Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Life Finds A Way (Jurassic World Review)

Some people say the best movie ever made was The Godfather.  Some people say it's Citizen Kane.  There's people who say The Shawshank Redemption is the GOAT.  They're all wrong.  The greatest movie of all time is Jurassic Park.  Period, point, blank.  Those first three movies are missing one key ingredient: dinosaurs.  That's the rule; in order for a movie to be the best, it must have dinosaurs.  The Dark Knight?  Great movie, gritty, Batman is the coolest superhero, Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker was legendary, no dinosaurs.  Pulp Fiction is a Tarantino classic and one of the most unique movies ever.  No dinosaurs.  Schindler's List was directed by Spielberg and was absolutely genius.  It's up there but...

When I was a kid I was absolutely fascinated by dinosaurs.  Correction: I was obsessed with dinosaurs!  Another correction: I am still obsessed with dinosaurs!  Something about these extinct creatures of a distant time kept my attention.  They were so much bigger than the current animals on the planet and so much cooler.  Fuck giraffes.  If I wanted a long-necked animal I looked toward a Brontosaurus.  Lions are cool, but a T-Rex would eat the shit out of Simba.  I really dig wolves because they're lethal pack hunters.  But really, they're just the poor man's version of a Velociraptor.  I wanted to know every kind of dinosaur there was and I wanted to dig up dinosaur bones, to be a paleontologist.  Let's back it up.  Before I wanted to dig up dinosaur bones I wanted to be a dinosaur.  My mom used to be embarrassed because I would pretend I was a dinosaur and bite other kids at pre-school.  My mom put a stop to that by bluntly telling me that I wasn't, nor ever will be, a dinosaur.  (Dick move!)  I obviously loved movies that featured these majestic beasts.  A Land Before Time comes to mind.  It was great when I was a kid, and it even made me shed a tear at the age of 20.  I also liked Disney's Dinosaur.  Not a classic, but it was still a fun ride.  But Jurassic Park was something else.  I don't use this word a lot, but I was captivated.  I thought I was legit looking at real dinosaurs.  The CGI was way ahead of its contemporaries.  Some movies don't age as well because we can point out their primitive graphics.  This isn't one of those movies.  The film had everything.  It was adventurous, suspenseful, funny, meaningful and transcendent.

That last word is the key for me: transcendent.  See, the plot is great already.  Rich guy wants to build a theme park featuring extinct dinosaurs.  Said rich man asks scientists to visit the park and sign off on it.  Dinosaurs run free and eat people.  That right there is a great adventure, but that's not all this movie has to offer.  There are themes to this shit.  While there are many to choose from, I'll stick with a quote that has latched to my cranium: "Life finds a way."  This line was said by none other than Jeff Goldblum's Ian Malcolm, who is skeptical about scientists meddling with nature and playing God.  I think that line itself is transcendent.  We look at how much human activity has had an impact on earth, some good and some really terrible.  Think about deforestation and poaching that have caused many of the beautiful inhabitants of the earth to diminish in size until they've become endangered, or even worse, extinct.  You don't have to back very far to remember the recent oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara.  The images of birds with wings covered in oil is heartbreaking.  It can all make you feel hopeless for world.  Human beings need to step up and try to remedy the injustices.  Unfortunately some of the damages are hard to reverse.  But you can take comfort in Goldblum's words: Life finds a way.  Life wants to exist.  Life wants to create more life.  Life is resilient, more so than we can imagine.  I have hope that if we do our part, and really put an effort in restoring this beautiful planet, life will keep fighting an eventually win out.  Sure, Dr. Malcolm was talking about dinosaurs getting out and eating people when he uttered those words, but the words are transcendent, much like the rest of the movie.

It is the reason why I am able to watch this movie again and again without any drop-off in my enjoyment.  I can still pull something new from the movie.  Each time I pop the disc in the DVD player it feels brand new again.  There's a reason why at the age of 20 I coughed up good money (I was recently laid off at the time) to watch Jurassic Park 3D.  For me it's a classic, and it stands in an elite club.  I am a kid again when I am watching this movie, the world grew up without me.  The stars of the movie have aged and moved on to other things. Jeff Goldblum starred in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. (Not on par with the original, but slightly underrated.  The Lost World had its moments.)  Sam Neill (Dr. Alan Grant) did Jurassic Park 3 (sad face) and then I never saw him again until he starred on Fox's Alcatraz.  (I really enjoyed Alcatraz, but it was cancelled after just one season!  Curse you Fox!)  After the atrocious third movie everyone distanced themselves from the franchise.  It seemed as if the franchise would go extinct, with the trilogy ending on a sour note.  But wouldn't you know it, life found a way.

