‘En­tourage’ lat­est TV show to hit big screen, with mid­dling re­views

The China Post - - ARTS & LEISURE -

Beau­ti­ful cars, beau­ti­ful women, Hol­ly­wood hys­te­ria and all-guys-to­gether ad­ven­tures — “En­tourage” is the lat­est TV se­ries to hit the big screen, al­beit to de­cid­edly luke­warm re­views.

Adapted from the hit HBO show which ran from 2004-2011 and won six Em­mys, the film — out Wed­nes­day in the United States — re­unites Vin­cent Chase (Adrian Gre­nier) and his hi­lar­i­ous bud­dies.

There is his friend-manager Eric (Kevin Con­nolly), failed ac­tor brother Johnny (Kevin Dil­lon), friendly Tur­tle (Jerry Fer­rara) and above all his fe­ro­cious agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven).

The lat­ter is in­spired by sev­eral real celebrity agents in Hol­ly­wood, mostly Ari Em­manuel, the ac­tual agent of ac­tor Mark Wahlberg, whose ad­ven­tures form the ba­sis for “En­tourage.”

Billy Bob Thorn­ton and Ha­ley Joel Os­ment join the se­ries’ cast in the big-screen ver­sion, play­ing a no-non­sense Texas busi­ness­man and his tal­ented but shady son.

“En­tourage” is also sprin­kled with ap­pear­ances by celebri­ties in­clud­ing Jes­sica Biel, Amer­i­can foot­ball star Tom Brady, and bil­lion­aire in­vestor War­ren Buf­fett.

Crit­ics have ac­cused the film, which in­cludes dozens of scant­ily clad women, of sex­ism.

“This world is very male-dom­i­nated, whether you like it or not,” said actress Em­manuelle Chiriqui, who plays Eric’s girl­friend. “Things in the show were maybe ex­ag­ger­ated for en­ter­tain­ment pur­poses, but it is what it is.”

Dis­mal Rat­ing

The movie, which has been sav­aged by the crit­ics — it has a dis­mal 32 per­cent rat­ing on the Rot­ten Toma­toes movie re­view web­site — plays on a wide va­ri­ety of cliches.

But it is un­de­ni­ably en­ter­tain­ing in its way, above all due to the mis­ad­ven­tures of Ari Gold.

“En­tourage” is the lat­est TV se­ries to be adapted for he big screen, af­ter “Sex and the City,” also a buddy movie but for girls and set in Man­hat­tan rather than the new film’s City of An­gels.

“21 Jump street” also made the switch from the small screen, as did “Char­lie’s An­gels,” “Mission Im­pos­si­ble” and “Veron­ica Mars” among oth­ers.

“Bored to Death,” about an ec­cen­tric de­tec­tive star­ring Ja­son Schwartz­mann, is also be­ing turned into a film.

For stu­dio ac­coun­tants, mak­ing a film from a TV show is a bit like mak­ing a comic-book su­per­hero movie — it’s based on a proven pop­u­lar­ity, so lim­its the risk of pro­duc­ing a flop.

For “En­tourage” the film, which starts five days af­ter the end of the TV se­ries, Vin­cent Chase has al­ready drawn a line un­der his short-lived mar­riage, and de­cides to go into di­rect­ing.

Ari Gold has mean­while taken over as head of a big film stu­dio. Both are strug­gling to deal with mon­ey­men who have lit­tle time for artis­tic vi­sion.

“Hol­ly­wood has changed. TMZ wasn’t even around. The pa­parazzi were al­ways around but now it’s an­other re­al­ity,” said direc­tor Doug Ellin re­cently, adding that Twit­ter didn’t even ex­ist when the TV se­ries started.

Those who de­cide which films get made and which don’t are a dif­fer­ent species now.

“They want to make money ... now it’s th­ese oil or hedge fund peo­ple who don’t even watch the movie ... that’s kind of sad but it’s good for the com­edy,” con­cluded Ellin.

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