Tag Archives: entourage: the movie

The Best of 2015 Thus Far

As we’re now well and truly past the half-way mark for the year, it seems like as good a time as any for a few of the Failed Critics contributors to bundle together and reveal which films they’ve enjoyed the most so far. Come December, we’ll still be running the annual Failed Critics Awards, giving you the opportunity to cast your vote for your favourite films of 2015.

In the meantime, let’s have a quick run through of what some of our writers and podcasters have chosen as their five favourite films of the year. Will the biggest film of the year so far, Jurassic World, be featured? Will United Passions somehow infect this article too? Will anyone pick anything other than Mad Max?? Find out below…

by Andrew Brooker (@Brooker411)

1] Mad Max: Fury Road

mad maxFighting the urge to fill my word limit with just paragraphs of me repeating the words “Perfect”, “Awesome” and “The most fun I’ve had this year with clothes on”, I’ll try and be a little more cohesive in my description. It had been thirty years since the last film in the iconic Mad Max franchise, to bring a fourth entry to a series after that long is a massive undertaking at the best of times. But when its original star is as iconic as the film’s that made him famous, replacing him as well would be a recipe for disaster in any other filmmakers hands. Thankfully for all of us, the series’ creator made a triumphant return and gave us one of the greatest films I’ve ever seen. A breathtaking, visceral two hours (on three occasions) in the cinema left me shellshocked and shaking with excitement and almost unable to write my review when I got home I was so pumped. Oh, and there’s a dude on a truck made of drums and speakers playing heavy metal on a flame throwing guitar! No more needs to be said!

2] Ex Machina

3] Whiplash

4] Still Alice

5] It Follows

WORST: Avengers: Age of Ultron – Years of subtle hype and weeks of actual hype in the buildup to this, the biggest Marvel movie yet. What we got was a more than two hour long wet fart of a film that left me blindingly disappointed with a really bad taste in my mouth.

by Paul Field (@pafster)

1] Wild Tales

wild talesDark, twisted and utterly enthralling anthology from Argentina. All of the stories are great, no fillers here as is often the case with anthology films. I love a revenge film, and to have 6 served up in one sitting is a real treat. Hard to pick my favourite… the parking ticket is brilliant, the plane passengers unsettling and hilarious, the overtaking motorist caper that escalates out of all control…..but I think the Wedding. Pissing off the bride on her wedding day is an absolute no no, and here, she conveys her displeasure in spectacular fashion. As a first feature from Damián Szifron, this is outstanding and will take some toppling come the end of the year.

2] Hyena

3] Creep

4] We Are Still Here

5] Buzzard

WORST: Lost River Ryan Gosling believing his own hype, delivers the most pretentious load of cobblers ever committed to film. Utter, utter toilet.. and yes, I’ve seen United Passions, Accidental Love and the new Danny Dyer film this year too. Its worse than all three of those, on repeat, for eternity.

by Owen Hughes (@ohughes86)

1] Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

birdmanReleased in the UK on 1 January 2015, I still don’t think I’ve seen a funnier, more entertaining film in the cinema all year. Michael Keaton is absolutely phenomenal as the flailing former superhero movie star attempting to reinvent himself as a stage actor and producer. His manic behaviour, coupled with director Iñárritu’s frenetic, constantly adapting story shot as if the whole production was just one long take; I just loved every minute of it. However, I was hesitant to put it as number one on my list, given a couple people I’ve recommended it to have hated it! But ultimately, despite seeing it only two days into the year, nothing else has managed to better it yet for me.

2] Mad Max: Fury Road

3] Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films

4] Cobain: Montage of Heck

5] John Wick

WORST: United Passions – Technically not even released in the UK this year, and unlike Jupiter Ascending (cinema) and The Man With The Iron Fists 2 (VOD), I didn’t even watch this legally. But if there’s a more abhorrent, reprehensible piece of offensive propagandist garbage with as high a budget and released globally within the next decade, I’ll be surprised.

By Matt Lambourne (@LamboMat)

1] Mad Max: Fury Road

mad max 4I’m still thinking about this movie, weeks after seeing it. The action, the character, the dialogue, the music and most importantly, the SCALE. It’s over the top in every sense and works for me on every level. I can’t wait to get hold of the home release and enjoy it without the hindrance of 3D. Absolutely superb movie!

2] American Sniper

3] Furious 7

4] Jurassic World

5] Terminator Genisys

WORST: Fifty Shades of Grey Bloated, tacky, overly polished and un-sexy. I didn’t get an erection and I didn’t get a shag that night.

by Steve Norman (@StevePN86)

1] The Theory of Everything

theory of everythingThe Stephen Hawking biopic earned lead man Eddie Redmayne an Oscar and deservedly so. His portrayal of a genius of a man going through various stages of a terrible, life changing illness was extremely believable. The film also put over a side of Hawking you don’t often see, the friend, parent and husband, not the man who invented time. Or something.

