The A-Team: The Potato loves it when a film comes together!

1983. A legendary network television show was born. It featured action, adventure, comedy, brotherhood and, of course, Mr. T. Creators Stephen J. Cannell and Frank Lupo found a way to combine the popular detective procedural drama with a boys-with-Tonka-trucks sense of precocious male abandon.  It was a huge hit, and ran for 5 seasons until it was canceled in 1987. After 23 years of the franchise lying dormant, the world will be reintroduced to: The A-Team.

::Cue burst of machine gun fire::

That’s right everybody, Hannibal Smith, Faceman Peck, B.A. Baracus, and Howlin’ Mad Murdock are back, and they’ve finally brought their particular brand of military justice to the big screen.  At the helm of this camouflaged runaway freight train is a particular brand of director, and his name is Joe “Blood, Guts, Bullets, and Octane” Carnahan.  A perfect marriage if I’ve ever seen one.  Of course, as with all resurrected franchises, we have to reintroduce it to the younger folks who only know The A-Team as some show that Dad can’t shut up about, and so the film version is an origin story of sorts: the team forms, the team is shown in action, they get framed and arrested, they break out, and then they begin their quest to clear their names.  It couldn’t be the exact same story, because it was so much of its time and politics that it would ring false today.  Instead of being made up of Vietnam vets, they’re Gulf War vets, and so their circumstances behind their framing, arrest, and escape have all been tweaked to serve this contemporary update.  The major plot points and characters, however, remain the same.  The result is a cigar-chomping, testosterone-dripping comic action opera that satisfies the inner child’s need for danger and adventure, with as many one-liners fired as bullets.

For a TV show that contained such memorable characters that all had an unlikely chemistry (the very chemistry that made the show what it was), their big screen counterparts did not disappoint.  The two versions of the cast are proportionate to the action universes they inhabit.  The TV show features military heroes. The film is a big-budget, explosive, 80’s-informed blockbuster (in the best way), requiring the cast to do more heavy lifting.  They have to be more than military heroes; they have to be action heroes. Of course, comparisons are inevitable, and they may also be warranted.  How could anyone replace Dwight Schultz?  How could anyone truly replace Mr. T.? Mr. T. built his entire legacy around the B.A. Baracus character.  He is B.A. Baracus.  Even in an updated film, the best that any actor can do is imitate him and for an imitation, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson did a good job.  He could definitely handle the action, he pitied fools constantly, and he could keep up with his lively costars.  The script gave also his Baracus an emotional depth that could be expressed with fewer words and more actions.  Though the updated Baracus is not as cuddly, he comes from a similar place.

Much like George Peppard before him, Liam Neeson plays Hannibal Smith as a tough-as-nails Army colonel, with a big heart and mischievous look in his eyes.  Anyone who has seen the action opus Taken knows that Liam Neeson can growl painfully and dispatch movie baddies with convincing aplomb.  In this film, Hannibal Smith is still the man with the best laid plans, and he still never hesitates to get in the fight.  The most perfect casting comes in the form of Bradley Cooper as Faceman Peck.  Cooper matches Dirk Benedict’s old school urban swashbuckling charm perfectly and is the glue that holds all the other performances together. Faceman is the most complicated because he is both the finesse and the fire, and while Dirk Benedict is responsible for creating him, Bradley Cooper is keeping Faceman alive and well.  The big surprise is District 9’s Sharlto Copley who is able to effortlessly capture the constant mania that Dwight Schultz brought to the Howlin’ Mad Murdock character.

After his performance in last year’s District 9, which was largely improvisational with little written dialog to work from, Copley was tested with the A-Team’s more traditional script and had to show that he could sustain an already existing character. Any skeptics should worry not, for Copley’s performance is the heart and soul of The A-Team’s dynamic.

As far as supporting casts go, this one is game.  As Captain Sosa (and Faceman’s former flame), Jessica Biel does a lot with a thankless role, holding the line between love interest and woman-of-action.  Gerald McRaney (Major Dad?) starts out playing General Morrison as the General from Predator, but his character gets more complicated as the plot thickens.  Extra kudos goes to Lakeview Terrace’s Patrick Wilson as CIA Agent Lynch, a wormy, sociopathic G-Man so duplicitous that you love him as much as you hate him.

