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Movie review : Armored

Armored
Armored

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Armored is a nondemanding bit of amiable escapism. I appreciated the thriller’s lean pace, warehouse visuals and Columbus Short’s earnest, determined characterization.

In the latter half of the film, it felt like a non-humorous version of Die Hard. No dig intended: I mean this in a nice way. I always enjoy seeing one man creep around the bad guys, using only his wits to defy terrible odds.

This is a solid B outing. Don’t expect anything groundbreaking in the heist genre! Big guns Lawrence Fishburne and Jean Reno do little more than grunt and look serious, making me wonder why they are here at all. Matt Dillon does have nice chemistry with Short, and this keeps things rolling along.

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Movie review : Transylmania

Transylmania
Transylmania

What WAS this? Somewhere between a soft porn flick and a teen-humor gross-out gag film.

The movie seems to want to fall into the American Pie and Something About Mary genres. Don’t be fooled. The script lacks their cleverness but piles on the bodily humor. There are boobies, penises, farts, vomiting, midgets, pot parties, orgies, spurting blood and whatever else you might imagine is funny to immature adults.

There actually IS a plot here to follow, surprisingly. Once the story gets underway (about 45 minutes into the film), there are fun moments with mistaken identities and vampire jokes (“Vait minute – I don’t HAVE reflection!”). Watching Radu sneaking from tree to tree for shade, trying to scare a nonplussed child into giving up her bike was light fun. Pete, as a wanna-be Vampire Slayer, offers a few amiable moments.

The character of Wang eventually stands out as mildly interesting among the rest of the non-entities in this forgettable film.

Why this film didn’t go straight to DVD is a mystery. Perhaps the trendy vampire angle is meant to draw crowds? Well, it didn’t work. I was there on opening day – one of two people in the entire theater. I’ve never had so much room to myself.

Kudos to the producers for filming on location in Romania. The castle offered a rich setting, along with spooky forests, interesting townscapes, bridges, moats and dungeons.

The film gets a D+ for the gorgeous on-location filming and the surprisingly cohesive vampire plot, despite mostly listless acting and endless lame sex/pot/vomit jokes.

What did you think about Transylmania? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below..