Sometimes Hollywood and Politics Aren’t A Good Match

Political themes in feature films seem to rub movie goers the wrong way. They usually do very poorly at the box office falling behind all the other movies. There are several reasons for why political themes in a movie could turn a viewer off.

First of all, the political opinion being expressed might not be the same view of the person watching. If a political opinion challenges someone else’s, there will be disagreements. For example, a person who thinks President Obama is a great president might not want to see a movie that bad mouthed his name or presidency. So when a movie is really opinionated, it’ll lose almost half its audience due to a simple difference of opinion. A pro Democrat most likely won’t go see a pro Republican film and vice-versa.

The topics discussed may be considered controversial or too graphic for audiences. Certain events in history have become very touchy topics; such as 9/11 or the war in Iraq. To see a movie about a recent event where thousands of people died can be extremely controversial. People have lost family and friends during these disasters. Time needs to pass before such a sensitive topic can be approached by directors. Some films have been banned or widely deemed inappropriate for being insensitive to viewer’s losses. Some things really should only be discussed by news outlets for educational purposes.

A political film can find it hard to compete with other movies in more popular genres. A blockbuster action movie usually stays at the top of the box office and comedy movies usually come second. There is a lack of public interest in politics so political movies will fall behind other genres. People go to the movie theaters to have a good time; they may choose a movie with a lighter tone becuase they are trying to wind down from their busy lives.

Very few political films have been a box office success; however a movie can potentially do well and overcome the odds under certain conditions. The movie needs to be 100% facts recalling a certain event or public figure’s life. Examples of this would be an -autobiographical film about George W. Bush during his presidency or a film about WWI. Basically, in a political film the more facts and less opinions the better that way it can appeal to all political views and bring forth a topic people can agree with.

Making movies about things that happened after time has passed is also always a good idea. Time heals everything and before a sensitive issue can be touched from a entertainment stand point an appropriate amount of time has to pass. The more people that go to see the movie the better so they don’t want to turn people away with different opinions or sensitive topics.

8 Athletes Turned Actors

Professional athletes know going into their chosen sport that they won’t be able to make a career of it for a long period of time. Eventually, time will catch up with them and they’ll have to retire. Some athletes go on to coach new up and coming athletes in their former sport. Others go on to become announcers or even sports radio show talk hosts.. While others chose to walk away completely.

Then there are those who decide to capitalize on their notoriety in another way, by entering the field of acting. For some athletes, this may seem like a lark that they don’t take too seriously, for others they become so known for their acting that many forget that they got their start as professional athletes. These eight athletes turned actors could definitely fall into that category.

Athlete Turned Actor #8: Terry Bradshaw
For many, Bradshaw is still tied to the NFL for his successful career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has also become known for being quite an outspoken sports analyst not just for the NBA but for NASCAR as well. But what many may not know is Bradshaw also has a long reaching acting career. He appeared in films such as Cannon Ball Run and Hooper. He would also appear in TV programs such as Everybody Loves Raymond and Married with Children.

Athlete Turned Actor #7: Howie Long
Perhaps the former NFL defensive lineman didn’t have the successful acting career but what put him squarely on this list is his determination to remain relevant by reinventing himself. After he retired from the NFL after a successful career with the Oakland Raider Howie Long did try his hand at acting with some marginal success. He made appearances in films such as 3000 Miles to Graceland and Broken Arrow. He also made cameo appearances in TV programs, and went onto do commercials as well. He than would go onto become an author penning the well-known book Football for Dummies. He then became a football analyst for Fox Sports.

Athlete Turned Actor #6: Rick Fox
To look at Rick Fox today it might be hard to recognize him at the man who once played for the LA Lakers in the NBA back ’97. In this time, Fox would find himself stumbling into yet another career, that of an actor. He would appear in films that appropriately had him playing a basketball player including Eddie and He Got Game. However, in 1997 he also landed another ground breaking role in the gritty HBO series OZ. He would appear in about a dozen episodes of the show in 1998 and 2003 all the while continuing his NBA career. After he retired from the NBA in 2004 he continued acting, appearing in some films but mostly in TV programs. He would land parts in Meet The Browns, The Big Bang Theory, and The Game.

