Saturday, November 5, 2011

TOWER HEIST Review and Am I an Ass...don't answer that.

So I'll cut to the "I'm an Ass" part first.  I did go and see Tower Heist this evening.  I would like to think that for around 150 movies at the theater a year, that I am a sensitive movie goer.

I hate when folks bring loud and inappropriate aged kids to the theater.

I hate when cell phones aren't set to silent and when these phones do ring, the person who owns it can't seem to sort out:  --a) where the phone is, and   --b) how to stop the phone from ringing in the darkened environment of the theater.

Even more so, I hate so very much, when people actually answer the phones in the theater.  Are you kidding are really answering the phone...

"I'm at the movies..."
"I'll call you back later..."
"Yeah, okay, I'll meet you there..."
"Tell Bob I said hi..."

Cardinal don't answer your phone at the theater.  I am on call, 24/7/365.  Usually 5 or 6 times a year, I will have a movie interrupted by a call out.  When my phone "rings," at the theater, it is set to silent.  I get up, press answer, and let the person on the other end of the phone listen to the movie as I walk out of the theater.

Bottom line, I hate inappropriate disruptions at the theater.

I am a considerate movie goer, but apparently today, I stepped over one man's line.

When the credits were approximately 3/4 of the way through, I pulled out to update the Media Stinger page.  If you don't use it yet, be sure to check out MEDIA STINGER to see what movies have scenes during or after the credits.  I use it for every flick I go see, to see if it will benefit me to stay until the lights come on.  I contribute when I can, and I got credit for getting the Stinger submission for Tower Heist, but not without a price.

When I pulled out my phone, and this was the first time it was out since the trailers ended, within seconds, a man sitting two seats to my right stood up, tried to tough guy tower over me, and said "THANKS FOR HAVING YOUR PHONE OUT DURING THE MOVIE!"  Caps indicate his tone, and I was quite frankly, flabbergasted.

My quick retort was: "I didn't!" to which he said "IT IS OUT RIGHT NOW!" 

I should have just uttered: "NUHHH UHHHHHH, POPPY PANTS!," but what I actually said was that I thought he was a real joy to be around and told him to get out of my face.  Now I have been losing weight, but at 335, I am still quite formidable.  He left immediately and no blood was shed or blows were thrown.  I was angry, but I still have self-restraint.

My statement regarding this interaction is this: for my agitation at others during a movie, I consider the trailers and the credits fair game for cell phone use, especially when there are no stingers at hand. 

I was sorry that this jackalope was upset and had he handled it differently, I would have apologized in kind.  But I stand by my take on credits rolling cell phone usage.

What say you Reel Rhinoites?  What are your boundaries for theater etiquette?  What is your worst disturbance at the theater story?

Mine relates to an infant child crying through the duration of Drag Me To Hell.  That screaming infant helped me on my own personal descent into hell...what theater behavior has got your goat...let me know in the comments or via e-mail, and if I get a good enough response, I'll do a follow up post.

Now, on to the show...

TOWER HEIST 3.5 of 5 Horns
This was a passable entry into the adventure heist comedy genre.  I will say that if this was an R-rate flick (it was PG-13), that Eddie Murphy would officially be back.  For what he could spout in this milder environment, he was channelling very well, a similar vibe he had in Trading Places, the 1983 classic Eddie Murphy/Dan Aykroyd flick.  If you've never seen it, stop reading right now and go do it.  I mean it!

Okay, welcome back.  

Brett Ratner specializes in movies that seem to avoid risk, giving us much of the same old stuff, rather than anything resembling new ideas.  I don't say that to be mean, but I find his films so middle of the road.  Not since 1998, when he gave us the original Rush Hour, did he really impress me as a director...Rush Hour the first was well paced and funny as hell.

Even Red Dragon (2002) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) were based on previous properties and in both instances, these missed the bar set forth by their predecessors.

There really is an all-star cast here: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Alan Alda, Michael Pena, Tea Leoni, Judd Hirsch, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, and Gabourey Sibide.  For as great as that sounds, they all deliver fair performances, but Murphy and Sibide stand above the others, by far.

From IMDB: When a group of hard working guys find out they've fallen victim to a wealthy business man's (Alda)  Ponzi scheme, they conspire to rob his high-rise residence. 

Alda is a penthouse pimp who is adored by the staff at his high end apartment tower.  The bend to his every whim until they find out he is being charged with securities fraud, an investigation being led by Tea Leoni's free spirited FBI Agent.   

Our hero is Stiller's character, the apartment manager who is fired after taking out some aggression on Alda when he finds out they have been swindled.  He was canned along with Casey Affleck and Pena, and the three of them hatch a plan to get it all back, but they need help.

Broderick is evicted from the apartment, a former market expert, and he is brought in for his expertise.  

Murphy is a low level criminal who Stiller knows as a neighbor, and he is brought in as the expert in all things criminal.

Round out the gang with Sibide, a disgruntled maid who is about to be deported for an expired work Visa, and the gangs all here.

The vehicle for the MacGuffin (the cash) in this movie is a bit interesting, but I won't spoil it here.  The fact that the backdrop for this film is an apartment along the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route, is also interesting.

Really that is a good way to describe this movie: interesting.

It is an interesting movie with a great cast, but the movie is never brought to the sum of its parts.  It is like Oceans 14, without Clooney or Pitt, and not nearly as good as any of Soderbergh's offerings.  I enjoyed seeing this, especially due to the resurgence of the Eddie Murphy I remember from my's hoping we can get this guy into an R-rated flick soon.  If they reboot Beverly Hills Cop with a rumored sequel, if it is PG-13, I will protest.

No more Meet Dave, no more Imagine That, no more Norbit...get back to the good stuff, baby.  And for the record, I am a Pluto Nash apologist...yep, like it a lot.  Get over it was the last time Randy Quaid was funny and overall, it is much more fun than anyone give it credit for.

Until later, have a Very Harold and Kumar Christmas...maybe that's up next for me...maybe Anonymous.  I haven't decided yet.  Who knows what the weekend will hold...just hopefully it doesn't involve any more verbal lashings by codgery old men.  A boy can dream...

Reel Rhino

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