Saturday, 27 February 2010

Further thoughts on The A-Team movie (2010)

Haven't made a blog entry for a while, so here goes with a huge chunk of further thoughts on the upcoming movie adaptation.

Well, it's creeping ever closer... even if us U.K. fans DO have to wait over a month longer to see it than the U.S. As I plan to go and see it twice, and buy the DVD as soon as it's released, I'm almost tempted to see it pre-U.K. release on the various streaming sites hidden away on the 'Net. No, that would be wrong... and a debate for a whole other website! (Plus, face it folks, you might be "watching the movie for free" on those sites, but the quality is RUBBISH, to the extent that much of the time it's not worth attempting to watch anyway).

Anyway, the trailer looked promising, though I do agree with some fans who have said that they weren't too keen on the CGI work (mostly on the air sequence). Hopefully this won't be over done and spoil the film as a whole. I'm just interested how the whole thing turns out in the end - if anything, it already looks more promising that 2005's so-abysmal-it-was-embarrassing 'Dukes of Hazzard' movie (I'm a huge 'Dukes' fan, but after initially viewing it at the cinema, have never stomached a full repeat viewing).

As I'd never seen Bradley Cooper on-screen before (and also because I'd heard it was a good movie), I bought the DVD of 'The Hangover', and watched it a few weeks ago. Although I'm not always a fan of crude "say the F words as many times as you can" comedies, I actually found it well put together (I really like the character of Alan), and thought that Cooper came across well. (As a side note, they're already in early stages of doing 'Hangover 2', which I hope isn't just a quick cash-in sequel).

I also got 'District 9' (which has also got great reviews), to see Sharlto Copley, but haven't got around to watching it yet. I may finally try to see it tomorrow evening.

I've mentioned this before, but just to cover it again, Jessica Biel does not play Amy in the movie. Early reports suggested that she did indeed play Amy, who had been adapted from the journalist of the original series, to an Army Lieutenant. This seems to have simply stemmed from various sources seeing her cast and automatically assuming "hey, she must be the female A-Team member". In fact, she plays a new character, Lt. Sosa (who, some reports indicate, after being in pursuit of the team early on in the movie, later joins forces with them).

Annnyyywaayy... I've been mostly enthusiastic about what I've seen / read about TAT 2010, and they seem to know what they're aiming for. However, I did read an interview (here) where director Joe Carnahan says, quote, "I thought they were too slavishly devoted to the TV show... While I like the TV show, I didn't think it was any great shakes in terms of heavy drama. You could take that story and have it translate into the present day with more success."
I see both good and bad in that. As hard core an original series fan as I am, I fully understand that a new movie would need to be updated to modern times; and hope that it will have a more serious streak than some of the silly, rather childish episodes that we saw from late third season onwards. However, at the same time, on his "While I like the TV show, I didn't think it was any great shakes in terms of heavy drama" ... well, that was kind of the point. It had a serious streak, but for the most part was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek and almost a spoof, not really "heavy drama" as Carnahan puts it. While I can relate to updating it for modern times, I hope they don't lose too much of the original feel of what 'The A-Team' is all about.

Carnahan goes on to say, quote, "We're not making homage to 'The A-Team'... We're taking the base story of four guys wrongfully convicted of a crime, they're an Alpha Unit, that's it. THAT'S the point of departure." Again, I hope they bear in mind what the series was all about, but I'm more flexible of what I think about this, I think it's all in keeping with gently updating the concept.

The thing I really did pick up on, though, was what he had to say about the character of Murdock - "People are a lot more keen and savvy. If you tried to put that show out today, you wouldn't get away with what they got away with… I mean, Murdoch for what passed as crazy 25 years ago? It doesn’t hold up. Nowadays, you have Steve-O on 'Jackass' strapping on a g-string made out of chicken parts and rappelling over an alligator pit. So you have to reevaluate things like 'crazy.'" - Well, overlooking Murdock being misspelled Murdoch (one of my pet peeves), this is the only thing that has vaguely rings alarm bells for me. If you want crazy, check out some of the real life tales of veterans from Vietnam and many other wars; pulling outlandish pranks is nothing new. But the reason it concerns me, is that - for all of his costumes and various personas - the original TV Murdock was all about character crazy. I'm worried that the movie is going down the "hey, this is the 21st century, we need to make things more extreme!" line of thinking. It worries me because this is exactly the route that 2005's 'Dukes of Hazzard' movie took - and we all know what a total disaster that turned out to be!
However, I've read in some other interviews about some of this new incarnation of Murdock's crazy exploits (barbecuing with explosive power, for example), so we can cross our fingers that there will be some humorous moments not too distant from the original character.

Anyway, enough of over-analyzing various interview snippets... for all that might be changed from the original series, as you probably know by now, both Dirk Benedict and Dwight Schultz are making cameos in the new movie. I am very pleased about this - it is at least some nod to the original classic show at least. Quite how they will be worked in remains to be seen, but for me - and, I expect, many other long-time fans - this is one of the bits of the new movie that I am most looking forward to.

Of course, George Peppard can't be in it for obvious reasons (sob), but Mr. T is famously resisting making an appearance of any sort. Of late that, despite principal shooting having wrapped, that Carnahan is hoping to finally twist T's arm to film a cameo that can be slotted in. But sadly I don't think it's going to happen. Mr. T has given various reasons, often including that he doesn't want to be part of a "violent" movie with "cursing" and etc. in, as well as him thinking that (paraphrasing) "people would expect him to have a big part in the movie, and that wouldn't be the case". Whatever the reason, unless there is some surprise 11-th hour change of mind from Big T, sadly it seems as if we won't be seeing him on the big screen.

Well, that's all for now. The site ( has seen a lot of updates of late, and there are many more to come over the next couple of weeks. And don't forget to visit the dedicated forum, for all things A-Team related. Until next time... :)