Athlete Turned Actor #5: Chuck Connors
Yes, the man known to classic TV fans as television’s The Rifleman started out not just as a professional baseball player but basketball player as well. In fact, Connors is just one of 12 athletes in America who has belong to two professional sports leagues in the course of his athletic career. But as fate would have it Connors was playing baseball in California and caught the eye of a casting agent with MGM Studios. He was cast in his first film Pat and Mike which starred Audrey Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. He than appeared in more films and than made the transition over to television where he ultimately landed the role he would become known for as Lucas McCain on the western The Rifleman.

Athlete Turned Actor #4: Chuck Norris
It may come as no surprise that the action star began his career as a Martial arts champion. His transition over to acting began when he was cast in the movie The wrecking crew. But his defining moment when when he was cast to take on the Martial arts legend turned actor Bruce Lee in the film Way of the Dragon. After Lee’s untimely death, Norris sort of became heir apparent to the action films that featured martial arts. He would take acting classes to further develop his craft but was more known for the great action scenes that came in films such as An Eye for an Eye, Lone Wolfe McQuade, and the Missing in Action films. After his box office appeal seem to fade along with that form of action movies, Norris made a successful crossover to television. He would star in the long running CBS series Walker Texas Ranger. Now he has gone back to his roots teaching Martial arts along with promoting fitness equipment.

Athlete Turned Actor #3: Terry Crews
For a man who started out his career in the NFL, Terry Crews would go on to be known for something else all together in television, the Old Spice Man. Crews would appear in a series of commercials that were made to endorse how manly Old Spice was while promoting his athletic demeanor. These commercials along with other endorsements led to Crews beginning an acting career. He’d star in a series for BET call The Family Crews based on his own family life. But perhaps the role that launched him as an actor was when he was cast as the father on the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris. He would also land roles in films such as Training Day, Friday After Next, and Battle Dome.

Athlete Turned Actor #2: Jason Statham
Like Chuck Connors before him, Jason Statham made such a name for himself as an actor that it’s hard to remember he got his start in professional sports. Statham competed as a diver for Britain’s Diving Squad for twelve years. However, he was thrust into a career as an actor when he was cast in the film Lock, Stock and Two Barrels in 1998. Known for doing his own stunts due to his athletic ability Statham found steady film work over the years in action films. He’d also get some work in dramatic films as well including the independent film London that came out in 2006.

Athlete Turned Actor #1: Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson
Coming from a family of Wrestlers with a grandfather and father who also competed was it any wonder Dwayne the Rock Johnson would also enter the ring someday. Johnson would become a champion wrestler in the WWE. What many may not,  Johnson also played collegiate football for the University of Miami when he attended school there. So, how does a guy whose legacy was in the wrestling arena end up an action star in demand? With Johnson, it happened gradually he went from being one of the most popular wrestlers in the field to landing bit parts on TV sitcoms, including Cory in the House for the Disney channel. One of his first movie roles was in a Disney film called The Game Plan where he played football player. But true to his wrestling and athletic roots he has found more success as an action star. He has now made a name for himself starring in the Fast and Furious films that have become a franchise all their own. The list of movies he starred in are incredible and that’s why he’s one of the highest grossing actors in Hollywood today.

So, there it is. A list of some athletes who managed to make the transition to stardom. Yes, we could probably name a lot more no doubt that would spring to mind. Some who had success in the transition as those above, others who would no doubt like to forget even trying. Yes, being an athlete can be a spring board to an acting career because the fame is already there. But having the determination to to succeed along with the talent also plays a significant part in whether an athlete will be successful in the transition.

Top 5 Spring Movies You Wanna See!

Spring means ‘Spring Break’. Spring Break means you have plenty of time to go see movies you’ve wanted to see. We’ve 5 movies you’ll want to look for during your spring break. What are they you ask?

