December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

April 20, 2012

Tower Heist (2011)

When it’s over, the film’s title suggests more than it delivered.  Heist films work when they’re slick, smart, and stylish, neither of which can be said about this Brett Ratner film.  The film doesn’t have a genre, unless you consider “mish-mash” a genre, because that’s what Tower Heist is.  It’s neither a comedy, action, or drama.  It has elements of all three, but neither is strong enough to define the film.  Casting was the biggest problem.  It was all wrong, not because of a lack of talent, but rather a miss-casting of characters.  With a cast that included Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck, Judd Hirsch, Alan Alda, Matthew Broderick, Tea Leoni, and Michael Pena, I thought the film would have more “Umph!”  But, sadly, it’s just another forgettable film.  Josh Kovacs (Stiller) is the manager of a residential apartment building who discovers that his boss, Arthur Shaw (Alda), a wealthy financier, has robbed him and his staff of their pension.  Upon learning that Shaw keeps a stash of millions in his penthouse suite, Kovacs bands together a group of amateur thieves to steal the money from Shaw.  If I was to recast the film with the existing cast, I’d cast Affleck as Shaw – a young, slick, and totally corrupt tycoon; Hirsch and Alda are retired thieves who want revenge on Shaw, but their older years require them to hire some younger help – in comes Stiller, Broderick, and Pena; Leoni can remain the FBI agent, but I would omit the alcohol and cast her as a tough as nails gal who’s always one step ahead of Shaw; and Murphy as Leoni’s fast talking partner – a grown up Axel Foley.  Lastly, Steve McQueen's Ferrari 250 GT Lusso (replicated in glossy red) will definitely stay in the film. 

My rating:  2 out of 5

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