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BALLERS Tackles Bluray with Season Three

 

ballers

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray this week from HBO Home Entertainment and executive producers Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson is a series that takes on sports with both hands as Dwayne Johnson stops at nothing to expand his base dealing with BALLERS.

Spencer Strasmore (Dwayne Johnson) is back with another season as a financial manager dealing with players! Along with partner Joe Krutel (Rob Corddry), its all about to become even more stressful than life usually is. First, Ricky (John David Washington) questions his relationship with Amber (Brittany Hall) but TDD (Carl McDowell) notices that something isn’t quite right about him lately. Charles (Omar Miller) is dealing with a very calculating boss in Siefert (Dule Hill) and learns he needs to stand up for himself.

A meeting between Spencer and Wayne Hastings Jr. (Steve Guttenberg) finally takes place and the idea of a Vegas team is put on the table. Joe needs to remember to look in his office before he speaks when Kisan (Kris Lofton) lets him know it’s time for a new agent. He also discovers that Reggie and Vernon are promoting their business called High Powered with a symbol that just puts the NFL on the edge. Now Joe and Charles have to come together to find a way to convince Vernon that his days in the NFL are numbered if they keep up their shenanigans.

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In Vegas, Spencer runs into Chloe (Serinda Swan) and sparks fly but acting on it has to cool in the desert sun for a money because he has to work his charm and magic on the Mayor of Vegas and Council people to get a thumbs up on the football team idea. Joe is still dealing with Reggie about his Colorado business venture and gets a little caught up in the well lit moment. New agent Jason (Troy Garity) discovers that Kisan hasn’t been totally forthcoming with his past.

The stress is starting to get to Spencer and Joe (even if Spencer gets some down time with Chloe) and they continue to talk with Anderson about the potential for raising money. Anderson (Richard Schiff) isn’t thrilled when a plane trip to speak with investors turns into a stop orchestrated by his snarky brother Julian (Steven Weber) There are serious family issues between the two that put Spencer and Joe in a weird place.

Ricky goes to see Charles wife Julie (Jazmyn Simo) for a doctor referral and it makes Charles nervous when he sees a telephone call to his wife. She informs him that she can’t talk about it and suggests he focus on what is going on with the team. Siefert is still making things difficult so after an unsuccessful dinner between Siefert and head coach Berg (Peter Berg), Charles decides its time to take his life into his own hands.

Deciding what he wants for his life, Ricky tries to fix the things that are wrong and live his life honestly – and Jason is about to pass out when he learns his clients secret. Things with Spencer and Chloe heat up and it gets him to thinking about what he wants for his life but Chloe sets him straight immediately.

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As the deal for a team in Vegas begins to take shape, Anderson, Spencer and Joe need to have a meeting with the NFL, who isn’t really happy that all of this even began without their approval, only to discover there is another offer on the table and that the balance of power is shifting. While in San Francisco, Spencer meets someone who makes him rethink how things have been handled with the business and his idea for a Vegas team.

The players aren’t the only ones that can be head strong ballers!

Johnson as Spencer once again turns on the charm and the intensity this season trying to break into a world of the NFL by bringing a team to Las Vegas. Cutting corners he immediately has a target on his back and no one is going to make it easy for him, in fact every time he thinks it is all going in the right direction, he’s thrown a curve ball. What I enjoy about this character is that even when things are in panic mode, Spencer takes a deep breath and reaches up to pluck the next big move out of nowhere. In the midst of the chaos, there are moments of comedy and even a bit of drool for the ladies as there is no question that Johnson is ripped and endearing. Yes, its just fun to love the guy!

Corddry as Joe is equally as fast on his feet when chaos shows up but Joe handles things in such a unique and crazy way that when he has moments of brilliance it is actually quite stunning. The scene after Spencer and Joe had to literally run to a meeting with Hastings; it is Joe who gives a quick save that made my jaw drop thinking ‘wow where did that come from?’ I do enjoy Corddry because I never know what character he is going to play next and yet never surprised by his performances.

Washington as Ricky takes on several issues this season with a strong willed woman, reexamining his life and dealing with family. McDowell as TDD is keeping his eye on Ricky and questioning whether he realizes the extent of what is going on in his life and ice cream is very important to him. Lofton as Kisan is introduced to his new agent but has trouble keeping secrets that could affect any deal going forward. Garity as agent Jason starts out being taken advantage of and moves on to dealing with the screwed up personal lives of players.

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Miller as Charles is finding his place in the NFL. Not realizing what it takes to be part of the head office, he also never realized that the game isn’t only on the field. This season he finds his voice and discovers what it is he wants from his post NFL career. Simo as wife Julie wants her husband to succeed and is a serious cheerleader for her husband. Simo is strong, sweet and lets it be known that what ever her husband wants is something she supports feeling that he does the same for her. Dule as Siefert has no problem grabbing the limelight for decisions that help teams and equally grabbing credit for things he didn’t do which is what causes the rift between he and Charles.

