I like Tea Leoni. I haven’t always, but there are times that she really catches my interest and this movie does the trick.
….and then there’s the rest of it….
A tall building is the target of a heist. This tale is full of celebrities, underdogs, improvised lines delivered by celebrities championing the underdogs. It’s a full plate of Hollywood comedy hi-jinks, and the more I think about it the less I like it. Don’t get me wrong here, it’s fine to hang out, watch it, get some laughs or giggles at the wacky circumstances, and watch some very identifiable faces. Be prepared with two things: First, have some adult beverages near by to lubricate your sense of humor. Second, bring some wholesome nutritious entertainment. Along with fancy eye candy like this cast of heavy hitting big names, one must accept that you are taking in nothing more than empty calories. This means you need to have something more substantial as a night cap so you won’t sleep with the memories of ho-hum floating in your mind.
I’m not being harsh to be snotty. It’s just that this movie was such a neutral experience I have to write what I think as I think it or there will be nothing say except “I watched Tower Heist. It’s a movie.”
A problem with big star casts is that you want so much and often get so little in return. Famous performers have egos bigger than the screen can handle, even one at a time in some movies. Get two, three, or more together and it feels like they are all trying so hard to get attention, be the funny one, be the self indulgent ensemble martyr, that it ends up becoming white noise.
The story is good enough for me to enjoy the fluff factor. An asshole takes advantage of a group of working class folks and it will take the gumption of some plucky non-asshole kind of working class (but actually very very very rich famous actors who mostly do not convince me that they are even remotely working class) folks to make things right again. I like some of the characters. I really like Casey Affleck as the voice of reason dude with a touch of snark. Mathew Broderick is the dry, nervous, worried, down-n-out , but has some hidden gumption, that makes him enough of a boost to keep things going from scene to scene. Stiller is OK, along with Alda as the asshole (I have love from M*A*S*H so could be biased), and a few other people who kept me smiling. Eddie Murphy was Eddie Murphy.
The excitement is not there. The events are kind of stupid without enough fun to back them up. Overall it’s just, as I said, empty calories. If I hear anyone declare that it’s their favorite movie EVER, I will question their ability to make reasonable decisions in this life.
If you insist on watching Tower Heist, grab a couple of other flicks to go with it like The Sting, or Inception to keep your brain operative for future quality entertainment.
- 2 Alternate Endings – I wouldn’t call these alternate endings, more like Epilogs that fit on the end of the movie. I am surprised they were not incorporated into the movie during the credits.
- Gag Reel – I mentioned in the Podcast review that the humor somehow got subtracted from the movie, unfortunatly it didn’t end up in the gag reel either.
- Tower Heist Video Diary – Brett Ratner is famous for making a video diary when onset, this one is quite strange and not as informative as you might want.
- Plotting Tower Heist – A quite exhaustive (exhausting in my opinion) look at the making of the movie. Lots of interviews with producer Brian Grazier here as well.
- Feature Commentary With Filmmakers – Full length commentary with Brett Ratner and friends.
- Second Screen – Universals new app that allows you to use your IPad to watch the features of the movie even on the go.
- U-Control – A picture in picture behind the scenes that runs throughout the movie and a music track feature that allows you to purchase the score through Itunes.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy – Other ways to watch the movie.
Cover Art and Menus: 1/10
Idiot cover, boring menu, and this is the way it is presented to us. Ugh.
Audio & Video: 8/10
It’s no secret I really hated this movie, just listen to the podcast for details, but the actual technical aspects of the Blu-Ray are quite good. Apart from a little ringing in a couple of scenes this is a beautiful 1080P AVC encoded transfer that preserves the directors theatrical vision. Flesh tones are natural, shadow detail is great and black actually looks black and not dark grey like in some inferior transfers. Love this film or hate it you can’t deny Universal did a great job with the source material.
Audio is presented using the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 codec. This allows the score which is in the same vein as Oceans 11 to shine. Infact the score does just that and you will be humming the main ditty as you leave the movie. Dialog is pinpoint sharp and always legible. When it comes to surround and LFE there is not a lot of action in that respect, file this under the talky comedy section of your shelf and you will understand what I mean.
There is no value for the money for me on this movie. The flatline experience neutralizes any urge to purchase it. If you catch it on late night cable or it’s provided on your favorite streaming service, go for it. If you pay for it, full price, out of the money you work to make at whatever job you might have….you deserve it. It’s not a lost cause. You will laugh a couple times and giggle and get a little positivity stuffed in your face, so it’s worth your time….that’s about it.
Overall Score 5/10