Category Archives: entourage

The Great Gatsby 2013

The Great Gatsby ~ Every time I think of this Baz Luhrman flick, I can’t help thinking about the “Entourage” fictional version Gatsby. Maybe if I keep thinking that, I can also manifest another fake movie from the show, Aquaman, ’cause that one I really want to see.

At first, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to see this new version of Gatsby. I remember vaguely reading it as a teenager, and then being made to read it in college. I remember watching a TV version as an ABC movie of the week back in the seventies and being bored to tears.

The Great Gatsby is a lot of tell vs. show, along with subtext and metaphor that if you don’t get, your English teacher or professor will have a seizure. It’s also full of unlikable characters. It serves its purpose, like say Catcher in the Rye, don’t get me wrong, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Then there’s the problem of the director. Baz Luhrman, for me, is a creator of extremes. I think his Romeo + Juliet is a work of brilliance, yet his critically acclaimed Moulin Rouge! revels in the mud of my bottom five. I hated it. And because of it, I approach any further Luhrman work with contempt, derision, and caution. The Great Gatsby, seemingly in a similar vein to those two previously mentioned films, is definitely no exception.

I did not hate this version of Gatsby, but I didn’t love it either. It falls somewhere around my impression of the 1970s one, less than impressed, and bored. The leads are strong and perfect had this been in hands of any other director. Luhrman resorts to camera tricks, fast motion, modern music, and even 3-D trickery, and all any of it does is sour and dilute the classic story. Don’t waste your time, unless you’re a fan or morbidly curious.

Swingers

Swingers ~ Well over a decade before he revolutionized the superhero movie and created the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man, Jon Favreau wrote and co-produced this dramedy for guys in the spirit of Diner that almost definitely inspired all the fictional parts of HBO’s “Entourage.” Man, Swingers is the flick.

These adventures of a group of neurotic struggling actors are as much classic Woody Allen and prime “Seinfeld” as they are 1960s Rat Pack. And the dated ‘lounge-speak’ that every drunken player/loser spouted back in the 1990s until you wanted to punch them, when done right, by the originals, and in context, is mesmerizing.

Style and substance, great characters and dialogue, and a killer soundtrack – this movie is money, and it knows it. Recommended.

Emmy Noms and Predictions

Just the highlights…

Outstanding Comedy Series

30 Rock • NBC •
Entourage • HBO •
Family Guy • FOX •
Flight Of The Conchords • HBO •
How I Met Your Mother • CBS •
The Office • NBC •
Weeds • Showtime •

I’m at a handicap here, only having seen a few. I love “Entourage” but I think “Family Guy” takes this one.

Outstanding Drama Series

Big Love • HBO •
Breaking Bad • AMC •
Dexter • Showtime •
House • FOX •
Lost • ABC •
Mad Men • AMC •

Again, I love “Dexter” but “Mad Men” is simply one of the best series on television, period.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series

30 Rock • NBC • Alec Baldwin, as Jack Donaghy
Flight Of The Conchords • HBO • Jemaine Clement, as Jemaine
Monk • USA • Tony Shalhoub, as Adrian Monk
The Big Bang Theory • CBS • Jim Parsons, as Sheldon Cooper
The Office • NBC • Steve Carell, as Michael Scott
Two And A Half Men • CBS • Charlie Sheen, as Charlie Harper

Geeks stick together. Go, Sheldon.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series

Breaking Bad • AMC • Bryan Cranston, as Walter White
Dexter • Showtime • Michael C. Hall, as Dexter Morgan
House • FOX • Hugh Laurie, as Dr. Gregory House
In Treatment • HBO • Gabriel Byrne, as Paul
Mad Men • AMC • Jon Hamm, as Don Draper
The Mentalist • CBS • Simon Baker, as Patrick Jane

Tough one, but again, “Mad Men” takes it.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series

30 Rock • NBC • Tina Fey, as Liz Lemon
Samantha Who? • ABC • Christina Applegate, as Samantha Newly
The New Adventures Of Old Christine • CBS • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, as Christine
The Sarah Silverman Program • Comedy Central • Sarah Silverman, as Sarah Silverman
United States Of Tara • Showtime • Toni Collette, as Tara Gregson
Weeds • Showtime • Mary-Louise Parker, as Nancy Botwin

Anyone who’s seen “United States of Tara” knows that Toni Collette blows the competition away.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series

Brothers & Sisters • ABC • Sally Field, as Nora Walker
Damages • FX Networks • Glenn Close, as Patty Hewes
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit • NBC • Mariska Hargitay, as Detective Olivia Benson
Mad Men • AMC • Elisabeth Moss, as Peggy Olson
Saving Grace • TNT • Holly Hunter, as Grace Hanadarko
The Closer • TNT • Kyra Sedgwick, as Brenda Leigh Johnson

Peggy from “Mad Men” obviously.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie

Accidental Friendship • Hallmark Channel • Chandra Wilson, as Yvonne
Coco Chanel • Lifetime • Shirley MacLaine, as Coco Chanel
Grey Gardens • HBO • Drew Barrymore, as Little Edie
Grey Gardens • HBO • Jessica Lange, as Big Edie
Prayers For Bobby • Lifetime • Sigourney Weaver, as Mary Griffith

One of the two actresses from Grey Gardens, which will take several awards this season. Yeah, it’s just that good.

Outstanding Reality – Competition Program

American Idol • FOX •
Dancing With The Stars • ABC •
Project Runway • Bravo •
The Amazing Race • CBS •
Top Chef • Bravo •

I love me some “Idol” and “Race” but for pure entertainment value (both intentional and unintentional), I gotta go with “Runway.”

Outstanding Reality Program

Antiques Roadshow • PBS •
Dirty Jobs • Discovery Channel •
Dog Whisperer • NGC •
Intervention • A&E •
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List • Bravo •
MythBusters • Discovery Channel •

Just give it to Kathy.

Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series

Late Show With David Letterman • CBS •
Real Time With Bill Maher • HBO •
Saturday Night Live • NBC •
The Colbert Report • Comedy Central •
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart • Comedy Central •

Ahem. That’s right, folks – Stewart, Colbert and Maher are not news, it’s at best comedy opinion – not news. That said, “SNL” will get the Emmy.

Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Special

Chris Rock – Kill The Messenger • HBO •
Kathy Griffin: She’ll Cut A Bitch • Bravo •
Ricky Gervais: Out Of England — The Stand-Up Special • HBO •
The Kennedy Center Honors • CBS •
Will Ferrell: You’re Welcome America. A Final Night With George W. Bush • HBO •

Chris Rock deserves it, but just to get even for my comments in the last category, Will Ferrell will get it, because America hates Bush, but loves laughing at him.

My favorite nomination? Justin Timberlake for original composition… of “Motherlover.” Love it.

For a full rundown of this year’s Emmy nominations, click here.

.