Making an impact with his first feature Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane, and making a smaller yet deeper impact with Narc, Joe Carnahan should have made his action smashup debut with 2006’s  Smokin’ Aces, but it was a misstep. The cinematography and offbeat dialogue suggested that Carnahan would be a director who could handle large action while maintaining a uniquely graphic vision, but Aces fails because the story falls apart in the third act, and also does not deliver the action that it was building towards.  In The A-Team, I must say, I love it when a Joe Carnahan movie comes together.  His cinematic vision for the franchise is a combination of Tony Scott and True Lies-era James Cameron.  It is an immensely entertaining homage to old-school Hollywood spectacle. The script, co-written by Joe Carnahan, Skip Woods, and Brian Bloom (who also plays rogue mercenary Mr. Pike) is a breezy, expertly strung together tapestry of one-liners with a clever plot and a few interesting twists along the way. The action sequences are fierce, fun, and impossible, culminating with an unbelievably destructive scene at the Long Beach harbor.  Amidst the chaos, Carnahan keeps the film moving in its quieter moments, and though there aren’t many, they’re very well placed. In The A-Team, Carnahan is tasked with aiming a shotgun at a target, and instead pulls out a rocket launcher and fraggs the entire mountain. Hoo-yah.

If you’re an A-Team fan, if you’re an action fan, a Liam Neeson fan, or pretty much a fan of all things loud, fun, and awesome, then maybe you can hire…The A-Team! I give it an enthusiastic 4 out of 4 stars/bullets.

The Potato failed to “Kick-Ass”

Costumed vigilantes face off against local New York mobsters in Matthew Vaughn’s “Kick-Ass”.  High school geek Dave Lizewski asks the question that most kids his age would ask: “Why hasn’t anyone tried to actually become a superhero? Like, in real life.”  Dave dons an appropriately comic book-ish wetsuit, sheaths a couple of taped up batons, and goes out into the world to look for his cause.  Predictably, Dave gets his pubescent ass handed to him in his first time out, putting him in the hospital.  After that, he learns that some of his nerve endings are damaged, which left him a (slightly) higher tolerance for pain.  His new “power” allows him to gain moderate success against petty criminals, and his internet buzz skyrockets as a result.  Soon, Kick-Ass becomes a cultural phenomenon, which leads Dave to father-daughter crime fighter team Big Daddy and Hit Girl.  Big Daddy’s the loony ex-cop-turned-ex-con with all the weapons, while Hit Girl is the tween who’s deadly with all things sharp and explosive.  Of course, the mob isn’t too happy with these new developments, especially boss Frank D’Amico, who throws every goomba he has at the superheroes, and they still just keep coming.  Throw in another superhero wannabe named Red Mist, who may or may not have a secret of his own that could threaten the lives of the entire team if not uncovered in time, and you’ve got yourself a “Kick-Ass” superhero film.  Right?

As Dave, Aaron Johnson has the sort of anti-charisma that this film needs, as his character is more of an iPhone-generation reboot of Peter Parker (he makes several references to Spider-Man throughout the film, in case you miss the metaphor).  He fails, however, to craft a multi-layered character worth caring about.  His attitude towards his superhero experiences always feels slightly aloof and his character never has a real arc.  Does Dave have remorse for any of the things he’s done? Does Dave truly care about helping the common citizen?  I guess we’ll have to wait for the sequel.  Like Kick-Ass, Red Mist (played by Christopher “McLovin” Mintz-Plasse) doesn’t have much to do but just look nerdy cool and wait for the trouble to come to him.  Not much more than a spectator who helps move the plot forward until the very end, Mintz-Plasse does what he can with the role.

The Nicolas Cage twisted renaissance continues with his Big Daddy performance.  Cage plays it goofy and mostly reigns in his Castor Troy-isms until a very pivotal scene, where Cage just lets it all hang out. His Batman-meets-Ned-Flanders take on Big Daddy almost redeems his Ghost Rider performance, but not quite.  Cage’s performance is not, however, the standout of the film. That title goes to the youngest (and deadliest) of the costumed vigilantes played by Chloe Grace Moretz, better known as Hit Girl.  She may look like a Disney Channel childlike automaton, but the steely precocious bloodlust in her eyes tells a different story.  In all of this post-modern brouhaha, Moretz crafts a character who is simultaneously a well trained killer and very much 11 years old.  Hit Girl is a character who the audience must believe can dish out punishment as well as take it in mass quantities, all while remaining engaged in her emotional story.  Along with Cage, these two characters represent the film’s emotional crux, and they both deliver.

