Tower Heist

Let’s start with a list of what Tower Heist is not.  Tower Heist is not:
– an Italian Job/Fast Five/Ocean’s Eleven type thriller
– a raunchy funny comedy like Bridesmaids, or that funny at all
– an award winning film on any level

Tower Heist does have:
– current relevant material (it’s about a bunch of working class folk getting duped by a douchebag billionaire into a Ponzi scheme)
– a stellar supporting cast (Gabourey Sidibe with a Jamaican accent, where can I see MORE MORE of you?!, Eddie Murphy, GADS how I’ve missed you, Tea Leoni, you always surprise me by how freaking likeable and adorable you are)
– a ridiculous plot and premise, that is so laughably ludricrous

Things I could do without:
Ben Stiller. I have seen too much of you, and you are boring and ugly. I am tired of looking at your pushover face and seeing you furrow your catepillar brows.  Go away.
– Matthew Broderick. You were so adorable, funny and cute when you were young. That does not translate into middle age, unfortunately. You just seem sad, very very sad and you depress me.

Tower Heist felt like a sequel to a very funny film, in the sense that the humor was too safe, and mostly toed or overstepped the line into just not being all that funny.  In the end, not as many laughs as I would have liked, only a few thrills, but in general, good if you just want to make your mind melt for a couple of hours…$6

If you heart Tower Heist:

Recommendations by …
Meet the Fockers
Beverly Hills Cop
Oceans Twelve

Precious

Upon first viewing of Precious, I was wary that the film might be about spectacle. We are behind the eyes of an obese African American girl. She’s sixteen and still in Junior High School. She’s pregnant with her second child by her biological father. Her first child has Down Syndrome. And her mother mercilessly abuses her (physically, sexually, emotionally, verbally) at every opportunity. She gets kicked out of school. Then they lose their welfare checks. And even before the film steps into the territories of homelessness, joblessness and HIV I began to wonder if the writer was more interested in punishing her heroine than in redeeming her.

But that was on the first viewing, when the shock of all the suffering blinded me to the humor, poetry, the imagination, and incredible craft of the film. I’d also been blind to the humanity behind every character, which I realized on my second viewing, was at the core of Precious. The strength of the human spirit and the unwavering faith in what tomorrow may heal – those ideas (expressed much more eloquently in the film and not in this essay) are what make Precious almost unbearably moving.

You may recognize some household faces in Precious (Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz who do admirable jobs), but the performance that dominates my thinking is the comedian and actress Mo’Nique Imes. I’m certain hers is the best acting performance I’ve seen by a female lead this year.

Even if you fear your stomach will be too weak for this film, go see it anyway. You’ll leave the theater stronger . . . $11.

If you heart Precious:

Recommendations from DJ Cheata
Nobody Knows
Secrets and Lies
Rize

Recommendations from Yolkie
Half Nelson
Quinceanera
Palindromes

Recommendations from …
Slam
Traffic
The King



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