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The A-Team (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13/Unrated
Feature running time: 119 minutes
Genre: Action/Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, Quiton “Rampage” Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Patrick Wilson
Directed by: Joe Carnahan
Music by: James Newton Howard
Written by: Joe Carnahan, Brian Bloom, Skip Woods
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 14, 2010

"There is no plan B"

Film Synopsis:

Convicted by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit, a daring team of former Special Forces soldiers must utilize their unique talents to break out of prison and tackle their toughest mission yet. It’s going to take guts, split-second timing and an arsenal of explosive weapons...this is a job for The A-Team!

My Take:

I was never a big fan of The A-Team television series but I would watch it from time to time. I liked the ensemble of characters and thought that George Peppard was perfectly cast as Hannibal Smith. The series kept things simple, blow stuff up, save the day and have fun doing it. I honestly can’t say that I was interested in seeing this film version but when it came my way for review I wasn’t disappointed. The film much like the TV series plays is straight forward in that it is short on story and long on ostentatious displays of action. The plot revolves around Hannibal, Face, B.A., and Murdock being setup for the theft of a set of U.S Treasury Plates that Middle Eastern insurgents intend to use to manufacture counterfeit currency. The team is wrongly tried, convicted and sent off to military prison. In order to clear their names they will have to gain intel on the location of the real thieves/Treasury plates, escape from prison, and put together a fool proof plan to bring it all together (not necessarily in that order!). There are a variety of obstacles standing in their way including a beautiful Department of Defense Lieutenant (who also happens to be Face’s ex) and a slippery CIA Agent who will stop at nothing to recover the stolen plates.

Fox has included the theatrical version and an unrated extended cut which adds a few minutes the original’s runtime. I watched the theatrical version during my evaluation. This isn’t a great film but it sure is lots of fun. I don’t think that the cast, with the exception of Sharlto Copley, really took ownership of their characters however I found them likeable just the same. The script effectively captures the camaraderie among the team members while infusing enough levity to keep things light and plenty of action to entice genre fans. I chuckled on a few occasions and laughed out loud during the psycho ward/”3D” rescue sequence. The action is appropriately over the top and a few obvious plot twists are thrown in for good measure. The bottom line is that The A-Team is exactly what you would/should expect. If you check your brain at the door you might just find it to be an enjoyable action/comedy that attempts to remain faithful to the classic 80’s TV series.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for intense sequences of action and violence throughout, language and smoking.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 90

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Video: 88

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

The A-Team comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 21 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.2 Mbps.

Fox has been consistent in the quality of their new releases titles on Blu-ray and this is no exception. In looking at the numbers this isn’t a high bitrate video encoding but those numbers don’t necessarily tell the tale. I found this to be an excellent high definition presentation that featured quantifiable high level detail that manifested itself in the form of crisply defined images with subtle degrees of texture which gave the video appreciable depth. Colors were bright and well saturated, with natural rendering and subtle refinement. Dark scenes had excellent dimensional depth, deep blacks and discernible shadow detail. Contrast and brightness struck a good balance which so that bright and dark sequences appeared dynamic without discernible loss of detail. I saw no indications of video related anomalies associated with the encoding as the presentation as a whole was whistle clean.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has extended dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes ample use of the entire surround platform to drive the film’s elements. The music score, coupled along with well integrated discrete and ambient sound effects, plays an intricate role in this involving and sometimes active surround mix. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment makes for a notably enveloping surround experience. Low frequency effects can be intense as the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to convey the low level bass and dynamic impact during action based sequences. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. I thought the presentation was quite good and as a whole enhanced the enjoyment of the film.

Bonus Features:

  • Theatrical and Extended version of the film

  • (HD) The devil’s in the details: Inside the action with Joe Carnahan – Bonusview/video commentary

  • (HD) 6 deleted scenes

  • (HD) Gag reel – 7 minutes

  • (HD) A-Team theme mash-up montage

  • (HD) Plan of attack – Making of featurette – 28 minutes

  • (HD) Character chronicles – featuring Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Rampage Jackson, Sharlto Copley, B-Team – 23 minutes

  • (HD) Visual Effects before/after with commentary by VFX supervisor James E. Price – 6 minutes

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer

  • BD-Live Exclusive: “Dressing down” featurette + Live Extras – What’s new, Fox’s Live Lookup powered by IMDB

  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc

Final Thoughts:

The A-Team is probably a little better than most would care to admit and does a commendable job in capturing the essence of the original TV series. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and if kept in the proper perspective can be a fun action comedy. Fox brings it to Blu-ray in a fan friendly offering that features an excellent audio/video presentation combined with a decent set of extras. I enjoyed The A-Team and recommend you check it out when you have a hankering for a little mindless entertainment.


