Archive for October, 2012

Tower Heist Review

Rating: PG-13

Tower Heist was released in theaters on November 4, 2011. As previews for this movie showed up on television, I knew that I wanted to see what it was all about, and I liked the main actors and actresses that were starring in it, as well. A few of the stars in this movie are Ben Stiller, Casey Affleck, Michael Peña, Gabourey Sidibe, Alan Alda, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, and Téa Leoni. It’s a crime, comedy film, and even though it might not display the logic within crime movies, it does live up to its genre of comedy. Tower Heist takes place in November close to Thanksgiving Day. The plot is set up so that it’s easy to follow and understand.

The film starts out following Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) who is the building manager of The Tower. The Tower is a luxury apartment complex that houses wealthy individuals such as Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) who is a financer. Kovacs continues his normal daily duties unaware of the impending arrest of Shaw. Special Agent Claire Denham (Téa Leoni) puts Shaw under house arrest until more evidence can be found to put him in prison. At first, Kovacs does not believe Shaw committed fraud, but Kovacs later finds out that an employee attempted suicide because he invested all his money with Shaw and lost it all. Infuriated, Kovacs confronts Shaw about the issue, and after an incident he loses his job along with Charlie Gibbs (Casey Affleck) and Enrique Dev’Reaux (Michael Peña) who were at the scene and allowed the incident to happen. Denham tells Kovacs that Shaw probably has money hidden somewhere inside his apartment in case he needed to escape quickly. Kovacs, Gibbs, and Dev’Reaux decide that they want to steal their money back, and they coerce Mr. Fitzhugh (Matthew Broderick), who used to live in The Tower, to join their gang. The group realizes that they need to include an actual thief and that’s when Leo “Slide” Dalphael (Eddie Murphy), a sketchy character from Kovacs past, joins them. After running into a problem with their plan, they understand that they need a specialist and ask Odessa Montero (Gabourey Sidibe), a maid that works at The Tower, to help them get the money back. Once the gang is finally all together, the robbery and danger really begins.

The characters in this movie are realistic and tend to be quite comical. They’re not necessarily seeking revenge, but merely want the money that was taken from them. Each actor and actress brings their own qualities to the characters he/she is playing. When Kovacs finds out about the employee and Shaw, the viewer can relate to how Kovacs feels and might even act the way that he did. Viewers will most likely be rooting for the gang to succeed throughout the movie.

At a few points near the end of the movie, it becomes clear to the viewer that he/she is watching a movie because the physics within these scenes were impossible. I found myself giggling at these unintentional funny moments. However, the scenes were small and did not take away from the movie as a whole. Also, I felt that the ending was appropriate for the way the movie was set up. In a sense, it made it feel more realistic because it would most likely happen in that way rather than the typical cliché movie ending. I would recommend this movie for anyone wanting a light movie with good laughs. Tower Heist is definitely worth watching.

My Rating: ★★★★

In Time Review

Rating: PG-13

In Time arrived in theaters on October 28, 2011. Once I saw previews for this movie, I knew that I had to see it. It’s a science fiction, thriller film, and even though it may not be the best in its genre, it still gives the viewers an enjoyable ride. A few of the stars in this film are Justin Timberlake, Olivia Wilde, Matt Bomer, Alex Pettyfer, Cillian Murphy, Amanda Seyfried, and Vincent Kartheiser. In Time is set in the future where time is life; each person has a clock on their left arms that reveals the amount of time they have left to live. After 25 years of life, a person’s clock starts, and he/she gets one year to either gain more time or “time out.” Time can be obtained by working, stealing, or being given it. Since time is currency, there is a huge gap between classes; those who have more time on their clocks are richer and live “better” lives, and those who do not have much time struggle to get through each day.

