Wednesday 23 Jul
 
 

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?

Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
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Pity the fool who doesn't love the 'A-Team' remake, replete with explosions and dead extras


Doug Bentin June 17th, 2010

You don't exactly have to hold a doctorate in advanced maturity to enjoy "The A-Team." There's a big difference in what entertains the kid and what entertains the kid still living in the adult, and th...

You don't exactly have to hold a doctorate in advanced maturity to enjoy "The A-Team." There's a big difference in what entertains the kid and what entertains the kid still living in the adult, and this falls into the latter category.

Of course, you know by now that the picture was inspired by the 1983-87 TV series, so that's all we need to say about that.

The team is comprised of four Army Rangers so bad-ass, they make your average superheroes look like the Junior Woodchucks. They're lead by cigar-chomping Col. Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson, "Clash of the Titans"). Second is Face (Bradley Cooper, "Valentine's Day"), then comes B.A. Baracus (mixed-martial-arts fighter Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, "The Midnight Meat Train") and, finally, hotshot pilot and lunatic Murdock (Sharlto Copley, "District 9").

As our military is pulling out of Iraq " that's how you know this whole thing is a fantasy " the team is sent to steal a set of counterfeit $100 printing plates created by Saddam Hussein to help wreck the American economy. And you didn't even know he worked for Goldman Sachs.

Anyway, our guys are double-crossed by a Blackwater security-style punk named Pike (co-writer Brian Bloom, "Smokin' Aces"), who kills their Army liaison Gen. Morrison (Gerald McRaney, TV's "Deadwood") and sends the whole crew to prison. No one believes in their innocence, although two people dabble in believing it. One is Face's former gal, Capt. Sosa (Jessica Biel, "Valentine's Day"), and a CIA spook who calls himself Lynch (Patrick Wilson, "Watchmen"), who offers to help Hannibal escape if he will find the still-missing plates.
And the chase is on.

The picture is pretty much all chases and explosions and killing extras, then making snarky jokes about it. You can't take any of this stuff seriously, as some reviewers are doing, because you'll not only miss the point and look silly doing it, but you'll also miss the fun.

Of course, there's no character development. These are comic creations defined by their primary traits. Hannibal is the cocksure leader who cares for his men, but hates to admit it out loud. Face is the slick con man. Baracus is the tough guy, and Murdock is the loony who is never quite as crazy as he wants you to think he is. These character types couldn't be any more at home if they were in an Italian Renaissance comedy.

Joe Carnahan ("Smokin' Aces") directs in a flashy style that still allows your eyes enough time to decipher what they're seeing. The script lives up to the billing given it by the on-screen characters, who mention cartoons and video games often.

When the movie was over, a woman sitting next to me in the theater asked me what I thought of it. I said it was fun and looked like the filmmakers wanted to produce a sequel. She agreed and said she was ready right then.

So was I. "Doug Bentin
 
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