Review: ‘Almost Friends’ is Almost Great

Almost Friends

Theatrical Release: November 17, 2017

On Demand & Digital HD: November 17, 2017

Guest review from Reel Reviews Over Brews

Once a promising young chef, Charlie (Freddie Highmore) is now an unmotivated twenty-something who lives at home with his mom (Marg Helgenberger) and stepfather while working at a small movie theatre and living vicariously through his best friend, Ben (Haley Joel Osment). His life takes an unpredictable turn however, when he finds himself falling for local barista Amber (Odeya Rush). Problem is, Amber has her own distractions – her mooching roommate (Jake Abel), a track star boyfriend (Taylor John Smith), and steadfast plans to move to New York City. On top of that, Charlie’s estranged father (Chris Meloni) unexpectedly re-enters his life just as he begins to take a long, hard look at where he’s going and who he wants to be. With conflict after conflict piling on, will Charlie reach his tipping point or will he finally find the path forward?

Without looking it up, can you remember the last movie you saw Freddie Highmore in? August Rush is the movie we were thinking. Although we find it hard for him to top his performance in August RushFreddie played the part of Charlie well. A little awkward, but that is exactly what the role called for. It’s nice seeing that he didn’t become another washed up childhood actor. Speaking of… Haley Joel Osment… What ever happened to him you ask? We occasionally wonder the same thing until he pops up as a character actor in Almost Friends or even TuskOdeya Rush (who we think looks like Mila Kunis) is one of the brightest spots in this movie. We’ve only seen her in Almost Friends and Goosebumps, but we liked her in both. Keep an eye out for her in the future. We predict her to be another up and coming star. Looking at some of the big names this cast provides, we would have expected the movie to be a little better. Now, we say a little better because we didn’t hate Almost Friends at all. We actually found ourselves to enjoy this movie about life and how fast/hard it can hit you. Sure it had its moments when a scene felt drawn out, but it also had some laugh out loud moments and a few that felt all to real. By the end of the film we found ourselves feeling pretty good and for that reason Almost Friends is almost great.

Reel ROB Rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars

Post Credits Scene: No

We want to thank our friends at Reel News Daily for allowing us to do this guest review!

DVD Review: ‘THE SPOILS BEFORE DYING’ is another hit for Funny Or Die and IFC


THE SPOILS BEFORE DYING 

Starring Michael Kenneth Williams, Maya Rudolph 
and Kristen Wiig

Available on DVD as of June 7, 2016

The Spoils Before Dying” showcases an all-star cast including, Michael Kenneth Williams (12 Years a Slave, RoboCop, “The Wire”), Maya Rudolph (“Saturday Night Live,” Bridesmaids, Big Hero 6), Kristen Wiig (“Saturday Night Live,” Bridesmaids), and Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense, Pay It Forward). Produced by Funny Or Die with executive producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Nate Young, Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, “The Spoils Before Dying” was written by Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont (who also directed). “The Spoils Before Dying” is the second book, based on fictional famous author Eric Jonrosh’s (Will Ferrell) first best-selling epic novel The Spoils of Babylon. Season two from the “Spoils” franchise premiered on IFC on July 8, 2015, and includes six half-hour episodes.
maya rudolph and michael KENNETH WILLIAMSThe series centers on Michael Kenneth Williams as Rock Banyon, who becomes the prime suspect in the double murder of his occasional lover Fresno Foxglove (Maya Rudolph) who is found dead with another man. Panicked, Rock splits for Mexico where he reunites with his one-time big band singer Delores DeWinter (Kristen Wiig). With 72 hours to clear his name or fry in the electric chair, Rock and Delores embark on a dangerous quest for the truth that takes them into an abyss of sex, drugs, betrayal, and of course, jazz. While his world crumbles, Rock’s hard-charging manager Alistair St. Barnaby (Haley Joel Osment) pressures him to record a mainstream jazz album.

will ferrell TSBD stillFunny Or Die can pretty much do no wrong in my opinion. Following up on the 2014 The Spoils of Babylon, The Spoils Before Dying is another total win. If you haven’t seen the first season in IFC, imagine a Sin City narrative combined with the Rodriguez/Tarantino Grindhouse schlock and add in the compressed timing of an SNL Digital Short (sort of, each episode is 30 minutes). Tough in our age of binge-watching, you can happily run through the entire series in the time it would take you to watch any other film, half as fun. The mock commercials stuck into the episodes are as completely tongue-in-cheek as the rest of the production. kristen wiig TSBDThe performances are off the rails hilarious. Will Ferrell reprising his role as Eric Jonrosh is pure insanity. His oftentimes linear thinking combined with overindulgence and narcissism is pitch perfect. Michael Kenneth Williams is a breath of fresh air as he takes on his role with (almost) complete seriousness. We all knew Maya Rudolf has a set of pipes on her, but I had no idea that Kristen Wiig can sing. And when I say sing, I really mean SAAAANNNNNGGGG. The songs are unapologetically ridiculous AND maintain gorgeous melodies. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Haley Joel Osment, who steals each scene he appears in with total commitment and one over-the-top accent. With appearances by Tim Robbins, Kate McKinnon, Molly Shannon, Michael Sheen, Chris Parnell, Tim Meadows, to name a few,  you simply cannot go wrong with this series. The Spoils Before Dying is now available in DVD. Check out the trailer below!

