Blu-ray Review: Entourage

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Entourage is, of course, the big-screen adaptation of the wildly popular HBO series of the same name. While always curious, I have never seen the series. Not one episode. That put me in a strangely compromised position while screening the new Blu-ray edition of the Entourage feature film, new to Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, and Digital HD (via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment). Not knowing much about the show other than the basic premise, it was interesting to see whether or not the movie stands on its own for a total newbie. The answer, in short, is that Entourage (the movie) isn’t really a great point of entry for someone interested in Entourage (the show). The hour and 45 minute movie isn’t difficult to watch, but I can only surmise that it’ll be a whole lot more interesting and entertaining for fans who know the finer points of Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), Drama (Kevin Dillon), and Vince (Adrian Grenier).

There’s little point in trying to elaborate on the rather flimsy plot. Hollywood bigwig Ari is producing a movie that will serve as Vince’s directorial debut. Partially financing the film is the father-son team of Larsen and Travis McCredle (Billy Bob Thornton and Haley Joel Osment). Draped over this basic plot thread are comic set pieces, mostly concerning the various women with whom the guys are hooking up. Between trying to please everyone involved in the film (it’s called Hyde; we see a bit of it), Ari’s so stressed he can never seem to ‘close the deal, so to speak, while in bed with his wife, Melissa (Perrey Reeves). Vince is dating Emily Ratajkowski (playing herself), much to the dismay of her ex, Armie Hammer (cameoing as himself). 

entourage movie cover (297x380).jpg Speaking of cameos, perhaps the most fun element of the movie (for non-Entourage enthusiasts, that is) is spotting the multitude of cameos. This flick has more famous walk-ons than any movie since The Player it seems. Everyone from the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson to Liam Neeson to Jessica Alba pops up. UFC champ Ronda Rousey has a full-fledged supporting role, playing herself involved in a relationship of sorts with Turtle. Rousey has some fun moments (and gets to kick some ass at one point), though she needs to work on smoother line readings if she plays to do more acting (she displayed the same awkwardness in The Expendables 3). A subplot involving TMZ and an embarrassing video of Drama provides a few laughs, but this isn’t an especially laugh-out-loud film (again, I’m assessing this as an Entourage neophyte, maybe there are bigger laughs for those more intimately familiar with these characters).

Warner’s Blu-ray presentation is highlighted by a DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround mix that really thumps whenever there’s music. Overall the Blu-ray is everything one would expect from a recent studio-backed theatrical release. Steven Fierberg’s cinematography looks startlingly crisp. The look of the film is super-slick, with a moody layer of shadowy darkness that creates a striking, high-contrast appearance. Kudos to Warner for an outstanding technical presentation. 
et1 (380x254).jpg Entourage fans might find themselves a bit disappointed by the relatively few special features. The big feature here is the 19-minute set of deleted, extended, and alternate scenes. “The Gang: Still Rockin’ It” is a 15 minute featurette featuring an overview of the film and the series that spawned it, as told by the primary cast members. “Hollywood, Baby!” (eight minutes) is a standard-issue promo piece comprised of interview clips. “The Making of Hyde” is a tongue-in-cheek piece about the making of the film-within-a-film. There are a few other very minor bits, including a typical gag reel (three minutes).

Warner Bros. Blu-ray Combo Pack includes a standard DVD and a downloadable Digital HD copy. It’s highly unlikely Entourage will find much of an audience outside of fans of the HBO series, but for that particular demo, this movie will serve as a welcome coda to sit alongside their collection of season sets.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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