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A-Team Director 'Had a Blast'

9 Dec, 2010 By: Chris Tribbey

CENTURY CITY, Calif. — On the second day of principal photography for The A-Team, mixed martial arts fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, with less than a handful of acting credits on his resume, stepped on the set with industry legend Liam Neeson.

Director Joe Carnahan held his breath.

“It was to [Jackson’s] benefit that he didn’t know what Liam means to the acting world,” Carnahan said Dec. 9 at the Fox lot. “Rampage was a babe in the woods, and he gave his heart and soul to this thing. Liam really took Rampage under his wing.”

Jackson held his own, as did the rest of the cast (Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, Jessica Biel) in this memorable and lightning-paced feature adaptation of the much-beloved 1980s TV series. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment releases the film on two-disc Blu-ray Disc ($39.99) and DVD ($29.98) Dec. 14.

“I had just an absolute blast doing it,” Carnahan said of the film, which is basically one blast after another.

The Blu-ray edition specifically relays the fun the cast and crew had making the film, featuring 90 minutes of bonus material, including an extended cut, deleted scenes, a gag reel, a mash-up montage, several featurettes, character chronicles with actor interviews, a visual effects commentary and a digital copy.

There’s also a series of insider clips with Carnahan, dubbed “The Devil is in the Details.” These unique shots have the director walking viewers through several scenes in the film, including the infamous tank freefall, with storyboards, VFX and live-action stunts showing in the background. Carnahan said he spent nearly three hours in a director’s chair working on that bonus feature.

“I thought it was a very cool, neat concept,” he said. “I’d like to see if others copy it. … [But] boy I did not look good in that chair.”

For the extended cut of the film and the bevy of bonuses, Carnahan recommends the Blu-ray, of course, but he also expressed reservations about the sharpness of the picture: “It highlights your flaws,” he said. “If something is out of focus, it’s really out of focus.”

And errors that aren’t really errors show up as well: During the tank freefall scene, one smartass visual effects worker inserted his face into the side of a mountain, a “flaw” that could have gotten someone fired, but instead became a unique Easter Egg for the film.

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