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The A-Team and Cyrus Blu-ray Reviews

 

Fox spent their money wisely on the amusing “Cyrus.”

Fox unwisely overspent on the bloated, overlong “The A-Team.”

The A-Team

The plot: After 4 Special Forces soldiers (Baracus, Hannibal, Faceman and Murdock) are sent on a mission to retrieve plates used for money printing, they return to base only to find that not only are the plates stolen from them, but that they are framed for murder. The 4 quickly become court martialed and sent to jail. As you can probably guess, the 4 break out of jail and attempt to find out who is resposible for their imprisonment.  Cue lots of explosions, betrayals, and ridiculously over the top action set pieces.

When it comes to televison shows being turned into films, the results have been very mixed to say the least. For every “Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Kahn,” “The Untouchables,” and “Serenity,” there is “The Avengers,” “Sex And The City” films, and “The Last Airbender.” “The A-Team” unfortunately manages to fall in the latter group. Simply put, “The A-Team” is a loud, dumb, overblown Hollywood blockbuster filled with bad CGI, dizzying Michael Bay esque direction from the usually reliable Joe Carnahan of “Smokin’ Aces” and “Narc” fame, and worst of all, bad casting. Who thought Jessica Biel would make a convincing Captain? Who thought Bradley Cooper could be taken seriously as an action hero? Who thought UFC star Quinton “Rampage” Jackson could not only act, but replace Mr. T? There are no logical answers to these questions.

Summary: If you’re a hardcore fan of “The A-Team” television series, I would MAYBE recommend giving this theatrical adaptation a rent. If you’re not a fan, you should avoid this mind-numbingly bad action flick.

Note: Both the theatrical and extended/unrated versions of “The A-Team” are included on this Blu-ray disc.

The 2.35:1 1080p picture quality is fine even though I didn’t care for the color palette used for the film.

You want loud? You get loud on this 5.1 DTS-HD audio track.

Extras:
* Digital Copy.
* Fox trailers including one for “The A-Team.”
* BD-Live capabilities.
* 6 deleted scenes.
* 7 minute gag reel.
* “A-Team Theme Mash-Up Montage”- A montage of scenes from the film with the theme playing over them.

* “Plan Of Attack”- A behind-the-scenes featurette focusing on the directorial process of Joe Carnahan.
* Character Chronicles- Brief featurettes on the characters portrayed by Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton Rampage Jackson, Sharlto Copley, and Jessica Biel.

* “Visual Effects Before And After with commentary by visual effects supervisor James E. Price- Self-explanatory.
* “The Devil’s In The Details: Inside The Action With Joe Carnahan”- A commentary with pop-up info. about “The Plans” and info. about weapons and vehicles. Worth watching if you liked the film.

Cyrus

The plot: It’s been 7 years since his divorce, but John has yet to really move on. After his ex-wife encourages him to chat it up with some ladies, he decides to mingle a bit and that’s when he meets the lovely Molly. The two hit it off instantly and John begins to fall for her. Unfortunately for John, the relationship become more than a little awkward when he discovers that Molly has a clingy, weird adult son named Cyrus who seems to be jealous of his mother’s affection for John.

In an age where schmaltzy Hollywood rom-coms dominate the film scene, indie darlings the Duplass Brothers have managed to write and direct a quirky, funny comedy about relationships, jealousy, and love without making it the least bit Hollywood. This is very much an awkward, dark comedy that actually feels original. Sure, it has a happy ending and could have used a bit more conflict between the John and Cyrus characters, but that approach works in making it a more human story.

The real reason “Cyrus” works, however, is due to the cast. Marisa Tomei shines as Molly, but it’s the performances by John C. Reilly (John) and Jonah Hill (Cyrus) that make the film as funny as it is. Jonah Hill really shows his acting range here as he plays a more adult character rather than his usual comedic supporting character roles. John C. Reilly once again proves why he is one of the best actors out there. What can’t this man do?

Summary: If you’re looking for a unique comedy, check out “Cyrus.”

The 1.85:1 1080p picture quality is perfectly satisfactory. The colors are noticeably sharp looking (especially the skin tones). Another job well done on this transfer from the folks at Fox.

The 5.1 DTS-HD delivers crisp and clear sounding dialogue and music. That’s all you can ask for for a comedy film like this.

Extras:
* Fox trailers including one for “Cyrus.”
* BD-Live capabilities.
* 2 deleted scenes titled “Puppet Movie” and “Cyrus Party” with optional commentary by the Duplass Bros.
* A Q&A with the Duplass Bros.
* “Music Mash Up With John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill.” Basically, Reilly and Hill make a song using quotes from the movie and electronic beats.
* “Behind The Scenes At South By Southwest With Jay and Mark Duplass”- A featurette showcasing the Brother’s experiences at the film fest.

* “Fox Movie Channel Presents: In Character With John C. Reilly And Jonah Hill”- The two actors chat about their characters.

December 18, 2010 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , ,

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