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Title: Tower Heist
Starring: Ben Stiller, Alan Alda, Matthew Broderic, Tea Leoni, Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck, Michael Pena, Gabourey Sidibe
Directed by: Brett Ratner
Written by: Ted Griffin, Jeff Nathanson
Studio: Univeral
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 105 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: February 21, 2012

Movie: :3stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :3stars:
Extras: :3.5stars:
HTS Overall Score:70


Josh Kovacs (Stiller) manages a high-profile residential high rise named The Tower. The Tower houses some of the most wealthy in New York and Josh's job is to keep them happy -- he is very successful at his job. This is partly in part by his upstanding employees who keep everything in tip-top shape for the residence. Most employees are responsible for looking over an individual resident's needs, but Josh generally oversees all of that. However, Josh is particularly responsible for the main tenant, Arthur Shaw (Alda), who is very wealthy wall street financer living in the penthouse of The Tower. Arthur and Josh have built a close relationship because of the intricate amount of attention Josh gives to servicing Arthur.

On a seemingly normal day, Josh notices a car parked outside the building; exiting the car are men in suits with holstered firearms who approach the building. Josh quickly notifies all the employees of an anticipated robbery and locks the doors to the hotel. As he monitors activity in the security room he notices in the garage area a van and perpetrators who seems to be kidnapping Mr. Shaw. Josh quickly bolts, chasing the van down in order to save Arthur from the kidnapping. Unfortunately, the van is stopped, as is Josh, and what he assumes is a kidnapping is in actuality Shaw trying to flee.

The FBI had been monitoring Arthur and were there to arrest him for embezzlement. Being the trusting friend at first, Josh gives Arthur's credibility the benefit of the doubt, but when he realizes that the pension fund for all the employees at The Tower were invested through Arthur, he quickly realizes that they are not getting the money back. Out of frustration, he confronts Arthur in his apartment where the FBI has him on 24 hour house arrest and surveillance. Josh insists on finding out where the pension fund for the employees went, but to no avail and he retaliates against Arthur by destroying Arthur's beautifully restored classic Ferrari. The higher authorities of The Tower are appalled by Josh's behavior and are forced to terminate his employment immediately.

Josh seems interested little in his termination and more interested in getting back at Arthur Shaw. He realizes that Arthur must have a safety net of cash somewhere and that it must be in his apartment. As vindication Josh begins to plot to steal the hidden money from Arthur and split it with the employees to repay their stolen pension. Josh rounds up a group of individuals formerly associated with The Tower in order to steal this money from Arthur. Together they must come up with a brilliant plan to bypass the biggest job of their life -- to enter the penthouse apartment at the top of the building, where Arthur is on constant house arrest, and steal the money that is hidden there.

I entered 'Tower Heist' with low expectations, but high in curiosity. I remember it was a big ordeal that right around the theatrical release of this film, they released the film to rent and stream in people's home as an option. That created a lot of buzz at the time, but I never ended up hearing much about the movie otherwise. Thankfully, I found myself pretty entertained by this film. It is not without its flaws, and in retrospect the plot and several aspects during the movie are relatively absurd, but while I was watching the film, I actually was having fun; there were even a couple times I laughed out loud.


Rated PG-13 for language and sexual content

Video: :4stars:

The video transfer for 'Tower Heist' is pretty good, but lacks much of the flair that set new releases apart these days. The contrast of the film is sufficient, Black levels are pleasing, color saturation is quite good, and even detail is good as well; however, this doesn't automatically equate to a transfer with much dimensionality. Colors stand out particularly of the things I mentioned as being the most satisfying aspect of the video. Examples of this are particularly notable color are when the Thanksgiving Parade takes place and whenever the beautiful classic red Ferrari appears on the screen. Overall, the color pallet is very natural and skin tones come off as such, as well. While there is little wrong with the transfer, it just falls short of being a great transfer.

Audio: :3stars:

The DTS-Master Audio 5.1 track given to 'Tower Heist' is mediocre compared to recent releases. Fidelity is intact, and dialog is clearly heard, and the music of the film is notable. What seems to be missing is much surround usage. A movie such as this doesn't quite call for extravagant usage of surround speakers, but it just seems less present than it should be. Spatial nuances are not quite notable, save an instance or two that I could recall. Low frequency is mostly used to give support to the music and not much else.

Extras: :3.5stars:

• Feature-length audio commentary with the director, editor and writers
• Two alternate endings to the film
• Nine deleted scenes including alternate scene not seen in the film
• Gag Reel
• Brett Ratner's video diary Featurette
• 'Plotting 'Tower Heist'' Featurette
• 'Second Screen' pocket blu feature to accompany the film while you watch
• Universal's U Control

Overall: :3.5stars:

'Tower Heist' actually surprised me. It's not a perfect movie by any stretch, but it certainly entertained me from beginning to finish. The characters were memorable and the humor was pleasant. The audio and video aspects of this disc are good, but not great, but for a movie like this, I suppose they are sufficient. Overall, I am happy to have watched this film and I can recommend others to see it as well. While it may not be a title you need to run out and buy, it most certainly is not a movie that I would say to avoid.

Recommendation: Rent It!

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