MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
Even though “Tower Heist” feels like its been through the development hell wringer, it’s still an entertaining flick. The movie tells the story of a luxury apartment building staff whose pensions have been raided by a Bernie Madoff type of Wall Street crook. Upon his arrest, several key staff members decide to find his nest egg of money amounting to approximately $20 million.
The cast is impressive and solid in this film. Ben Stiller leads the fray, keeping his standard Ben Stillerisms to a minimum in the film. The most refreshing aspect of the movie is the return of Eddie Murphy as the fast-talking criminal brought to consult on the job. There’s a lot going on in the movie, which is expected with a cast of this size (which amounts to eight names on the Blu-ray cover box). In spite of his unappealing nature as a person in the behind-the-scenes interviews, director Brett Ratner manages to weave together a smooth heist film that covers familiar ground but still seems fresh.
The Blu-ray includes a nice assortment of special features, including two alternative endings (which aren’t as much alternative as they are extended from the rest of the movie). There’s a slate of deleted and alternate scenes, a gag reel and a commentary featuring director Brett Ratner, editors Mark Helfrich and co-writers Ted Griffin and Jeff Nathanson.
Ratner also includes a long-form selection of his “Tower Heist Video Diaries,” which offer a fly-on-the-wall perspective throughout the shoot. Another longer bonus feature that is pretty nice is “Plotting Tower Heist,” which gives the relatively comprehensive story of how the movie came to be.
Like most larger Blu-ray releases from Universal, “Tower Heist” includes Universal’s Second Screen which allows for interactive viewing with the pocketBLU app. There’s also additional picture-in-picture bonus content available through the Blu-ray menu.