Saturday, January 9, 2010

The A Team Are You Fucking Kidding Me?



Have you seen the new Trailer for the A Team? If you haven’t please go over to the AV Club and watch that depressing shit so you’ll know what I’m talking about.Joe Carnahan started the decade making Narc and has ended it making The A Team. If the man who was once a candidate for Heir to Scorsese wants to waste the rest of his career making cartoons they should at least be his own fucking cartoons.

See that’s the fucked up thing I really liked Smoking Aces.

Seriously dude I get that its tough that you didn't get to make The Grey or Killing Pablo or White Jazz or Bunny Lake Is Missing. But Seriously?

And trust me I get it. I know exactly why old Smoking Joe is making this movie. It’s tough out there, if you don’t have a new flick in Hollywood every couple of years, you might as well be DOA. And Joe Carnahan is a filmmaker who has been struggling for seemingly his entire career not to be DOA.

I’m going to say this just so I’m loud and clear, no filmmaker as talented (and he really is very talented) as Joe Carnahan deserves to have so many tough breaks. If there where any justice in the world Carnahan would be on film number ten right now, rather then film number four. But there is no justice in the world, and this is how Carnahan’s career has played out instead. The fucked up thing is that it all looks like a waste. And you know its not his fault. Its really not. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a God damn shame.

It all starts with Blood Guts Bullets And Octane. A movie, that just like the title sounds like, tried to emulate the whole Reservoir Dogs, Guy Ritchie aestitic. The film itself is not that special, what is special is the way it shows how Carnahan could leave his own stamp and level of intrigue on a genre as rote as the “Tarantino Rip Off Flick”. When you talk about Calling Card Movies, things made primarily to show Hollywood what you can do, this is the prime example.

Then comes Narc, which is simply a quantum leap. This is the kind of film legendary careers are built off. A bone hard crime film that managed to drag career best performances from both Jason Patric and Ray Liotta. It’s a tough film with real soul, the announcement of a major talent.

And this is where everything turns to shit.

First, Carnahan gets mired in development hell with Mission Impossible 3. After a fruitless multi year battle with Cruise and Co, Carnahan finally walks away, somehow pumps another film through the development hell. Five years after Narc should have launched him into the stratosphere he gets to make Smoking Aces. And here's the thing, its still worthwhile.

A lot of people like to shit on this film, but I’ll defend it. Yes it’s a step back from Narc. Yes it would have been served better if it was either A) Crazier or B) Less Crazy. But what it is is an intriguing Modern Day Spaghetti Western, that despite it flaws is seriously fun to watch (Not to mention Carnahan was the first to see the star quality in Chris Pine).

Yet despite the fact that Aces was a modest hit, and Carnahan had several movies in the pipeline, this is where it really goes to shit. Carnahan fails to get financing for his Dream Project Killing Pablo, and gets sniped by a cheaper fly by night production. His recovery project Bunny Lake Is Missing is torpedoed when star Reese Witherspoon drops out without warning two weeks before Principal Photography was supposed to start. Then Carnahan’s other dream project, a phenomenal sounding adaptation of Elroy’s White Jazz gets killed when the film’s producer and star George Clooney, unceremoniously walks out, also a mere couple months from shooting (and embarrassingly AFTER Carnahan released preproduction art featuring the star, on his blog). To make matters worse, another project that Carnahan sets up shortly after White Jazz implodes, The Grey a movie about wolves also quickly goes the way of the dodo.

So what do you do, when you’re a working director producer who has failed to get four movies off the ground?

You make the first movie the studios offer you. You grab onto it like a drowning man to a life preserver. And do you know what that movie was?

It was the fucking A Team.

And here’s the fucked up thing, I convinced myself, until I saw the trailer, that I somehow liked the idea. After all it wasn’t like Carnahan was just going to take the fucking A Team at face value. I was sure he’d work some of his fucked up magic on it, and turn it into an over the top spaghetti western extravaganza. A more mainstream PG-13 Smoking Aces. But watching the trailer I don’t see that.

Know what I see?

The fucking A-Team.

Carnahan has done the unthinkable. He’s given up.

3 comments:

Erich Kuersten said...

Yeah, but Jason Patric is such a self-righteous, humorless prick!

Neil Fulwood said...

Let's just hope that enough undiscriminating film-goers cough up enough coin at the box office that Carnahan's able to resurrect one of his dream projects. If so, then the sacrifice of putting his name to this bound to be by-the-numbers POS will have served some purpose.

If not, then oh dear ...

Evil Dead Junkie said...

Couldn't have said it better myself.