Early last year I saw a trailer for a film which compelled me to yell in disgust "This film does not deserve to get made." That film was The A-Team. With so many sequels, remakes and computer generated animal movies in production, it really gets me down that this is what we have to further the art of film.
So now that I've seen the film, was I wrong? Is The A-Team actually a fun diversion that completes the circle of the original TV series? No. It's an extremely ordinary and wholly unforgettable film. In fact, I'm really struggling to think of the plot now. But I'll do my best. Something about Liam Neeson's character getting his ex-Army team back together to find some missing US banknote manufacturing plates, but at the same time they are being stalked by this hot girl from the Army. Y'know, I could look up the plot on IMDB, but really I don't know why I should invest more effort into this than the filmmakers put into the actual film. Pretty disgraceful.
The A-Team is presented in a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded with VC-1 compression.
Naturally for a film of such poor quality, The A-Team has a pretty flawless video transfer. In fact, it's so sharp and detailed that it makes some of the poorer quality computer graphics stand out like a sore thumb. The film is full of colour and spectacle and it translates very well to the transfer supplied, free of film artifacts or any other video nasties. I really haven't got anything to complain about here. Well, apart from the fact that Fox could have spent the effort on a film that hasn't been released on Blu-ray yet, instead of this crap.
This is all benchmark stuff, and very impressive.
The main audio track is encoded in lossless DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, at 24 bits.
Just like the spectacular video transfer, the audio transfer is oh so good. Sound mixers have thrown the kitchen sink into this mix, which appropriately matches the over the top nature of what shows onscreen. There's a lot of bass on offer to support the films numerous explosions which are carefully timed to wake up the audience.
The score provided by Alan Silvestri is accentuated by some techno beats and is appropriately snappy and moves the pace of the film along. But you won't remember it after the film has ended.
A very impressive audio mix that just wants to get turned up a little bit louder.
Fox have assembled a decent enough collection of extra features for The A-Team; frankly more than the film deserves.
First up is the feature length Picture in Picture Video track which bombards the viewer with all sorts of behind the scenes tidbits which focus more on the technicalities of the film itself, including concept art, pre-visualisation and work in progress effects shots. It's interesting to sample, but you'll have to love the film a lot to feel compelled to see it through to its completion.
Plan of Attack serves as the main behind the scenes documentary, which does a reasonable job of shining light on some of the other elements of production that are only touched upon in the aforementioned video track. It runs a shortish 23 minutes, but reveals quite a lot of decent material in its run time.
Next up are a few shorter featurettes; the Gag reel is frankly more entertaining than the film itself and worth the price of admission alone just to hear Hollywood legend Liam Neeson say "f*****g c***s". The Mash up montage is essentially a fast paced music video, and the Visual effects before and after leaves nothing to the imagination and reveals how much of the films climax was computer graphics. Basically all of it. And not very well either.
The Deleted scenes amount to about 10 minutes of footage and were probably erased wisely. But after selecting the longer directors of the film, if you need to see even more footage; God help us all.
Character Chronicles presents around 20 minutes of profiles which looks at the characters in the A-Team and the actors who portray them.
Finally, we have the original Theatrical Trailer in full 1080p high definition.
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