I first heard rumors of a Jurassic Park project a few years ago.  I remember being really excited at first.  I re-watched the first movie on my laptop and got even more excited.  I watched the sequel and I was a little less excited, but nonetheless I was eager to see if these rumors would come to fruition.  By the time I saw Jurassic Park 3 I was no longer as excited.  I was worried.  My childhood couldn't take anymore beatings.  If Universal Studios was just going to fuck this movie up, I needed them to just back off.  But when the rumors were confirmed I kept my ear to the ground to figure out who would take part in the "untitled Jurassic Park project".  If Universal was going to resurrect this classic, I needed to know the right people were going to be involved.  I heard Stephen Spielberg would not be directing (bummer) but he would be producing.  I never heard of the director, Colin Trevorrow, prior to Jurassic World, but it was the writing that concerned me the most.

That's part of what led me to watch Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  Sure, I actually wanted to see the revival of this franchise that didn't involve Tim Burton, but my hidden motive was scoping out the talent.  See, I heard the writers, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, were also attached to Jurassic World.  Like an NBA scout at a college game, I was checking these players out before approving them for the Jurassic World roster.  (Not that my disapproval would put a halt to production.)  As I wrote about before, I loved both the Apes movies so emphatically that in my own head I green-lighted this project.  (I like to think I'm involved in these Universal board meetings.)  Now I have to approve of the star: Chris Pratt.

Chris Pratt is the best.  I love Chris Pratt and so do a lot of other people.  In fact, I don't think I've ever heard of anyone who detested him.  He's a likable guy.  I knew him first from Parks & Rec as Andy Dwyer, a total lovable and kind-hearted goofball.  He was one of the funniest characters on the show and a fan favorite.  For me the order goes: Tom, Ron, Andy, then Jean-Ralphio.  But as great as Chris Pratt was on the sitcom, he wasn't the lead and his role didn't really scream out: "Movie Star!"  He had some supporting roles in great movies such as Moneyball and Zero Dark Thirty.  He was great in them, but he wasn't carrying those movies.  In comes the out-of-nowhere hit Guardians of the Galaxy.  Ask my dad, I wasn't planning on even watching this movie.  Like many people, I had no idea who these Guardians were.  My dad insisted that I would like it, and eventually he wore me down and I saw it, but not until I found out this fact: Chris Pratt is to star in Jurassic World.  Time for Head JW Scout El Guapo to wait in line at the midnight premiere.  Look back at my review and you can see that Guardians blew my mind.  Gone were the images of a tubby, funny Chris Pratt.  CP was now buff as shit and could definitely carry a movie.  He needed to be in my (I mean, Spielberg's) movie.

Months later we land on Thursday, June 11th, about an hour away from midnight.  There's nowhere I'd rather be.  I've seen all the trailers.  I've read any article I could get my hands on.  Those promos, interviews and TV spots are registered in my mind.  All leading up to one moment.  I've learned to trust again and my heart was in the hands of Spielberg, Trevorrow, Jaff, Silver, and Pratt.  They were either going to disappoint me or earn my love forever.  (Well, Spielberg already had it.)

Movie Review

Jaff and Silver did it again.  They wrote an amazing story that transferred amazingly on screen.  Decades after the failure of Jurassic Park (the park, not the movie) due to the main attraction eating people, the park has been reopened and re-branded as Jurassic World.  This park actually works and the dinosaurs are not eating people.  It seems as if everybody learned their lesson and no disasters will happen.  (Wrong!  But we'll get back to it.)  Meanwhile brothers Zach and Gray are shipped off to visit their work-centric aunt Claire while their parents work out their divorce.  As a product of divorced parents (two-time club member, baby) I can definitely symphytize.  I read an article that wrote the Spielberg uses broken homes and divorced parents in his films a lot because he too saw his parents get divorced.  Nothing to do with the story, but I thought it was interesting.  Aunt Claire is too busy for the boys and can't hang out with them.  She is too busy unveiling the park's new attraction to the shareholders: a genetically modified dinosaur that's a T-Rex mixed with a mystery dino.  (Remember when I sarcastically said that everybody learned their lesson?  That's called foreshadowing.)  Claire must enlist Raptor trainer and dinosaur expert Owen to take a look at the creature and make sure it is safe to unveil.  Won't get into how, but the dinosaur, dubbed Indominus Rex, escapes and shit goes down.  Now our hero Owen must take her down before she eats everyone on the island.  If your balls aren't tingling right now you should go get your shit checked out.  Then after that go catch this movie.