Spring Movie #1: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

We’ve all been waiting for it. We’ve all had this discussion as to who’s better. Is Superman or Batman the best? Well, you can now find out. You’ll want to get your tickets fast as you and everyone else will want to go watch Batman and Superman battle it out on the big screen. So, place some bets and mark your seat and watch as the battle begins to kick-off your spring in an action-packed style!

Spring Movie #2: The Jungle Book

We’re so used to seeing that cheesy cartoon about the Jungle Boy. It’s time to put on a pair of pants and go see the grown up version which’s said to promise not to disappoint you. Get a little wild and treat yourself and maybe someone else to seeing this at a movie theater near you. Hopefully the weather will feel like a jungle as well!

Spring Movie #3:  X-MEN: Apocalypse

A must-see movie this Spring Break. It’s time for the gang to come back and fight for what they believe in. All you X-MEN fans have bee waiting for this and it’s finally here. The next movie of the series that many comic book fans have grown to love. You can’t beat an action-packed Spring Break. So, if you don’t have anything planned, then you really need to plan to see this. Come on! Young and old alike will want to go see this movie, that’s just how entertaining it will be. Don’t forget to give yourself plenty of time to get tickets and concessions because you won’t want to miss a single thing!

Spring Movie #4: Brothers Grimsby

We suggest this comedy film because it has that ‘aw’ factor that women love. If you’re planning a great date night with that girl during your Spring break, then you might want to take her to see this movie of a guy looking to find his brother after being separated for so long. It has a nice plot to keep even the most action packed guy awake throughout the whole movie.

Spring Movie #5: Captain America: Civil War

Last but not least, the comic book world comes at you with some more action that’s guaranteed not to disappoint.  Many fell in love with character of Captain America and who couldn’t blame them? He is loyal to his country. And now he’s fighting a Civil War and you can watch to see his victory. Only, you’ll know how far he’ll fight by going to see this film.

As you can see, the movies want you to relax whether you’re at home or choose to go away for some much needed relaxation, and they want you to relax in a movie theater. Dark lights, great plots, and lots to talk about when you go back to the dullness of life await you. So, don’t miss out on these great movies.

The Marvel vs. DC Comics Movie Battle Continues…

The rivalry between Marvel and DC Comics has been going on for well over 50 years. The two entities have competed with each other not only for the sales of books, but also in video games, animation, and toy markets. The most dynamic and popular of all areas of competition is the motion picture industry. Marvel and DC have a slate of movies coming out in 2016. Which studio will end up being more successful will play out as the year unfolds.

Marvel already has massive hit thanks to the Marvel/Fox release of Deadpool. Deadpool was a moderately-budgeted film. The $58 million dollar budget was cut due to concerns over the film’s box office success potential. Within a month of release, Deadpool shocked the world by earning $500 million worldwide. Deadpool shows comic book movies aren’t even close to dying down in popularity. Marvel also shows that its “B” characters have a lot of box office appeal. D.C. doesn’t really have that claim, yet.

What DC does have is two of the most iconic superheroes of all-time: Batman and Superman. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is going to be a massive hit. No one expects this film to be anything less than a blockbuster.

Batman v. Superman should top Deadpool’s box office success. Better still, Wonder Woman and other heroes make their debut in this film. The upcoming Justice League film is set up with this film, a film intended to launch the shared DC Universe.

Marvel’s next big blockbuster is coming on the heels of Batman v. Superman. Captain America: Civil War features Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, and the return of Spider-Man to the big screen. The return of Spider-Man may be the biggest selling point of this particular film.

Will Civil War top Batman v. Superman at the box office? Likely, they’ll do similar box office but the unique nature of the DC entry probably will draw in more curious audience members. Civil War may draw more kids, and kids do contribute greatly to motion picture success.

