The A-Team

MPAA Rated – Unrated
It’s 1:59 Long
A Blu-ray Review by:
The Dude on the Right

The A-Team
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Sharlto Copley
MPAA Rated: Unrated Blu-ray
Released By: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Kiddie Movie: Not too young, but the boys will like the explosions.
Date Movie: Only if she likes explosions.
Gratuitous Sex: Mostly talk.
Gratuitous Violence: Lots of it, but on the PG-13 level.
Action: There’s a whole lot of chasing going on.
Laughs: Ehh.
Memorable Scene: Nothing really.
Memorable Quote: None really.
Directed By: Joe Carnahan
Cool Things About the Blu-ray It’s got some extra insight into the characters, how things were made, and some deleted stuff/bloopers that are, ehh.

When I was a kid I loved “The A-Team” and for the longest time I heard about them wanting to make a big-screen movie based on the series, but I figured that as long as there was some fun action, some goofy stunts, and not taking themselves too seriously that things might work out. As the trailers began to come out for the movie I was mildly excited because there seemed to be all of these. Sadly, though, in my assessment of the TV series I forgot about one necessity that made it work, and that was chemistry. In the TV show there was tons of it, carried a lot by Mr. T and George Peppard in the roles of Hannibal and B.A. respectively. Sadly, in the movie, chemistry seemed to have been an afterthought.

As it is, the movie version that hit the theaters and is now out on Blu-ray adapts itself for the 2000’s, shifting our heroes from Vietnam veterans to Gulf War veterans, but instead of diving right into the theme of the TV series, about veterans framed for a crime they didn’t commit and helping others who are innocent, the current version decides to focus on the early days, how the team came together, and the mission that set them up for their being framed. All along it’s just a bunch of explosions, followed by explosions, followed by a thin story, followed by explosions.

As things move along it’s to prison they all go, it’s breaking out of prison they next go, and then it’s to the boys working to track down who originally set them up who might be trying to sell some treasury plates (Hey, we can make money!) to the Arabs. So, of course, there’s this elaborate plan to stop the bad guys, lots of things blow up some more, and our heroes are heroes, only they still aren’t getting the credit, still are considered criminals even though they saved the world economy, and the movie ends setting up a sequel if this one makes enough money.

If you’ll notice, during this synopsis I didn’t mention of the players. I sort of did that on purpose because this version of “The A-Team” focuses more on the explosions and dumb story rather than the players involved, but the thing is, what made the TV series so enjoyable was the players, the interaction, and the chemistry.

For what it’s worth, the main players are Bradley Cooper as “Faceman,” Quinton “Rampage” Jackson as B.A., and Sharlto Copley as Murdock, and, oh yea, I almost forgot Liam Neeson as Hannibal, who I think was the worst of the mis-cast people. Look, I love Liam Neeson as an actor, but for me it always seems like a loner, an stand-off-ish kind of guy, and that seems to translate into the roles he plays. As Hannibal he just wasn’t fun, you didn’t seem him as the Colonel, and I just plain didn’t like him in that role.

As it is, if you want a movie with a lot of things blowing up in a hail of gunfire, go ahead and get “The A-Team,” but for characters with chemistry, with story, with actually caring about them, this isn’t the movie. It’s 2 stars out of 5 for the movie version of “The A-Team.”

As far as the Blu-ray extras, the set actually has an “Extended Untrated Cut” that I didn’t watch because, well, I didn’t really need to see anything else blow up. There is some more detailed explanations of the characters, which is nice, and I’m always liking seeing how various action scenes are done, so that is nice, too.

American Idol is Coming, Sex and the City 2 Sucks, The A-Team Sucks Less, and Happy New Year!

By: The Dude on the Right

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With Stu Gotz out playing with his family it’s time for a solo “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast, and what better weekend to wrap up than Christmas weekend!  Yup, mine was nice, what with my new wife and all, but it was also nice because it was a time to be with my new family, the Chicago Bears won, and it brings us a little closer to the 2011 season of “American Idol.” (How’s that for a brief summary of topics included in this podcast?!?)