What I really liked about his movie was the fact that I could pretend that The Lost World and Jurassic Park 3 never, ever happened.  Obviously they are going to reference the original film throughout the course of this movie.  But never do they ever talk about 2 or 3.  There's no talk about Isla Sorna or San Diego or Spinosuarus.  Jurassic Park was the only source material they needed.  In my mind I can pretend that Jurassic World was the sequel 22 years in the making.  You seriously don't know how big a deal this is.  It's almost like being in a terrible relationship then getting in a really good one and forgetting all about that terrible ex.

What made Jurassic Park wasn't solely the dinosaurs.  The characters, who they were and how they were developed and portrayed, was a factor in the film's success.  We cared about those characters.  We wanted them to survive this theme park out of hell.  We hated other characters and wanted them to get eaten by a T-Rex.  Love them or hate them, we were invested in the lives of those characters.  Jurassic Park 3 lacked that component and failed as a movie.  I was anxious as to how Jurassic World would do.  Owen, played by Chris Pratt, is, and I'm taking a quote from the movie, a bad-ass.  He fucking trains Raptors.  He's an expert on dinosaurs and survival.  He's smart, witty and conscientious, the ideal hero.  Chris Pratt played it perfectly, and I don't see anyone in Hollywood playing this role as well as Pratt did.  What can I say?  He's on a role.  How about Ron Howard's daughter.  Bryce Dallas Howard plays the overworked and neglecting aunt who runs the shindig.  She is uptight and very career oriented.  She doesn't even know the age of her nephews.  When disaster strikes, however, her survival and maternal instincts come to play.  Can't be understated how much more attractive she becomes once she's sweaty and dirty.  (Clean Claire is a 7.  Dirty, Sweaty Claire is a 9.)  Don't act like I'm being misogynistic and shallow ladies.  Who would you rather have, 2007 Chris Pratt or 2015 Chris Pratt?  Exactly.  The little brother is played by the kid who falls into a coma in Insidious and the older brother is a relatively unknown actor.  The older brother really had to grow on me.  His "I don't give a fuck if I'm at a cool ass dinosaur park, I'm gonna do me, ignore my troubled little brother and strike out hitting on girls" attitude really bothered me.  But survival instincts come to play and big bro is now likable.

What we really came for was some damn dinosaurs.  To begin the graphics are amazing.  I still feel like I'm looking at real life dinosaurs.  I didn't expect any drop off there.  The Raptors were there obviously and played an integral part in the film.  They look much better than the Jurassic Park 3 versions.  T-Rex makes a cameo and there's that big ass shark dinosaur.  No Spinosaurus this time and thank goodness.   The big bad wolf is the Indominus Rex who is 10 times better than the Spinosaurus.  She can run fast, camouflage, think strategically, doesn't have a stupid spine thing, and is genuinely scary.  She's also an asshole.  The T-Rex ate people dinosaurs because it was hungry.  Just as the trailer told us, she kills for sport.  We're good on dinosaurs and plenty good on the action too.  Jurassic World might just be the most action packed of the franchise.  The first 20-30 minutes are just setting the stage and introducing the characters.  But once this she-bitch from hell gets out of her cage, there is hardly any pauses in the movie.  I'm calling this movie the Summer Blockbuster of 2015.  I liked it even better than Avengers: Age of Ultron.  In its opening weekend Jurassic World broke the record for biggest opening weekend ever grossing $524 million world wide.  The previous record holder was Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows Part 2 proving once and for all that with the exception of NBA basketball, Raptors are better than wizards.  (Suck it Hermoine!)  Jurassic World is not Jurassic Park, but it didn't need to be.  It just needed to surpass the two other sequels.  It did more than that and then some.  Life found a way.  A Guapisimo is the only logical grade.

