Entourage-Season Three: Part 1 (2006)
Featurette-Making Of-Baby Vegas Baby
Audio Commentary-Featuring Doug Ellin, Kevin Dillon and Jerry Ferrara
|Year Of Production||2006|
|Running Time||296:00 (Case: 294)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (3)
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||None Given|
Warner Home Video
David 'Permashine' Aguirre
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Unknown||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||None||Smoking||Yes, Some drug use|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
HBO's impressive Entourage continues to please and returns on DVD. Things get interesting as Vince's Hollywood star begins to shoot through the stratosphere with the blockbuster release of Aquaman. However, deciding to mix up the seemingly set in stone success of Vince's career (and the livelihood of the entourage) the producers have envisioned a somewhat more turbulent (and ultimately interesting) story arc for Season 3.
If you are new to Entourage, you should check out this site's previous reviews for the highly recommended first and second seasons. Entourage is about an up and coming Hollywood star whose entourage includes his two best friends from high school and his older has-been actor brother. The show is loosely based on Mark Wahlberg's experiences as his star started to rise and he is also a producer on the show. As such, it is largely about the life of a Hollywood insider. The show succeeds on a few levels; it gives that alluring peek into the Hollywood lifestyle of the rich and famous, the relationships of the four friends (as well as their agent) and the issues they face, and ultimately it is a highly entertaining coming of age story.
Season 3 sees Vince decide that he'd rather work on the projects that he wants to do and is passionate about rather than the formulaic Hollywood blockbuster. As such the season focuses on Vince & Eric's difficulty securing a new 'project' to work on. When Vince's decisions and attitude defy the Hollywood norm he finds that he has alienated various studio heads and power brokers which results in his options narrowing considerably.
As usual, there are quite a few celebrity cameos including James Cameron, Seth Green, Penny Marshall, and James Woods.
Entourage is definitely going from strength to strength, this is the best season yet with the finale leaving you wanting more. My only possible complaint is that this is ultimately a part or 'half' season being released and not the complete season. In HBO's defence, this part season is longer than the first (which had 8 episodes) and only two episodes shorter than the second season. There was also a significant break (4-5 months or so) between the air dates for the two halves. However, the second half of this season is only eight episodes long, so within a few months we'll need to shell out some hard earned dough for a significantly shorter Season 3 Part 2. In some ways I can forgive HBO for this because they are not like the traditional network seasons with 22-24 shows a year (and more Entourage is better than less, after it is the success of the show that saw Season 3 extended) but I hope that it's not a trick other studios get into. In my opinion, DVD fans deserve complete season sets and not half seasons at full season prices.
301 Aquamom (24:21): With the Aquaman premiere closing in, Vince is desperately trying to get his mother (who's afraid of flying) to come out to California for the big event.
302 One Day in the Valley (25:38): Aquaman's opening day threatens to be ruined by a massive heat wave that is causing blackouts all over Southern California. Ari is at his neurotic best worrying about how much it is going to gross.
303 Dominated (24:13): An old school friend of the boys called Dom gets out of prison and comes moves into the mansion.
304 Guys and Doll (23:18): Vince eyes the lead role in a film on the life of Pablo Escobar called Medellin. But the disappearance of one of the producer's valuables from his home sees Vince out in the cold.
305 Crash and Burn (23:13): Contractually obligated to make Aquaman 2, Vince and Eric are trying to negotiate a deal with the studio to get Medellin made first.
306 Three's Company (24:30) Somehow the future of both of Vince's planned projects are in doubt and Eric is troubled (and excited) by the offer of a threesome by his girlfriend.
307 Strange Days (25:17) The fallout from the threesome continues for Eric and Ari is trying to get his severance package finalised.
308 The Release (22:57) Queens Boulevard finally gets a release with some surprising results, Drama auditions for a pilot and Ari gets busy with the new firm.
309 Vegas Baby, Vegas! (24:15): The boys go to Vegas for a few days. Eric and Seth Green come to blows over Eric's girlfriend.
310 I Wanna Be Sedated (27:06): Ari keeps Eric busy with a has-been producer and Turtle is desperately trying to get Saigon's contract signed.
311 What About Bob? (25:22) Eric and Ari are busy trying to get traction with the Ramones movie as Drama gets busted on set.
312 Sorry, Ari (25:16) Vince decides to cut ties in a uncharacteristically downer of midseason finale episode.
The shows are presented in their original broadcast ratio of 1.78:1 and the discs are 16x9 enhanced. This represents a production change from earlier seasons that were fullscreen. I was very excited to see one of my favourite shows in its widescreen glory.
The video quality is generally very good. The show definitely does not have an 'on set' feel to it. There are a lot of restaurant, shopping, outdoor scenes that add a sense of life that is often lacking in many shows. This all adds a lot to the show and your enjoyment of it.
For the most part the transfer is clear and sharp, but there is varying quality between episodes with some appearing a little softer than others. Whilst this has been a significant problem throughout all seasons, it tends to be less so this time around.
Colours tended to be vibrant, reflecting the nature of the show and the way it is filmed. Black levels were good, and skin tones were natural.
There is a little grain in a few scenes but nothing too major. Thankfully there were no other artefact issues.
Overall, it's a good transfer.
The audio track is English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).
There is nothing really stand out or disappointing about the track - it is fairly middle of the road and probably what you would expect for a modern TV show.
Entourage is a very dialogue driven show and thankfully it comes through sounding clear. There are no sync, click or pop-out issues.
Music is mixed quite well and adds a lot to the show. It always comes through relatively well (for a 2.0 track.)
There was no surround use or sub-woofer.
There is also a French 2.0 (192Kb/s) track.
|Surround Channel Use|
Personally, I thought this was one of the funniest episodes of the show so far, so it was great to get a commentary for it.
Fun, but brief look at the making of the 9th episode of the season. Most of the episode was shot on location in casino hotels, at the pools, bars and on the casino floors. Ironically, they had difficulty finding strippers for a scene in the episode. According to Piven, "not being able to find strippers in Vegas is like not being able to find midgets in a Wizard of Oz cast reunion!"
Easy to listen to and very entertaining commentary. The cast and crew seem to get along well and there were some interesting anecdotes about the shooting. Jerry won a lot of money at Blackjack during filming, so used the proceeds to buy his mum a new car!
A look at the finale. Not as entertaining as the Vegas episode, but fun nevertheless. I got a crack out of Ellin describing Drama as the voice of reason in this episode and that's how he sees Drama. There are a lot of crew in-jokes and the like.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 set seems to have a Season 1 & 2 recap that Region 4 misses out on. Besides that the sets appear the same. Personally, the recap doesn't do much for me so lets call it a tie.
Overall, one of the best shows on TV at the moment (too bad the Nine Network dropped it, your only way to see it on TV in Australia is Foxtel.) DVD is the best way to see it.
The video is good.
The audio is good.
The special features are good, 3 commentaries and a featurette. A step up from last season's disappointing offering.
This show is great, get this set!
|DVD||Marantz DV4300, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPL HS10 projector on 100 inch 16x9 screen + Palsonic 76WSHD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Sony STR-DE685. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.|
|Speakers||DB Dynamics VEGA series floor standers + centre, DB bipole rears, 10" 100W DB Dynamics sub|