This Fall, America was graced with a coming-together of some of comedy's great figures: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Alan Alda and many more stars of past and present joined forces to bring us Tower Heist, a comedy particularly close to the hearts of many of us in this trying economic climate. Now, two months after its theatrical release, we hear the news that Tower Heist is releasing on Blu-ray/DVD this February.
Tower Heist, directed by Brett Ratner, will take Blu-ray/DVD form with a surplus of bonus features and options. You can enjoy a blooper real, audio commentary, and even two alternative endings, plus a whole lot more. Check out the rest of the features below, and catch Tower Heist on Blu-ray/DVD on Feb. 21.
Blu-ray/DVD Bonus Features
Two Alternate Endings – not seen in theatres!
Hilarious Deleted & Alternate Scenes
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
Blu-ray Bonus Features
Tower Heist Video Diary – Director Brett Ratner takes fans through the filmmaking process with these personal video production diaries from the set.
-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 smartphones 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!
Ratner reveals he was inspired to include the car as an in-home attraction after admiring a Ferrari in Nicolas Cage's front room some years ago.
In Tower Heist, Ben Stiller's character smashes one of the fake vintage Italian sportscars with a golf club and Ratner admits that even though it was a replica, he had to turn away.
The car fan tells the Los Angeles Times, "It was painful to watch especially for my Italian cinematographer."
Universal Pictures now owns one of the fake Ferraris, and the other sits in Ratner's garage.
While promoting his new movie, Tower Heist, during a Q&A session in Hollywood after a screening, a fan asked Brett Ratner what it was like to watch stars Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller and Casey Affleck rehearse. Ratner casually and obnoxiously responded to the inquiry with "Rehearsal? What's that? Rehearsal's for f*gs. Rehearsal. Not much. A lot of prep, preparation, complex action sequences, visual effects." Many found his comment to be obviously offensive, and yesterday Ratner issued an apology, stating "I apologize for any offense my remarks caused. It was a dumb and outdated way of expressing myself. Everyone who knows me knows that I don't have a prejudiced bone in my body. But as a storyteller, I should have been much more thoughtful about the power of language and my choice of words." What I find most amusing about this statement is how Ratner seems more sorry he came across as not being “trendy” or “hip” rather than for demeaning a sexual orientation.
But since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hired Ratner to produce the 2012 Academy Awards, one would think the director is now tasked with scrapping together some real remorse in order to keep himself in high regard with his employers. But AMPAS president Tom Sherak made it sound like they’ve already forgiven Ratner, saying “His remarks were inappropriate. He said it best in his apology, that his comments were dumb and insensitive. When you think of our community, it went against all the beliefs of the creative community we represent. He knew it was wrong and he issued that response as quickly as any human being ever has. The bottom line is, this won’t happen and can’t happen again. He apologized and we will move forward.” I don’t particularly agree with any of this either, because at no point in Ratner’s statement did he say what he said at the Q&A session was “dumb,” and so Sherak comes across as someone who’s just trying to convince himself that even though he has a bit of gum in his hair, there could always be more (which, heeeeeeey, sounds a lot like the slogan of a director who makes Jackie Chan movies AND the motto of the Academy Awards!). We'll see if Ratner decides to expound upon his non-apology with actual sincerity but from the looks of it, nobody is pressuring him to do so.
Click the image below to view more photos of Brett Ratner!
Sources: MTV, THR
I suppose if any of us got a chance to work with our longtime heroes, we'd want to keep that going as long as possible. Director Brett Ratner has declared Eddie Murphy to have been a huge influence on his career, inspiring the Rush Hour movies with his brilliant action comedies.
This weekend, Ratner's heist comedy, Tower Heist, opened, with Murphy headlining opposite Ben Stiller. Ratner is also producing the 2012 Academy Awards, which Murphy is hosting, as well as the developing animated film Hong Kong Phooey, with Murphy voicing the title character (which we can only hope will be faithful to the better-than-logic-dictates-it-could-have-been original cartoon).
Ratner has declared that in addition to all of this, and a possible new Beverly Hills Cop movie, he would like to work on another comedy film with Murphy. The director and the actor are reported to be in talks for a new project; perhaps Ratner will take over directorial responsibilities on the script Murphy is writing: Jamal and Tyrell and Omar and Brick and Michael's Wack-Ass Weekend, about a fivesome of friends being abducted by aliens.
For now, there is nothing solidified. But a Ratner/Murphy collaboration is on the horizons, so prepare accordingly.