Mark Strong is one of the hottest actors on the scene today, and this on-screen baddie is just another gold star on an already fine career.  Not much more can be said of his character Frank D’Amico. He’s bad, he wants the superheroes dead, and he wants to be a zen Scarface while he does it (I guess you had to be there).  Like most of the other actors, Strong does what he can, but he gave a better villain performance in Guy Richie’s “Sherlock Holmes”.

Matthew Vaughn is a director with a specific vision who has the talent to stage Hollywood-sized action while wielding a sword of satire.  “Kick-Ass” takes its cue from films like “Watchmen”, but more like from Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” franchise.  The action scenes are well executed and the cinematography is rich with graphic novel imagery, New York grit, and iconic superhero shots.  Why then, did I only sort-of enjoy this film?  It was so busy trying to subvert all of the so-called “old school” superhero films that it forgot to give me characters that I cared about.  All of the characters have their purpose, they have their superhero references, they curse, and they have their hip post-modernist accidental coolness. All I have to say is: who cares?  Their stakes never feel real, and their lives never truly feel threatened.  The kids will enjoy the action and the humor, as it seems that this is the path that comic book films are headed (Edgar Wright’s “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” will no doubt hit similar notes).  The violence is abundant, but not gory.  The writers set up the characters well enough that they could realistically withstand all of the punishment, so much so that seeing an 11 year old Hit Girl getting pummeled by the film’s main bad guy failed to arouse my offense.  I still advise against parents letting their kids watch this one.  If they must see it, put it on the shelf next to “Watchmen” and wait until they’re in high school.

Overall, “Kick-Ass” moderately lived up to its name.  If you like comic book films, if you liked “Watchmen”, and if you like seeing things get blown up followed by a wink and a scoff, I recommend this film.  I give it a 2.5 out of 4 stars.

Quick sidebar: Every superhero in “Kick-Ass” gets to be part of a big action sequence.  Kick-Ass and Red Mist mostly need rescuing. Hit Girl gets to be the cool one, laying waste to most of the henchmen on screen, and I thoroughly enjoyed her character.  Big Daddy, the only adult of the group, gets to be part of the action the least, but is allowed a single fight scene against a warehouse of bad guys.  In my opinion, this is the scene where “Kick-Ass” has the most kinetic energy, and it’s only moderately important to the plot itself.  For all of the high concepts and young it-actors that dominate the spotlight, you still can’t fake true presence.  Cage’s character was the only one who looked heroic, even if his character is bat scat crazy.  It made me wish that Cage hadn’t taken the role of Ghost Rider, because he would have made such a formidable looking superhero in a greater franchise.  I still wonder what it would have been like if Cage had ended up playing Superman.

The Potato wins with “The Losers”

Exactly 4 months ago, a crack commando unit was framed for a crime they didn’t commit.  These men survived assassination and promptly escaped to the Bolivian underground.  Today, thought dead by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have an ass that needs kicked, if the government sets them up, and if you can find them, then maybe you can hire…The Losers? ::cue machine gun fire and explosions:: BOOM!

Sound familiar? You were expecting maybe a different ending? Ok, so maybe 2010’s “The Losers” isn’t exactly “The A-Team”, but it is damn close.  If you sort of know the opening narration from the classic TV show, I could recite that synopsis and easily fool you.  The lyrics are different, but they’re both singing the same tune.  This may sound like I’m unfairly criticizing “The Losers” for being basically DC Comics’ answer to “The A-Team”, but no.  “The Losers” is a cool, snarky, cigar-chewing action adventure that is both a throwback to the action comedies of the 80’s (specifically a certain aforementioned TV show) and a great showcase of hyper-stylized comic book thrills of today.  Part “The A-Team”, part “Smokin’ Aces”, and part “Beverly Hills Cop”, “The Losers” just plain rocks the socks off.

