Friday, November 4, 2011


Guest blogger Liz Parker is back from an advance screening of "Tower Heist". Is this all-star comedy a hit or a miss?  Let's read what Liz thinks...

I didn't know much about Tower Heist before seeing the film except that it had assembled a team of highly successful actors for the project. The movie ended up being a little like Ocean's Eleven, and it is probably one of the funniest comedies I have seen in quite a while.

Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller, Little Fockers) is the building manager at The Tower, a high-rise building in NYC that is home to some of the wealthiest people in the city. Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda, Flash of Genius) is one of those people, and he is currently being indicted for embezzling from his clients. Unfortunately, Josh had placed the Tower employees' pension money into Shaw's hands to invest, and the money is all gone; needless to say, the Tower employees are not too happy with Josh. Shaw denies any wrongdoing, but the FBI knows he did the crime, and agent Claire Denham (Tea Leoni, The Smell of Success) convinces Josh that Shaw did, in fact, steal Josh's money and the rest of the employees.' She also tells him that generally criminals of his caliber hide some of their embezzled monies in their (penthouse) apartment, so Josh and some of the other disgruntled employees decide to rob Arthur Shaw and take back what is rightfully theirs.

Eddie Murphy, who hasn't been seen on the big screen much in recent years, is in this film, and he is part of what made the film so hilarious; he plays a neighbor of Josh's who is a master thief and agrees to help him with the heist. Also assembled on Josh's team are Gabourey Sidibe (Precious), a Jamaican woman who is a maid at the Tower and an expert safe-cracker; Matthew Broderick (The Producers), an evicted resident of The Tower who lost all of his money in the stock market; Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone), former front desk manager of The Tower, and also an Ocean's Eleven alum; and Michael Peña (30 Minutes or Less), in another of the film's funniest roles, as the new elevator operator at The Tower. All of these actors come together to form a great ensemble cast, and it is this team of funnymen and women that make the movie work.

Yes, definitely see this film. A lot of the jokes are not appropriate for the younger set, but it's rated PG-13 (not R), so teenagers and older would be fine seeing it. I love robbery movies that are done well without the bloodshed, and Tower Heist definitely qualifies. The movie gets more and more outrageous as it goes on, and it never drags or tries to stuff additional meaningless scenes into the film either. Hopefully this film will do well at the box office because of its star power, and people will enjoy it and then tell their friends to see it too.

Tower Heist is in theaters today, November 4th, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 100 minutes.

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Liz Parker is a 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan. She currently works as an Assistant Medical Editor for a pathology website. Visit her at her movie blog Yes/No Films
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