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A-Team, The

Fox // PG-13 // December 14, 2010
List Price: $39.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Adam Tyner | posted December 17, 2010 | E-mail the Author

People always coming up to me and asking, "Yo, Mr. T! What does the 'T' stand for?" Right now the 'T' stands for 'time to write a review of this Blu-ray'.

You probably know that I used to be in a TV show called The A-Team. They made that TV show into a movie this summer, and now that movie's coming out on Blu-ray. They asked me to tell you about the movie, and I'm not doing this because they gave me a diamond or something to write this review because they didn't. I don't want diamonds. I want kids to be educated, and now I'm going to educate you about The A-Team movie.

The A-Team in The A-Team movie
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is the same A-Team as in The A-Team TV show, although now the A-Team is played by different actors. The A-Team is a group of Army Rangers who specialize in the impossible. The leader of The A-Team is Hannibal, and he's played by Liam Neeson. This isn't the Hannibal that eats people, but he does smoke cigars and that's pretty bad too. This Hannibal makes really elaborate plans. If you don't plan, you're planning to fail, but Hannibal does plan. Hannibal loves it when a plan comes together, and he'll tell you that too. He's kind of like the father of the A-Team. Bradley Cooper stars as Face. He's an Army Ranger too. He's a real good-looking guy, and that's why they call him Face. He's always in hot water with the ladies. Hannibal is the brains, Face is the face, and that makes me...whoops! I mean, B.A. Baracus, the muscle. I don't play B.A. in the movie like I did in the TV show. A UFC champ named Rampage Jackson plays B.A. this time. At first, I thought what kind of name is Rampage, but then I remembered my name is Mr. T. Anyway, B.A. is hot-tempered but has a real good heart. He used to jump out of airplanes but don't do that no more. He's scared of flying after flying with Murdock. Murdock is played here by Sharlto Copley. Murdock is a crazy fool. He marinades his steaks with antifreeze. He tried to jumpstart a ambulance with defibrillator paddles. He's a real good pilot but the fool's out of his mind, and he's so crazy you can't get me...I mean, a plane with him unless I'm strapped-down and drugged. Don't do drugs.

The A-Team is unstoppable. They get all the missions that are supposed to be impossible to pull off, and they pull them off every time. They do this for eight years. They would probably have done it longer if they didn't get framed for a crime they didn't commit. When the A-Team was in Iraq, an Army captain played by Jessica Biel tells the A-Team not to chase down a bunch of engraving plates that the bad guys used to print a billion dollars in U.S. money. They used real treasury plates so it don't look counterfeit, but it's not real money either because the bad guys printed it, not the government. It don't make sense to me that this Army captain would go to the A-Team and say "don't get these plates because that's my job, and if you try to get them, you'll be court martialed" because they didn't even known about the plates until she told them about them. Maybe Hannibal thought it was reverse-psychology. We...I mean, the A-Team went after the plates anyway, but it was all a setup. Some other bad guys stole the plates from us and blew up General Major Dad. The Army thought the A-Team was in cahoots with the bad guys even though they weren't. Hannibal, Murdock, B.A., and Face were kicked out of the Army and put in separate federal prisons. This cat from the C.I.A. named Lynch, played by Patrick Wilson, he wants the engraving plates back. He got the A-Team in this mess, and it looks like he gonna get them out of it too. The A-Team breaks out of prison and goes to Germany to get the plates back. They have to fight the bad guys who stole the plates, but they also have to look out for the Army captain, who's not a captain anymore but is still played by Jessica Biel. They don't want the Army getting in their way but they don't want the Army to get hurt neither. I think Face used to have a thing for the pretty Army lady too. The C.I.A. says that if the A-Team can get the engraving plates back, they'll be put back in the Army and will have their ranks and reputations where they used to be. All they have to do is pull off this impossible mission, but pulling off the impossible will be even tougher than the A-Team thinks it will be.

Mr. T had a lot of fun watching The A-Team movie. Some fools will say that this action movie is big, loud, and dumb. Some people say I'm big, loud, and dumb too, but they're wrong. You know what I think about fools like that. I pity them. They did get part of that right, though. The A-Team movie is big and loud. You won't get no argument there. There's a difference between "dumb" and "mindless", though, and The A-Team movie falls on the right side of that. It doesn't take itself too seriously. It's just trying to have a good time. A dumb action movie is just a lot of explosions and people shooting guns. Even though The A-Team likes lots of explosions and guns too, it also likes plans. The plans that Hannibal and the rest of the A-Team put together are real smart, clever, and fun to watch. They're choreographed so expertly and with such split-second precision that it's like watching a
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ballet, only in a ballet there's a ballerina and a swan or something, and in The A-Team movie there's a tank with a parachute falling out of a plane, and they shoot down drone flyers midair and try to fly the tank by shooting the cannon. I like The A-Team movie more than the ballet.