The X-Men return with the Marvel/Fox film X-Men: Apocalypse. The film ends the trilogy started with X-Men: First Class. The X-Men films do extraordinarily well so no one is taking a risk with the third film in the series. Don’t look for this one to match the previously mentioned films at the box office. The X-Men films are as big as Batman, The Avengers, and, bizarre as it sounds, Deadpool. Then again, superhero mania could lead this new mutant outing to be a mega-smash.

The riskiest of all movies to be released this year is August’s Suicide Squad. D.C. Comics Entertainment has chosen to produce an all-villain film to help set up all the bad guys for future films. The Joker returns in Suicide Squad and, as the press revealed, so does Batman. The Caped Crusader gets a cameo and this should help the box office.

Which studio is going to have the better year? The huge hit of Deadpool and the questions marks surrounding Suicide Squads leads Marvel to get the slight edge. Overall, both studios are poised to have a tremendous year.

Good or Bad: Waiting Longer Than Usual To Make A Sequel

One of the biggest concerns that a producer may face is when to release the sequel to a movie. The timing on this could end up making big bucks or be a disastrous fail depending on the time and the marketing. In the cases of movies that are huge money makers like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, getting right on the sequel as soon as you’ve released the last movie is a great idea. The fans are ready to have the next part of the series on the big screen as soon as possible. A movie that wasn’t such a box office hit may want to wait a while before releasing it’s sequel so you are sure that the die hard fans will be there and ready for it when the time is right. There’s a certain trend on things like this with characters that’re already known to the fandom and creating an entirely new story.

Well-Known Characters and Stories
Whether your characters came from a comic book, novel, or movies from previous companies, already known characters can give the release of a sequel a much better chance at releasing early. Audiences are anxious to know what is going to happen next with their favorite characters. The faster the release of the next movie, the more money it is going to make in the box office.

New Characters and Stories
Releasing a sequel to a movie that isn’t from an already existing book or comic book can be very interesting. You want to maintain the time that passes in real life and in the release of the movie. In instances like Anchorman 2 and Zoolander 2, you’ve years that have passed between the ending of the first movie and the beginning of the sequel. This gives it a real life feel, like the characters are out there living somewhere alongside your audience. It’s bad taste to release a sequel that picks up immediately after the last movie years after the movie ended. The only exception to this is if you use time manipulation in your movie. Whether it is flashbacks or flashforwards that are used, this can help the time sequence straighten out for your fans.

Another thing to look at is how wide your fan base is. If your movie only had a small following to begin with, giving it time for those fans to share your movie with their friends could have an amazing outcome for you. Movies that weren’t popular in their release time can gain popularity as generations and the taste of fandoms change. This is as true with movies as it’s with TV shows.

The Deadpool Movie Has Broken the 4th Wall

Hey! You! Yes, you. I know you’re reading this. You’re wondering how a rated-R superhero movie could do so successful at the box office that the sequel was greenlit before it even hit the big screen, aren’t you? The film has broken multiple box office records; after its third week in theaters, it has grossed $235 million domestically and $491 million worldwide. The previous record held was $465 million – Deadpool soared over those numbers by $300 million dollars… that, my friends, is a lot of chimichangas.

If you aren’t impressed by those numbers, Deadpool is also well on its way to being the highest grossing rated R film of all time, as well as being the biggest opening night for a rated-R film, biggest IMAX 2D opening of all time, the biggest opening weekend ever for 20th Century Fox. Basically, anything that it could claim the title of Biggest for, Deadpool is quickly hitting the mark. (We won’t even mention that a certain red-clad Hero outstripped The Force Awakens for opening in some locations.)

What is it about this film that’s setting the tone for future movie-goers? A Rated-R Superhero film was widely controversial when first propositioned, and the directors had to fight for their rating. The simple fact is, you have to keep true to your comic heroes, and an R-rating did just that for the Deadpool film. You are capable of still having an enjoyable film with a proper rating – the mixture of comedy, snarky comebacks, just the right amount of Ryan Reynold nudity, and humor made this film a critical success. Marvel has really hit their mark with this film, and by following along the lines of the true essence of the comic book character, they’re making strides to really start to cinematically portray the characters – hero and villain alike – that the audience has come to know and love.