2] Ex Machina

3] Kingsman: The Secret Service

4] Selma

5] Furious 7

WORST: United Passions Garbage of the highest order. I found Tim Roth less deplorable playing a racist in Selma than I did playing Sepp Blatter in this tripe. It’s offensive that it was even made.

by Callum Petch (@CallumPetch)

1] Mad Max: Fury Road

mad max fury roadFury Road is the kind of film whose existence is a reminder that this Movies thing might be alright after all, a beacon of hope that we can all look to in dark times and remind ourselves that we can, in fact, have it so much better.  From its uncomplicated story, to its unique world and set design, to its outstanding special effects, to its jaw-dropping practical stunts, to its brilliantly subtle Tom Hardy performance, to its mesmerising Charlize Theron performance, to its openly and furiously feminist and matriarchal heart, every last frame of this utter masterpiece is what I have heard perfection is supposed to be like.  It is everything that modern Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking isn’t, a purposeful pushback against everything wrong with those films right now that, in a just world, will have everyone following its example in the years to come.  Both times that I saw this movie, my veins pulsed with pure adrenaline from frame one and the feeling did not stop until long after I left the screen in tears of pure joy at that perfect final shot.  I foresee nothing else coming anywhere close to it for the rest of this year, mainly cos I have no idea what’ll happen to me if there is a better film than Fury Road to come.

2] Magic Mike XXL

3] The Voices

4] Shaun The Sheep Movie

5] Spy

WORST: Entourage  I said everything I needed to say about this reprehensible piece of abysmal shite here and here.  I’m not going to repeat myself.

Failed Critics Podcast: TV Special 2.5

true detectiveWelcome to possibly the most offensive, extraordinarily explicit episode of the Failed Critics Podcast to date. Which probably suggests our guests this week need no introduction! But for the sake of posterity, hosts Steve Norman and Owen Hughes are joined by Andrew Brooker and Paul Field.

To tie into last week’s release of Entourage: The Movie, a spin-off from the popular HBO series, “the boys” have turned this episode into a TV Special. Not quite a full continuation of the first two entries to our previous TV Specials (part 1 & part 2), this is more like a TV Special 2.5 with a full third entry coming in the next few months.

In it, the quiz gets a TV-make-over, the team talk about what TV shows they’ve been watching lately and we have a full review of the Entourage film. We’re even releasing this episode a couple of days early as it will take you a week to finally finish listening to it as it comes in at an impressive (daunting?) 1 hour and 45 minutes long.

Join us again next week as Callum Petch joins us to review the animated comedy Minions, a spin off from the highly successful and popular Despicable Me franchise.



Entourage: The Movie

by Andrew Brooker (@Brooker411)

entourage 1“I don’t wanna go back to Jersey bro! I like the weather out here too much.”

Ahh, bro-comedy; that form of with lower than sarcasm that seems to divide people completely down the middle. You either love or hate shows like Entourage, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that’s just said “meh, I don’t mind it” and have no real feelings on it either way.  Me? I love it. For me, Entourage did exactly what it said on the tin and offered a silly comedy show that was, for all intents and purposes, the guys version of HBO’s other stupid comedy show, Sex and the City.  And in a world where that abhorrent garbage gets a film adaptation, and a bloody awful sequel by all accounts, it seems only inevitable that Entourage will follow suit.

Following on directly from the last scene of the show’s eighth and final season, Entourage : The Movie throws us straight in where the TV show left off.  We meet Vince (Adrian Grenier), a pretty-boy movie star, right after his marriage, that lasted nine days, has ended.  Quickly joined by his friends on a massive yacht in Ibiza (an island who’s name no one seems to be able to pronounce) partying, as he always is and celebrating the end of his marriage by filling this massive boat up with girls. As we all would, I suppose?  Jumping straight back into work with freshly un-retired super agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) who is now running a studio and has a job for Vince.  Telling Ari that his next starring role needs to also be his directorial debut, the boys set off on their next big adventure, Vincent Chase’s “Hyde”, a Jekyll & Hyde retelling that, from what we see, looks like a sci-fi blend of The Matrix and Daybreakers. I’d certainly hand over money to watch it if it was real.

Jump forward eight months and this is where the bulk of our film happens.  Eric “E” Murphy (Kevin Connolly)’ Vincent’s closet friend and manager is waiting for his long-time not quite a girlfriend Sloane to give birth to their first child; Turtle, Vinny’s former driver and now tequila mogul and multi-millionaire is living the high life. Independently rich and still hanging with his friends because he can; and Johnny “Drama” Chase (Kevin Dillon) is still hanging his hopes on every job being the big one he needs to break into the big time.  Johnny’s doing ok though, he’s got a big part in Vince’s new film and, as we always do, we all think this will be the one.

But here’s the rub.  Vincent’s super sized blockbuster movie is having a few accountancy issues. It’s $15 million over the agreed upon budget and needs just a little more.  Photography is done, it’s in its final editing phase and Vinny needs a handout from their wealthy financiers to get it finished.  So now it’s Ari’s job, as it always was, to save his star’s arse and get the film that could ruin everyone attached to it if it flops, finished and in the can.  Standing in his way, are the money men, wealthy investor Billy Bob Thornton and his son, played by Haley Joel Osmont.