There's a lot of action in The A-Team movie, and it's always big and over-the-top. It's a spectacle, like a big summer movie should be. We couldn't do action like that in the TV show because we were a TV show and not a $110 million movie. When I first put in this Blu-ray disc, I saw that the new unrated version of the movie is two hours and fifteen minutes. That's a long time, and I thought it might be too long. My TV show was 45 minutes an episode without commercials, so that means the movie is as long as...uh, 18 episodes of the TV show. Mr. T is good at delivering pain and inspiring children but not as good at math. The A-Team movie does not feel too long. Think of how I drove my van in The A-Team TV show: I put the pedal to the metal and moved real fast. That's how the movie is. You're either watching a big, cool action scene, or the next big, cool action scene is only a couple of minutes away. The movie doesn't curl up on the couch and take a nap. It's always moving. The time between action scenes is fine because I'm still riding the high of the last action scene. (Don't do drugs.) The time between action scenes is also fine because I like the actors in the movie. They have a lot of chemistry together, and they're a team. I wrote "a team" in all lowercase letters because even though they are The A-Team, they're still a team. They're friends and colleagues who trust each other with their lives. They're friends too. You can feel that in the movie, and I like that.

Every main actor does a really good job. Liam Neeson does a good leader and a father figure. I can believe he stayed in school and is really educated and smart. I like Bradley Cooper. I wasn't that interested in the love story between Face and his ex-girlfriend Army captain who's not a captain anymore, but it's still okay. The movie isn't distracted by that. Sharlto Copley was the best thing about District 9, a movie Mr. T thought was too clumsy and heavy-handed with its metaphors, but Sharlto Copley grabbed hold of a difficult role and inhabited it. It's the same story here. It's not easy being Murdock. (It ain't easy flying with him neither!) Murdock does and says a lot of ridiculous things. In the wrong hands, Murdock could be real annoying. Sharlto Copley plays him with impish delight. He's like Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream, only instead of doing magic, he flies helicopters and planes but it's in a way that's pretty magical. He can do a barrel roll in a janky old helicopter. I like him a lot. Jessica Biel is a real tough lady. I think maybe the Army captain who's not a captain no more is overcompensating being a woman in what's traditionally a man's world, but I respect her for that. She's tough as nails and never says die. Patrick Wilson is good as the slimy, cocky C.I.A. guy too. No one does slime like Patrick Wilson. Did you see Hard Candy? Now that's a slimy customer. Here's the part you been waiting for. What did Mr. T think of someone else as B.A. Baracus? I think Rampage Jackson did a really good job. You can tell he hasn't been acting for years and years, and I can hear it in some of his delivery. Still, I think Rampage captured the best of B.A. from the TV show. He didn't make B.A. a cartoon character. B.A. is the most soulful character in the movie. He even knows Gandhi although Hannibal knows Gandhi better. A lot of the other characters in the movie are the same at the beginning of the movie as they are at the end of the movie. B.A. has an
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arc. He has "pity" and "fool" tattooed on his knuckles, but there's more to him than punching. He doesn't want to kill nobody. I like that. I didn't kill anyone in The A-Team TV show. Neither did the character I played, B.A. Baracus. This B.A. does say four-letter words which I don't like, but this is an unrated movie I'm watching, so little kids shouldn't hear that.

There are some things about The A-Team movie that Mr. T didn't understand. I understand that the engraving plates in this movie are just a McNugget, like the microfilm in Notorious or the unobtanium in Avatar. They're just something for everyone to chase after, but they don't really matter themselves. I get it. I got some education, after all. What I don't understand is that the movie says the engraving plates were stolen a real long time ago, back around when I was starring in D.C. Cab. Money don't look the same now as it did then. They printed a billion dollars in hundred dollar bills that look fresh off the press but should also look like hundred dollar bills did in 1983. That don't seem real smart. Also, some of the jibba jabba that the actors say aren't good-sounding words, and a couple of the background players aren't good either. Those actors should probably work more at being better actors or go back to actor school.

I don't want to sound negative because those aren't big complaints. I like The A-Team movie a lot. It's fast and a lot of fun. The action is really big like you want to see in a summer blockbuster, but it's also really clever and choreographed real good. The jokes are good too. I laughed a lot and liked it when they made fun of 3D movies. The A-Team movie takes being not serious very seriously. It's having a good time but isn't dumb. I like that The A-Team movie doesn't have that shaky-cam look where I get seasick on my couch. There's a lot of good action and the director wants you to see it, so the editing isn't chop-chop-chop. The A-Team movie is the baddest movie in the world I saw this summer. I mean the good kind of bad too. You should buy The A-Team movie. It's for sale at stores for $20 in some places. $20 is chump change. My lunch was $20.