Schiff as Anderson wants to do what ever it takes to make the Las Vegas team idea a reality, well almost anything it takes. When brother Julian, played by Weber, comes into the mix it becomes more personal than business. Getting the issues out of the way is the only way any plans will be successful. Schiff and Weber as brothers is something to see to the very last scene together. Swan as Chloe works with Hastings Jr. and has a relationship with Spencer and that proves to be a little strange for them both. Swan is lovely in a character that doesn’t change her life for Spencer and makes it clear that she knows exactly who he is and what he’s about yet still likes hanging with him.

A serious shout out to Steve Guttenberg for showing that he can play a douchebag rich guy. I swear every time he was on screen he cracked me up with his attempt at being suave and then becoming steely eyed when facing Spencer. What a great character! Another shout goes to Steven Weber for being a brother who doesn’t mind making his older brother absolutely uncomfortable and why? – well because it’s a brother thing! Yet when it comes down to it they are family.

BALLERS has cameo appearances by Larry Csonka, Travis Scott, Steve Guttenberg, Cheryl Ladd, Peter Berg, Dule Hill, Anabella Acosta, LeToya Luckett, Ella Thomas, Antoine Harris, Taylour Paige, Sanai Johnson, Richard Schiff, Clifton Collins Jr., Angelina Assereto, Christine Allocca, Carl McDowell, Terrell Suggs, Jay Glazer, Serinda Swan, Andy Garcia and Steve Guttenberg and Peter Berg.

HBO Home Entertainment has an extensive array of critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking programs found on Bluray, DVD and Digital HD. They have provided viewers with some of the most amazing programs with huge fan bases that include the shows True Blood, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, True Detectives, The Wire, Entourage and Game of Thrones. Launched in 1984, HBO is world wide in viewed entertainment in more than 70 territories around the world! For more of what they have to offer please visit www.hbo.com.

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The Bluray includes the episodes Seeds of Expansion, Bull Rush, In the Teeth, Make Believe, I Hate New York, Ricky-Leaks, Alley-Oops, Crackback, and Yay Area. Also included is the Digital Copy that makes it great to watch anywhere on not only a television but also a computer, Tablet and Smartphone.

I always love watching BALLERS because it has so much crazy to offer and it is fast paced. Watching Johnson in this series is different than films because most of the movies show a character that is larger than life in larger than life situations like the remake JUMANJI and RAMPAGE. In BALLERS, the character of Spencer is totally believable in a Jerry McGuire sort of way but on a much cooler scale. I love how he interacts with the other characters and with Corddry as his sidekick – it totally works.

This series can easily be seen as a ‘guys’ series but those who think that would be totally wrong. Although I enjoy an occasional football game or any sport for that matter, I’m not an avid sports fan yet BALLERS is enjoyable to watch and I do look forward to each episode. The character interaction and stories along with the show’s running time of thirty minutes invites the viewers into the mad world of Spencer and Joe and never leaves us unsatisfied.

I’m letting you know now that the finale let me cheering because the good guys can win on their own terms!

In the end – if you build it they will come!

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BALLERS: The Complete Second Season Shows How the Game is Played on Bluray

ballers-bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming this week from HBO Home Entertainment is an inside look at of sports and the management company’s that are complete BALLERS: The Complete Second Season.

Spencer Strasmore (Dwayne Johnson) is a retired NFL player who has moved on to work Mr. Anderson (Richard Schiff) at Anderson Financial Management representing players. Along with sidekick and business partner Joe (Rob Corddry), these two run around Miami, Florida putting out fires the players seem to create.

The season begins with Spencer’s girlfriend Stephanie (Taylor Cole) finding a job but in another town. As the head of his department, he also must deal with issues from his past and the one person who keeps popping up – Andre Allen (Andy Garcia).

Ricky (John Washington) is looking for another team who might want his talents as he is charmed by New York and St. Lois. Not sure what he wants to do, Ricky is also constantly feeling interference by his father who can’t seem to stay off Twitter.

AFM’s Jason (Troy Garity) isn’t happy that he has to go deep into Florida’s reeds to get Travis Mack (Adam Aalderks) signed. Being left out in the water as a test means Jason needs to bring in Spencer to smooth things over. During an interview, it becomes clear that Mack might be a wonder-boy on the field but he has a secret of his own.

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Charles Greane (Omar Benson Miller) has been asked by his team to change up where he plays on the field. Knowing that he needs to do this in order to keep his family in Miami, he doesn’t feel good about it at all. Wife Julie (Jazmyn Simon) is a supportive wife that wants to see her husband have a chance to do what he loves.

