardboard slipcover. There are 10 episodes in this season. It's identified as being region A only.
HBO's season seven of 'Entourage' looks practically identical to the video presentation on season six. It has the same flaws, but also boasts the same strengths.
Like season six, season seven can be noisy at times. White backgrounds crawl with digital noise that isn't really present at any other time. Contrast burns a little too hot with whites becoming slightly too overblown. Still, this could be because the LA sun is naturally hot anyway.
Detail, especially in close ups, is unrivaled. The beautiful people on 'Entourage' are given every chance to look their best. Sasha Grey fans will be more than happy to see their favorite adult actress baring it all in high definition. Textures are nicely defined. Ari's tailored suits stand out as intricately detailed. Edges are, for the most part, perfectly defined. I didn't notice any technical anomalies that hampered the image other than a few instances of minor ringing and some aliasing on car grills and LA skyscrapers.
Akin to the sixth season, HBO's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound presentation is pretty much the same. This is a dialogue-heavy series that presents its talkative aspects intelligibly.
Even though the show is heavy on talking, there are still times when a heavy helping of LFE kicks in. When the guys visit swanky LA bars, hip-hop music blares in the background. The first episode features Vince doing his own stunt, and a few explosions offer deep LFE that hasn't been present much in the series.
Directionality works well as fast-talking characters continue talking even when they're out of frame. Rears aren't all that engaged, but feature a bit of surround sound capability whenever we transition to Ari's busy agency or whenever the guys visit crowded restaurants or parties. It isn't a sound mix that's going to blow you away, but fans of the show will be sufficiently happy with the outcome. The only real complaint I have with the sound design is that it seems that the songs that play over the credits are mixed louder than anything else. They blare at you whenever an episode ends, and it can be quite jarring at times.
- Audio Commentaries — Like season six, there are only three commentaries contained on this set. The episodes "Hair," "Porn Scenes in an Italian Restaurant," and "Lose Yourself" are the episodes with commentary. All three of the commentaries pretty much have the same set of main cast and crew from the show. Creator Doug Ellin, Executive Producer Ally Musika, and actors Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Jeremy Piven and Jerry Ferrara all appear on these commentaries. It's nice to have commentaries where most of the series regulars appear with frequency. Love having Piven on these commentaries, even though he's a bit more reserved than his character of Ari. These are anecdotal commentaries. It shows that this group of people have been working together for quite a while now. They're nice and congenial. Fans will want to give these commentaries a listen, even though they don't ever really get that deep into the show's inner workings. It's still fun to hear what they have to say.
- Inside the Hollywood High Life (HD, 14 min.) — This is a simple EPK featurette that has interviews from the cast talking about the seventh season and how much they love their character arcs and how this is the best most interesting season ever. You know, the stuff that they're supposed to say.
- The Shades of Sasha Grey (HD, 6 min.) — A short featurette with adult film star Sasha Grey talking about her career.
There are no Blu-ray exclusives provided.
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I really enjoy 'Entourage.' I like its light-hearted approach to life in Hollywood. This is a show that could've been so cynical and mean, but instead it decided to approach celebrity and stardom with its tongue firmly in its cheek. With the exception of Turtle's dull storyline, each of the characters seems to be going through some big life changes. Especially Vince and Ari, who find their world's crumbling around them due to the past year's arrogance. Simply put, season seven is just as fun as the show has ever been. The video and audio presentations are in line with what we've come to expect from the show on Blu-ray. This set comes recommended, since it's still pretty easy to jump into 'Entourage' with only cursory knowledge of the main characters and still know what's going on.
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