Michael’s Review: ‘Entourage’

Entourage Poster-00001

The Entourage boys are back with their first feature film with series creator Doug Ellin serving as director and it’s just what you would expect from the testosterone driven hit HBO show…women, cars, cameos, and Ari Fricking Gold. Eight seasons just weren’t enough to tell the tale of Vinny Chase and his boys as they conquer Hollywood and all the women in Los Angeles.

The film picks up six months after the show ended where we find Johnny “Drama” Chase (Kevin Dillon), Eric “E” Murphy (Kevin Connolly), and “Turtle” (Jerry Ferrara) riding a motorboat to a yacht party where their newly divorced friend, movie star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) is partying it up with the locals in Ibiza. Reunited and it feels so good for this brat pack-esque crew who now look to the next chapter in Vince’s career. Hearing that his former agent, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) has returned from retirement and is now a studio exec, Vince reaches out to Ari, who offers Vince a new project, a project that Vince says he will only do if he can direct. And this is where the story begins.

Ent_ 0045.DNG

The project is called Hyde, which is a futuristic take on “Jekyll and Hyde”. Starring and directing in the film, Vince recruits E to be his producer and Drama to be his co-star, but things go south when the blooming budget and rumors of a disastrous rough cut of the film reach Ari, who is desperate for this film to be a success. Vince reaches out to Ari to convince him to fund the project with more money so he can fully complete his vision. Reluctant, Ari reaches out to Larsen McCredle (Billy Bob Thornton), an oil tycoon and studio financier who refuses to give any more money unless his son, Travis (Haley Joel Osment) accompanies Ari back to Hollywood and sees a version off the film. Determined to see this project to completion, Ari and Vince try to convince Travis to fund the extra money, but complication arise when Travis and Vince can’t meet eye to eye on the film. With time running out and a studio hungry for a hit, can Ari, Vince and the boys find their way to the finish line?

ENTOURAGE

Director Doug Ellin elects for the “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it approach” with his characters and creates a film that feels more like an over bloated, cameo filled episode of the television show. This approach isn’t detrimental to the film’s success, but limits the characters evolution past what we already know of them. As for the actors, they get to slip into a familiar shoe and do exactly what they did for eight years. Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Kevin Connolly all provide exactly what the audience wants and they do it fairly well, but there’s an empty feeling seeing these great characters not find anything new to do except drive around and talk about sex. Jeremy Piven is epic as always as the fast talking Ari Gold. Piven steals every scene he’s in and is the real star of this film as he was of the tv show.

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Overall, Entourage is for fans of the show and very few others. It is a fun trip down memory lane for many of us who invested close to a decade in these characters, but in the end, the film did little to expand the characters any further and left me wanting more from the plot.  Is the movie as enjoyable as the show? Sure, but not as creative. Let’s hope if the boys get another go around that they give us a little more substance than this.

Stars:

2 1/2 out of 5

After Credit Scene?

Scene during the credits

Trailer:

Full Length Trailer for the ‘Entourage’ Movie Has Arrived

Entourage-Movie-2015-Poster

Vincent Chase and the gang are back in the new trailer for Warner Bros. Pictures  upcoming Entourage movie! We have it here so you can view it in the player below.

The film reunites stars Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Jeremy Piven as well as many of the shows supporting cast including Perrey Reeves as Ari Gold’’s and Rex Lee as Lloyd. The movie is written and directed by series creator Doug Ellin and produced by Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson and Ellin with Wayne Carmona serving as executive producer

The film picks up where the series left off, chronicling the continuing career of movie star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his entourage of friends. Ari (Jeremy Piven) bankrolls Vince’s directorial debut with a $100 million budget which goes $15 million over. He does this by securing financing from a Texas billionaire Larsen McCredle (Billy Bob Thornton) and his son Travis (Haley Joel Osment). Vince continues his carefree lifestyle saying if the film fails they can just move back to Queens. Now with his own studio Ari deals with the problems of being a start up movie producer in his own ill tempered way.

Entourage will open in theaters nationwide on June 5, 2015.

 

Find Out How To Tuskify Yourself…Go Full Walrus

TUSK

Go to http://tuskfilm.com, upload a photo and Tuskify yourself!

A film written and directed by Kevin Smith
Starring Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment, and Genesis Rodriguez Read More →

New Clip: Kevin Smith’s ‘TUSK’ In Theaters September 19th

Tusk

A film written and directed by Kevin Smith
Starring Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment, Michael Parks and Genesis Rodriguez

A chilling horror tale about the perils of storytelling, Tusk follows a brash American podcaster as he braves the Canadian wilds to interview an old man with an incredible past—only to discover the man’s dark secret involves a walrus.  Read More →

Kevin Smith’s new horror ‘TUSK’

Tusk

Kevin Smith told the world that he was not planning on directing any more films. Well, it  seems that he is a liar, liar, pants on fire. Frankly, I’m so okay with that. TUSK is his latest film and it’s a different genre for him. This is something to get excited about. Check out the first trailer below. Read More →