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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Tag Archives: Kid Cudi

Entourage (2015)

Eight seasons and a movie?

Having just divorced after nearly 10 days, Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) now has his eyes set on writing, directing and starring in an adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde, which will just be called Hyde. However, Vinny’s ambitions are so large and demanding, that the movie needs a bigger budget to feel “right” enough for him to give the go ahead with. Cue in Vinny’s long-time manager, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), who is still happy with his family, but still needs to convince financiers that the movie deserves more money because it’s considered, well, “a masterpiece” (his words, nowhere near at all mine). However, Ari and Vinny’s lives aren’t the only ones happening here as Eric (Kevin Connolly), Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), and Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) all respectively have their own trials and tribulations to get through. E is can’t seem to find it in himself to stop sleeping around with random girls, and settle down with his very pregnant ex-love Sloan (Emmanuelle Chirqui); Turtle wants to settle down with someone again, but that special someone just so happens to be Ronda Rousey; and Drama, as usual, can’t seem to catch a break with any casting directors.

Oh, how sad they must all be.

"Hey, guys? A little help here because my back is killing me!"

“Hey, guys? A little help here because my back is killing me!”

Let’s cut the crap and get right down to it, everybody: Entourage, the show, wasn’t all that it’s been made out to be. Was it fun? Yes. Was it entertaining? Yes. Was it anything else deeper or more meaningful than that? Not really, and I guess, there was some appeal in that. Most fans who tuned in to watch the show on HBO every week, didn’t want to see heartfelt, intimate emotions portrayed on the screen; they just wanted to see how these four fellas would stay rich, party it up, stay rich, and bang whatever hotties they could find. Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that, but where I have a problem with that idea is that, all of a sudden, people make Entourage out to be as some sort of sitcom classic along the lines of such treasures as Seinfeld, or Arrested Development, or Friends, or hell, even another, much better HBO program, Curb Your Enthusiasm.

And these are the exact reasons why I wasn’t at all that stoked with this movie finally being made. Now, that isn’t to say that just because I’m crapping on everything that has to do with Entourage, means that I not only hate the show and feel as if everyone should to – that’s just not true. The show was, at points, interesting to watch, and occasionally made me laugh. However, I also do realize that the show carries on a lot of die hard, full-on fans that have been anticipating a movie event such as this ever since it had its finale nearly four years ago. Sometimes, there are fans who like shows for just being what they are, not what they could be, and there’s nothing wrong with that; it’s just that what Entourage is, or better yet, represented about all things having to deal with society, is pretty sickening.

Which is all the more strange to say, considering that I’m talking about a show that came on the air no less than eleven years ago.

Yeah, chew on that for awhile.

See, with Entourage, the show, as well as the movie, all we do is watch these thinly-written characters grab-ass with one another, while, at the same time, try to grab any hot model’s ass, spend thousands and thousands of dollars, and have basically no worries in the world. Now, of course, there was still a lot to see with the Hollywood/movie-making side of the spectrum (more on that later), but lets be honest, neither Doug Ellin nor Mark Wahlberg could really care about these angles as much because, at the end of the day, everything was fine. Girls were slept with and sometimes treated like yesterdays garbage; everybody stayed rich; Vincent was looked at as a superhero of sorts; and everybody was happy. That’s literally every episode of Entourage in a nutshell and it’s the same with this movie.

Which is, obviously, to say that the movie feels like nothing more than an overextended episode with hardly any arch carrying it along – it’s just one scene, after another, that occasionally meanders onto another self-important plot-point that’s nearly forgotten about in the next frame. Normally, this happened in the show, but there wasn’t all that much of a problem considering that each episode was hardly above 25 minutes. But, when you’re movie is nearly two hours, there’s a huge problem in that it feels like nothing is getting accomplished. It’s literally just a bunch of attractive people walking around L.A., doing normal things that people in L.A. do.

The gang is all back together and they look so excited.

The gang is all back together and they look so excited.

Once again, this will most definitely please fans of the show and have them wanting, hell, pleading for more, but for anybody who was already “so-so” on the show to begin with, it’s nothing more than another clear sign as to why the show shouldn’t have lasted as long as it did and should stay dead in the water as it is. But like with the show, if there were any saving graces, it was whenever Jeremy Piven showed up as the foul-mouthed, yet excessively obnoxious Ari Gold to do and say whatever he was saying or doing, and with the movie, there’s no difference. In fact, I was probably happier to see Piven here, if only because it’s been awhile where I’ve seen him get a lot to do on the big screen.

And also, well, because he would save the movie from being an utter and total bore.

