The A-Team (Blu-ray)
Back in the day, when I was at the innocent age of eight or nine years-old, I remember gathering around in my grandparents back room along with my parents, aunt and cousins to watch the television series The A-Team. It’s one of my favorite memories involving the entire family. Flash forward about 20 years later, when in a moment of nostalgia I ordered the first season of the 80’s show on DVD to relive those fun times. Boy, what a difference two decades makes on a television show. Upon re watching the first season I realized what a cheese-fest the show was and how incredibly formulaic the plot played out every episode. When I heard there was going to be a film based on the show, I was somewhat skeptical.
For those of you that don’t remember, THE A-TEAM follows a special force group in the military who are wrongly accused of a crime they didn’t commit. In an attempt to clear their name they pull extreme stunts that can only be described as nutso. And when they fail to fully reclaim their innocence they become “men of fortune” who take on the incredible and near impossible missions with a flair that can only be found in Hollywood. With Liam Neeson and Hannibal, Bradley Cooper as Face, Sharlto Copely as Murdock and Quinton Jackson as B.A. Baracus, casting really couldn’t have been better and these guys made this an enjoyable ride.
When I saw this film at the theaters last year I remember leaving satisfied with the film, but it wasn’t something that stuck with me. After viewing the extended version of the film on Blu-ray I was pleasantly surprised to find that the added scenes made this film so much more enjoyable. This extended edition really fleshed out the story line and made everything more clear and flow so much better. This has now become one of those action films that will be enjoyable upon repeated viewings.
Of course the action scenes were great, if not completely over the top, but this is THE A-TEAM. If there weren’t ridiculous stunts it just wouldn’t be true to form. Acting was great on all accounts, with Jessica Biel being the weakest link. I have a tough time taking her seriously in these authoritative roles, especially as a Captain in the armed forces but that was a minor flaw in an overall good time.
I was also very happy to see that the cameos that were just in the end credits of the theatrical version were actually incorporated into this extended version film. Why they were cut is beyond me because they were really short enough to not add a whole lot of minutes to the film, so I was glad they were put back where they belong. Overall, THE A-TEAM is a film that I would not have really recommended until this Blu-ray edition. I wouldn’t even bother watching the theatrical version at home because you’ll be sorely disappointed when you view the extended edition. This film is now worthy of being added to any collection.
Video: Beautiful transfer, you can see every little detail of every plan.
Audio: Great sound, crystal clear dialogue and explosions. Surround sound is really a good thing to have when watching this film.
The Devils in the Details: Inside the Action with Joe Carnahan– This is an exclusive Blu-ray audio commentary from Joe Carnahan that includes oh-so-much-more. It’s an interactive feature that shows behind the scene footage and even lets you click on icons through film and get more information about them. Truly one of those great Blu-ray special features that’s worth exploring but tough to explain.
Deleted Scenes (9:07): Six short scenes that were unnecessary for pacing.
Gag Reel (7:20): Sometimes funny but mostly not, this is a crazy long gag reel.
A-Team Theme Mash-Up Montage (1:35): Clips from the film set to the original theme song to the A-Team…that’s kind of lame.
Plan of Attack (28:40): Making-of featurette that gives cast and crew interviews but mostly focuses on the stunts from the film. Pretty entertaining.
Character Chronicles (23:13): Broken down into five parts that include: Liam Neeson: When a Plan Comes Together, Bradley Cooper: Fully Automatic, On Set with Rampage Jackson and On Set with Sharlto Copley, and The B-Team.
Visual Effects Before and After (6:10): James Price, the Visual Effects Supervisor does a little more in depth feature on some of the more complicated shots.
Dressing Down (3:12): A little blurb about the military uniforms and costumes in the movie.