Source: The Wrap
A surprise number one finish for Paramount Pictures’ Dreamworks Animation release of Puss in Boots shows the power of the family film audience. Earning a whopping $33 million in its second weekend the film dropped a kitty-sized 3% and has now taken in over $75 million to date. The movie has earned $39 mil in 4 international territories and $114.5 million around the world. IMAX showings drew another $2.1 million (7% of the box office) this weekend and for the first time since Avatar, the giant screen presentations brought in a bigger second Saturday than the first.
Universal’s Tower Heist starring Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller came in on the low end of expectations with $25.1 million worth of box office loot this weekend. Directed by Brett Ratner who helmed the Rush Hour franchise, the action comedy features an all-star cast and attracted audiences who were in the mood for some summer-style PG-13 fun.
The first holiday-themed movie of the season got high marks from the college aged crowd as A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas lit up the Christmas tree with $13.1 million. This is the third film in the franchise and features John Cho and Kal Penn in the title roles and Neil Patrick Harris playing once again a fictionalized version of himself.
Paramount’s Paranormal Activity 3 is holding in the top 5 after three weekends of release with $8.5 million. Despite a steep second weekend drop the horror phenomenon is a huge profit center for Paramount and has scared up over $95 million in total domestic revenue by the end of the weekend.
Fox’s sci-fi thriller In Time debuted in third place but has been holding steady in second place mid-week and too in another $7.7 million in this, its second weekend. Starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried the film will cross the $24 million mark by Sunday night after 10 days of release.
Top Movies for Weekend of November 4, 2011 (Estimates)
Movie Weekend Gross Total to Date
1 Puss in Boots (G) $33.0M $75.5M
2 Tower Heist (PG13) $25.1M $25.1M
3 A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (R) $13.06 $13.06M
4 Paranormal Activity 3 (NR) $8.5M $95.3M
5 In Time (PG13) $7.7M $24.2M
Did Hollywood have anything to do with the emergence of the Occupy Wall Street movement? The whole thing seems a little bit convenient. Last month saw the behind-the-meltdown docudrama Margin Call and the sci-fi metaphor In Time. Now we have Tower Heist a comedy that pits the blue collar staff of the Trump Tower against a thieving Bernie Madoff-esque tenant. The movie's an Ocean's 11 for the 99% with a sense of timeliness that makes the simple plotting and wisecracking that much more effective.
Ben Stiller stars as Josh Kovacs overseer of all the goings-on at the Tower. He wakes up before dawn and heads home after sunset spending his day catering to the occupants of the ritzy apartment complex and managing his eclectic crew—including former Burger King cook Enrique (Michael Peña) Jamaican maid Odessa (Gabourey Sidibe) and his slacker brother-in-law Charlie (Casey Affleck). The crew's greatest concern is multi-billionaire Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) the penthouse resident Tower board member and thanks to attention paid trusted friend of Josh.
Trusted...until the FBI busts Shaw for stealing millions including the Tower employees' pensions.
Like all good tower heists Josh's titular harebrained scheme is prompted by a drunken night out with lead investigator Claire (Téa Leoni) who tips the irked manager off to Shaw's hidden stash: a possible eight-figure sum hidden somewhere in his apartment. In pursuing the American dream of revenge Josh recruits his slighted co-workers along with distraught former-millionaire Fitzhugh (Matthew Broderick) and Josh's childhood friend-turned-thief Slide (Eddie Murphy). Together the motley crew concocts a plan to retrieve what's rightfully theirs—all while sinking Shaw in the process.
Tower Heist isn't as slick or intricate as the Ocean movies but its straightforward take on the crime genre is strengthened by Stiller Murphy and the rest of the cast's ability to inject ridiculous humor into sympathetic characters. When Josh realizes his decade spent commanding the operations of the Tower were for naught he wigs out marching up to the top floor to beat the crap out of Shaw's priceless convertible (it was owned by Steve McQueen in case you were wondering why anyone would keep an antique car on the top floor of a building). Not entirely realistic but relatable which sums up every over-the-top satisfying scenario these characters find themselves throughout the film.
Most importantly Tower Heist delivers on the funny. Playing the straight man is an art and Stiller's one of the masters (although you'd never know it from his Night at the Museum shtick or wackier roles like Zoolander) riffing off his co-stars while giving them ample time to be complete weirdos. The movie is being touted as a comeback for Murphy but he wisely steps into a supporting role delivering on his character's manic charm while never trying to steal the spotlight. The one who really steals the show is Broderick whose clueless neurotic Fitzhugh can't help relapsing mid-heist into memories of luxurious trips to Greece.