These are the guys that have invested in the studio and its movies and they are keeping those purse strings tied until they’ve seen the first cut of the film and taking a note or two from his directorial inspiration, Billy Walsh, Vincent isn’t letting anyone see it until it’s perfect.  With a promise of a screening, Thornton sends his son to Los Angeles to meet with the film’s director and star and work out a mutually agreeable fix for the company’s budgetary issues, Haley Joel Osmont, who spend his first scene wearing a pistol on his hip trying to convey a little bit of an edge.  But instead, he looks like an overgrown man-child who is out without his special helmet and running around with a toy gun and handcuff set on, is the man in control of whether or not the film gets the extra capital it needs and unfortunately, after a screening, has a few notes that he wants actioned before he’ll write a new cheque. Not least of all, he wants Drama’s supporting character cut and possibly recast before any money changes hands.  And so begins the longest and most challenging part of Vincent’s career to date.

So here’s the thing with Entourage: The Movie, it has a very, very specific audience. Fans of the TV show.  Writer/director/show creator Doug Ellin does an amazing job of explaining eight years of the HBO show in an exposé episode with Piers Morgan just after the titles roll that details all the important bits you need to know. Essentially it’s my Beginner’s Guide, in video form, presented by a douchebag!  I have to say, I was impressed. I’ve read interviews with Ellin that state that you don’t need to be a fan or have ever seen an episode to watch the film and was curious as to how he could pull it off. Now I don’t necessarily agree that you can go in blank and enjoy the film as much as I did, but he did do a pretty damn good job in that respect.  But when all is said and done, it’s a film for those of us that loved the show. The same way Sex and the City was a pointless venture if you en’t a fan of the show, or at least knew a little bit about it, I would absolutely put Entourage into that category.

Now don’t get me wrong, the film is far from perfect and it has its fair share of issues and I would certainly argue that its “star” is one of them. Vincent Chase is about as likeable as an Ebola riddled monkey with the personality of a chewed tennis ball. Everything he does irks me. Whether it be the show or the film, his presence in this business that we all adore makes me want to punch him square in the face. Now I know he’s like that for a reason, I do. It’s clear his character is supposed to be a blank but pretty face to symbolise all those pretty boys that really do hump their way across Hollywood without any kind of comeuppance. No angry husbands, no random unwanted kids and no dick withering diseases and all of us wishing that we could be so lucky. But it doesn’t make his annoying traits any easier to swallow when he acts like the giant spoiled kid he is.

But for me, the film’s biggest problem lies in the fact that it’s a film. Not that it was made, I wanted it made. But that it is a feature length film. I think this film would have been much better served as Entourage – Season 9. It’s the perfect length for it and has essentially covered all the bases a season of the show covered.  This could have easily played out as a comeback season (think 24: Live Another Day) and maybe led into a bit of a return for the show.  I mean, season one was eight 25 minute episodes, minus titles and credits and you can do the whole season in less than three hours. And that brisk story run through is what we get with the film, but it really didn’t need the big screen.

A TV outing would have meant that I didn’t come out feeling like the celebrity appearances had been forced down my throat.  And I’m a fan, I know which of those guys were regulars. God knows how people that haven’t seen the show are going to take it. Although, a few of the cameos did make me grin. Famous for his party attitude, New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski’s turn was hilarious and the brilliance of him being at the same party as Super Bowl rival Russell Wilson was nothing short of amazing from the point of an NFL fan. But some series regulars like Scott Caan and Gary Cole are notable by their absence and the film could certainly have been improved if it focussed a little less on the constant barrage of cameos.  Moreover, this is the second bloody film I’ve seen this year with Ronda Rousey in it, trying to act. Please, stop casting her to act. Rousey is a world class fighter and I have nothing but respect for her, but as an actress, she’s got the same acting chops as a monkey with a jar of peanut butter. Sorry Ronda, this career ain’t for you.

Entourage has been dividing audiences for years. Famously battered a few times by Tina Fey and her 30 Rock crew for being by douchebags, about douchebags, for douchebags and unfortunately it’s a subject matter and style of show that just pisses people off. I know I keep coming back to it, but when Sex and the City did the exact same thing in New York, it was lauded as an empowering feminist show and everyone should be taking note. But Entourage and its movie bring out the complete opposite views. People refuse to see it is the dumb bro-comedy that it is and in certain cold and lonely corners of the internet, to be the creator, a star of, or even a fan of the show is to be called a woman hating misogynist with no self respect. It’s a show, and a film, about lads just being lads, there’s nothing wrong with that. (For balance, both me AND my wife are fans of Entourage, with us both binging the show a couple of times a year)

The bottom line? Don’t watch the film if you’re not a fan. Why would you? If you don’t know anything about the show, you can easily enjoy the film if you go in realising that it’s not to be taken seriously. It’s self satirising silliness to be lapped up and enjoyed for what it is. If, however, you are a fan of the show, you don’t need me to tell you to watch it. You know what you’re walking in to and if you loved the show like I did, you’ll enjoy the film.  There’s no debate to be had, it’s a film for the fans and in that respect, it delivers everything I wanted. For those that want to drag us across the coals for being fans of Entourage; please feel free to toss off, you rancid fuckbags!