One Line Description: Vincent Chase tries to move behind the camera thanks to his former agent turned studio head Ari Gold.
Entourage was one of my favorite shows of all-time at one point. The first couple of seasons were just amazing portrayals of like every 20-something male’s fantasy. Things got rocky and repetitive as time dragged on, and the weakness of the actors started to really shine through. The abomination of a finale still sticks in my craw to this day. All that being said, there was still no way I wasn’t seeing the movie in the theater. Most of the reviews pretty much said the same thing, “if you liked the show, you’ll like the movie”, and that is pretty accurate. After not having these guys in my life for several years, it was nice to get them back for a bit with at least a bit of a new story, although for the most part it ends up being the same recycled story from every past season. The celebrity cameos are great as always, and there is enough Ari and Drama one-liners to make it fun. On it’s own though, this movie wasn’t great, and as some have pointed out, suffers some egregious continuity issues from the end of the series. Still if you enjoyed this show for most of it’s run the movie won’t be a waste of your time.
Fun Size (2012)
One Line Description: A girl searches for her mute little brother on Halloween.
I stumbled on this movie by complete accident, it came on after some other bad movie (The Sitter maybe?) had ended and for some reason I just couldn’t stop watching. Apparently this movie was drummed up by Nickelodeon as a way to appeal to the now over 15 adults who grew up on the shows. Really it just felt like something out the Mean Girls universe though. Chelsea Handler plays the widowed mom hooking up with a 20-something while she makes her daughter (Victoria Justice who I have never heard of) babysit her little mute brother on Halloween. When the brother goes missing the daughter must find her, and the adventure begins. The movie felt a lot like a less-raunchy, female version of Superbad. Johnny Knoxville plays the “bad guy” and is lame. But it’s Thomas Middleditch’s (aka Richard Hendricks from HBO’s Silicon Valley) small role that saves the film. His performance on Silicon Valley has always made me uncomfortable due to his character’s extreme awkwardness, but it turns out this guy can really bring it. He is hilarious as a convenience store clerk who gets involved in the rescue of the boy. It had a lot of potential if it had gone full Superbad, but the way that it tries to hover in between as being some cleaner comedy makes it fall kind of flat. Middleditch’s scenes were almost worth the price of admission, but even he couldn’t save this one.
She’s the One (1996)
One Line Description: The interconnecting love lives of two Irish brothers from Long Island
I have always enjoyed Edward Burns as an actor and a writer/director. His first movie, Brothers McMullen might be his most well known, but he wrote and directed some others than I finally saw. This is one of the mid-‘90’s indie movies that capitalized on Jennifer Aniston’s still relative obscurdity (see Office Space) to get someone who in retrospect is a huge star. The movie also has a pre-Something About Mary Cameron Diaz looking dapper. Burns and Michael McGlone, like in both Brothers McMullen and Fitzgerald Family Christmas (see the next entry) play brothers. McGlone works on Wallstreet and is married to Aniston, but we soon find out he is having an affair with Diaz. Burns meanwhile is a cab driver who meets a girl on the way to the airport and falls in love. Of course there is a big twist I won’t reveal, but like McMullen this movie isn’t so much about plot, as it is about people and family. It is not nearly as low budget as McMullen but certainly has an indie “feel” to it. It has a very mid-’90s feel to it, which could turn some people off. Still it’s great to see Aniston and Diaz in this era in something they aren’t famous for. People that were in their mid-20s when this came out probably loved it, but it’s hard to relate to a generation later.
Fitzgerald Family Christmas (2012)
One Line Description: Seven siblings debate whether to let their estranged father of 20 years come to Christmas.
More Edward Burns and Michael McGlone playing Irish brothers, but this time they have have another brother (played by Tom Guiry a.k.a. Scott Smalls from The Sandlot), and four sisters (including Kerry Bishe from AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire and Caitlin Fitzgerald from Showtime’s Masters of Sex). The main plot of the story is that their estranged father, who walked out 20 years ago wants to spend Christmas with his ex-wife and children. But just like every other Burn’s venture, this one is more about the family dynamic than it is the main story. Connie Britton and Noah Emmerich both make appearances as very polar opposite characters, and the typical Burn’s indie “feel” is here. Burns loves to make these movies about Irish families from Long Island, and this one feels right at home in the “unofficial Long Island trilogy” with Brothers McMullen and She’s the One. It has a nice real-life feel to it with the dynamics between siblings and parents, and doesn’t fall into the typical tropes of a movie like this. That makes it more enjoyable, as it feels less predictable as it moves along. When it’s all said and done this is the kind of movie that falls into the solid B+ range.