Piven as Gold has always felt like the smartest man in the room, no matter how brash the decisions he made, were. He would hurl out insults at some of the most important people around him; wouldn’t think twice about ditching an important family engagement just so that he could have a dinner with some Hollywood exec; and he would always stay loyal to his wife, no matter how hard it was for him to do so, especially in a place like L.A. Here, there’s not much of anything new for Piven to try out as Ari Gold; all he has to do is stick to the same old song and dance, which is fine because it worked so often before. And like they always say, why fix what’s not broken?

But then, this puts into perspective how lame the rest of the performances are from the rest of the core performers. Adrian Grenier has always had that one expression and tone as Vinny and it never changes, which isn’t good; Kevin Connolly has always felt like a smart-ass as E, which isn’t good; Jerry Ferrara has always been the overly eager one as Turtle, which isn’t good; and Kevin Dillon has always been the creepiest, most perverted one of the clan, which isn’t as bad as the others, but still isn’t all that great, either. While some could make the argument that maybe this is less of a problem with the performer’s, than it is with the material for not challenging them enough, I would probably have to say you’re right.

However, by the same token, if they haven’t been challenged for the past decade or so, either, so why even bother trying to do so now?

Consensus: Like the show, Entourage, the movie, feels like it’s never really going anywhere, nor is it trying to offer anything new to the viewer, but instead, just rely on the same old tricks and trades that allowed the original show to stay on way longer than it maybe should have.

2 / 10

Ride off in the sunset, boys. Please try and stay there, too.

Ride off in the sunset, boys. Please try and stay there, too.

Photo’s Credit to: IMDB, AceShowbiz

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Need for Speed (2014)

Next best thing to do after selling the dopest meth? Drive cars. Betch.

After one of his best buddies tragically dies in a street-racing incident, driver/auto-mechanic Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) is thrown into jail, even if he isn’t the one who caused the accident. That title blame should go towards Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), an entrepreneur who decides that he’s had enough of Tobey’s ways of showing-off, and wants him gone. Well, in his case: Mission accomplished. Tobey takes the jail-card for a little over two years and you’d think he’d learn his lesson. But nope, as soon as he walks right out of jail, he meets up with his good buddy (Scott Mescudi, aka, “the Man on the Moon”) and they’ve already deviled-up a plan that consists of them getting into this big, annual race to settle the score once and for all. And by actually getting into that race and therefore, being able to face-off against Dino once and for all, Tobey would have to strut his stuff all the way from New York to California, in hopes that the tournament-owner (Michael Keaton) will see him, be impressed and allow him to qualify for the race. However, when you’re driving a fast-as-hell Mustang, and traveling cross-country, it’s a bit hard to stay out of harm’s way, or the law’s way, to be even more exact.

Don’t worry, I get that this is based-off the video-game because I myself, back in my younger days, actually played it and loved the hell out of it. So that means I understand that this movie isn’t devoid from the same material as those the Fast & the Furious movies, but here’s what I can’t seem to wrap my head around: Why would you even bother trying to make a whole other street-racing movie, when that franchise has been kicking ass for quite some time. Sure, right now it has run into a bit of a hurdle, but from what it seems like, they’ve bounced right back and already have a movie zooming into theaters sometime soon.

"YO MISTAAA WHITTEEEE!!!"

“YO MISTAAA WHITTEEEE!!!”

So I ask once again: Why does this movie, another street-racing genre-pick need to exist?

Well, the simple answer is: To make money. That’s it and nothing about it.

That’s all Hollywood is really concerned with, so instead of just making up another story about a bunch of people who like to do underground, street-racing, why not just adapt the story itself from a video-game? Or better yet, how about we just take a random, conventional story, plop the title of the video-game on it and then be able to say, “Oh no, it’s different”? Because that’s exactly what it seems like they did here.

Not only did they take a video-game that people know and definitely love, but they’ve also brought-back the “street-racing movie” genre, back to its root. See, in this day and age where most of our street-racing movies are getting themselves further and further away from the driver-seats, and more into whatever type of action most blockbusters follow, this movie wants us to remember what it’s like to feel the rush of the velocity in the air; the constant life-or-death aspect that comes into the equation when driving insane, ludicrous speeds; and also, how cool you can look and be, when you’re driving a sexy-as-hell ride, yo. And I have no problems with those types of movies whatsoever, in fact, I welcome it, but there’s something here that just really knocked me down, again and again; and I think that all comes down to the fact that this is just about over two-hours.