Credit goes to director Brett Ratner who cranked out three Rush Hour movies and an X-Men threequel while never really nailing down what it takes to make a group dynamic work. Here he pulls it off finding the right beats to make Tower Heist funny and thrilling. There are moments during the actual heist scene set during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade that cause quite a stir—a rarity in today's run-of-the-mill thrill rides.
Tower Heist is the definition of a cinematic softball avoiding risky choices and utilizing each actor to their previously known (and successful) traits without feeling lazy. As the holidays roll in and families look for something they all can enjoy Tower Heist delivers a little something for everyone. Except maybe Bernie Madoff.
Cast: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck
Director: Brett Ratner
Synopsis: A group of people conspire to steal back the money they lost from a wealthy Ponzi schemer (Alan Alda).
What We Think: Tower Heist sounds like most Ratner movies (i.e. pairing opposites with one another in an action-y comedy; or … the Rush Hour movies), but watching two of the giants of comedy, Stiller and Murphy, has undeniable appeal.
Cool to Know: Years ago, Eddie Murphy envisioned the movie as a potential “black Ocean’s Eleven,” alongside actors like Chris Tucker, Jamie Foxx and Dave Chappelle.
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
Cast: Kal Penn, John Cho, Neil Patrick Harris
Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Synopsis: The whole gang is back for this stoner-y take on Christmas – in stoner-friendly 3D. Their shenanigans this time involve burning down a Christmas tree and looking for a new one.
What We Think: Aside from a different director and the addition of 3D, everything looks to be the same with this installment – meaning those who liked White Castle and Guantanamo Bay should enjoy Christmas -- even if it is almost two months before the actual holiday.
Cool to Know: Kal Penn left his job as President Obama’s associate director of public engagement in June 2010 to film 3D Christmas; he returned to his post in November.
Two days after news broke that Universal will release Tower Heist on video-on-demand a mere three weeks after it opens in theaters, Cinemark, the nation's third-largest theater chain, announced that it will not screen the Brett Ratner heist comedy in any of its over 300 locations, The Los Angeles Times reports. The move, which the Times calculates could cost Cinemark millions in lost box-office receipts, signals the seriousness with which exhibitors view Universal's proposed V.O.D. scheme as a threat to their bottom line. No word yet on whether other theater chains intend to follow suit.
Source: The Los Angeles Times
Tower Heist opens on November 4, 2011 and stars Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, and Casey Affleck. Click on the image below to enjoy our exhilarating Casey Affleck gallery:
Comcast subscribers in Atlanta and Portland will have the opportunity to catch the action comedy Tower Heist on video-on-demand a mere three weeks after the film opens in theaters on November 4, the Los Angeles Times reported today. For a mere $59.99, agoraphobic viewers will be able to watch the hilarious antics of Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, and Matthew Broderick in the safety and comfort of their own home. The move is a test of a new release strategy crafted by Universal, the studio behind the Brett Ratner-helmed flick, that could dramatically alter the distribution landscape if it proves successful. It will no doubt infuriate owners, who could find their earnings severely jeopardized if consumer response is positive and the other studios are inspired to do the same. Judging from the Tower Heist trailer, this is by no means a sure thing.
Source: The Los Angeles Times
Click on the image below to check out our Ben Stiller gallery:
Lost actor Greg Grunberg, who has an epileptic 15-year-old son, took offence to the Tower Heist movie preview and called on his Twitter.com followers to boycott the comedy upon its U.S. release in November (11).
In the clip, Eddie Murphy's character pokes fun at Ben Stiller's, calling him "little seizure boy" twice.
And, although Ratner claims the exchange was not meant to be hurtful, many viewers were angered by the insensitive reference.
Responding to the criticism, Ratner has written an open letter to epileptic community website TalkAboutIt.org, which was founded by Grunberg, stating, "I am so sorry you are offended... I sincerely feel bad."
Rush Hour director Ratner also took action to rectify the problem by asking movie bosses at Universal Studios to alter its marketing campaign and remove the remarks from trailers set to run in future television slots.
Grunberg later thanked Ratner for reaching out and expressing his apologies. In a post, he wrote, "THANKS @BrettRatner for ur (sic) SINCERE APOLOGY to the Epilepsy Community! I'm lifting my personal boycott of ur (sic) hilarious."