Billy Bob Thornton

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Entourage

LET’S HUG IT OUT BITCH! Because Vinnie Chase and the boys are back in town! Entourage is back and this time we are taking it to the big screen ladies and gentlemen. For those that don’t know, Entourage was a series on HBO that revolved around an actor who made me big and brought his friends from New York with him out to Hollywood. Loosely based on Mark Wahlberg’s adventures and life in Hollywood, It ran for 8 seasons, some say 2 seasons 2 long, and was kind of defined as Sex in the City for men. John Campea, formally of AMC Movie Talk, called it Lifestyle porn which I think is a very accurate explanation of what we love about this franchise. Yes I said franchise, because I hope that we get Entourage 2, because this one is that good.

Entourage pretty much picks up a week or two after the series’ ends. Now I won’t spoil anything, but it follows the efforts of Ari Gold, played by Jeremy Piven, as he tries to secure more money for star client Vinnie Chase, played by Adrian Grenier, for his over budgeted directorial debut film. The entire cast returns from the show including Kevin Dillon, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Perrey Reeves, Rex Lee, Debi Mazar, Constance Zimmer, and Emmanuelle Chriqui. Among them new comers include Billy Bob Thornton, Haley Joel Osment, Kid Cudi, Emily Ratajkowski, Ronda Rousey, and Mark Cuban (Cuban is just a brief cameo, but it’s Cuban, I’m mentioning him.) Among them, you also get numerous cameos that I will not spoil here, but believe me, there are too many to count.

The film is a lot of fun. It really goes back to the basics of the show, and just puts you in the lives of these characters. I’ve recently been rewatching the series’ in anticipation for the film, and it really reminded me of the first and second season, which I think was best. The cameos, the party’s, the one liners. They are all there, and all fun. It also does a really good job of both hinting at minor details from the show, while also giving you a lot of through backs. It even takes the time to use small but effective dialog to tie up all loose ends and questions a true fan of the show would have while watching

That said, you don’t have to be someone who watched the show to enjoy this film. It definitely helps, but it isn’t a complete necessity. Through clever dialog and plot devices they catch up and give you everything you need to know, and it helps in making the film very enjoyable, even for the casual movie going audience.

As far as negatives go, I can honestly say I do not have too many. And the ones I do have are a little nitpicky. There is not a real underlining threat in the film. Throughout the show Vinnie is always faced with a good amount of drama that he must overcome and deal with, I never felt worried for him throughout this. There is a minor storyline with E that really gets invested and into it, but is wrapped up very quickly. The film is rated R, as should be, but the show had its use of language. However, I didn’t feel we lived up to the vulgarity of the show. As far as naked girls go though, they definitely lived up. There is also one minor continuity issue that being a crazy fan that I am I picked up on, but it’s not that big of a deal. I won’t tell you, I’ll let you see if you picked it up.

Other than that, Entourage is a great freaking movie. It was so much fun. I was literally smiling from ear to ear the entire film. I got to see it early for a press screening, and I enjoyed it so much that I will be going back to give the film my hard earned cash to support it. And I suggest you do to. You will not be disappointed. I’m giving Entourage and full .5 bonus for doing such a wonderful job taking me back into that world. With a score of 4.2 plus its bonus, that is going to be a 4.7 on the Jeebus Scale. So what say you Jackass Nation? Are you excited for Entourage? Where you a fan of the show? Who is your favorite character? Mine is of course, Ari Gold.

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Acting, Entertainment, and Casting, and a max of .5 for Dialog, Cinematography, and Direction. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 6 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

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Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, The Judge

The jury is in on The Judge

The Judge. The highly anticipated film starring acting power houses Robert Duval and Robert Downey Jr. has finally hit screens across the nation and one thing is for certain, it’s Oscar season. After last week’s Gone Girl was released and now The Judge it is clear the Oscar bait films are out in full force. And if I were one of the old guys in the committee, this one would be in the running. Among Duval and RDJ the film stars Vera Farminga, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Billy Bob Thornton, Leighton Meeston, and Dax Shepard, and is directed by David Dobkin.

The Judge tells the tale of high powered Chicago defense attorney Henry “Hank” Palmer, who while in the midst of a trial, is called back to his small town home after the passing of his Mother. He returns for the funeral and to his Estranged family that include his learning disabled brother Dale(Strong), his older brother who seems to bare a small grudge toward him Glen(D’Onofrio),and his father(Duval) who he hates, and who hates him. On his way back out of town he is pulled back into a trial that has father looking at murder charges, against a man that he put away years ago. He must now find his father’s innocence while going up against a Prosecutor named Dwight Dickham (Thornton) who is determined to get the Judge put away for life.

In a change of pace I am going to start with the negatives seeing how there are so few of them. The trailers will have you believe that this is a high powered court drama, but that’s not exactly the case. The film is a lot more of a character picture then it is a crime drama. Though there are a lot of scenes that take place in the court, more often than not you find yourself dealing with this families inner workings. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just a little departure from what it looked like from a marketing perspective. As well there is a small story line involving an ex-girlfriend of Hank Palmer (RDJ) that had the entire thread been taken out, you wouldn’t be missing anything. Plus the small twist that comes of the ex-love storyline is not cleared up or addressed and leaves you kind of confused. As well, Dax Shepard’s character, a lawyer originally hired by Judge Palmer to defend him, also didn’t really need to be in the film, or at least as much as he was, which still isn’t even that much.

Sounds like nitpicking? Well it kind of is. Those are really the only problems in the film. The story is riveting, and pulls at your heart strings over and over again. I did not cry, but there were a few times that I definitely teared up. It almost got me. The scenes are powerful, especially the ones that involve just RDJ and Duval. Not only is Duval one the greatest actors of all time, but this film, these scenes, remind you that RDJ is a world class actor too. He’s not just Tony Stark. I can say, that baring a few more performances, I can honestly see both of these guys getting the Oscar nod. The entire film is casted well, none of these actors took me out of the film, nor did anything from the script. The dialog was fresh and crisp, the direction was up to par. It was just a well put together film. One I truly enjoyed.

I’m going high on my Jeebus score with this one. No bonus, but still ties Gone Girls 5.4, multiple viewings required. So how about you? Have you, or do you plan on seeing The Judge? And what are your favorite performances from RDJ other than Iron Man?