With the weekend also came movies, and although My BFF Wifey and I didn’t go to see “Little Fockers” due to my grumpiness, we did see “Sex and the City 2,” and as much as I couldn’t believe how bad that movie was, I was as much shocked that my BFF thought it totally sucked, only saying it might be deserving of ½ star in total suckiness.  She found it flabbergasting, okay, maybe not flabbergasting, but just wondered how those involved in the franchise that has been so successful could make the movie so bad.  Oh well.

In other movie news I saw “The A-Team” on Blu-ray, and although my full review will be coming later this week, during the podcast I let you know if you should rent it.  I guess I’ll just tease things with “There’s a lot of action.”

Stu should be back next week for a recap of his time off, maybe a reflective look back at a busy year, and maybe a look ahead at what 2011 may have in store.  That, or he’ll just talk about “Burn Notice” and “Psych” some more.

Thanks for listening!

That’s it for this podcast! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Bells v Founders, Taft v Skilling, Bears v Patriots, and What’s a Snapback Cap?

By: The Dude on the Right

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With the weather here in Chicago not nearly as bad as it is in Indiana, Stu Gotz and I were easily able to record this episode of our “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast, and I tell Stu who won, in my opinion, in the battle between Jerry Taft v. Tom Skilling and their respective” last weekend” forecasts. Here’s a hint – I’m fascinated by Mr. Skilling’s weather maps, but I’m a bigger fan of The Taftman! Stu, meanwhile, had his own battle to report on, one that left him a little tipsy, a battle of beer as it would be, specifically a couple of Michigan brews, Bells v. Founders. We also discuss some box office battling that was done over the weekend, but with the crappy weather here in Chicago, we can’t really comment if any of the movies were andy good or not because we didn’t see them. Stu, however, was able to catch an Indiana Jones’ Marathon on cable, and oddly enough likes the scene with Indy, the nuclear blast, and a refrigerator.

With Christmas coming we do talk a bit about the season of gift giving, and I have to hip Stu to what a snapback hat is, made famous now thanks to the likes of Tyga and Chris Brown. We also talk a bit about movies coming out this weekend, but more about a movie coming out next summer, “Cowboys & Aliens,” with hit director Jon Favreau.

Stu won’t be around for next week’s podcast so if you might want to be a guest podcaster, feel free to shoot me an e-mail or comment, and, as always, thanks for listening!

I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

A Boatload of Meat, Hawaii Five-0 No Go, Chicago Bear Talk, and A New Facebook, sort of.

By: The Dude on the Right

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A nice weekend at a restaraurant called Texas de Brazil brought Stu Gotz and I together over the weekend, so for this “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast there is talk about a lot of meat, a good meal, and a nice time with old friends! Eating, however, wasn’t all we did over the weekend, as both of us got to experience Santa Claus and his magical ability to be in many places at nearly the same time!

And as weekends go, neither of us did much movie watching, and aren’t really sure if we will catch “The Tourist” this weekend, but we both agree that it might be time to put a fork in “The Chronicles of Narnia” series as neither of us have any desire to see the new version coming out and feel it is done. As TV goes, I’m still a fan of this year’s “The Apprentice” and look forward to it’s finale, I can’t believe people quit on “Survivor,” and Stu says that Mama Gotz is pretty much done with the re-make of “Hawaii Five-0.”

We disect another Chicago Bears’ win, although it might take a win over the New England Patriots next weekend for Stu to finally jump on the bandwagon; Stu doesn’t want to call the old Marshall Field’s store, Macy’s; and I’m not a fan of the new Facebook design because it impeeds my trolling for cool stuff as I play Cityville while Stu did change his profile picture to a cartoon character from his youth because, well, Facebook, or rather some meaningless person on Facebook, told him to.

As always, thanks for listening! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

An excerpt from The Dude on the Right’s review of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice on Blu-ray

In terms of movies, I thought “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” was a good movie, especially for the getting-a-little-older kid crowd. It had excitement, it had a little bit of love, it had great effects, and I love Nicolas Cage in that kind of role. The only problem I did have, and sorry Jay, but Jay Baruchel as Dave didn’t seem like a good fit for the role. I wish I great reason why, but unfortunately the only thing I have to go with was in talking with my BFF while we were watching the movie and saying I didn’t like the kid playing Dave, to which she agreed and said he seemed like a young Garry Shandling.

