Tag: Jerry Ferrara

Box Office Preview: Two kinds of romance, chimps and Bob Marley

What’s new this week? Well, not much. In terms of wide releases we’ve got a romantic drama starring Zac Efron, a rom-com based on a Steve Harvey book, and a nature documentary from Disney. A critically acclaimed documentary about Bob Marley could break up the monotony. It won’t be in a huge number of theaters but it will be available through on demand television services. For you glass half-full types, at least we won’t be subjected to any sequels or 3D re-releases.


The Lucky One
This movie is exactly what you think it is. It’s an adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel (you know, that guy who wrote “The Notebook”) starring Zac Efron. Reviews have been mixed, but tilt towards the not so good side. Even the nicer critics are quick to point out that there’s a formula at work here.

It’s rarely a good sign when you can figure out the entire plot of a movie from a trailer.

While serving in Iraq, U.S. Marine Logan Thibault finds a picture of a woman he has never met and decides it’s lucky. So lucky in fact that he credits it with keeping him alive. Sound familiar? Didn’t Channing Tatum star in this movie like two years ago?

Logan comes home determined to find the woman, Beth, and succeeds after just a bit of internet stalking. Right when things start to get romancey, boom, conflict. Beth discovers the picture and is understandably creeped out before things inevitably work out in the end. Moral of the story: stalking is OK as long as you look like Zac Efron.


Think Like a Man
Again, nothing new to see here. “Think Like a Man” has gotten mixed reviews and looks like any other romantic comedy with an ensemble cast. Although to its credit, the movie seems like it could be appealing regardless of gender. Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter sums it up nicely:

As executed by an appealing ensemble of smooth operators, this adaptation of the Steve Harvey advice book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man often hits its amusing marks, but with a weighty running time of two hours, it often feels more like a lecture than an intended romp.

My fellow TV junkies will see some familiar faces. Most prominent is Jerry Ferrara, also known as Turtle from “Entourage.” Also appearing are Michael Ealy and Meagan Good, who’ve had recurring roles in “Californication,” as Ben and Kali, respectively.

Hopefully Kevin Hart and Romany Malco, who had a hilarious exchange in “The 40 Year-Old Virgin,” will get to interact again.

Last and least, R&B singer/Rihanna-beater Chris Brown has a role as well. Because nobody belongs in a romantic comedy more than a man convicted of felony assault. Hilarious!


Chimpanzee
Jane Goodall’s appearance on “The Daily Show” on Monday certainly made “Chimpanzee” sound intriguing. The nature-doc has received more good reviews than bad ones.The consensus seems to be that the spectacular raw footage outweighs the sometimes forced, cutesy narration. Above all this is a Disney movie, so even its primate stars can probably count to the average age of its target audience.


Marley
It’s probably just a coincidence that a documentary about Bob Marley is being released on 4/20, also known as the stoner’s Fourth of July. When I say “coincidence,” I mean brilliant marketing. I’m going to stop right there, I don’t want my discussion of a critically acclaimed film directed by Oscar-winner Kevin Macdonald to descend into pot jokes. But believe me, they’re up my sleeve.

The film’s official site describes it as “the definitive life story of the musician, revolutionary, and legend, from his early days to his rise to international superstardom.” “Marley” celebrates its subject’s life, the good parts and the bad. Melissa Anderson of The Village Voice called it “a rousing tribute to a mesmerizing performer that forgoes blind hero worship.”

Despite its Oscar-winning director and overwhelmingly positive reviews, “Marley” will see only limited release. The good news is the film will be available through various on-demand television services. VOD is the future of film. You won’t have to “get up, stand up” and go to the theater, you pay $10 total instead of $10 a piece, and you can pause the movie for bathroom breaks.

Happy holidays.

Entourage: Season Five Preview

No matter how disappointed you may have been with the fourth season of “Entourage,” there’s not a fan in the world that isn’t counting down the days until the show’s season premiere on September 7th. A victim of the writers’ strike, the HBO comedy series hasn’t aired a new episode for an entire year, so it’ll be nice to finally see what Vince and Co. have been up to since “Medellin” tanked at the Cannes Film Festival.

You might even want to check out season four as a refresher before diving in to the new season. Not only will it prepare you for the year to come, but you’ll also notice that, despite some minor faults, it really isn’t as bad as you remember. Sure, Eric and Walsh’s bickering got rather annoying at times, and Drama and Turtle actually took a step backwards in terms of character development, but the overall mood of the series has remained the same since Day One: chicks, celebrities and cannabis.

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The biggest problem with the fourth season was that the whole “Medellin” plot failed to be as interesting as the writers hoped it would be. Thankfully, it looks as if the film is but an afterthought in the upcoming season, which finds Vince living the life of a beach bum in Mexico after “Medellin” flops at the box office. The whole “Medellin” fiasco will no doubt be mentioned early on, but aside from that, I think Doug Ellin has learned his lesson about creating storylines that are overly ambitious.

So what about the rest of the guys? Well, HBO isn’t spilling the beans, but from the few publicity shots that have fallen into my hands, it appears Eric will be getting a new client in the form of rapper-turned-actor Bow Wow, while Turtle will be hanging out with Vince in Mexico; at least for the short term. No word on whether Bow Wow will be playing himself or a fictional character, but at least it shows that Eric’s career plans haven’t been completely thwarted since getting canned by Anna Faris. Additionally, one of the clips over at Dailymotion has confirmed that Drama’s French lover, Jacqueline, is now his girlfriend, so that should give him a little more to do this year other than playing the group jester.

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As for guest stars, season five is looking pretty good. Both Mark Wahlberg and Martin Landau are returning, while Tony Bennett, Phil Mickelson, Kevin Pollack and Fran Drescher will also appear. Giovanni Ribisi and Lukas Haas are also tapped for recurring guest roles as a pair of up-and-coming screenwriters that sign with Eric, so look for Kevin Connolly’s plotline to dominate most of the season. That’s all we know for now, but that alone is enough to indicate the writers are planning to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. It’s exactly what the series needs, and I can’t wait. In the meantime, check out this “Viking Quest” web game, which is sure to get you in the mood for the new season.

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