Yep, it’s that long, and trust me, it does not need to be one bit. Sure, most of the premise revolves around these characters getting from one end of the U.S., to the other, all by vehicle, but they could have easily tightened that part up, or gotten rid of it all the same. Much rather, they could have just had this story focus in on how this Tobey guy wanted to extract revenge in any way possible, and by doing so, he decides to challenge him to the almighty, climactic final race of a life time. That would have been really simple, swift and good for the movie itself, had they decided to go in that direction.

BUT NO!! Instead, we had to get a cross-country field-trip that is about as exciting as being on a chariot with your mom (except we do get to see these people pass an RV), that features these people driving a whole heck of a lot, and pulling-off some mean, nasty and dangerous stunts, just all for the sake that this Tobey guy can get a chance to get his revenge, clear his name and show this baddie whose boss. It’s weird, because although I’m usually good at suspending my disbelief for any movie, just as long as it’s fun, but I just couldn’t here. Every time Tobey would be driving on the wrong side of the road, having near, head-on collisions with various other cars or almost killing a load of pedestrians, I couldn’t help but feel bad for all of them, not Tobey.

In fact, I felt like he, as well as all of his buddies that lent him a helping-hand in all of these shenanigans, were actually somewhat of dicks. Not only did they want to get a chance to prove themselves as a bunch of mofo’s who know a thing or two about racing cars, but they were so dedicated to do so, that they just didn’t care about what the hell else, or who else it was that was around them. They just kept on driving, and driving, and driving, and driving, and after awhile, it downright nearly killed me. By the hour-and-a-half mark, I had about had it up to here with all of the constant revving of the engine, the spinning of the wheels and the violent car-crashes being after-thoughts. Usually I don’t care for this type of petty-stuff in better movies, but here, I totally did and it got to me.

However, what sucked the most, is that I knew I had about 30 or so more minutes left to go.

Like. what is she doing?!?!? Chicks aren't supposed to be doing that, right?

Like, what is she doing?!?!? Chicks aren’t supposed to be doing that, right?

As much as I felt bad for myself, I couldn’t help but want to extend my tender love and care towards the cast, who clearly showed up, trying their hardest. Sadly though, barely anybody comes out of this movie unscathed; not even Aaron Paul. I must say that for Aaron Paul, head-lining in a major-motion blockbuster, post-Breaking Bad, is definitely an inspired, if ambitious choice on his part, but it comes off more like a paycheck gig than anything else. The script only allows him to grit his teeth, stare out from the driver’s seat as he grips the steering-wheel and, occasionally yell whenever necessary. There are some bits and pieces of his natural-charm sprinkled throughout, but overall, it’s just a weak performance from somebody who deserves so much damn better. Oh well, can’t feel too bad though, because he most definitely got a nice, new beach house out of this.

Another strange aspect behind this movie is the fact that both Scott Mescudi and Dominic Cooper are given top-billing in this movie, despite most of the world not knowing exactly who the hell they are (especially Cooper). Sure, people know Scott Mescudi if you’ve ever listened (*cough cough* gotten high) to Kid Cudi’s music, but you’d never know that it was him in this movie, just by reading the poster or the advertisements; same goes for Cooper, who was probably just given a chance to be a big name because he plays the main-baddie here. Regardless of all of this talk, neither are very good, which may be a case of the script, or it may just be because they both read it wrong. Either way, something wasn’t mixing well here and there needs to be someone to blame. My heart tells me the script, but my head tells me the actors themselves. I don’t know. Let me just move the hell on.

The only two in this movie who inject some form of life or energy to be found in this piece whatsoever are Imogen Poots and Michael Keaton. Poots is becoming another one of my famous “darlings” because, as of late, I’ve seen her show-up in stuff and just bring so much life into whatever it is that she’s doing. She’s wonderful here as the British, quirky, free-spirited and very smart gal that Tobey gets stuck riding with for this long trip of theirs, even if it does seem like the script treats her as both “annoying” and “unnecessarily emotional”. I mean, she sticks up for herself, knows a thing or two about cars and even gets behind-the-wheel on more than a few occasions, what the hell is so wrong about that? Damn, men and all their misogyny! As for Keaton, I think we all know by now how hilarious, fun and awesome this guy can be, and that’s no different here. I’ll just leave it like that. On a positive note, despite the fact that the movie was a stinker.

Consensus: Car-junkies will probably love every bit of the two-hour-long Need for Speed movie, however, for everybody else, it will become a real bore, real soon and barely ever change from being anything but.

3 / 10 = Crapola!!

Still see no turn-signals on.

Pick a lane, bud!

Photo’s Credit to: IMDBColliderJobloComingSoon.net