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Entries in Tower Heist (4)

Sunday
Nov062011

Tower Heist Fails to Impress, Debuts in 2nd Place

Bobby Bank/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- The Eddie Murphy-Ben Stiller action comedy Tower Heist came an unexpected second in the weekend’s box office.

Puss in Boots, the Dreamwork's animation starring the voice of Antonio Banderas, topped the box office for the second week in a row with $33 million while Tower Heist grossed $25 million.

The Brett Ratner-directed Heist's standing was surprising given the star power of former MASH star Alan Alda as well as Casey Affleck, Tea Leoni, Michael Pena and Gabourey Sidibe.

In third place was A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas whose debut resulted in $13.1 million.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov042011

Movie Review: ‘Tower Heist’

Bobby Bank/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Despite his misdeeds and all the misfortune he wrought for so many families and businesses, we can thank incarcerated financial fraudster Bernie Madoff for at least one thing. Without him, we wouldn’t have the gift of Tower Heist.

Ben Stiller is Josh Kovacs, the thoughtful, affable manager of one of New York City’s finest apartment buildings. Besides catering to the obscenely wealthy, the building is home to billionaire investor Arthur Shaw, a hometown boy from Queens who cultivated the ability to charm the hell out of his clients while robbing them blind without batting an eyelash.  More about him in a moment.

Josh oversees a large and eclectic staff of service professionals, including his dopey brother-in-law Charlie (Casey Affleck); a Jamaican cleaning lady named Odessa, played by Precious star Gabourey Sidibe; a former Burger King employee-turned-elevator operator named Enrique (Michael Pena); and the doorman, Lester, played by Stephen Henderson.

Within the first 10 minutes of Tower Heist, we meet all of these characters and learn what a great guy Josh is…especially when he’s asked to essentially evict Mr. Fitzhugh (Matthew Broderick), a Yale grad and father of two who was downsized and has lost everything. Josh arranges for Mr. Fitzhugh to stay in the building for a few more days. Aww.

For all of his good intentions, Josh made one terrible mistake. Unbeknownst to his staff, he asked Mr. Shaw to invest his staff’s pensions -- a total of $20 million. This foolish decision comes back to bite him when Mr. Shaw is busted by the FBI for bilking his investors.  Josh slowly realizes the great guy who owns the penthouse is, in reality, a great big (insert your own expletive).

Shaw needs to get his staff’s pensions back.  But how?  Enter Eddie Murphy’s Slide, a career criminal Josh went to school with when he was six years old.  Josh assembles a team consisting of Slide, Charlie, Mr. Fitzhugh and Odessa -- who, as luck would have it, knows how to crack a safe.  Together, they concoct a caper to retrieve the stolen money.

If this entire setup sounds ridiculous to you, that’s because it is ridiculous.  It’s also incredibly entertaining. Murphy makes one of the better decisions of his recent career in doing a comedy where he doesn’t have to do all the heavy lifting. Stiller, Affleck, Broderick and Pena are all hilarious, with an honorable mention for Gabourey Sidibe, who’s surprisingly funny after turning in one of the last decade’s most memorable dramatic performances in Precious.

However, the person who may deserve the most credit for Tower Heist is director Brett Ratner.  He shows a level of maturity with this film that he’s never before displayed, taking a ridiculous story and keeping it grounded in reality by masterfully playing to all of his actors’ strengths.

Rating: Four out of five stars.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov042011

'Tower Heist,' 'A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas' Open Nationwide

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here's a look at the new movies opening nationwide Friday:

-- Tower Heist: Ben Stiller's Josh is the manager of an upscale residential building in New York City, where a Bernie Madoff-esque resident is under house arrest for ripping off the tower's employees, among others. Josh teams up with a criminal, played by Eddie Murphy, to steal back money from the resident.  Alan Alda, Casey Affleck, Matthew Broderick and Gabby Sidibe also star.  Rated PG-13.

-- A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas: In the third film in the series, John Cho's Harold and Kal Penn's Kumar embark on a mission to find a replacement Christmas tree for Harold's father-in-law after the original one is accidentally destroyed.  Neil Patrick Harris and Danny Trejo also star.  Rated R.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep012011

'Heroes' Star Greg Grunberg Calls for Film's Boycott After Seizure Joke

David Livingston/Getty Images for NAMM(NEW YORK) -- There is plenty to laugh at in the trailer for the movie Tower Heist, but actor Greg Grunberg finds nothing funny about one particular exchange between characters played by Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller.
 
In the scene, Murphy refers to Stiller as “little seizure boy” not once, but twice, poking fun at Stiller’s character for a childhood ailment. But for anyone who suffers from epilepsy or is prone to seizures, it is no laughing matter.
 
Grunberg’s 15-year-old son Jake has epilepsy. In fact, Grunberg has an organization devoted to raising awareness about epilepsy called talkaboutit.org. So when he saw the trailer for Tower Heist, the former Heroes star was shocked and let his 1.4 million Twitter followers know when he tweeted, “TERRIBLY OFFENSIVE TRAILER for #TowerHeist - Making fun @ people w/ seizures is NOT FUNNY & WRONG! "Seizure Boy!" REALLY? #Boycott RT.”

"Five million people in this country have or are dealing with seizures and epilepsy. Then you look at their caregivers and their family members -- that's a good 20 million people out there who are going to be offended by this line, and it would be irresponsible of me to not say something as the parent of a child with epilepsy to not speak out and say, I think it is absolutely absurd and offensive," the actor told ABC News Radio.
 
“The movie is filled with all of my favorite actors,” Grunberg tells ABC News Radio. “It’s a funny concept for a movie,” but he’s disappointed with a joke he calls “irresponsible, ignorant and not funny.”
 
When discussing Universal Pictures, the film's distributor, Grunberg says, “I love that company,” but he would like an apology.
 
“Just for them to reach out to the epilepsy community and say, ‘We mean no personal harm to anybody,’ which of course they don’t.” He continued, “They probably just don’t even realize the people they are offending and how this could possibly offend people.”

Grunberg says he is also perplexed at how the quip could have been included in the movie’s marketing strategy.
 
“Let’s be honest, these are the top comedy writers in the world, top comedy performers in the world -- this is not the best that they can do. Let's try to be a little more responsible.”

Tower Heist is set for release on Nov. 4, 2011.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio