Blu-ray Review “Tower Heist”

Directed by: Brett Ratner
Starring: Ben Stiller, Mathew Broderick, Eddie Murphy, Alan Alda, Casey Affleck
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Running Time: 104 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

At first view of this film, I really had no interest in seeing it at all. My wife on the other hand nudged me into seeing it. I actually happened to enjoy it quite a bit. I mean with a cast like Ben Stiller, Mathew Broderick, Eddie Murphy, Alan Alda and Casey Affleck…it would have to be good. Each actors really shines and delivers a great performance. Well the film has some faults but definitely packs the comedy as well as the action. Especially the film gets started, which takes about a solid 40 minutes, that’s when it really shines. When I was watching I couldn’t help but compare this to “Ocean’s Eleven” but in a apartment complex. Although not as good as that film, it still deliver a very entertaining experience.

The follows Josh Kovacs (Stiller) who is the manager of “The Tower”, which is a high-profile apartment location in Manhattan. His job is to make sure that the tower’s residents are perfectly accommodated, including financier Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda). Though Shaw gets arrested by the FBI for investing fraud. Kovacs realizes that his staff’s pensions are gone since he asked Shaw to manage them. He confronts Shaw and ends up loosing his job. Kovas devises a plan to help his staff by planning to rob Shaw’s hidden money of $20 million dollars. In order to do that he recruits a motley crew group (including Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Michael Peña, Gabourey Sidibe, and Eddie Murphy). Of course things go array on the groups plans and issues arise.

The Blu-ray presentation and package are great. The color are very sharp and really detailed. The audio is also very impressive with its DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track especially during the heist scenes. Includes in this release besides the Blu-ray, is a DVD copy of the film as well. There is also an Ultraviolet streaming digital copy of the film. Some more great features on this Blu-ray include the “U-Control Experience” which includes a Picture-in-Picture experience and a “Music of Tower Heist” feature. Also if you have an iPad/tablet, PC or Mac you can take advantage of the “Second Screen Interactive Experience”.

The special features are quite impressive for this release. There is a funny yet very informative audio commentary with director Brett Ratner, editor Mark Helfrich and co-writers Ted Griffin and Jeff Nathanson. “Brett Ratner’s Video Diary” is a very in-depth look inside the production with the director, pretty cool footage included also. “Plotting Tower Heist” is a six part behind-the-scenes documentary, which runs about 45 minutes. The parts are split up into the following: “The Ratner/Grazer Connection, Parts One, Two and Three,” “The Conspirators,” “Set Pieces” and “The Car.” There are a bunch of additional footage including two alternate endings, the first called “15 Months Later” and second called “Lester’s Bar,” which should have made the final cut for sure! There are nine deleted/alternate scenes, which run just over 5 minutes are a hit or miss. Lastly there is a funny gag reel included to top off the great features.

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