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Entourage: The Complete Seventh Season Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French DTS 5.1,  Spanish DTS Surround 2.0
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Discs: 2
  • Studio: HBO Home Video
  • Blu-ray Release Date: July 12, 2011
  • List Price: $49.99

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BestBuy.com:
Entourage: Complete Seventh Season (2 Disc) - AC3

Purchase Entourage: The Complete Seventh Season on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4/5]

How many seasons can a half-hour comedy about four buddies trying to make it in Hollywood, one of them successful, and the other three just hangers on , really last? Let me gaze into my crystal ball and see…ah, yes, I think I see now, it’s eight, apparently. No, I’m not really clairvoyant, I just happen to know that Entourage is heading into its eighth and final season. But before that, we have to get through Season Seven.

Entourage has been fascinating to me over the years. What exactly it is about HBO’s comedy series that has made it a hit, I can’t quite put my finger on, I just know that I like it. I’ve basically been digging on these four guys behaving badly, partying, and getting with every hot chick they can and liking it. Maybe it’s that they’ve been serving up a heavy dose of the Hollywood dream life fantasy that guys can live vicariously.

After all these years, the series is still edgy, still addictive, and still a whole lot of fun. Season Seven has taken a lot of flack in some quarters for taking such a dark turn, but I give it high marks for adding a bit of reality into what could have become an otherwise formulaic exercise.

We start Season Seven with a bang, or, more precisely, a crash, as film star Vincent Chase (Adrien Grenier) is convinced to do his own car driving stunt on his latest film by director Nick Cassavetes (himself). The end result sets off a situation that sends the season into a completely new, and somewhat darker direction. Vince becomes an adrenalin junkie always looking for the next thrill, which sends him down a path of more booze, partying, and hard drugs, worsening when he begins dating porn star Sasha Grey (herself).

Meanwhile, older Chase brother Drama (Kevin Dillon) is still chasing his dreams of a comeback, but is beginning to lose all hope as every script sent his way is rejected by the studio, he’s passed up for a remake of The Fall Guy in favor of Dean Cain, and his best chance at landing a series turns out to be voicing an animated gorilla, which the prideful, comic relief character, obviously finds beneath him. Best friend for life Eric (Kevin Conolly), the manger with one big client – Vince – is falling into a life of domesticity with his fiancé, bogged down in wedding planning, and battling a new colleague on the job, Scott (Scott Caan), a guy you just love to hate; a mini-Ari, if Ari were a struggling agent with no clients. Speaking of Ari (Jeremy Piven), the one character who has always been the standout from the series, he’s gotten into his own domestic woes. Marriage counseling with Mrs. Ari (Perrey Reeves) not to mention big professional troubles with his archival Amanda Daniels (Carla Gugino) and the agent he allowed to quit, Lizzie Grant (Autumn Reeser) that could threaten his dreams of bringing an NFL team to LA. As for Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), the perpetually unemployed member of the group, he seems to be the only one actually trying to get his act together and get out from Vince’s shadow. First, his failed attempt at a car service with gorgeous female drivers goes belly-up, but soon he finds himself with a brand-new girlfriend and in on a hot new tequila company that could turn his fortunes around. Everything with everyone, however, could all come crashing down, if they can’t get Vince under control and off the drugs.

Season Seven of Entourage is an enticing, funny, and realistic look at the Hollywood party life gone bad. After all, what goes up must come down, right? It’ll be interesting to see where the producers take the series for the final season and where the fellas all end up.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Entourage looks obviously superior on this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p Blu-ray release over its 1080i broadcasts. Whites are more stable, flesh tones a bit more natural, and absent is any evidence of macroblocking. Grain is also much more evident and while its 35mm source looks far more natural here, the grain structure is a bit coarse, making the image look a little rough. Still, the sunny atmosphere of South California comes through well, from the pastels of buildings to the bright clothes and verdant palms, Entourage looks rather strong.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

With its DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, the series on Blu-ray offers up clean, upfront dialogue and a little bit of atmosphere to fill the surrounds. The soundtrack doesn’t really engage the listener, however, until it gets to one of the many nightclub or party scenes where the bass starts pumping, the stereo and surround panning becomes more aggressive, and crowd noise surrounds you.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

Supplements are thin, but there are three commentaries and two featurettes on the second disc to keep fans occupied.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Commentaries (Episodes 6, 9, 10)
  • Inside the Hollywood Highlife (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:13.40) – Get a behind-the-scenes look at the cast and crew in this short making of featurette.
  • The Shades of Sasha Grey (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:05.47) – The former adult star offers up some insight into her world.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

I’d like to have seen a lot more extras on here, especially given how brief the season itself is. Still, Entourage: The Complete Seventh Season is a winner on Blu-ray, definitely worth the purchase if you’ve been a fan following the series for all these years. They haven’t had a down season yet, let’s hope they go out with a real bang for season eight.

Additional Screen Captures


[amazon-product]B0038M2AM8[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Entourage: Complete Seventh Season (2 Disc) - AC3

Purchase Entourage: The Complete Seventh Season on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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