The casting of “The Losers” is spot-on perfect in the kind of way that made “The Hangover” so watchable.  With the wrong cast, both films would have been absolutely dreadful to watch.  As the leader known as Clay, Jeffrey Dean Morgan proves that his performance in “Watchmen” was not an action fluke.  Like a Bruce Willis, Morgan knows how to portray the tough guy without having to sacrifice vulnerability.  Likewise for Idris Elba’s character, known simply as Roque.  The scenes that these two men share rival even the manliest scenes of “Predator”, and that’s a manly movie.  This film will benefit Morgan just fine, but I hope that Idris Elba gets some more lead roles as well.  He manages to be completely entertaining and still remain underrated as an actor.  As the wheelman and techie of the group, respectively, Columbus Short and Chris “Captain America/Human Torch” Evans both hold their own in the fight, and also wield the comic relief like two kids who found their dad’s pellet guns.  They’re having fun, and that means we’re having fun too.

As the sole lady of action, Zoe Saldana continues to tear apart the screen and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (in a very well shot fight sequence in a flaming hotel room that obviously is meant to set up their sexual tension).  For being in so many blockbusters in her short career including the highest grossing movie of all time, Zoe Saldana STILL needs that big role.  She doesn’t get it in “The Losers”, but her presence makes the film just that much better.  But the big, big surprise performance in the film comes from its main villain, played to the absolute lunatic hilt by Jason f*cking Patric.  He’s always been a favorite of mine, and it’s great to see him chew the scenery in a film like this.  Every time he walks into the frame, insanity ensues.  Think of his character as a mixture of every Connery-era James Bond villain with Nicolas Cage’s character in “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans”.  You have to see it to believe it.

Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt have crafted a very fun and funny script.  Its tone resembles Tarantino’s self-awareness and Lethal Weapon-style badassedness.  As far as the direction goes: Sylvain White, where did you come from, sir?  I had only seen his previous collaboration with Columbus Short known as “Stomp The Yard”, and as fun a dance movie as it was, it did nothing to predict that Mr. White could emerge as a “get this guy an action franchise right now” kind of director.  The man can clearly handle very large action set pieces, special effects, and edgy camera work.  I’ll be very interested to see what his next project is going to be.

Overall, if you like action films, if you like comic book films, if you like “The A-Team”, you will have a crazy good time during “The Losers”.  I give it a 3.5 out of 4 stars.

So the Potato watched “Legion”…

The plot in a nutshell:  God has lost faith in humanity. The worst parts of the Bible are starting to come true, and God’s avenging angels have arrived from heaven to make sure this happens.  The Archangel Michael (Paul Bettany) believes humanity isn’t beyond saving and tries to stop said apocalypse.  The key to our salvation lies in a young pregnant waitress named Charlie (Adrianne Palicki), for the baby she carries (for some reason) is humanity’s only hope for survival.  Michael finds Charlie and the rest of the middle-of-nowhere-diner patrons already under attack by humans possessed by angels.  Much chaos, and much more talking ensues.

Paul Bettany shows a different side to his range, playing Michael more crass than saintly.  For an action film with a lot of talking, the lead role would have to be someone who is compelling to watch, and Bettany fills that role effortlessly.  The cast as a whole would be considered an all-star cast, just not major league.  More of a AAA squad than anything.  Lucas “Sling Blade” Black is an actor of a very specific type (read: southern), and he has a strong ability to communicate earnest and pensive emotions.  In “Legion”, Black makes you care for his fraidy-cat character, but fails to connect with any other actor on screen.  Same goes for Friday Night Lights’s Adrianne Palicki.  We care for her unwed-soon-to-be mother-of-the-possible-messiah character, but she makes no connection with the other characters.  It felt like these two actors were starring in different films with the same plot.  Tyrese and Charles “Roc” Dutton both make memorable moments with their limited screen time, and Private Practice’s Kate Walsh gets an honorable mention for turning in a good performance of a character that completely destroys her own likeability by the end.  As the biggest name involved with the film, Dennis Quaid is entertaining but is unfortunately the weak link in the cast. Extra props to “that guy” Canadian actor Kevin Durand for his performance of Archangel Gabriel, and pretty much for making Gabriel the most badass angel ever. If Jesus need bodyguards, this guy’s the one to call.