As a bonus, when they portray the characters correctly, they’re bringing in an entirely new crowd of individuals. Though it seems that directors sometimes feel they have to ‘play to popularity’ the fact is, the comic books are tried and true for a reason. By taking chances, like with the movie Deadpool, and keeping the comical, witty, vulgar main character as exactly who he should be, the directors made a Rated-R film that can reach out across both to die-hard fans, as well as a new demographic of individuals who want a good story. Romance, drama, swearing, cursing, and just the right amount of breaking the fourth wall has put Marvel into their stride, and hopefully, the success of this film will reflect on future films to follow! We all love a red-clad foul-mouth, after all.

How Voice Narrators Can Make A Difference

In movies sometimes, the audience gets a narrator, the storyteller, the person who knows everything or not all the facts, the person who leads the audience into, or out of a story. The narrator leads the audience on what the film is about and helps to immerse the viewer in the film’s world.

In an animated movie, the voice narrator helps to set up the drawn out world. The voice narrator helps to put into words the vision of the artists who drew the film on paper or computers. The voice narrator can help enforce the look of an animated film by the way of speaking or the tone of voice. In animated movies the voice narrator helps to put the art into words and set a tone for the felling of the audience that backs up the animations.

In documentaries, a voice narrator serves two functions. The voice narrator can by the tone and way of speaking, make the viewer aware of what is about to come next in the film. The second function of a voice narrator in a documentary is connect different information that spends different spaces and time. A narrator connects one piece of information, footage, or interview to another in order to ensure that the audience knows where the cohesion is and why said cohesion is important to the facts or story.

A voice narrator’s voice can set the tone for a film. A deep voice can make the audience feel like something serious or grim is going to happen. A higher pitched voice can give the audience a feeling of something positive or cute in a film. Speaking with lower tones can give off a tone of worry or despair. Speaking with rising or higher tones of voice can set a tone of happiness or positivity. a monotone voice can make the audience bored and lose interest in a film.

A good voice narrator can make the audience feel something and care about a story without explaining everything. A voice narrator with good writing can make sure an audience knows what’s going on and cares, but doesn’t know everything about a story.

To me, one of the best examples of more recent voice narration comes from neither an animated movie, nor a documentary. In “Mad Max Fury Road” Tom Hardy gives a short but effective narration. Hardy’s deep voice speaking rather softly helps set the tone for the film.

As you can see, narrators lead viewers. They lead with their voice, what they say, and why the speak. Narrators can set a film’s tone, explain a story, or help the audience navigate through a movie’s story.

The Top 4 Nickelodeon Movies of All-Time

Nickelodeon has been a successful TV station for kids and teen entertainment for quite some time now. With many award winning series as well as comedic performances from many of today’s youngest talent, it’s no wonder Nickelodeon decided to enter in the film business as well.

Nick has produced some Nickelodeon Original films (similar to Disney Channel Original films) to spark of the interest of those young and old. Some of them took off as successful hits and below we’ll dive into what makes these four the best Nickelodeon movies of all-time.

Nick Movie #4: Harriet The Spy

Harriet was a big hit with viewers of Nickelodeon. Harriet reenacted what it would be like for a kid to live out their dream of becoming an actual spy. This classic tale dives into the life of Harriet and her secret diary where she keeps all of her most ‘top secret’ information and notes. This movie was especially appealing to viewers because it gave them the sense of being able to live out their childhood dreams and grow up to be whatever they chose. It also reached popularity since it teaches kids valuable lessons and what occasions make for better instances to keep quiet then to speak out. Harriet proves that being a female shouldn’t stop you from chasing your dreams and your goals. A definite ‘feel good’ movie that keeps viewers entertained and following along closely in anticipation of what she’ll do next.