I hope you guys are enjoying my slew of movie reviews.  I'm surprised I've even been able to keep up considering the NBA Finals (and the fucking parade!!!!!) so, yeah, impressive.  Thank you for reading.  Make sure you stay updated on all my posts from both this blog and Infinite Wisdom on the NBA by liking my Facebook page.  I post everything there at your convenience.  Follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr at @ELGUAPO3, @Captaincrunchtime, and sirelguapo.tumblr.com in that order.  Add me on Snap Chat at crunchtimemario.  I'm being as accessible as I can without handing out my phone number.  If you like what you read, come back for more and bring a friend.  Enjoy your summer and stay Guapo out there!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Entourage Movie Review (Plus Ranking the Entourage Seasons)

When I was younger my parents thought about leaving Comcast for a cheaper cable company.  (This is back when we used to watch TV on a TV.)  Comcast offered them a year of free HBO to continue their subscription.  Little did I know, this would open the door to some of my favorite shows.  Boardwalk Empire had me hooked every Sunday, so much that I created a blog just to talk about the show; Eastbound & Down is easily one of the most hilarious shows I have seen and is a reason I'm a Danny McBride fan; The Newsroom had that one really good season; The Sopranos is a television landmark; Game of Thrones is a cultural phenomenon; Veep has never failed to have me laugh uncontrollably; and the first season of True Detective was a 101 course in "Holy Shit!", and gave me a new-found appreciation for Matthew McConaughey.  However, there is one show that I hold dear in my heart and when I first discovered my family's cable had HBO, it was the first show I wanted to see.

At that point in time I had heard about Entourage and had seen a few episodes at my cousins' house.  I thought Entourage was one of the best shows I had ever seen.  It was a show about friendship that just happened to be set in Hollywood.  Vince, Eric, Johnny Drama and Turtle had a friendship that I cared about.  The boys were constantly ribbing each other, one of my favorite aspects of the show, but would also stick by each other when the chips fell down.  For me that was the ideal kind of friendship.  By the time the series ended, the boys almost felt like they were my friends.  Ari Gold quickly became my favorite character on the show.  The quick-tempered, fast-talking agent took the show to another level for me.  I looked forward for Ari's next appearance on screen.  His speeches and rants were iconic, and he had the most memorable one-liners on the show, with Johnny Drama taking the silver in that department.  Ari made me want to be a Hollywood agent and Entourage made me want to leave my comfortable home in Oakland and migrate to Los Angeles.  And that's before I factor in the celebrity cameos.  This show was funny, witty, dirty, interesting and lovable.  I loved Entourage, even in the twilight seasons when the show looked like it was running on fumes.  When the final season ended I felt satisfied, but I heard rumors that Doug Ellin, the show's creator, and Mark Wahlberg, the show's producer and inspiration, were interested in making a movie.  The series finale tied the entire series in a nice little bow and gave us closure as we said goodbye to these best friends from Queens.  The scene after the credits, however, gave us hope that we would see our friends again.  That was 2011.

 I would periodically check the web for any Entourage movie rumors with no avail.  Finally, pieces here and there revived the rumors.  But they were just rumors at that point, until they finally weren't.  The day I read a headline that confirmed an Entourage movie was imminent I almost did a back flip off my bed.  (I couldn't.  I can't do back flips.)  From that point on, it was just a waiting game.  I anticipated this movie's release like most people anticipate a Marvel release.  Each trailer release had me shadow boxing in excitement, even if I was in the middle of the school library during finals week.  Entourage came out on a Wednesday and you know I was there to take in all the glory.  So here is my movie review, but before we get into that, let's rank the Entourage seasons, because you know I can't resist lists and rankings.  This way you can log into your HBO Go account (or your friend's) and know which seasons are absolutely essential.  Let's begin.  (Spoilers ahead!)

9. Season 7
Favorite Episode: "Bottoms Up"
Gun to my head I had to pick a least favorite season, it's season the seventh.  It's really just a downfall year for basically everyone except Turtle.  Vince, after crashing his stunt car during a film shoot, suddenly feels the need for live a risky life.  He dates a porn star (I won't tell you who because you'll stop reading and search up her videos) and does drugs, which sounds fun, but isn't so.  Drama is having career troubles as usual, but major developments occur.  E, now engaged to Sloan, has to navigate the fiancee life, which sounds boring, and is.  Turtle ventures out into his own business.  Finally, Ari's problems at work catch up with him at home.  Really, nobody had a good year except Turtle.  Billy Walsh reappears this season, however he is now clean and drug-free, so he's not the Billy we know and love.  This season was more about the drama (no pun intended) and less about the laughs.