The viewer is introduced to the main character Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) who lives with his 50 year old mother, Rachel Salas (Olivia Wilde), in the ghettos. The most time he has ever had on his clock is about a day, so he lives his life day by day. He meets Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer) who is being harassed by Fortis (Alex Pettyfer) in a bar. Fortis is the boss of a gang named the Minutemen, who are known for taking time from people by force; Will and Henry escape with their time. After a bit of talking, Henry explains the way the system works for the rich and poor, and eventually, Will is able to gain extra time from Henry. Once an unfortunate event occurs in Will’s life, he seeks revenge on the system that keeps the classes separated. Timekeeper Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy) begins to track Will after believing he committed a murder in order to get the additional time. Will travels to a better district in order to stop the unfair treatment of classes; Will encounters Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried) who is the daughter of a very rich and powerful man named Phillipe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser). Shortly after Will and Vincent meet, the fight between the classes officially begins.

The characters in this film seem to be well developed, and each actor brings their character to life. In a way, Will and Sylvia are relatable because who hasn’t wanted to change the way the system works or been a bit rebellious. Fortis is the man most people love to hate; he is a perfect bad guy. Raymond is the typical cop trying to make sure everyone obeys the laws and the way of life; he sticks to the rules no matter what and expects the same from the citizens, as well. Phillipe is the man opposing the protagonist, so the viewer, of course, wants to see him defeated. The characters’ motives are able to maintain the attention of the viewer and keep a person from looking at their own watch during the movie.

Even though, In Time might not be the very best in its genre, it sure does an excellent job keeping the audience entertained. Not only is there action, but a deep plot that makes a person think of their own life. This movie is definitely worth watching.

My Rating: ★★★★

Step Up 3 Review

Rating: PG-13

This film was released on August 6, 2010. Even though I was thrilled about Step Up and Step Up 2: The Streets, I wasn’t impressed with this new addition. The story-line,  basically, was the same as the previous movie; it felt like the same plot but with different people. Yes, of course, the House of Pirates’ place was going to be repossessed, and the crew had to win a dance battle in order to keep their “home.” The Pirates have an opposing crew called House of Samurai against them that will do anything to defeat the gang. This sounds exactly like the last plot but with the Pirates needing money and not about honor and reputation as in Step Up 2: The Streets.

It was difficult to make any connection with the characters in this movie as I did in the other movies. Most of the characters were underdeveloped, and the viewer didn’t get a chance to see the personalities besides generalized traits. Of course, I love Adam Sevani who plays Moose in Step Up 2: The Streets, but I have had two movies to enjoy him and watch him grow as a character. Moose and Luke Katcher, played by Rick Malambri, are the only characters that I felt had any personality. Luke, at times, did feel flat as a character, but he was more developed than most in the movie. Natalie, who is played by Sharni Vinson, didn’t have time to grow within the movie. It seems as though they rushed her development. I enjoyed her at the beginning and was cheering for her to be with Luke, but she was never able to redeem herself after the plot twist. I will not give too much away about the movie, even though, the plot is predictable, and most viewers will be able to figure out what happens next way before the middle of the movie.

The movie does stick to its dancing genre and does not slack on the dancing. In fact, there seems to be quite a lot more dance scenes than in the previous two movies; the dance moves were incredible, and I thoroughly enjoyed all the different styles. The dancing was full of energy, making me wish that I could pull off the moves shown. The final dance battle where the Pirates and the Samurai dance against each other for the prize money was quite amazing to say the least, however, Natalie and Luke’s dance was not needed and felt as though it was only kept to help advance the plot. When they stopped the dance sequences, I found myself wishing it would just focus on the dancing, so I wouldn’t have to watch anymore of the regurgitated plot.

There were a few scenes that were just not needed or actually took away from the main plot. In the final scene, I found myself watching the man and woman talk with the police officer behind Luke and Natalie. I don’t believe that is something a director wants his audience to focus on, but I was more interested in what unimportant characters were talking about than the main characters. If a person is looking for a dance movie with a decent plot, I would recommend Step Up or Step Up 2: The Streets. Step Up 3 is definitely worth skipping.

My Rating: ★★