The A-Team (2010)

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

About two months ago, I mentioned that I had seen The A-Team, so for all one of you out there who cares, here’s (briefly) what I thought.

The only problem with the film version of The A-Team is that it wasn’t from start to finish as exciting and entertaining as the first twenty minutes. The introduction to this film, in which we’re introduced to the four protagonists, is pretty amazing. Hannibal Smith and the dogs, Baracus and his van, Faceman and the tires, Murdock and the flipping helicopter…it’s both hilarious and pulse-pounding. It’s unreasonable to expect that most action films could live up to such an inspired opening sequence, but just the same…

All in all, I enjoyed the film, and thought that the narrative held together pretty well, though you could easily lose the thread of the plot if, for example, you were watching it while attempting to take care of a three-month old baby who would keep waking up. I tend to watch films pretty attentively (babies notwithstanding), and even I had a few “Wait…what?” moments, where I had to kind of fill in the blanks, because I missed some small line of dialog earlier. But it probably didn’t matter too much, since the film was just fun to watch, whether you knew what was going on or not. I largely agree with Donald at Blessed Are the Geeks, and I only have a few things to mention.

  • Patrick Wilson as CIA man Lynch. Awesome. The only other film in which I’ve seen him has been Watchmen, in which he played the dour Nite Owl. As an every man, he may have just held the Watchmen film together, and I respected him for doing well in that role, but after seeing him as Lynch, I kind of love him. He brought a lot of understated humor to The A-Team.
  • Brian Bloom as Pike. I kept wondering why I seemed to know this actor, and then when I started looking over his credits on the IMDb, I was even  more confused, because he only seems to do voice over work. Then I saw that he did the voice of Hollywood Actor Beck Bristow on Sealab 2021, and it all made sense. This guy was funny and made for a great villain. He should get more real acting gigs.
  • Henry Czerny as some sort of intelligence director. Was I the only guy who got excited when Kittridge from Mission: Impossible showed up? They should have left that character unnamed, so we could have assumed it was Kittridge.

Anyway, enough about that. You get the point. As action films go, The A-Team was a slight cut above.

American Idol

Since last week’s American Idol post was pretty popular (with my mother), I’ll weigh in on this week’s episode.

I don’t see much changing from week to week with this year’s crop of contestants. They’re all pretty good, with the exception of Ashthon, who should have been eliminated last week but for being saved by the judges. I can’t understand her appeal, because she simply doesn’t have much of a voice. Her range is limited, and she lacks any sort of special quality to her singing voice. I hate to be the a-hole who gets excited about seeing a young woman fail at her dream, but I do hope she goes tonight.

Many of the performances were all right, without really doing too much for me. James Durbin–who no matter what he does, will always be known as the “straight Adam Lambert”–did “Maybe I’m Amazed”, and maybe for the first time, I actually liked his performance as opposed to being merely impressed with his vocals.

Liliana is utterly devoted to her boy Casey Abrams, and he was fine doing “With a Little Help from My Friends”, though at this point, can anybody really do that song without everybody in the audience thinking about Joe Cocker? In Casey’s defense, he did place his own spin on it, and everything he does turns out pretty well, though it wasn’t my favorite of his performances, either.

Jacob Lusk had an off night. I didn’t care at all, really, for his version of “I Believe I Can Fly”. I’d have thought he would have nailed it, but it was a mess.

Paul McDonald is an interesting guy with an awesome, raspy voice, but whatever he did last night, I just didn’t get.

This Scotty McCreary kid should just drop out of the competition and cut a record right now. For the type of music he does, he’s really as good as anybody in the country music business–probably better, in fact. American Idol has been at its best when you’ve been able to see performers grow throughout the season, but there’s nothing Scotty has to do to become better at what he does. I like his voice a lot and he’s a cute kid, but it’s difficult to see him winning this competition.