Nick Movie #3: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

What child doesn’t love one of their favorite TV series coming to the big screen? The popular show brought to life in the experience of a full length film brings an exciting plot, conflict, and conflict resolve throughout this great adventure. This is the second installment of SpongeBob movies and this one takes things to a whole new level (hence the title of the film). In this all-new adventure SpongeBob and company are brought to life in the real world. The comfort of Bikini Bottom is gone as they must learn to fend for their own in real life. The idea of bringing characters to life with all new animation aspects makes this a must see Nickelodeon film for all ages.

Nick Movie #2: The Rugrats Movie

Another one of Nickelodeon’s classic series is brought to life in this exciting film. The Rugrats series is based off of the different adventures Tommy, Angelica, and the cast of others take in each episode. The movie brings this in a larger picture as the Rugrats take on their biggest adventure yet. With many new introduced characters, new places to explore, and a whole lot of potential trouble to get into; the Rugrats movie provides viewers with that extra ‘kick’ of the Rugrats you love. Combine all of these factors and you have yourself one film that Nickelodeon and Rugrats fans alike won’t want to miss out on.

Nick Movie #1: Good Burger

You could kind of foresee this one taking the top spot couldn’t you? All Nickelodeon fans recognize the movie Good Burger and how it put Nickelodeon movies on the map for viewers of all backgrounds. This movie features cast members off the famed show during the time: “All That”. Bringing these two characters (Kennan Thompson and Kel Mitchell) to play roles as lead acts help lands this movie in the “totally awesome” category. What’s not love when you combine food crisis, comedic actors/actresses, and a plot that thickens throughout? If you are a fan of Nickelodeon and their movies, it would be surprising to find that you haven’t seen this film yet. Classic comedy, genius acting, and a good story line help put this film at the top of our list.

So there you have it. Each film has its own individual appeal and may rank differently in your eyes. The SpongeBob movie being on there is a good sign for Nickelodeon fans. With its relative recent release date, we can only hope that these four don’t mark the end of Nickelodeon movies and that they keep producing them for all viewers.

Could You Make ‘Sons of Anarchy’ a Movie?

A well-rounded, entertaining, eye-popping, attention grabbing; as well as having an interesting plot, are a few adjectives that would describe a successful movie. Aside from some of those descriptive words, a movie has too have characters that the audience may or may not be able to relate to. The show, Sons of Anarchy, is great as a mini-series, but it’s not to be made into a movie.

Any good movie must have an interesting plot, and Sons of Anarchy has the same recurring theme it seems show after show. Each weekly series has to do with the running and selling of drugs, guns, sex, and murder. There’s actually nothing more to do with the show than what was previously stated. Yes, the multiple story-lines of many relationships brings twists and turns to the mini-series, but it’s nothing extremely different from what someone would see on a weekly Lifetime movie.

There’s not enough variety among the characters. Each person, man or woman, is involved with the selling of drugs and guns. Jax, the main character, is just like everyone else, except that he runs the organization (I’m not going to give you any spoilers on that). Everyone rides the same kind of motorcycle, talks the same talk, walks the same walk, and kills people who crosses their paths. The actors and actresses are just too similar to one another, other than the color of his or her hair or the age of their character.

After a while, each episode is just like the one before. There’s not enough variety in what the club members do on a daily or hourly basis. The show is directly organized around the “car shop” or the bar that’s just a cover up for the brothel behind closed doors. If someone were to try and make this show a movie, they wouldn’t have enough audiences to be attracted to the biker gang theme. The individual shows become less interesting over time and more predictable as time goes on.

Sons Of Anarchy is nothing more than a group of tattooed, gun toting, motorcycle riding men and women who like to ride around looking for trouble and eliminating those who get in their way. This is a typical plotted movie that a person could find on either SHOWTIME or HBO. I just don’t think that this TV series would be a successful movie.