Turkey Day is Over, Good and Bad Movies, RIP Leslie Nielsen, and Decorating for Christmas

By: The Dude on the Right

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We survived! Yup, Stu Gotz and I survived our repsective Thanksgivings and during this episode of our “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast we tell you how. Part of my surviving was just rolling with the weekend and relaxing, and for me relaxing meant watching some movies, or at least a movie, and the Chicago Bears. Yup, I got to see “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” with My BFF, and while we both liked the movie, we didn’t like the apprentice actor. I also got to watch the Bears beat the Philadelphia Eagles – Super Bowl here we come! Stu, meanwhile, still can’t figure out who thought “The Last Airbender” would be a good movie, let alone sell Airbender stuff, but there Stu was, not liking “The Last Airbender,” and not liking “Eat. Pray. Love.” that much, either.

And with Thanksgiving also comes Christmas decorating, and Stu and I give our advice on how to survive that escapade as well. Leslie Nielsen died and both of us are sad, both of us highly recommend using the internet for your Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or all-in-all not getting in a fight at the big box store line shopping, and Stu thinks I should watch Bridalplasty.

And lastly, we both got to meet our biggest fan recently, so here we are! Lord knows what I’m looking at, but at least Stu knew which way the camera was and wasn’t trying to look down her shirt.

And finally, as always, thanks for listening! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

The Sound of Music – 45th Anniversary Edition

MPAA Rated – G
It’s 2:55 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

The Sound of Music
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer
MPAA Rated: G
Released By: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Kiddie Movie: Good for the whole family!
Date Movie: Unless she likes lots of violence and nudity.
Gratuitous Sex: Nope.
Gratuitous Violence: Hinted.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Some chuckles.
Memorable Scene: Yes, you can sing-a-long to everything.
Memorable Quote: Nothing stands out.
Directed By: Roger Wise

Generally I’m not a fan of Blu-ray extras. Why? Because many a time they are useless add-ons, too complicated to play, or just seem like they are put there to make you feel better for spending extra bucks. This is definitely not the case with the 45th Anniversary Edition of “The Sound of Music” because, for a change, I thought they were a great addition, a real reason to upgrade to the Blu-ray generation if you’ve been waiting to do so, and the movie looks great, too.

I don’t know if I really have to explain the story of “The Sound of Music,” but the basic of this classic is simply that it tells the adapted for stage and screen story of the Von Trapp family, living their lives in Austria at the time Hitler is starting his rise. Maria (Julie Andres) ends up out of the convent and at the household to take care of the Von Trapp children while Dad Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) attends to his Captain duties. Meanwhile, the good Captain is sweet on The Baroness (Eleanor Parker). While Maria works on taming the children and helping them learn to sing, she falls for the Captain, the Captain falls for her, the children love Maria, they become a family, and Hitler becomes a monster (though we don’t really see this part).

Torn between his duty and his family, we know how the good Captain wants to live his life, the Von Trapp singers woo a crowd, and freedom is right across the mountains.

Look, everyone knows this classic, even me, now, as for years I had never seen the movie in its entirety until I met my BFF (She loves the movie – and rightly so), and yes, even I think it’s a classic. Any other release of this movie would just lend itself to a “Yup, it’s a classic, go ahead and get the disc so you can watch it whenever the feeling strikes you,” but this Blu-ray release lends itself to, if you are any kind of fan of “The Sound of Music,” to full-blown Blu-rayness. For one, combine the Blu-ray player with your way-cool big screen that you are getting this Christmas, and this movie just looks great. It’s a scenic masterpiece to begin with, so put those aspects together and you’ll love the movie even more.

Along with its looking good-ness, the Blu-ray extras don’t stop there. Nope, you also get a sing-a-long track – adding the lyrics to all of the songs as the movie plays (Sure, you may think you know all of the words, but give it a shot!), a trivia track that gives you lots of little tidbits about the movie and the people involved, and some fun photos from while the movie was being made. Then, if that isn’t enough, there is a second Blu-ray disc with even more, like a very detailed “Making of” which also talks about the stage version, and also a nice feature on the Von Trapp family. Here is also where you will find more stuff about Rodgers and Hammerstein, screen tests, and more.