8. Season 8
Favorite Episode: "The End"
Final seasons are usually pretty tough to do.  You have to wrap of the series in a way that satisfies your audience.  The problem with that, said Larry David, creator of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, in an interview, is that every member of the audience has already written their version of the finale in their heads.  When the finale is not like the one they imagined, fans leave in disappointment and resentment.  So Doug Ellin had a daunting task ahead of him.  These were the stakes.  Vince was fresh out of rehab and trying to get back to work.  E is now single and his relationship with Sloan is quite complicated.  Oh wait, that thing about their relationship being complicated is every season.  Ari is struggling to adjust to life without his wife.  Turtle is trying to get his business afloat.  Drama is already having issues with his new TV show Johnny Bananas.  From that starting point, the show uses 8 episodes to resolve the boys' issues.  The ending is touching and was like I wrote it in my head.

7. Season 3 Part 2
Favorite Episode: "Return of the King"
I loved this season, but is has to fall somewhere.  Technically this is the second half of the third season but I'm counting it as its own season.  Season 3 part 2 gets docked down a few points for only being 8 episodes long.  The less episodes there are for me to enjoy, the less enjoyable the season is.  (Basic math.)  Also the fact that Ari spends a majority of the season without contact from the boys takes away a crucial element to the show's success.  Ari and E's hostile friendship(?) is something took look forward to.  I want to see Ari throw witty insults at E.  I want to see these two in close quarters.  "Return of the King" is in the pantheon of great episodes.  I now feel a little guilty of putting this season so low.

6. Season 4
Favorite Episode: "The First Cut Is the Deepest"
Maybe it's because at this point I was tired of hearing about Medellin, but this season just didn't quite crack top 5 for me.  What I think it really was is Billy Walsh.  Now don't get me wrong, I love me some Billy Walsh as much as the next guy.  But there is such thing as too much.  Billy is the type of character that should be taken in doses.  He's not the main course.  The season premiere "Welcome to the Jungle" is one of my least favorite episodes.  But enough with the bad.  Billy vs Eric is fun, and although there were times I got tired of him, Billy had some great moments throughout the season.  This season also had a great mix of episodes that kept the story going and episodes that added nothing to the story, yet were entertaining as hell.  Sometimes the overarching plot needs a break for a little.

5. Season 6
Favorite Episode: "Give a Little Bit"
OK, I know some people might be shaking their heads.  On the surface this seasons doesn't really have much of a plot.  Vince is back on top, he's got his next movie project lined up and he's on vacation for the time being.  The only new thing that happens to Vince really is he can drive himself now.  Yes, there are episodes there that don't progress the plot, but again, I think that's necessary for this show.  But this was actually a really big season for a lot of other people.  Lloyd wants a promotion now and is aiming for a position as an agent.  Ari is not as enthusiastic about letting Lloyd leave his position as Ari's loyal assistant.  Also, Ari is looking to acquire another company as his empire begins to expand.  Meanwhile E and Sloan work out their complicated- blah, blah, blah.  (I won't get sucked into this again.)  E dates a crazy girl and his career as a manager seems to take off.  This season for him, though, is as much about Sloan as anything else.  Turtle is no longer complacent with being a member of Vince's entourage, so he begins to make moves.  And Drama has an up and down season and considers giving up acting at one point.  It's a big season for everyone except Vince, and that's not such a bad thing.  The finale was just the icing on the cake.

4. Season 5
Favorite Episode: "Return to Queen's Blvd."
The theme of this season is Vince's attempt at a comeback.  We see Vince hit rock bottom for really the first time in the series.  What we get is a new, hungry Vincent Chase.  I love laid back Vince, but hungry Vince is a different monster.  From the premiere to the finale I think this was a really strong season.  We get a little less about Turtle and Drama, but they provide plenty of antics to keep us entertained.  But this season is more about Vince, Eric and Ari, all busting their asses to get Vince back in the business.  My cousin once said that he could tell what season of Entourage we were in by the movie that Vince is pursuing.  This season it is Smoke Jumpers, originally an indie movie that is being made into a studio film.  Vince fights to get this movie made and when he finally gets on it, he clashes with the director, who believes Vince is a bad actor (which is true).  The movie falls apart and Vince and the boys go back to Queens.  This season had me invested in the boys more so than many others, and that's why it is number 4 on my list.