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

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post #2 of 21
I thought this was a great movie. Story and premise is nothing new but it's a typical guy flick with a lot of gun action and scenes being blown. Plus Jessica Biel is in it! I'd personally collect this with high score.

post #3 of 21
Thanks Ralph. I'm looking forward to all the stuff 'blowing up real good'.
post #4 of 21
It was a good popcorn flick. I grew up with the A-Team and I just wish they would have played the theme more often. Really just heard bits and pieces until the credits. It would have drawn me more into the movie. Overall, the action, PQ and AQ made it a good purchase.
post #5 of 21
"I don’t think that the cast, with the exception of Sharlto Copley, really took ownership of their characters"

I couldn't put my finger on it Ralph, but that is it exactly!

post #6 of 21
I rarely watched The A Team on TV, even though I did like George Peppard as an actor. But Ralph makes this sound like a fun flick to watch, so I'll give it a rent.
post #7 of 21
I kinda liked The A-Team back in the day, mostly for Mr. T. I loved how they had to find new ways to get him on a plane. With all the shooting and explosions almost no one ever died. Kinda like the G.I. Joe cartoon where everyone bails out with a parachute just in time. The movie looks ok if you know what you are getting into.
post #8 of 21
I thought the sound track was kind of thin. The dialog was good but lacked that male vocal warmth. I also thought the surrounds were active but did not give the "you are there" feeling like some other soundtracks.
post #9 of 21
So what was on the extended version? And would it merit purchase over the theatrical edition?

post #10 of 21
It is "extended"
post #11 of 21
It was the most entertaining action flick of the year IMO. The movie is really fast from start to finish and keeps you on the edge of your seat. It has funny moments & great action scenes.

When I saw it the first time, I was not expecting it to be something that good but from minute 1, it grasps hold of you and takes you on a 200 mph roller-coaster ride till the last minute.

It's excellent!
post #12 of 21
You can count me in on the club of "If you loved the TV show, this is a nice throwback."

If this movie were released on any other merits, it would be mediocre at best although I believe that there are enough people with fond memories of the Hannibal and the rest of the A-Team to put this in the "Good Movie" category.

I was entertained most of the movie by anticipating which parallel they were going to draw next from the original.

If you, like me remember the Ateam of old, this movie is definitely worth a watch. I got the extended cut as a gift and never saw it in the theater.

I think a HT BluRay viewing gives it the justice it deserves. Definitely worth a watch but I probably wouldn't bother buying it for myself. This would fall more into a must have "Netflix BluRay Rental" for me.
post #13 of 21
I just watched this last weekend for the first time. I was dubious of this flick, and didn't see it at the theaters as I assumed it would just be some terrible remake. However, I found the movie to be quite entertaining, especially since I enjoyed the original A-Team. I found myself consistently smiling or laughing at the over-the-top action, and I wasn't bored once the entire film. Really fun movie!
post #14 of 21
Really enjoyed this. The tone was spot on for the whole movie. Seems like most "mindless" action flics have too much forced action, buddy buddy comraderie or jokes that just fall plain flat. Just about everything worked here and did not seem too much of a stretch. This should be a middling action movie but, for me, was one of the better ones of 2010.
post #15 of 21
I agree, this was a fun ride, this is the kind of action movies I like. It didn't take itself too seriously, and the over the top action fit this just right. Liked the character chemistry as well. I bought this sight unseen and I'm not regretting it.
post #16 of 21
was wondering why you gave the video encode a 88?
post #17 of 21
The movie was popcorn fun. Not based in reality but good pace and good humor mixed in with over the top action. I also think the video was close to reference... a little suprised with the 88 (would have expected in the 95 or so range).
post #18 of 21
PQ is near reference in most of the film...
Great action flick!
post #19 of 21
My wife and I just watched this and we both liked it very much, much more than I thought I would. The professional critics panned it but it held my attention from begining to end.
post #20 of 21
just borrowed it from my son and thought it was a great action packed "check your brains at the door" flick.. great sound presentation, agreed with Ralph's score of the audio... Best part in my opinion, considering all the 3D talk lately was the psycho ward w/3D glasses and what ensued..
post #21 of 21
I just bought this movie and found it to be a good flick overall-- so long as you went into it with your brain shut off. The soundtrack felt kinda weak as compared to the action of the movie. Jessica Biel is usually an actress I stray away from, however, she was actually pretty dang good in this movie. It's something I would have playing when we have a guys night for sure.
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