Vernon Littlefield (Donovan W. Carter) is also in a bind when he goes paintballing with friends and is injured. Trying to stay the honest person he believes himself to be, Spencer tells him that owning up might mean the end of his career. It doesn’t help that friend Reggie (London Brown) is a fast talking friend who has a big heart even if his actions are a little wonky.

Spencer is also have troubles of his own with trying to keep pain from an injury out of prescription hands and gets a sharp talking to from Dr. Robbins (Stacy Ann Rose). Keeping himself busy trying to dig up dirt on Allen, the two come head to head when it becomes clear that either Spencer digs deeper or Allen will make sure his job is gone.

Sending Joe to look for more on Allen from Maximo Gomez (Clifton Collins, Jr.) it is Joe who discovers that his friendship with Spencer has secrets as well.

Now it comes down to a final meeting with Mr. Anderson as Spencer feels the need to come clean with his past history only to find out it has already made its way into a decision that changes everything.

Johnson as Strasmore looks the part absolutely. He is immaculately dressed, has charm, style and an absolute smooth talker.

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Corddry as Joe gives b.s. a whole new look and feel. This character knows how to shovel the manure on to make roses grow beautiful. Corddry’s ability to talk so fast and feel from the heart has me totally wondering what makes this guy tick. Joe is a character I hope writers delve into because, as Truvy says ‘there’s a story there!’

Washington as Ricky is taking his free-agent status to a relaxing level with plans to visit Israel. When his group goes through the list of places he could play, Ricky considers St. Louis hoping to find fan ‘love’ there. Dealing with a one-time absent father trying to push him to chose – old issues come to the surface with a showdown.

Miller as Charles is the nicest guy and all his friends and colleagues know that about him. Trying to do what’s right without hurting fellow players puts Charles in a very uncomfortable position. It is his wife Julie played by Simon who tells it to him straight and still supports him in a strong and loving way.

Carter as Vernon doesn’t handle confrontation very well and when he is hurt, shutting down becomes his only way to deal with it. Spencer basically hand-holds him through it and leave it to best buddy Reggie played by Brown to offer the comic relief.

Schiff as Mr. Anderson is quickly made unhappy the moves Spencer and Joe make to keep players from being stolen by Allen. Skating right along the edge of what is legal seems to be okay with Anderson until it isn’t.

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Garcia as Allen is a man who fears nothing or no one, no matter what someone brings he laughs at it. Not happy with Strasmore, he announces quickly that the gloves are off and wastes no time in trying to get Joe out of the line of fire. Yet, it is clear he moves people easily to get whatever he wants.

Other cast include Dule Hill as Larry Siefert, Antoine Harris as Alonzo, Robert Wisdom as Dennis Jerret, Carl McDowell as TTD with special appearances by Ndamkong Suh, Terrell Suggs, Anthony “Spice” Adams, Jared Odrick, Mark Schlereth and Jay Glazer.

BALLERS has a stellar list of executive producers including Stephen Levinson (of Boardwalk Empire fame), Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Peter Berg, Evan Reilly, Rob Weiss, Julian Farino and Denis Biggs.

HBO Home Entertainment has an extensive array of critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking programs found on Bluray, DVD and Digital HD. They have provided viewers with some of the most amazing programs with huge fan bases that include the shows True Blood, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, True Detectives, The Wire, Entourage and Game of Thrones. Launched in 1984, HBO is world wide in viewed entertainment in more than 70 territories around the world! For more of what they have to offer please visit www.hbo.com.

BALLERS: The Complete Second Season on Bluray and DVD is a fast paced continuation of the successful first season. This is a series filled with unexpected twists and turns where truth is definitely not easy to figure out at times. The music certainly rides along with the storyline of sports, money, women and the decisions in the moment and for the future.

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The Season Two Bluray and DVD include the episodes Face of the Franchise, Enter the Temple, Elidee, World of Hurt, Most Guys, Saturdaze, Everybody Knows, Laying in the Weeds, Million Bucks in a Bag and Game Day. Also includes are the Bonus Features of Get the Play-by-Play Episodes with 10 “Inside the Episodes” bonus segments, Featuring Interviews with Executive Producer Evan Reilly, Star Dwayne Johnson and more!

BALLERS has been renewed for a third season which is a huge relief since the second season ended with a jaw dropper that must be addressed in the next season. I say that because I didn’t think it would end such a bomb dropping moment! It is in this stellar cast that the show works so well. Johnson and Corddry are the oddest couple who are perfectly suited to lead the band of complicated and complex clients two guys could ever have!

In the end – success hits hard!

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