Note: I'm not going to have much blogging time coming up, so the reviews for Red State, A Better Life, and Tower Heist are a little rushed and not as well thought out, coherent, or in depth as I'd have wished.
Directed by Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, Red Dragon, X-Men: The Last Stand) and written by Ted Griffin (Ocean's Eleven) and Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can), Tower Heist is an okay heist movie, but is unfortunately a really unfunny comedy. The film deals with a hotel staff being ripped off after having invested in the penthouse tenant, Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda), who is arrested for fraud by an FBI agent (Tea Leoni) and her team. Some of the staff (Ben Stiller, Casey Affleck, Michael Pena, Gabourey Sidibe), a bankrupt wall street banker (Matthew Broderick), and a convicted thief (Eddie Murphy) all decide to break into the equisite penthouse and find where Shaw is keeping some of his extra money.
It was refreshing to see Murphy play a street-smart character similar to his roles from 48 Hours and Beverly Hills Cop. Everyone else is also very well casted, but the script is just not witty or logical and it feels like the typical PG-13 action/comedy of the week I used to see when I was in middle school. This should be viewed during an afternoon of sitting on a couch watching the TBS movie of the day. The heist and absurdity is briefly fun to watch, but that charade vanishes quickly and with such an ensemble, that is a real shame.