“Legion” is a film that asks the audience to make gigantic leaps of logic while permanently suspending disbelief.  I am no snob to these types of films.  It’s a very slippery slope when a director attempts to create a universe from the ground up that is separate from our own.  Director Scott Stewart obviously had a vision when making this film, and I give major effort points to him for that.  The special effects are solid and vibrant, if not a bit unoriginal.  We’ve seen this story before in films like Frank Darabont’s “The Mist”, and that film is more effective because Darabont keeps the audience in the dark about the source of the terror.  The premise behind “Legion” seems to be plucked from the pages of an obscure Stephen King short story, but it spends far too much time explaining the pseudo-biblical universe and not enough time with the scares.  It has elements of horror, action, suspense, and drama (believe it or not), but none of them gel together to create a complete film.  Other critics have been harsher, specifically targeting the amount of talking that occurs.  I would agree that there is a lot of talking, but the script and the acting were strong enough to carry the film’s verbosity.  I enjoyed the “follow your dreams” scene between Quaid and Black in the first half of the film.  The scene illustrates the film’s potential for greatness.  As a whole, however, “Legion” is an entertaining talkfest of a horror-action film that will satisfy the action junkie, but will leave everyone else wanting much more.  If you have to see this film in the theater, make it a matinee show.  Otherwise, make this one a rental.

Nice try, guys.

The Potato rants about “Waterworld”

waterworld

Dryland's a myth! Or is it...? (It's not. Spoiler alert.)

A trip down junior high memory lane has led me to do another Twice Baked Potatoes quickie review. This time I’m watching “Waterworld” starring Mr. Kevin Costner as the lead role, also known as The Mariner. The Mariner is along the lines of Mel Gibson’s Mad Max, although Costner plays him as a Dazed, Creepily Quiet Max. There are other actors in the film, but none of them matter whatsoever. Not even the little girl. Sorry. She’s little more than a plot device. The only other performance worth noting is Dennis Hopper as the villain. Hopper was enjoying his mid-90’s Renaissance, where he was more or less doing variations on his performances in “Speed” and “True Romance”. Walleyed heroism versus wily psychosis. Great. Casting. All. Around. Extra special shoutout to awesome that-guy actor Kim Coates as the coolest pseudo-Irish, would-be rapist pirate this side of The Atoll.

To the film’s credit, every cent of the $180 Million price tag shows up on screen. Yet for all that money, would it have killed the production designer to splash on some more colors other than various shades of fecal brown and rust red? Every single room looks like a serial killer’s cleanup shack after it’s been wiped down for evidence. Costner’s sleepwalker acting choices actually fit the film in that respect: Expensive, intentional, and completely boring.

The action, thankfully, is the best part. The setpieces are large and dynamic, chock full of explosions, goop, and blood. More goop than blood. I also appreciate that there are a lot of sets and practical effects. Today, adjusted for quality, this film would have been a CGI cheapfest and most likely have been a SyFy channel clunker starring Lorenzo Lamas. The film also doesn’t waste time with logic. It challenges you to accept the world it’s presenting, and there are so many questions that could be asked, but why bother? It’s an B-action flick masquerading as a summer sci-fi epic. I can forgive the illogics, but where did they get all of the bullets? What about the airplane? Airplane fuel? These things take real science, not just welding torches. I’m just saying.

If this flick is on during late night, it’s not a bad way to spend the hours between 2am and 4am. I just hope that the sequel is called “Desertworld”. You think I’m crazy? They’ll make a sequel to anything. Anything. Just give it 10 more years. 15 tops.

10 things I learned from watching “Taken”

Recently acquired Taken on Blu-Ray starring Liam Neeson.  Loved the movie immensely, and I definitely recommend the extended version.  It’s a cross between The Professional and Death Wish. This flick will definitely be getting a full review soon, but first I wanted to share 10 awesome lessons that I took away from the film:

taken-quad

1) In American film, Eastern Europeans always sound hoarse and irritable.

2) When Liam Neeson is offered a chance to negotiate, he considers the pulling of the trigger as his counteroffer.

3) If Taken teaches us anything, it is that the metrosexual stubble beard is the dead giveaway of a terrorist.

4) If Liam Neeson can teach us anything, it is that if you spit in his face, he will electrocute the ever living sh*t out of you.

5) Even Liam Neeson’s gun sounds like the voice of God.

6) Liam Neeson can impersonate a French Policeman simply by holding up a business card and threatening death.

7) Liam Neeson can feel inner pain while dispensing mass amounts of pain to others.

8 ) Liam Neeson could get Oscar nominated simply for knocking a barrel of oil into a fire properly using a speeding car bumper.

9) Liam Neeson mingling with prostitutes is like a serial killer conversing with cement mixers.

10) When investigating his daughter’s kidnapping, Liam Neeson finds one of his daughter’s hairs, bags it, and then pockets it. Nothing happens with the hair after that, but then again, nothing needs to happen either.

