Movie star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), together with his boys, Eric (Kevin Connolly), Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) and Johnny (Kevin Dillon), are back… and back in business with super-agent-turned-studio head Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven). Some of their ambitions have changed, but the bond between them remains strong as they navigate the capricious and often cutthroat world of Hollywood with hilarious antics.
In reviews of seasons past I've been rather kind to 'Entourage' as a whole. Granted, it became tiresome in its final few seasons. That last season, which ended the show's eight-season run, had an impossibly trite ending that left everyone in the 'Entourage' boys club looking at brighter tomorrows filled with money, private jets, and women. The show couldn't even help but make Turtle into a millionaire by the end. That's the kind of show it was.
However, once the movie rolled around, I think I finally came to terms with some of the ickiness surrounding the franchise. For one thing creator Doug Ellin and crew have always been much too in love with their characters; unable to let anything happen to them that would cause lasting negative effects. Vince (Adrian Grenier) saw a few career downturns, but he always bounced back. It was always the show's prerogative to party hard without permanent consequences attached.
At first it worked as a somewhat satirical comment on the ludicrous lavishness of Hollywood and the inanity of getting a movie made in that town. Unfortunately, at some point in morphed into a parody of itself. So, the burning question was why do we need an 'Entourage' movie? The good times rolled already. Do the guys really need to look in the mirror a couple more hours and concoct even happier endings for each other? Apparently so.
Right out of the gate, 'Entourage' (the movie) reminds us that we're indeed watching that very same HBO show about a group of children disguised as men who gleefully tromp around L.A. searching for their next sexual conquest. A party on a yacht with dozens of scantily clad bikini models? What a perfect way of showing us what 'Entourage' (the TV show) would've looked like with a bigger budget paired with the same adolescent mindset. It's a reminder for us that this franchise serves as a lazy macho alpha-male daydream.
As the movie begins, Vincent Chase is once again on top of the acting world, but his real dreams lay in directing.. Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), who has returned from a short retirement to take over as head of a large movie studio, is skeptical but OK's the idea because Vince is, well, Vince. Ari hands the reigns of a huge budget movie over to Vince. A move that he's sure will pay off as his first major move as studio head. Along for the ride is Eric (Kevin Connolly) who's on-again-off-again relationship with Sloan (Emmanualle Chriqui) is still going strong (seriously).
The dynamic between Eric and Sloan and their will-they-or-won't-they back and forth has, by far, been the most nauseating continuous storyline the show ever had to offer. Well, besides whatever Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) is doing, that is.
Finally, there's Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon), Vince's brother, who experiences as much anxiety and depression about his lot in life – failed actor-brother of an enormous movie star – as he did in the show's eight seasons.
Nothing has changed here. It's still the same old stuff packaged in a bigger budget. Essentially, three 'Entourage' episodes held together by some memorable Ari scenes and Johnny Drama's inconsolable angst. The show's misogynistic overtones are still alive and well. The inability of 'Entourage' to treat attractive women as anything other than conquests to be won has always been problematic.
The curious idea of the movie is that it centers on the difficulties of getting a movie made within the bureaucratic nightmare that is the Hollywood studio system. Hoops must be jumped through, and illogical demands must be met. It all begs the question, what was it like to get this movie made? Or does that dive too deep down the rabbit hole? Perhaps it's best left unsaid.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
This is a 2-disc release. The Blu-ray is a 50GB disc, which is paired with a DVD copy. There is an UltraViolet Digital Copy included here. It's marked for Region A use and comes with a standard slipcover.
Sporting the same high-contrast visuals that the show was known for, the 1080p HD presentation of 'Entourage' looks great – if a little gaudy. Sure the hot California visuals tend to pump up the saturation. Colors are a tad artificial in brightness and skin tones skew the tiniest bit orange. Yet, much of the image looks superb.
Clarity, for one, is top-notch. Fine detail in close-ups is astounding. Mid- to long-range shots compare in every way. There were problems in earlier seasons where banding was an issue, especially when we were treated with an establishing shot of the L.A. skyline. Here there aren't any of those kinds of problems to speak of. Instead the picture is crisp throughout.
For a movie recently filmed this type of presentation is expected when it finally hits Blu-ray. It's just nice to see that the movie is a step up from the show's visuals, as it should be.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is a well-rounded one. It won't blow the socks off of anyone, but it performs commendably, considering the talk-heavy soundscape it's working with. One thing the mix does really well is prioritizing the dialogue directionality. Anyone who's watched the show understands that the dialogue comes fast and furious from a variety of characters. Those voices are placed perfectly in the sound field depending on where the character is on screen.
Large parties or busy movie lots have enough surround sound to keep the rear channels busy. L.A is buried in constant commotion and that frantic action is captured rather well in the surrounds.
The movie's soundtrack features most of the low-end bass, especially when we get a peek at Vince's movie he's directing. There's a club scene that features some really good thumping LFE that will cause your sub-woofer to rumble. All in all, you shouldn't be expecting a whole lot from a dialogue-driven show such as this, but it is nice that there are a few extra audio bonuses in there to give the listener a seasoned listening experience.
The Gang – Still Rockin' It (HD, 14 min.) – A back-patting special feature that features all of the regulars – Ellin, Grenier, Dillon, Ferrara, Connolly, and Piven – as they discuss how 'Entourage' evolved over time and how it led to a big screen debut.
Hollywood, Baby! (HD, 8 min.) – This promo-style featurette focuses on the differences between the show and the movie. It features a few brief interviews from Ellin, Grenier, Connolly, Ferrara, Piven, Dillon, and Mark Wahlberg.
The Making of 'Hyde' (HD, 5 min.) – 'Hyde' is the fictional movie within the movie. It's the film Vince is directing. Here Grenier as Vincent Chase covers the shooting of the opening scene.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 19 min.) – A collection of alternate scenes, and such.
Gag Reel (HD, 3 min.) – Your basic guffaws and gaffs.
'Entourage' certainly wore out its welcome. Watching them continue to burn bridges during a movie release wasn't all that pretty. Leaving Vinnie Chase and his band of boys chasing their dreams after the show concluded was probably the way they should've ended. This movie felt superfluous, except for a few Ari gems. It's not like anyone ends up in a situation dissimilar to how they ended when season eight called it quits. Anyway, it does have strong video and audio presentations. So, I'd say that this one is for fans only. Hardcore fans will enjoy it. The rest you, not so much.