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EW review: 'Entourage' is a star

HBO series cashes in on Hollywood social dynamic

By Dalton Ross
Entertainment Weekly

Dennis Quaid
Jeremy Piven
Scarlett Johansson
Topher Grace

(Entertertainment Weekly) -- On paper, the concept behind "Entourage" sounds annoying as hell.

A bunch of freeloading morons latch on to their movie-star buddy and genially parade around Hollywood like self-entitled jerks. But on screen, it's something else.

Sure, this crew can wreak havoc, but deep down they mean well ... sometimes. And the star in question, Vincent Chase, may be a lazy pretty boy, but Adrian Grenier is so comfortable in the role that he manages to come off as oddly endearing.

While Grenier plays the big shot on the show, he (and everyone else) is upstaged by Chase's half brother, Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon, a guy who knows something about having a more famous sibling -- in his case, Matt).

Whether bragging about his cheesy old sci-fi series, "Viking Quest," or discussing a one-sided feud he has with talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel, Dillon hilariously nails the proud yet pathetic has-been.

As creator Doug Ellin says in one of three mostly uninspiring commentaries, ''Kevin's just gotten to the point where anything that comes out of his mouth just makes me laugh.''

The only other extra is a rote making-of doc with scintillating tidbits like that the cast bonded during ''a crazy weekend in Vegas'' and shooting on location is ''a lot more fun.''

On the show (unlike in the extras) comic relief runs rampant. Sometimes it works: Jeremy Piven (who, strangely, grows more hair the older he gets) scores as neurotic agent Ari Gold. Other times it doesn't: Jerry Ferrara's Turtle, meant to be hysterically irksome, ends up being just irksome.

Beyond portraying the posse's social dynamics, "Entourage" excels in its take on major career moments transpiring under the most casual circumstances -- never underestimate the power of weed and strip clubs in sealing a deal.

EW Grade: B+

'In Good Company'

Reviewed by Jeff Labrecque

With his nuanced turn as a humbled magazine exec whose new 26-year-old boss (Topher Grace) has eyes for his college-age daughter (Scarlett Johansson), Dennis Quaid continues his recent trend of strong performances ("The Rookie," "Far From Heaven"), officially graduating from his days of grade-B cheese ("Innerspace," "Enemy Mine").

The bizarre love triangle of "In Good Company" works mostly because Quaid's vulnerability is even more endearing than his previous roguish charm. Further proof: one of 10 deleted scenes in which his character makes a disastrous attempt to color his hair.

Extras: There's commentary from Grace and writer-director Paul Weitz, and a 24-minute featurette introducing sports magazine execs, agents and casino moguls that reeks of the very corporate ''synergy'' the movie derides.

EW Grade: B+

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