Blu-ray/DVD, Entertainment

Tower Heist, a Zany Comedy on Blu-ray/DVD

The zany and fun Tower Heist has entered the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, Blu-ray, DVD market and its well worth the wait.  After seeing the film on the theater big screen I hoped I would get a chance to check it out with me in control.  I am happy to say, Tower Heist looses none of its comedic charm, energy and production value.  Plus, the ample bonus features are an amenity with interesting and amusing added entertainment.

Tower Heist centers on Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) manager of a posh New York City residence building that house the affluent and one of the wealthiest men in the city, stock wizard Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda).  Josh keeps the building running smoothly with the help of a great staff of long-term employees who are devoted to their jobs. One day Shaw gets arrested for absconding with two billion in his investor’s money and the FBI steps in sealing his assets.  With the building’s employee’s retirement fund involved Josh must come up with a plan to reconcile the matter even if it includes robbery.

The film has a lot of wacky scenes, crazy plots, death defying stunts and just a lot of fun things happening.  With a notable comedic cast lead by Ben Stiller the nearly $80 million theatrical box-office seemed like a walk in the park.  What carries this film however are the performances by some old favorites, Eddie Murphy as the ex-con who knows how to commit a perfect robbery and Mathew Broderick making his character a shy but intelligent ex-stock broker who adds a lot of wit with his important advice.

Brett Ratner (Rush Hour) gets his crew in high gear directing the fine cast and keeping the energy flowing throughout.  Not letting his audience rest with lulls the film seems like if flies by to the very entertaining ending. Although I am not a fan of his ending, however, the bonus features contain two additional endings, both of which top the original. So, when the credits start to roll, switch to the bonus material and check out an alternative finale.  The ‘party’ ending gets my vote.

Bonus features on both the Blu-ray and DVD disc are extremely good, and there are plenty of them.

BONUS FEATURES:

Bonus features that appear on the both the Blu-ray and DVD versions include:

  • Two Alternate Endings – not seen in theatres!
  • Hilarious Deleted & Alternate Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Plotting Tower Heist: Following the structure of a classic caper movie in three acts, director Brett Ratner, producer Brian Grazer and the entire cast bring this heist film to a whole new level. Viewers will learn how the project started, as well as meet the screenwriters and cast.  This exclusive feature reveals the secrets of the set design, special effects and more, including what it took to create the iconic sequence involving Steve McQueen’s car!
  • Feature Commentary with director Brett Ratner, editor Mark Helfrich and co-writers Ted Griffin & Jeff Nathanson

The following features are exclusive to Blu-ray:

  • Tower Heist Video Diary – Director Brett Ratner takes fans through the filmmaking process with these personal video production diaries from the set.
  • U-Control: Picture-in-Picture – featuring pre-visualization and storyboard comparisons of some the film’s most exciting scenes.
  • The Music of Tower Heist
  • pocket BLU App:  The popular free pocket BLU app for smart phones is now even better with newly updated versions for iPad, Android tablets, PC and Macintosh computers, with features made especially to take advantage of the devices’ larger screens and high resolution displays.
  • Advanced Remote Control:  A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live functions with ease.
  • Video Timeline:  Users can easily bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in the film.
  • Mobile-To-Go:  Users can unlock a selection of bonus content with their Blu-ray discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there is a Wi-Fi network, enabling them to enjoy content on the go, anytime, anywhere.
  • Browse Titles:  Users will have access to a complete list of pocket BLU-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray.  They can view free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock on their device.
  • Keyboard:  Entering data is fast and easy with your device’s intuitive keyboard.

And with Universal’s Second Screen, viewers can enjoy an innovative and interactive viewing experience, that allows them to control, interact and explore Tower Heist with groundbreaking new features right on a networked tablet or computer, in synchronization with the movie on the television screen! While the movie plays, experience features such as:

  • Flick View:  Interact with the movie; move content from the Tablet to the TV screen; and compare storyboards, animatics and other executing content by “Flicking” them from on their tablet to their TV screen, simply by gesturing their fingers upwards on their tablets.
  • Behind the Scenes w/Flick View:  Viewers get an all access look at the making of the film featuring interviews with cast and crew.
  • Storyboards w/Flick View:  Viewers will be able to take a closer look at the storyboards created for some of the amazing sequences in the film.
  • The Music of Tower Heist: Songs from the Tower Heist soundtrack are highlighted with the option to add to a playlist and purchase.
  • BD-LIVE – Access the BD-Live Center through your Internet-connected player to access the latest trailers, exclusive content, and more!

Combined Technical Aspects (Blu-ray/DVD) and Additional Film Information:

  • Cast: Ben Stiller, Casey Affleck, Eddie Murphy, Alan Alda, Mathew Broderick and Stephen Harrison
  • Directed by: Brett Ratner (Rush Hour)
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language and sexual content
  • Genre: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Crime, Drama
  • Running Time: 1 hr 45 min
  • Format: AC-3, Color Duel Layer
  • Sound: 2.0 Dolby Digital, DTS Master Audio 5.1 Surround Sound
  • Video: Blu-ray 1080p High Definition2.40:1; DVD Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, and Spanish
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Street Date: November 21, 2012
  • Distributed by: Universal Pictures

FINAL ANALYSIS: A fun film and a lot of added entertainment. Feature Film (B), Bonus Features (A), Overall Experience (B+)

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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 12 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com