3. Season 1
Favorite Episode: "Busey and the Beach"
The one that started it all.  Entourage burst on to the screen and hit the ground running.  This is a short season, but all 8 episodes matter.  Throughout the season we are still meeting our main characters, learning to love them.  We know Vince is the laid back, up and coming movie star.  We know his older brother is a struggling TV star who is neurotic and desperate for attention.  We know Turtle relies on Vince to get him laid and likes to mess with E and Drama.  We see E as Vince's best friend who is struggling to get his footing in Hollywood, working as his best friend's manager.  And then there is Ari, the foul mouthed agent who will stop at nothing to get what he wants for himself and his clients.  Each episode we see, we get to know our guys a little more, and we become connected to them.  You can tell they haven't hit their stride yet, but you can imagine the possibilities.  They set everything up for us, right down to establishing the frequent celeb cameos.  It all culminates on "Busey and the Beach", which in my opinion is this season's best episode.  This ep had everything you would want from an Entourage episode.  You got the absolute best you could get from each character.  It's part of the aforementioned pantheon of Entourage episodes.  This where I think Entourage really took off.  You could really add this to the beginning of Season 2.  And in the upcoming episodes we would get our first taste of Billy Walsh.

2. Season 3 Part 1
Favorite Episode: "One Day in the Valley"
You know it's a good ass season when there are at least 5 episodes that are in the running for my favorite episode of the season.  Riding the high of what was a spectacular season 2, the boys came back with another strong season.  It starts off with the aftermath of Aquaman and leads into Vince's quest to star in Medellin.  However, Warner Bros. wants Vince to do Aquaman 2 and Alan, the studio head, won't allow Vince to do his passion project.  This results in a standoff in which the outcome is no Aquaman 2 and no Medellin for Vince Chase.  Drama lands a role in 5 Towns which in the later seasons becomes a hit, and Turtle takes a stab at managing a rapper.  Ari fights to get Vince the films he wants to do and ultimately takes a huge L this season.  This all leads to his eventual firing at the hands of Vinny Chase.  If there are any points to dock this season it would be because of Dom, who makes a two episode appearance.  I see his purpose on the show, kind of, but he was just annoying throughout his time on air.  Other than that it is a really strong season and really essential to the rest of the series.

1. Season 2
Favorite Episode: "Exodus"
OK, fuck whatever I said about season 3 having amazing episodes because season two blows it out of the water.  The undisputed best episode is "Exodus" and you can't argue with me there.  But the battle for the second best is a freakin' 8 episode race.  This season has 14 episodes so it follows my rule of more being better.  But it's not just quantity over quality.  These are some really quality episodes here.  There are no weak points throughout the season at all and that's tough to do considering its length.  If I wanted to gather the 20 best episodes to present to a friend who has never seen the show, about half of the episodes I would show would come from season 2.  Other seasons are really good as well, but this season is just leagues ahead of every other one  The best moments and the best one liners seem to originate from this season.  The movie in question this season is Aquaman, a comic book hero Vince originally didn't want to do.  Ari pushed him, however, and got Vince to sign on.  However, the rug gets pulled under him and suddenly it appears Vince might not get to star in this film.  On Ari's end, the reemergence of his old boss and current partner Terrence McQuewick brings trouble.  There is a power struggle for control over Vincent Chase and essentially the whole agency.  This is also the season when Eric meets Sloan and they begin their 8 season-long up and down relationship.  If Entourage ended after season two it would have still gone down as one of my all time favorite shows just based on these 14 episodes, but I'm glad they came back for more.

The film received some criticism upon its release.  Some critics even called this movie an hour and a half episode.  I don't see how that's an insult because that is exactly what this was.  That's why I loved it so much.  Here's where managing your expectations (something Ari talked about in "A Day in the Valley") comes in handy.  You need to understand that Mark Wahlberg and Doug Ellin did not intend to make a Theory of Everything or a Birdman.  They wanted to make another Entourage episode and they did just that.  If you were a fan of the show then what you really wanted was to get it back for about 90 minutes.  There's no way to not like this movie if you loved the show.  The movie is better than a couple of the seasons.  In fact, if it were a season itself I would rank it at number 5.  But you don't have to have had watched the series to enjoy the movie.  One of my coworkers told me she saw Entourage without ever having seen the show and she loved it.  She was even inspired to watch the series.  So knowing the characters isn't really necessary for your viewing experience.  The movie will catch you up before it starts.  However, having an Entourage background does help.  You appreciate the jokes more, you already love this characters and you satisfy that sense of nostalgia.  I had my girlfriend watch up to season 5 just to get her familiarized.  Any gaps she was missing was answered in some way or another in the movie (or by me whispering her the answers).

