Armored

Most people will take one look at Nimród Antal’s “Armored” and be immediately tempted to write it off as the kind of B-movie action thriller that you’d only watch if you were stuck home alone on a weekend. It really isn’t that bad, but with all the talent that’s involved, it should have been a whole lot better. Columbus Short stars as Ty Hackett, a decorated war hero who returns home to take care of his younger brother after their parents pass away. Although his godfather, Mike (Matt Dillon), gets him a job working alongside him as a security guard for an armored truck service, Ty still struggles to make ends meet. Desperate to get some quick cash before he loses his house to the bank, Ty begrudgingly agrees to join Mike and their co-workers in a plot to steal the $42 million they’re transporting and make it look like a robbery.

After all, it’s a foolproof plan with no “bad guys.” At least, that’s what everyone thinks until a nosey bum is accidentally killed in the process and Ty locks himself inside the truck with half of the payload. With the clock ticking down to their scheduled check-in with headquarters, Mike and his team get to work on removing the door, only for a meddlesome cop (Milo Ventimiglia) to get in the way. The further along the movie gets, the more ridiculous it becomes, with a series of preventable plot holes riddling the story like a piece of Swiss cheese. The film’s biggest crime, however, is its misuse of the cast. You’d think Antal would want to make the most of actors like Laurence Fishburne, Jean Reno, and even Skeet Ulrich, and yet each one is barely given more than a few lines. Had they played a bigger role in the movie, “Armored” might have been more entertaining, but as it stands, it’s something you’ll likely forget the minute it’s over.

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Heroes 3.12 – This House Is Just A Broken Home, Left All Alone

Pretty ballsy of Nathan to blow into Papa Petrelli’s office and talk shit tonight, wasn’t it? And, yet, he was right: he does have the power…politically speaking…to help make Papa’s plan a reality. Of course, if he thinks Papa isn’t going to blow his mind if he makes a wrong move, he’s ridiculously naive. I continue to be interested in the militaristic side of Nathan’s storyline, but I have to say that this idea of having a super-powered fighting force seems like a really bad idea to me. Even if Papa’s people do have control over who gets what abilities, it only takes one strong bastard to figure out how to use his powers and the element of surprise to take control of the operation. But maybe that’s just me. Unrelated question: how utterly useless a character is Tracy these days? Why give her that awesome power if we’re not even going to get to see her use it?

Mama Petrelli’s cool delivery never fails to entertain me, especially tonight, when she calmly and carefully laid out the method by which her son should kill her husband. I appreciate Peter’s insistence that he has to be the one to take out his father, but you’d think he’d at least be willing to accept the help of the Haitian. But, noooooooo, it’s gotta be his responsibility…

Despite our readers’ suspicions to the contrary, Elle sure looked pretty damned dead to me when the episode began, and when Sylar covered her in gasoline and set her ablaze…well, if she isn’t dead, she’s at least going to be extra crispy. It was, of course, nice to see the unequivocally evil Sylar return, but the highlight had to be when Sue Landers’ co-workers burst in on him while he was in mid-attack. “Cake…?” Nice. The moment in the elevator was pretty funny, too. (“Huh. It does kind of tingle.”)

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Heroes 3.5 – There’s a Peacefulness and a Rage Inside Us All

Okay, so Linderman isn’t real.

After this week’s twist that Daphne could also see him, I really thought for sure that maybe he wasn’t just some twisted creation of Nathan’s psyche, but now we know that he’s actually nothing more than the work of one of Papa Petrelli’s minions. That’s right: we finally got the big reveal of Robert Forster this week, which I’ll get to in more detail in a bit. First, let’s talk about some of the other goings-on from this episode.

Sorry, but Moninder has reached the point of ridiculousness now. I was accepting the similarities to “The Fly,” but…really? He’s taking down people in the park, dragging their bodies home in a manner so careless that he’s literally leaving a trail of blood behind him, and then he’s…cocooning them? Give me a break. The only possible up side to the storyline at this point is that we may soon see the last of Maya, but somehow I suspect that we couldn’t possibly be that lucky.

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Heroes 3.4 – In The Future When All’s Not So Well

Although most of this week’s highlights came from the future, we did get a few interesting moments in the present. Mohinder tried to get a handle on his new abilities, only to find that his control over them isn’t what he hoped it might’ve been. What the hell is he doing to his neighbor, cocooning him? Despite how it may have seemed to many of us, Tracy discovered that she’s actually a triplet, but did you notice how Herr Doktor referenced that the triplets were named Tracy, Nikki, and…Barbara? The sequences with Nathan Petrelli and Mr. Linderman are very interesting, if only because I’m now totally uncertain about whether or not the latter does indeed continue to exist in some manner that allows only the former to see him. And Matt Parkman’s new buddy sent him spiraling into a white-eyed vision, which brings us to…the future.

Even with all of the advances in special-effects technology, it’s clear that we will never successfully reach a point where an actor can perform a scene with himself and not have it feel cheesy…or maybe it’s just because the only difference in Milo Ventimiglia’s PresentPeter and FuturePeter voices was that the latter was a tiny bit more growly. Either way, while the scene of the two Peters chatting with each other worked surprisingly well when they were interacting in the crowd, as soon as they headed down the alleyway and the focus of the scene was solely on them, I was very much in “gimme a break” mode. Fortunately, FutureClaire put a couple of caps in FuturePeter before I had to worry about it too much.

I liked the way FutureMohinder was couched in shadows, hissing his words, but what I really liked was that transition from the present to the future, with Mohinder’s voice slowing down on the tape recorder as it suddenly gained a coat of dust and a cockroach running over top of it. A small moment, but an awesome one. It was also good to see Molly again (kids grow up so fast these days), and the relationship between Parkman and Daphne is an intriguing one, to be sure.

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Pathology

Though it spends much of its time dealing with the dead, you’d expect a movie like “Pathology” to have a little more life to it. After all, it was created by the writing team behind “Crank” – quite possibly the most over-the-top movie ever made. Of course, with Milo Ventimiglia headlining the cast, it’s no wonder the film feels a lot duller than it should have been. The “Heroes” star does his best Hayden Christensen impression as Ted Grey, a brilliant medical student who’s just joined the nation’s most prestigious pathology program. When he arrives, however, he’s seduced into playing a twisted game with some of the other interns that involves them taking turns murdering strangers, while the others figure out how it was done. Think of it as Medical Clue, but much more boring than it sounds, because there isn’t a single horrific or suspenseful moment in the film, despite the fact that that is how it’s being marketed. Even worse is that the audience has no one to root for. Sure, Ted is supposed to be the good guy in the movie, but are we really supposed to forgive all of his faults (cheating, killing, using, etc.) as someone who’s simply taken a wrong turn in live? Puh-lease. Only Michael Weston is given a role with any real meat on it, but even his crazy antagonist is never given the attention it deserves. Now, if the film followed him around instead of Milo, maybe we’d have something interesting to watch. It might not be “American Psycho,” but it would definitely be better than this.

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