The A-Team, a review by Dragonfire
I use to watch The A-Team all the time and while some aspects of the show are silly, it is fun and entertaining overall. I've been interested in seeing the movie for a while now and I decided to go see it Friday.
Things start off showing how the four guys first end up working together. Hannibal and Face are in Mexico on a mission when B.A. gets pulled in because he just happens to be at the same place as Hannibal. Someone set it up for Hannibal to get Murdock to fly them out in a helicopter even though Murdock is in a hospital being treated for mental problems. Somehow the mission goes well, though it does start B.A. intense fear of flying. Considering what happened during that flight, it is perfectly understandable why he feels that way.
Eight years later, the team is still working together in Iraq. They are considered a very elite team. Lynch, a CIA agent, approaches Hannibal about a mission that others on the military base are warning him away from. Hannibal decides to do the mission. Things go very wrong and the team is convicted of a crime they didn't do and sent to prison. Hannibal develops a plan to get them out and clear their names.
There are two short scenes at the end of the credits that are really entertaining.
Things have been updated from the television show, having the men involved in the war in Iraq instead of Vietnam. They use more modern gadgets with some of their plans. The basic idea of the team being convicted of something they didn't do is there, though I think the crime is different from what was in the original show. I like that time is taken to show the first mission all four of them do together. That helps to define the dynamics of the group really well. The plot really isn't that complicated, even with the addition of Charissa, a former lover of Face's who is with the Department of Defense and the main person looking for them once they break out. There are a few surprises even though much of what happens is predictable. Things that happened in the show do turn up in the movie. Some of the characters say lines that they always said in the show and B.A. does say "I'm gonna kill you fool", something I believe he said frequently in the show. The them from the show is heard, as is the voice over explaining about them being wrongly convicted and how people can hire them if they can find them. The black van is in the movie, though not as much as I had thought it would be from the trailers. I really liked all the little references back to the show.
Like I expected, there is a lot of action throughout the movie, though considering all the shootings and explosions, the violence isn't that extreme or graphic. The action scenes are done very well, though in a few of them, the quick cuts make it harder to tell what is going on. Some of what happens is more extreme and unbelievable, but it helps to make the movie entertaining. A good example of this is a sequence involving a tank that has been shown in the previews. That just doesn't seem possible at all, but it makes a cool scene.
The characters are very much like I remember from the show, though I think there are small differences here and there. It has been a long time since I last saw the show, so I might be forgetting some things. Liam Neeson is wonderful as Hannibal, the leader of the team. He comes up with plans that are sometimes bizarre, but they usually work. He has his own ideas for what is right and wrong. Face is very much a ladies man, though he has no trouble using various weapons. He is very good looking, though he really doesn't seem vain or conceited. He's really likable and able to manipulate things, even when in prison. I like Bradley Cooper in the part. It probably helps that he looks really good with his shirt off.
Murdock is clearly not playing with a full deck, though he shows moments of complete sanity and he is able to pull off his part of the various plans, sometimes improvising. He is an interesting character and I always liked him on the show. Sharlto Copley does well with the part. B.A. is a tough guy who can hold his own in a fight, but he isn't always angry and looking for a fight. For some of the movie, he is actually trying to avoid any sort of fight. That is a bit different from how I remember B.A., but I think it works for the character. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson does really well with the part.
Yes some of what happens is silly and there are definite believability issues, but The A-Team is a good action movie. This is a good mindless action movie and people shouldn't expect more from it. Fans of the show may find something to like, though they may also not like some of the changes.
I did get a review posted on Epinions.
(From The A-Team on June 13th, 2010)
Pitch Perfect, a review by addicted2dvd
Anna Kendrick as Beca
Skylar Astin as Jesse
Ben Platt as Benji
Brittany Snow as Chloe
Anna Camp as Aubrey
Arriving at her new college, Beca (Anna Kendrick) finds herself not right for any clique but somehow is muscled into one that she never would have picked on her own: alongside mean girls, sweet girls and weird girls whose only thing in common is how good they sound when they sing together. When Beca leads this a cappella singing group out of their traditional arrangements and perfect harmonies into all-new mash-ups, they fight to climb their way to the top of college music competitions.
