Thursday, December 25, 2014

ENTOURAGE: Vinnie, Turtle, Drama, Eric & Ari Coming to the Big Screen...YAY!

Eeeks! I'm so excited! The official trailer for the Entourage movie was just released, and I can not wait to see it next summer! I was a latecomer to this franchise. I jumped on the bandwagon after the HBO series had ended, but what I lost in timeliness, I made up for in dedication. I was a serial Entourage DVD watcher from seasons one through eight, until I was hooked on the stories of Vinnie, Turtle, Drama, Eric, and Ari.

What's not to love? It's no secret that I'm addicted to entertainment, media, lights, camera, and action. Especially action. I love the fanfare, I love the creativity of it all...I love the unpredictability of the entertainment industry. It comes with such ridiculous lows and such extreme highs that the paradox just fascinates me. Especially when people make it to the top. And stay there.

Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) was that top.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching ol' Vinnie and his boys (played by Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Conolly, and Kevin Dillon) navigate Hollywood, as four bredrens straight outta Queens, New York...as a part of Vinnie's A-List entourage. I enjoyed the stories, the shenanigans, and I especially loved the soundtrack. Every episode ended with THE perfect hip hop track. Everything about this HBO television series was my kinda shit.

From what I hear, the movie will pick up six months after we left the boys back when the series ended in 2011. Vinnie got married, and Ari and his wife finally had some peace and quiet in their lives...until he was offered a job to head Time/Warner. It was a nice cliffhanger, especially after knowing all of the drama Ari had in his marriage to Melissa (Perrey Reeves) and how they struggled every single season to make their relationship work. Ari, Hollywood's top agent and resident asshole on the show, was easily one of the most likeable characters, despite his arrogance and trickery at times. As a supporting actor in the series, Jeremy Piven was nominated four times for an Emmy award for Entourage, and came away with the win in 2006, 2007, and 2008.

A critically acclaimed hit, it only makes sense that the boys would return to continue their story for those of us that are ready to see where Ari and the others have gone. Who they're with. What they're doing. It's a natural curiousity, the result of a series of interesting story telling.

Of course, I loved the Hollywood element to this program. The clubs, the parties, and watching Vinnie make decisions on various projects, co-stars, relationships, and financial issues, all while carefully balancing his self-worth and his actual talent. While the Hollywood element was crucial to the show, the theme of friendship was also equally intriguing.

The dynamics between the group of four (including brothers Drama and Vincent) was great, and I loved how everyone continued to "play their role" despite the changes and successes along the way. Vinnie was always the leader; Eric was always the brains, stability, and logic behind the operation; Turtle was the cool guy, the go-to-guy and the perfect wing man; Johnny Drama was the wildcard and comic relief...while also being the elder (and chef) of the group. A great mix of personalities and the actors themselves--true New Yorkers--were believable as blue-collar Queens men on the come up.

Entourage provided the behind-the-scenes look at celebrity life with extra access, minus the calculated image management present with similar reality TV programs, striving to provide the same access. The soundtrack, the clever dialogue, the cameos (Matt Damon was definitely my fave), and the likability factor with the cast (loved Emmanuel Chriqui as "Sloan" and of course Rex Lee as "FLOYD!") made it an exciting show to watch.

It felt real. Like if there were ever four friends from Queens (or Boston, like show mastermind Mark Wahlberg, that loosely based the characters on his own life) that really did make it to Hollywood, this is probably totally how they would live (smoking weed, beaucoup females/sex, blowing money, pool parties, hanging out, blockbuster movie premieres and film festivals, and fast cars galore), and you got the feeling that as much as they were on top...that everything could still disappear in a heart beat. And that regardless of what went down, that they'd still be boys in the end.

That underlying tension of the lifestyle all being a "fantasy" was what made the show great. It made you want to root for everyone. You wanted Vinnie to only pick hit movies and hit directors/studios. You wanted Johnny Drama to finally catch a break and have his career excel again ("VICTORY!!!"). You hoped that Turtle would find his way and develop his own career hustle. And you appreciated the stability of Eric, his commitment to Sloan, and hoped that he would be able to lead the group wisely, without succumbing to the jabs and attacks from the ever-powerful Ari.

And now. A feature film! Yay! After being on the air from July 2004 to September 2011...the cast began filming the new Entourage movie in February of this year, and we'll be able to see the finished product by about June 12, 2015 from Warner Brothers.

Here's the teaser trailer...let the countdown begin:


Written by Stacey Marie Robinson for Kya Publishing's "Urban Toronto Tales" blog.

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