Mr. T thinks The A-Team movie looks perfect on Blu-ray. It's what high definition is supposed to be. It's really sharp and really detailed, even more than most of the Blu-ray discs I've gotten this year. Black levels and contrast are both rock solid. The colors are heavy on blues, but they're blue and not teal. Mr. T hates oranges and teals. That's not true. Mr. T doesn't hate anything. He loves teals and oranges less than other colors, though. The colors look really good and a lot better than anything I'd see on DVD. Nothing brings the pain. There's none of that digital noise reduction jibba jabba, so The A-Team looks like film, not a video game. If I wanted to watch a video game, I'd put on "Burger Time". There's no blocking or background noise. There aren't any of those crazy electronic haloes. I don't have anything bad to say about this Blu-ray disc at all. The A-Team is one of the best looking Blu-ray discs I've seen all year.

There are two layers on this Blu-ray disc. The A-Team fills up both of them just about. I'm supposed to say it uses seamless branching instead of having separate encodes for the rated and unrated versions. I feel like I'm talking science fiction. Danger, Will Robinson! I'm just playing. I'm not really a robot. The movie is really wide on Blu-ray -- I'd estimate 2.4 times as wide as it is tall! -- and it's encoded with AVC. I think they have medicine for that.

Some sucka told me to say that The A-Team has a 24-bit DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack. I don't know what that means. It's just a lot of letters and numbers to me. If I want alphabet soup, I'll make a bowl of Alphabits cereal even though it's cereal and not soup. I'll say this, though: The A-Team sounds real good. All sorts of sounds come from the speakers in front of me and the speakers behind me. When SUVs knifejack and flip over, they'll move from one set of speakers to the other ones. I can hear lots of gunshots from every direction. There are a few dogfights, but they're the kind of dogfights with airplanes and helicopters and not dogs, and they move across all these speakers too. Even some of the talking uses the different speakers, like when Hannibal is taunting a bad guy who can hear him but can't see him. Hannibal is on the jazz. Mr. T's subwoofer didn't seem to be doing what he wanted it to, though. There's a lot of bass in the movie, but most of the bass comes from the music. If people are just standing around and talking while music's playing in the background, you probably hear more bass in that music than when a safehouse explodes. The sound effects are really clean and clear, and they do have some bass, but Mr. T doesn't understand why the music's low-end hits like Clubber Lang but the other sound effects hit more like Glass Joe. In some of the louder scenes, I couldn't hear what the actors were saying so good. I don't think this mix has all of its priorities right. Maybe it didn't eat its greens. I don't know. It's a really good soundtrack, bur Mr. T has heard a lot better.

If you can't hear too good, The A-Team is captioned for the deaf and hard of hearing. If you speak Spanish, you get Dolby Digital 5.1 audio and Spanish subtitles. If you speak French, you can listen to a Dolby Digital 5.1 track but you don't get subtitles. I don't trust French people reading in French anyhow.

This Blu-ray disc has two versions of The A-Team movie. One is the same thing that was in theaters this summer, and it's rated PG-13. The other one is unrated and is fifteen minutes longer. If you want to know exactly what changed, go to this page. The differences are mostly more talking, but I like these characters who say funny and clever things, and I like spending more time with them.
  • The Devil's in the Details: Inside the Action with Joe Carnahan (HD): This extra is only on the theatrical version of The A-Team. You can't even select it if you're watching the unrated version. I tried and it didn't work. Mostly this is an audio commentary with Joe Carnahan, the director of the movie. He also co-wrote it. He directed and co-wrote it. He talks about how to
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    execute a movie like this. He says that they built a fake military city in a big sandpit where they were building a big Wal-Mart. 350 people were around to make the assault on that skyscraper from the trailer and TV commercials. He talks about how they had to use CGI to remove moths that came over to the really big lights. He even says that the big, elaborate climax was something that came together really late in the process. This isn't just an audio commentary. If that's all it was, it wouldn't have a fancy name like "The Devil's in the Details: Inside the Action with Joe Carnahan". It'd just be called "audio commentary", but it's not. It's more than that. Every once in a while, the movie cuts away and Joe and a projection screen fill the TV. This lets him illustrate how the movie was made. He shows off storyboards, animatics (which are cartoons but don't have no Warner Brothers or Warner Sister), and behind-the-scenes footage. He does this for memorable stunts and visual effects sequences. Also, there's a counter to let you know which step the movie is in for each of the five big plans. It's a good feature.