Top 3 Movies About Movies

It’s pretty rare that a medium takes off its mask and talks about what it’s like to be itself. The medium of film is one of the few mediums that can pull this off. It’s surprisingly rare when a movie manages to be about making movies, though. It’s like Penn & Teller inviting you backstage to watch while they stuff the rabbits into their suit. Hollywood prefers to work its illusions, and we prefer to see them.

When the film medium does get to talk about itself, it tends to be a fun time for all around. People in the film business do tend towards the vain side, after all. With that said, here are the best 3 examples we could find of this rarest of self-examining mediums caught in the act.

Movies About Movies #3: Bowfinger

Directed by Frank Oz, better known as the voice of Yoda and the director of the previous Steve Martin hit Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, this film was a unique pairing of Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy – two comedy stars who added up to more than the sum of their parts. The movie posters even trumpeted this: “Together for the first time!” Martin is Bobby Bowfinger, an indie film director on a shoestring budget (maybe even half a shoestring) who has promised to deliver top star Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy) in order to get funding. There’s just one snag: Ramsey doesn’t get out of bed for the kind of money Bowfinger is offering, so Bowfinger plans to film Ramsey on the sly.

As a movie about making movies, this works great as a central parody vehicle. Murphy gets to tear up spoiled “prima donna” actor stereotypes, and Martin gets to take a shot at the “auteur” director whose ambitions and pretensions far outweigh his budget. There’s even Heather Graham as studio assistant Daisy, a parody of the Hollywood tramp determined to sleep her way to the top. When Ramsey turns out to belong to a religious cult called “MindHead” which affects his career, it’s such a clear stand-in for Scientology that it’s impossible to miss. A jolly romp all around.

Movies About Movies #2: Entourage

When it comes to movies about making movies, Entourage feels like it got to cheat on the final exam. As the inevitable film to cap off the successful HBO original series which ran eight seasons, it had already said and done so much of its subject matter that this film feels like it has nothing left to do beyond to write “The End.” So the story is just Vincent Chase and his little gang from the series take off on a quest to secure funding from a Texas millionaire so Chase can make his directorial debut. But in reality, the plot is little more than a road-trip framework for everybody’s happy endings.

It’s a good thing, because the whole film is stuffed to groaning capacity with celebrity cameos getting to play themselves. The lineup is transparent stunt-casting; every five minutes it’s saying “Look who we got hold of this time!” Warren Buffett, Pharrell Williams, Mike Tyson, Bob Saget, Andrew Dice Clay, and Mark Cuban, themselves names you’d never think you’d see on the same film stock, and they’re just getting started. The movie is so busy dashing madly from one cameo to the next that it feels more like a David Letterman skit that got out of hand than a cohesive story. Still, this is Entourage we’re talking about, and fans had no right to expect anything less.

Movies About Movies #1: Get Shorty

And now we come to the stylish entry. Get Shorty had a pretty good showing at the box office in its time. It also had the star power of John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, Danny DeVito, Dennis Farina, Delroy Lindo, and James Gandolfini, plus being based on a novel by the celebrated author Elmore Leonard. And there’s even many fun cameos by the likes of Penny Marshall and Harvey Keitel. Of all the “making movies about movies” …movies, this one stands out as the most fun to watch, and very obviously was the most fun to make.

It’s also the least about making movies. Instead, the story focuses on the executive level and the complicated chain of schemes behind the scenes to finagle funding for an eventual movie to be made. Being an Elmore Leonard novel, the twisty plot defies description in a mere recap, but it has more to do with gangsters trying to out-gangster each other while vying for control of a creative Hollywood product. One could substitute a drug empire or a casino as the central MacGuffin everybody is fighting over and not change very much. At the end, the resolution all but dismisses one five-second shot of the film actually being made. Along the way, though, there is plenty of satire of Hollywood culture, and several casting stunts which forces the characters to pretend that DeVito makes a good Hollywood tough guy.

What can we conclude from these examples? Hollywood is still shy in front of the microphone when talking about itself. There’s certainly plenty of room to innovate more in this vein, but it’s also rare to make a movie about the film trade and have it really work well.