And yes, I know there is a basic DVD for those of you who still have one of those, so that’s nice, and it does give you some sing-a-long goodness along with some more, but for full 5 star out of 5-ness, the Blu-ray with your widescreen TV is really the way to go for this bundle.

And finally, for the uber-fan, the Collector’s Set gives you all of the DVD’s, but also the soundtrack, a 100 page scrapbook, a reproduction of the 1965 Souvenir program, and a letter of authenticity so you can bag to your “The Sound of Music” friends.

Look, in any case, if you have ever found yourself singing “The hills are alive, with the sound of music,” even in jest, this 45th Anniversary edition finally does a special release right by giving you tons of extras that you might actually watch, but most importantly, giving you a great looking version of the movie that yes, instead of renting, if you are a fan, you should really buy it.

I know I sound like a commercial, but for a change I really like a Blu-ray set, liked all of the extras even if I’m not an uber-fan of the movie, and think this release is really worth it for movie history.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Living The Hangover, Harry Potter, Oprah Gives Away Stuff, Getting Felt Up, and Who’s The Dancing Star?

By: The Dude on the Right

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Neither Stu Gotz nor I were in the audience for Oprah’s favorite things, but during this episode of our “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast, we both agree that we wish were in the second group because really, if the choice is between a cruise and a car, we’re taking the car. But Oprah leaving us soon aside, Stu survived his weekend in Las Vegas, and a hangover, and I’m just worried about a lot of TV.

Yup, I’m wondering if “American Idol” can survive if it moves from Tuesday and Wednesday to Wednesday and Thursday, and I’m also wondering if Bristol Palin has the voting public to ruin Jennifer Gray’s night. Stu, meanwhile, remembered he didn’t like “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” that much, or at least the apprentice dude, and isn’t a fan of “Ramona and Beezus.” I laughed when I saw the WGN morning news folks miss seeing the bridge blow up, Stu is sort of indifferent about “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows,” and wouldn’t you know it, Saturday Night Live was funny, or at least a couple of skits.

Turkey day is coming, so we’re also wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to you, yours, and others!

And as always, thanks for listening! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Stu Needs a Keg Fridge, Good and Bad Movies, Bears in the Super Bowl, and Did Blossom Ever Get Naked?

By: The Dude on the Right

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As Stu Gotz and I eagerly await what Apple has up their sleeve with their cryptic announcement of “Tomorrow is just another day. That you’ll never forget.”, to be, well, announced tomorrow at 10AM EST, (I’m guessing it’s The Beatles catalog, just in time for the Holidays, or streaming TV, or cloud based iTunes, or free iPhones to the people who send the most e-mails to Bill Gates telling him to buy an iPhone, but that’s just my guesses), we get back to pondering more important things, like our respective weekends which means it’s time for another podcast episode of Stu & The Dude’s Weekend Wrap-Up!

Me, I saw the movie “Unstoppable” and actually liked it, and I tell Stu why. Stu, he saw “Megamind” and actually didn’t like it, and Stu tells me why. We reminisce about a keg fridge and the scariness of getting some CO2, Stu tries to calm my hopes that the Chicago Bears will be going to the Super Bowl, and did you know that “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows” opens this weekend?

Stu is liking the Blossom girl (Mayim Bialik) on “The Big Bang Theory” and wonders if she ever got naked, I had some alone time from my BFF, Stu knows a lot about tee-pees, and wouldn’t you know it, “Burn Notice” and “Psych” are back, much to the delight of Stu.

Thanks for listening! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Unstoppable

An excerpt from The Dude on the Right’s movie review of “Unstoppable”...

I saw the trailer for “Unstoppable.” Yup, there he was, Denzel, in all of his Denzellness, as a train engineer, and there it was, a train, with no one at the controls, set on a collision course for releasing toxic stuff into a large town. Yup, I also get it, there’s a newbie involved, in this case Captain Kirk, I mean Chris Pine, and somehow they will save the town, and maybe one of them might die. And finally, yup, I thought, “How exciting can this movie be? “ … I will say that “Unstoppable” was a thrilling movie, my fingernails are bitten, and simply, “Who knew?