  • Plan of Attack (29 min.; HD): There's a lot in this half-hour making-of video. Joe Carnahan says he's like Christopher Nolan because he also reinvented a franchise a lot of people didn't care about anymore. He didn't want The A-Team to be a kitschy movie. He also talks about how he wanted the actors to go off the script. He wanted the characters and bonds to feel real even with the ridiculous shenanigans going on around them. There's a lot about putting the cast together. My man Stephen Cannell talks about what made the TV show we made together work, and other people talk about how the TV show was updated and adapted for this movie. There's lots of behind-the-scenes footage. They say a hundred thousand rounds of ammunition were fired and that they wanted the actors to be a part of the stunts whenever it was safe. This is a good video.

  • Character Chronicles (23 min.; HD): Everyone in the A-Team gets their own little video. "Liam Neeson: When a Plan Comes Together" (3 min.) is about Hannibal, mostly, and how he's more of a father figure than the one I knew on TV. "Bradley Cooper: Fully Automatic" (4 min.) is about Face's weapon training. In "On Set with Rampage Jackson" (4 min.), Rampage talks about how he's not trying to be Mr. T. He says there's only one Mr. T. He's right. This is about how this is his first big movie. Why doesn't he get a cute title for his video? Sharlto Copley doesn't get a good one either. His is called "On Set with Sharlto Copley" (5 min.). It's the same as Rampage's video but with his name in it instead. Sharlto pretends he's a diva star on the set. I don't think he is, really. It's a joke. He says he does his own stunts, but that's probably a joke too. Jessica Biel doesn't get her own video. "The B-Team" (6 min.) is mostly about her, though, such as how she didn't want to play a butch cop. The video is also about her supporting team and how they have personalities and so on and so forth. These videos have a lot of jokes that they repeat over and over again. I wanted to learn. I didn't learn much.

  • Visual Effects Before and After with Commentary by Visual Effects Supervisor James E. Price (6 min.; HD): That's a real long title. A title that long tells you everything you need to know. You see the different pieces they put together to make the visual effects. He shows some parts that were made entirely in the computer and weren't filmed with a camera. Things sure have changed since I was on TV every week. I had an Atari 400. That's the computer I had, and you couldn't make no exploding airplanes on that. Not one that looked real, at least. Believe Mr. T when he says he tried.

  • Deleted Scenes (9 min.; HD): There are six deleted scenes. I thought they'd be new scenes, but most of 'em aren't. They're
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    longer versions of scenes already in the movie. There are longer introductions to each member of the A-Team. There's a longer planejacking. Hannibal gives Face a shopping list, and he ain't asking for milk and eggs if you know what I'm saying. Hannibal and Lynch also argue and taunt each other more. These longer scenes are okay, but I was expecting the deleted scenes to be deleted scenes, not the same scenes with more jibba jabba.

  • Gag Reel (7 min.; HD): There's nothing funny about someone getting his eyes poked out. That's how this gag reel starts, with eye gouging. Eye gouging and stammering and giggling. I'm just playing about being upset. It's an okay gag reel.

  • A-Team Mashup Theme Montage (2 min.; HD): This is a montage of a mashup of the theme of The A-Team. What does a montage of a mashup of the theme of The A-Team mean? I got some education but not enough to know what that means. It's the theme song and action and explosions and whatnot.

  • Trailer (3 min.; HD): The trailer you saw in theaters and on TV is on here too.

  • BD Live: If you have your Blu-ray player hooked up to the Internet, you can watch a costume design featurette online. These suckas should've just put this on the disc. If you don't have the Internet on your Blu-ray, you can't hear the lady talk about the clothes. You can also look at lists of other movies and TV shows that the actors in The A-Team movie have been in. You can also see what actors are in the current scene. That's helpful for Mr. T because my memory's not so good these days.

The A-Team comes with a digital copy too. It won't work with my Zune, the fools, but if you have an iPod or want to watch it on your computer, you can do that. The Blu-ray case comes with one of those shiny sleeve covers.

What's that? You want Mr. T to give you some advice about buying this Blu-ray disc? I don't give advice. Dr. Phil gives advice. Mr. T helps people and inspires children. But this is a review so I have to say some kind of jibba jibba like that. I like the The A-Team movie. There's a whole lot of action, and all of it's really big and over-the-top, kind of like someone else I know. Some pitiable fools might call The A-Team movie dumb, but it takes a real smart person to play dumb like this. I had a good time watching The A-Team movie, and it doesn't just blow up lots of things and shoot people. You know there's a lot of that too, but I really liked seeing how the plans come together. Those plans are clever and pulled off with split-second precision. The people who made this movie are real educated, and you should stay in school too, kids. Drink your school, stay in drugs, don't do milk, and go see The A-Team movie.

The A-Team movie is okay with me.

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