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Now in our eleventh calendar year!
PCR #533 (Vol. 11, No. 24). This edition is for the week of June 7--13, 2010.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"The A-Team"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

"The A-Team"  by Mike Smith
Supersonic Man  by ED Tucker
My Favorite Band, Genesis  by Chris Woods
Book Review: Lincoln in the Basement by Jerry Cowling  by Lisa Scherer
Silmido (2003)  by Jason Fetters
City Of Brotherly Idiots .... Hearing What They Want To Hear .... Passing On .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf  by Mike Smith

20th Century Fox     
Starring: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlton Copley and Quentin Jackson
Directed by: Joe Carnahan
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 57 mins

As I head towards the half-century mark (September 16 of this year if you’re thinking of getting me a present) I’m often asked what my favorite television shows are. Of course, it’s hard to pick one favorite. On the comedy side I like “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and the variety show Carol Burnett used to do. On the drama side, I could watch every episode of “NYPD Blue” and “Law and Order” over and over again. And thanks to TNT I’m sure I have with “Law and Order.” Another favorite, more for escape it provided then it’s pedigree, was “The A-Team.” Of course, when I heard there was going to be a feature film made my mind immediately hit on “Bewitched.” But I needn’t have worried. Thanks to a top notch cast and a skilled director, “The A-Team” is back!

Mexico. A pair of crooked policemen are beating a prisoner. He seems helpless tied to his chair. Across town another man is undergoing the same treatment. He is suspected of being a spy for our government. He is also suspected of having a fling with his tormentor’s wife. Will these two men escape. Here’s a hint: if they don’t there is no movie.

Directed by Joe Carnahan (“Narc,” “Smokin’ Aces”), “The A-Team” is a brilliantly realized return to the fun days of yesterday when characters like Hannibal Smith, the Face Man, Howling Mad Murdock and Bosco “B.A.” (Bad Attitude) Baracus looked out for the little guy, always took care of business and managed to blow some stuff up each hour. Here the characters are well developed, the business is international and the things that explode really EXPLODE! Neeson plays Smith, the leader of the team, as an almost homage to the late, great George Peppard. In fact, when shown in close up Neeson bears a strong resemblance to Peppard. Yet his performance doesn’t parrot that of Peppards. He makes Hannibal his own. The rest of the cast do their character creators justice as well. Cooper, who is working his way towards the top of my “favorite actors to watch” list, plays Templeton “Faceman” Peck, a man whose main asset seems to be his good looks. But like the Faceman, Cooper is much more than a pretty face. He brings the same great sense of humor he showed in “The Hangover” but also proves himself a pretty capable action star. Humor is also the name of the game with Copley (so good in “District Nine”), who plays “Howling Mad” Murdock, a certified lunatic with the great ability of being able to fly pretty much anything. The most unenviable job belongs to “Rampage” Jackson. Mr. T is a true entertainment icon and it couldn’t’ be easy for Jackson to try to fill his combat boots. But Jackson proves himself a natural performer, at ease with both the humor and the action the film requires. Patrick Wilson and Jessica Biel co-star as government officials with identical agendas who choose different ways to accomplish them.

Usually when Hollywood has a plan to make a movie out of a popular television show it turns into a disaster. But that’s not the case with “The A-Team.” If I may be so bold as to quote Colonel Hannibal Smith, “I love it when a plan comes together!”

On a scale of zero to four stars I give “The A-Team”  

This week's movie review of "The A-Team" is ©2010 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2010, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.