Pitch Perfect is an outrageously hilarious laugh-out-loud comedy that also stars Anna Camp (The Help), Brittany Snow (Hairspray) and Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids).
This one I enjoyed quite a bit. Though I have seen better...still above average. The main thing I didn't like here is there is a little gross-out humor. Which is a type of comedy I never liked. Without that I would have rated this one higher. But I liked the story line and liked the characters. Definitely worth the time put in to watch it.
(From July Movie Marathon: Musicals (Yes... You read right!) on July 17th, 2016)
Tom's Buffy and Angel Marathon, a review by Tom
7.19 Empty Places
Writer: Drew Z. Greenberg (Screenwriter)
Director: James A. Contner
Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers), James Marsters (Spike), Alyson Hannigan (Willow), Anthony Stewart Head (Giles), Eliza Dushku (Faith), Nathan Fillion (Caleb), Tom Lenk (Andrew), Iyari Limon (Kennedy), Indigo (Rona), Sarah Hagan (Amanda), Kristy Wu (Chao-Ahn), Dorian Missick (Policeman), Larry Clarke (Monk), DB Woodside (Principal Wood), Mary Wilcher (Shannon), James C. Leary (Clem), Justin Shilton (Munroe), Nathan Brooks Burgess (Duncan), David Grammer (Crazy Citizen)
A good episode where everyone starts to doubt Buffy's abilities as a leader. Funny how she defends herself by saying that she was successfully making the tough decisions for the last seven years. I remember it differently.
Writer: Rebecca Rand Kirshner (Screenwriter)
Director: David Solomon
Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers), James Marsters (Spike), Alyson Hannigan (Willow), Anthony Stewart Head (Giles), Eliza Dushku (Faith), Nathan Fillion (Caleb), Tom Lenk (Andrew), Iyari Limon (Kennedy), Sarah Hagan (Amanda), Harry Groener (Mayor Wilkins), DB Woodside (Principal Wood), Felicia Day (Vi), Dania Ramirez (Caridad), Lisa Ann Cabasa (Injured Girl), Lance E. Nichols (Middle-Aged Man)
Of course it turns out that Buffy was right all along. Typical. Otherwise a good episode. Fitting to see Mayor Wilkins as The First in Faith's present.
7.21 End Of Days
Writer: Douglas Petrie (Screenwriter), Jane Espenson (Screenwriter)
Director: Marita Grabiak
Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers), James Marsters (Spike), Alyson Hannigan (Willow), Anthony Stewart Head (Giles), Eliza Dushku (Faith), Nathan Fillion (Caleb), David Boreanaz (Angel), Tom Lenk (Andrew), Iyari Limon (Kennedy), Sarah Hagan (Amanda), Christine Healy (Guardian), Felicia Day (Vi), Dania Ramirez (Caridad), Lisa Ann Cabasa (Injured Girl)
A good episode with some nice heart-to-heart talks. And a surprise guest which was spoilt by the episode's menu.
Writer: Joss Whedon (Screenwriter)
Director: Joss Whedon
Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers), James Marsters (Spike), Alyson Hannigan (Willow), Anthony Stewart Head (Giles), Eliza Dushku (Faith), Nathan Fillion (Caleb), David Boreanaz (Angel), Tom Lenk (Andrew), Iyari Limon (Kennedy), Sarah Hagan (Amanda), Indigo (Rona), DB Woodside (Principal Wood), Felicia Day (Vi), Mary Wilcher (Shannon), Demetra Raven (Girl at Bat), Katie Gray (Indian Girl), Lisa Ann Cabasa (Injured Girl), Ally Matsumura (Japanese Girl), Kelli Wheeler (School Girl), Jenna Edwards (Trailer Girl), Julia Ling (Potential with Power #2)
A series finale I really enjoyed. Even though it's really a cop out in how they defeat this unbeatable villain. But it provided some really cool scenes (before and after).
(From Tom's Buffy and Angel Marathon on May 22nd, 2011)