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The A-Team (Blu-ray Review)

Seeing the trailers for The A-Team earlier this year filled me with dread.  It looked like another treasured television show from the 80’s was to be transformed into an atrocious full feature film.  All of that changed after I saw a new trailer for The A-Team in front of the Predators blu-ray.  It actually looked pretty good.  Not to mention that everyone who saw this in theaters said it was very cool.  I’m not one of those followers.  I’ll watch something first and then I’ll make up my mind as to whether it rocks or not afterward.

*This review is for the Extended Cut of The A-Team.

Film 

A group of former Special Forces soldiers are convicted of a crime they did not commit and must break out of prison in order to clear their names.  That pretty much sums up the film in a nutshell.  Col. Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) is the leader of this band of miscreants.  Lt. “Faceman” Peck (Bradley Cooper) is the pretty boy of the group.  B.A. Baracus (Quinton “Rampage” Jackson) plays by his own rules, and Captain H.M. Murdock (Sharlto Copley) is insane.

The A-Team is formulaic as hell as far action films go.  It covers no new ground, and it doesn’t explore new depths in the genre.  The reason why The A-Team works at all is, because of the chemistry between the stars.  Everyone is having a great time and it shows.  I had misgivings when I would see some of the advertisement campaigns and they all focused on Bradley Cooper.  All four of the main actors get equal screen time and billing.

From what I remember reading in the trades, The A-Team had been in development for quite a while.  Production had already started even before casting had finished.  Ice Cube had been one of the major front runners, but director Joe Carnahan settled on Quinton “Rampage” Jackson for the iconic Mr. T. role as B.A. Baracus.  Quinton actually plays two roles in the film.  He plays Mr. T. playing B.A. Baracus.  If that makes sense.

I love Sharlto Copley.  He steals the show in just about every scene he’s in, along with Bradley Cooper.  The Extended Cut of The A-Team runs at 2hrs and 13mins, I don’t know what was trimmed out from the theatrical cut since that’s not the version I watched.  The Extended Cut of The A-Team works really well, because it gives the film some room to breathe.  It doesn’t feel rushed, and the pacing is just right.  The A-Team could have been a major failure, but came through in the end.  They sure as hell don’t make them like they used to.  The A-Team is one of the better action films of 2010.

Video 

The A-Team is presented in a lovely widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio.  If it weren’t for certain stylistic choices that were made during some of the CGI heavy portions of the film, this transfer would be reference all the way.  In fact, the portions of the film that do not rely heavily on computer generated imagery ARE REFERENCE. The opening prologue in Mexico is amazing!  It kind of cools off after that, and the color palette does a complete 180.  Not bad at all, though.  Skin tones look natural and not over saturated.  It’s a pretty good looking film.

Audio

The A-Team comes to us in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.  It could have almost been reference, but again, due to some stylistic choices, it only gets the near reference mark.  There are some scenes throughout the film that involve “silent explosions” where things blow up as plain as day yet they carry no sound effect.  Whether I’m making sense or not, that’s another story.  The scene where the big carrier plane is trying to take off and the wings are clipping all of the fighter jet cockpits literally made no sound when they were being clipped.  It was all rotors.   Now what I was able to hear blew me away.  Most explosions and music cues rocked the house!

Special Features

The A-Team is packed with a varied assortment of special features which include your typical “makings-of” and self congratulatory featurettes.  This is a mixed batch of the two.  Since I did not watch or review the theatrical cut of the film, I was not able to watch the Joe Carnahan “Devil’s in the Details” feature.  It’s slightly misleading, because it really isn’t a documentary or standard featurette, it’s pretty much Fox’s version of WB’s “Maximum Movie Mode.”  If you know what that is, then it’s sort of the same thing.  The Joe Carnahan intro was pretty funny, though.  Gag reels, special effects, deleted scenes, character profiles, etc., they’re all here.  It gets a flat 3-star, because I do need to visit the theatrical cut and the “Inside the Action” feature.

  • The Devil’s in the Details: Inside the Action with Joe Carnahan (Theatrical Version Only)
  • Character Chronicles
  • Plan of Attack Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes and Gag Reel
  • A-Team Theme and Mash-Up Montage

Final Thoughts 

I’ll be the first to admit that when I saw the initial trailers of The A-Team I thought it would suck.  I’m so glad I was proven wrong.  Everyone is having a great time and that’s why it works.  If the actors involved had all done it just for the “paycheck,” I could guarantee you the film would have sucked.  Yes, I recommend you get on on board this mission and check out The A-Team. I love it when a blu-ray comes together!

Bring home The A-Team on Blu-ray!

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

16 Responses to “The A-Team (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    This movie delivered where the Expendables failed. I had fun watching The A-Team.

    Also, terrible box cover art.

  2. Gerard Iribe

    @Aaron – I agree about the cover art, but disagree about The Expendables.

  3. Aaron Neuwirth

    Yeah, I know. I just hope Stallone’s director’s cut means more action and not story or Dolph Lundgren acting.

  4. Gregg Senko

    The Expendables closed out with a bang, a real big one. Unfortunately, there was more boredom than I expected with Expendables before they got to the point. The A-Team ROCKED!!!! And yes, the cover art could have been better.

  5. Brian White

    I agree on the cover art.

    A-Team was my favorite action film of 2010!

    I don’t know how Stallone can fix the mess that is Expendables. He should just move on and start the second one and learn from his mistakes.

  6. Gerard Iribe

    @Aaron – Dolph is cool. You shut up.

    @Gregg – The Expendables was not boring.

    @Brian – The Expendables was not a mess.

    That is all.

  7. Aaron Neuwirth

    I hope Expendables 2 starts where the first left off, and Dolph finally dies from his wounds.

  8. Gerard Iribe
  9. Aaron Neuwirth

    I’m very aware of how awesome Dolph is in real life (I even made not of it in my review), but that was not the case in The Expendables.

    Meanwhile, the A-Team managed to fly a tank and still keep me very entertained.

  10. Gerard Iribe

    “Warning shot!”

    C’mon!

  11. Sean Ferguson

    I liked the Expendables but I would have preferred the first half of the movie to have had less time spent on their personal lives and more time devoted to the action. I really liked the making of documentary on the blu-ray for the movie which was one of the best ones I’ve seen all year. Stallone went through hell to make that movie so all the detractors should watch that before commenting.

    I haven’t seen the A-Team yet but I really want to.

  12. Brian White

    I agree with Sean above on everything he says and would just like to add…watch the special features for Avatar Extended and Frozen. They are just as phenomenal as this Expendables package!

  13. Gregg Senko

    Who was the worse actor, Lungren or Couture? Flip a coin.

  14. Aaron Neuwirth

    Lundgren was given a bigger part, which the story actually relied on. Couture was barely in the film and had a scene where he talked about his ears.

  15. Gerard Iribe

    @Gregg – Couture is a nice guys, but Dolph is my hero.

  16. Aaron Neuwirth

    Well he certainly filled his role as The Punished 😉