Saturday, August 26, 2006

Suddenly sans cultural geography, our hero was taken by ennui and took to the contemplation of things trivial ...

So this post has a threefold purpose:

1. A goodbye tribute to my cultural geographer friend Matt, who moved to TO yesterday.
2. Posting some East Coast Trail pics taken last weekend.
3. Figuring out the perfect casting for an A-Team movie.

And what's truly bizarre is that these three subjects are in fact interconnected.

Even as the whirlygig of time brings about new and cool people into my sphere in the form of two new departmental hires -- Andrew, our new nineteenth-century Americanist, and Nancy, and old friend from my days at U of T who has been hired into a World Lit position here -- one of my first MUN friends has departed for the dirtier pastures of Toronto and U of T. I wish him well, of course, and by no means begrudge the move ... but then, losing the person who emailed me upon first hearing of Snakes on a Plane to say "We've got to see this muthuphukin' movie" is a bit of a blow (fortunately, his departure was late enough that we did in fact see the muthuphukin' movie, so that's something).

Before he and his lovely girlfriend Vanessa left, we managed to sneak in a hike on one of the more humane sections of the East Coast Trail (two weeks earlier or so having done one of the more inhumane sections).

Matt and Vanessa, looking hikerly:

As we drove to the trailhead, we happened (as one does) across the topic of 80s TV shows being remade into movies, and I mentioned The Patterson's brilliant idea for an A-Team musical (the first act's grand finale is Mr. T's song, "I Pity the Fool" in which he personally pities each fool individually -- a brilliant idea whose time is nigh, say I). Matt stated that he had the casting for the perfect A-Team movie already worked out in his head as follows:

Hannibal -- George Clooney
Face -- Matthew McConaughey
Murdoch -- Jim Carrey
B.A. -- Ving Rhames
Amy -- Jessica Alba

Can I first begin, before quibbling with some of the choices, at the sheer perfection of George Clooney as Hannibal? Pure casting genius, which actually moves this beyond the realm of speculation and makes me want to see that film. Just imagine him with cigar, safari jacket, and a self-satisfied supremely confident air when he says "I love it when a plan comes together."

I think Face is a trickier one to cast ... McConaughey isn't bad, but the character needs to be sissified a bit -- and McConaughey has a tendency on occasion to be rugged, which Face entirely is not (a reason why Brad Pitt would also not be suitable) ... Face needs to be elegant, slightly snobby, and always well-put-together clothes-wise. My suggestion? Jude Law, of course. Although if Val Kilmer could get on the treadmill for a few months, I'd consider him too.

I have to vehemently disagree with Jim Carrey, however ... he would be great in the role, but really, he'd be too great; you'd have to change the name of the film to Howlin' Mad Murdoch and be done with it ... no one else would get any screen time. I think this is a role that would benefit from a slightly different tack than the TV show, perhaps making him twitchier and more unpredictable than simply slapstick, which leads me to put forward the suggestion of Robert Downey Jr.

Ving Rhames is great for BA, though if there is a person from the original who makes it hard to imagine anyone else, it's Mr. T. As an alternate for the role, I'd suggest Michael Clarke Duncan if you want to emphasize sheer bulk and muscle ... which was really B.A.'s role on the team. Well, that and the ability to turn a Volkswagen Beetle into an M-1A Abrams with gasoline and baling wire.

Jessica Alba, as much as I love her, is also wrong I think ... she's too fresh-faced and young, and too glamorous. Amy I think needs to be more worldly, and more than a match for Face's advances. You need someone beautiful but who has more gravitas, and it's here I think that we inject some CanCon and opt for Molly Parker.

Which leaves us with a plum peripheral character, the team's nemesis, Colonel Decker. In the show he was always something of a buffoon; should you go that route I'd suggest Burt Reynolds. But I'd be inclined to make him a little more dangerous -- Christopher Walken, anyone?

Hope TO treats you well, Matt ...

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