armored (2009/Sony Blu-ray + DVD)
B/C+ Sound: B/B- Extras: C+ Film: C+
hard to do a good heist film and most have been very bad, but Director Nimrod
Antal follows up his disappointing film Vacancy
with the more ambitious Armored,
which managed to attract a solid cast and have some interesting moments. Too bad it is more predictable and formulaic
than it should have been. A new group of
guards for an armored delivery service decide to betray the company by stealing
a small fortune in cold hard cash, but complications will ensue.
Dillon Laurence Fishburne, Jean Reno, Skeet Ulrich and Columbus Short head the
cast as we get to know them individually before the plan is formed and goes
into effect. There are tired backstories,
dated jokes and a few good moments that the James V. Simpson screenplay
desperately needed more of. Eventually
the action kicks in and though it can be well-done, the results are about the
same as most entries in the genre of late.
Instead of The Bank Job, we
get some good moments lost in a sea of forgetability, though there is some
money on the screen.
actors deserve credit for making this work better than it would have otherwise
and we even get some moments of chemistry between them, but it is just not
enough to keep this afloat, but at least they tried with what they had and
could not overcome the script.
2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image is shot in Super 35mm format and has
some great moments of detail throughout for that format, but Director of
Photography Andrzej Sekula (Vacancy,
American Psycho, Pulp Fiction) has also slightly
stylized the image to be a tad dark throughout without overdoing it. He is very talented and is another reason
this is more watchable than it otherwise would be. The anamorphically enhanced DVD cannot handle
the Video Black, is weaker in definition and just cannot capture the better
moments of the HD master like the Blu-ray can.
It is passable at best.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix works best in the action sequences and though
dialogue and other audio elements are well-recorded, the overall soundfield is
not as expansive as it could have been. The Italian Job remake has a better
mix, but Composer John (Sunshine, 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later) Murphy’s score here is not bad. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the DVD is not
bad for that older format, but cannot match the consistency, richness and
fullness of the DTS.
both formats include a feature-length audio commentary Cast/Crew track and three
making of featurettes: Crash Course:
Stunts, Planning The Heist and Armed & Underground: Production Design,
while the Blu-ray adds movieIQ & BD Live interactive features, plus a
Digital Copy of the film for PC and PC portable devices.
- Nicholas Sheffo