Twice Baked Potatoes: Howard The Duck

Twice Baked Potatoes are films that were considered critical flops in their day, but deserve a second look.  This is the first article in the series, and I chose to watch a film that had a bad reputation when it was released, but may just be secretly awesome.

Imagine you’re coming home after a long day at work.  You sit down in your favorite easy chair to enjoy a cold beer and a cigar.  You get one gulp and three puffs in when some mysterious force rips you away from not only your easy chair, but from your entire planet!  The force drags you across the universe only to crash land in some strange back alley on some strange planet with no idea where you are or how to get back home.  Then picture the strange new planet as Earth, and picture yourself as a three-foot talking duck from outer space.  Finally, picture a demonic creature hell bent on taking over the world, and he needs your woman to do it.  Your name is Howard T. Duck, and you’re really pissed off.  And so begins the weird odyssey through time, space, and greater Ohio in 1987’s Howard The Duck.

When Howard steps on screen, be prepared to suspend some disbelief.  In the era of Pixar, it can be difficult to accept the sight of a little person clearly wearing an animatronic Halloween costume.  The feathers look glued on, the eyes only move in two directions, and the beak is frozen in a cocky smile.  I was so taken by the absurdity of it all that I had to keep watching.  About twenty minutes into the film, I realized that I loved the fact that it was a suit.  I loved the fact that it was a mask, because I also realized that I missed films that used practical special effects.  I missed the feeling of watching a special effects film and being able to see an actual object on screen rather than a computer generated one. The film’s not as polished as The Incredibles or Kung-Fu Panda, but once the momentum starts going, this film is just as entertaining.

Hes just not that into Earth.

He's just not that into Earth.

The acting is all delightfully offbeat, especially from the four leads: Broadway actor Chip Zien as the voice of Howard T. Duck, Lea Thompson (Back To The Future) as Howard’s first friend (and possibly more) Beverly, Tim Robbins as lab assistant Phil Blumburtt, and Jeffrey Jones (Beetlejuice) as the Jekyll and Hyde-inspired Dr. Jenning.  Through his vocal talent, Chip Zien manages to bring out Howard’s dynamic personality despite the limited amount of physical expressions that Howard can make.  It is a truly funny performance that is best described as an oversexed Bruce Willis mixed with a manic Paul Rudd.  Lea Thompson follows suit with a quirky performance that embraces the goofiness of the premise rather than trying to take it too seriously.  Same goes for Tim Robbins’s Blumburtt character, and he is the funniest part of the film.  There is a scene involving Howard and Blumburtt escaping from the police in an ultralight airplane (think a giant toy airplane), and I was laughing as much as I was rooting for them to get away.

Enough said.

Enough said.

Jeffrey Jones may have been on a completely different planet during filming because Dr. Jenning may be one of the most memorable comic book villains ever.  From the Frankenstein makeup to the post-apocalyptic rags that make up his clothing ensemble, Jeffrey Jones is the true hero of the film.  His character is both pure comic book and genuinely scary.  He also gives his character a raspy, whining gargle of a voice that gets under your skin and stays there.  Howard may be the title character, but you may end up talking more about Dr. Jenning after the film.

Director Willard Huyck pulls no punches with the visual style.  The sets are all very angular and colorful, fully embracing the comic book roots from which this film was inspired.  Huyck and writing/life partner Gloria Katz adapted the script from Steve Gerber’s Marvel comic, and it is a romp in every sense of the word.  From beginning to end, the film takes weird twists and turns through unexpected places such as bathhouses and seedy punk rock nightclubs.  Huyck and Katz also wrote the script for Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom, and the same mix of humor and action shows through in Howard The Duck.  The costumes are all over the top as well, especially Lea Thompson’s Beverly character.  With her multicolored leg warmers, Flashdance-worthy spandex pants, and hair that has been crimped and styled into oblivion, Beverly is a true 80’s time capsule.  The same could be said for the film itself, but it also has a unique view of the 80’s.  There are times when the film looks like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, while other parts look like Batman, and other parts look like a TV sitcom.

This film is secretly awesome, and though it’s an oddball film, you may have a better time than you want to admit.  If we can buy the idea of robots from outer space that can transform into Camaros and Hummers, then a wise-cracking duck from outer space saving Earth from mad scientists is just what the doctor ordered.