Inside Pulse 12

Blu-Ray Review – Ballers

The Rock


It’s interesting to see how far Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has come since he was essentially a stunt casting in a sequel in the Brendan Fraser franchise The Mummy. Nearly 20 years later Johnson began his departure from the world of pro wrestling, and to the top of the A-list, it stands as a curiosity. Johnson, who was approaching 30 then, is now in his mid 40s and regularly posits a film that crosses ungodly numbers at the box office. Thus his involvement in Ballers was a curious one when it was announced.

Johnson is far too old to play a current NFL player … so what kind of role would he play? He’s at the point in his career where he can save the world … but has to admit that playing a young man in the prime of his athletic career as a pro athlete is kind of over.

Johnson stars as Spencer Strasmore, a retired NFL player turned financial advisor in Miami, FL. Strasmore finds himself on the other side of the aisle as the former player now turned wannabe agent now has to deal with the sort of players he once was. We follow Strasmore into this world of high profile athletes in the biggest sports league in America in all the shenanigans that happen off the field.

The show’s problem, much like Silicon Valley before it, is that it takes a number of episodes to find its unique groove. It starts out feeling like Entourage but in the NFL, much like how Mike Judge’s show had the Entourage but with computer geeks vibe, and takes a while to find its own path. This is a show that’s going to wind up finding its rhythm in the next season much more significantly than it did in its first.

So far it’s a fairly mediocre show for the first half, finding its path when many people wrote it off as being just another Entourage clone but in a different setting.

Nothing but “Inside the Episode” EPK pieces.

HBO presents Ballers (Season 1). Created by Steve Levinson. Starring: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Rob Corddry, John David Washington, Omar Miller. Released on June 14, 2016

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