In this film we catch up with our boys where we left off at the end of season 8.  Ari is retired, but was just offered a job as the Warner Bros. studio head.  Vince got married only to be divorced 8 days later.  Now he is ready to work and Ari has a project for him: Hyde, a modern day Jekyll & Hyde story about a DJ that also features Calvin Harris.  (If you were worried about a lack a celeb cameos, fear not.  Entourage the movie is cameos galore.)  Vince is on board, the only thing is he also wants to direct this time.  Cut ahead 8 months later and Hyde is over budget and the film is not even done yet.  Vince asks Ari for more money, which prompts Ari to visit the co-financiers, played by Billy Bob Thornton and the kid from The 6th Sense Haley Joel Osman.  Vince is really nervous about showing anyone the movie, but Travis (Osman) must see it before he and his dad cough up any more dough.  After finally viewing the movie Travis demands changes to the movie, in particular getting rid of Drama's role.  Meanwhile E is dealing with pending baby mama drama.  He and Sloan are again split up and E has having fun with women.  However he and Sloan are still trying to work out their co-parenting issues.  This leaves Turtle to try to court UFC champion Ronda Rousy.  Most of the plot revolves around Hyde and Vince trying to get Travis to fund more money.  This was a really fun movie with delightful cameos and those shots at Drama that we have grown to love.  What I love about this movie is that it stayed in its lane.  It never tried to be what it wasn't, and ultimately it became what it was destined to be: a damn good time at the movies.  The ending left room for a sequel, and I hope there more than that.  I give Entourage a solid Guapo.  Now would be the perfect time to end this post with a Ari Gold quote, but I'm not that cheesy/ I didn't want to force it.  So instead I leave you with this clip.

Bonus Movie Review: Insidious 3

Just in case you didn't get enough of me, here's my review of Insidious 3.  (Wait, I didn't ask for this!)  Well, then just skip ahead.  I already started writing it and I don't intend to stop now.  Let's just get something out of the way.  I'm not a huge fan of scary movies.  It has to do with the fact that my parents forced me to watch it with them as a kid.  Whenever I would try to leave they would make me stay.  My parents were dicks like that, but apparently my grandma was much worse.  On top of that most horror films that have come up lately are ridiculous and unoriginal.  Insidious was an exception.  The plot was one of the most original I have seen out of a horror film and it was actually entertaining (and frightening).  Insidious 2 might have been even better.  Naturally I looked forward to number 3.  I'm not sure why they released it in early June (would have made more sense around October) but hey, to each his own.  I was excited though and I didn't manage my expectations.  To put it bluntly, it just wasn't that good.  This was a case when the Insidious crew should have quit while they were ahead.  That doesn't happen in Hollywood, though.  The director of the first two, James Wan, wasn't even at the helm for number 3.  Insidious 3 was a prequel to the first two films, and while I'm all for prequels, this one just didn't work.  Not even fan-favorite Elise, played by Lin Shaye, couldn't save this movie, which is too bad because I thought she would be able to carry the movie by herself.  Maybe she can, just not with a weak script.  I was mildly entertained, with an emphasis on the "mildly", and I wasn't scared.  I wanted to be nice and give it a Ight, but I have to be real here and give it a Feo.

Thank you for reading my blog post.  Check out my NBA blog Infinite Wisdom on the NBA.  Make sure to like my Facebook page to stay updated on my latest posts/greatest hits.  Follow me on Twitter @ELGUAPO3 to get me in 140 characters or less.  Wanna see some racy photos?  Can't help you with that, but you can follow me on  Instagram @CAPTAINCRUNCHTIME.  I'm on Tumblr at sirelguapo.tumblr.com and Snap Chat at crunchtimemario.  Stay tuned for more posts.  Next I'll be reviewing Jurassic World.  Stay Guapo out there!