Sandell Stangl: So Josh what did you think of Ocean's 14...I mean Tower Heist.
Joshua Efron: Production company Imagine Entertainment has another true to form hit on it's hands. I paid 7.50 for 2 hours of imagining entertainment. Not since Imagine Entertainment's film "Cowboys Vs. Aliens" have I been so engrossed in having to imagine what it would be like to be entertained.
Joshua Efron: In case that was unclear: I didn't like it.
Joshua Efron: Wait, Ocean's 14?
Sandell Stangl: That would be the theoretical sequel to Ocean's 13. Have you never seen those movies?
Joshua Efron: I haven't. Did they start out as decent if formulaic setups and then become vapid exercises in - ...
Joshua Efron: ...
Joshua Efron: **** it, Sandell, I don't have witty ways of criticizing this movie. And honest to god, it doesn't deserve any. It was just not any good. It was a comedy whose jokes were not any good.
Sandell Stangl: The jokes were...meant for...umm...I laughed at one scene...
Joshua Efron: They weren't stupid, they weren't offensive, they were just not funny. It's stakes were falsified, its attemps at tension were laughable (the only laughable thing in the film), and the payoffs to its setups were Bewilderingly absent. Bewilderingly Absent. A comedy heist movie is all about formulaic-ly setting up all the situations that the characters are going to encounter later in the film. And it's -fine- that it's two dimensional and process-centered. That's how these movies are supposed to work. But they didn't make good on any of it! The movie had a good 20 minutes of qualityish setup and then the writers forgot about the first 20 minutes of the movie!
Joshua Efron: Please start talking. I'm so ready to forget about this film Right Now.
Sandell Stangl: Its funny that you say that about the tension because most of the people in the theatre were gasping near the end of the heist.
Joshua Efron: Gasping? What were they doing? Perhaps they were all realized that ****ing each other in the theatre was the only way they were going to get a proper climax!
Sandell Stangl: I agree that stakes felt forced but as for the pay off, I mean the ending we wanted happened. Spoilers!...not really. The bad guy went to jail. Is that not enough?
Joshua Efron: Dragnet had more exciting conclusions than that movie.
Joshua Efron: Dragnet, man.
Sandell Stangl: What is Dragnet?
Joshua Efron: The entire movie relies on the audience walking into the theatre thinking "Man I Really Fucking Hate Bernie Madoff!!!!!", tearing your bag of popcorn in half out of rage, and being swept by that single-minded indignation all the way through the end of the film, as the time we spend in front of the screen reveals no more character motivation to us than required than to simply illuminate the parallels to Madoff.
Joshua Efron: It spends the first 20 minutes making - ..... Good lord Sandell. I seriously don't care enough about this movie to even criticize it.
Joshua Efron: I hate reviewing through quotes but as What's his name said in Arrested Development: "It was just a little turd out there".
Joshua Efron: This movie was just a little turd, Sandell.
Joshua Efron: Ratner's direction, which was good, was unable to make it entertaining. 70% on Rotten Tomatoes? I would like someone who thought this was a good movie to please, PLEASE explain what they enjoyed about it. Tell me what they thought was funny. Or tense. Or Any Adjective Denoting Positive Value.
Joshua Efron: "It wasn't as bad as Conan" is NOT an acceptable answer.
Joshua Efron: I mean... I was better than Conan, but still.
Joshua Efron: Is that all it takes to be considered a value these days?
Joshua Efron: To be better than excrement? To just not do things right instead of doing them actively wrong? Is that how low our standards have fallen? You know, despite Tower Heist being less bad than these other two movies, I can accept someone liking "Cowboys Vs Indians" or "Conan" more than I can accept a person who thought "Tower Heist" was a good film.
Sandell Stangl: I think the general consensus that this movie will receive is it being a good movie.
Sandell Stangl: Not great but good.
Sandell Stangl: The reason being its few moments of funny lines, its good direction, Ben Stiller's performance, and the millionaire getting what he deserves.
Sandell Stangl: Also, I think people enjoy the fact that this is an underdog story.
Sandell Stangl: And we love underdogs.
Sandell Stangl: Oh and Eddie Murphy too i guess.
Joshua Efron: Ben Stiller, as do all the actors, do a good job giving a decent performance of lame material. And I mean lame in the physiological form of its definition. I mean the movie couldn't support itself. None of the setups worked. Should I make a list? It would be quicker to attempt a list of the things that did work than the things that didn't.
Joshua Efron: The jokes in this "comedy" were so not-funny that the trailers even had to lie about what the jokes were in order to try to make them work. And they still didn't work.
Joshua Efron: That line in the trailer with the woman making some sexual innuendo to Eddie Murphy's character about "using your fingers to find the opening" while they're cracking the safe? It's innuendo, she's hitting on him, ha. And then she's like, So, are you married? Get it? She want's to **** him! That's why she's testing the waters and then seeing if he's available! So she can ****.
Joshua Efron: Except that's not what the joke is actually about in the film.
Joshua Efron: It's still sexual innuendo, yes, but much lighter, because her goal is to find someone to marry so she can stay in the country. So when she asks if he's married, it's because she's looking for someone to MARRY.
Joshua Efron: You know how normally people complain about all the funny stuff being in the trailer? Well, all the funny stuff was in the trailer, and there wasn't any funny stuff in the trailer. There was so little stuff to fill a trailer with that they had to effectively alter the jokes, and they Still weren't funny.
Sandell Stangl: I actually forgot she was looking to marry someone [JE: because the film doesn't provide payoffs to its setups!]
Joshua Efron: Yeah, because she was Jamaican and therefore not a citizen. And fat, which is why she is shown having eaten that cake later. Funny, right? Fat people not resisting cake is comic genius.
Joshua Efron: Oh, wait... except that the cake was laced with some sort of knockout poison she had tried to use on the security guard, but ****, the film couldn't be bothered to remember that, could it. Because the writers were - say it with me -
Joshua Efron: Just a little turd out there.
Joshua Efron: There's a big long training montage where Eddie Murphy is training the others to be theives. He makes them each go shoplifting in a mall. Numerous minutes of scene. Is any of it funny? No. Not at all. I mean not remotely.
Sandell Stangl: None of the training he puts them through even turns out to be useful for them.
Joshua Efron: That's exactly the movie's problem! Nothing that happens in the movie is useful! No setup is actually used for any effect!
Sandell Stangl: Eddie Murphy's character did not need to be in this movie. Come to think of it most of the characters in this movie did not need to be in this movie.
Joshua Efron: Ok, I have enough spiritual energy to spend it making another specific complaint.
Joshua Efron: Wait, no i don't. UGH.
Joshua Efron: Do not see this damn movie.
Joshua Efron: The entire fucking promise of the film is about the fact that these guys know the building inside and out, all of the doors, all of the codes, every position, every action of every employee 24 hours a day! Everything! As Stiller says, in the most important line of the entire bloody movie, they've been casing the joint for 10 years and they just didn't know it!!
Joshua Efron: And then what happens?!
Joshua Efron: WE DON'T SEE THEM USE THAT KNOWLEDGE DURING THE HEIST
Joshua Efron: Not a GOD DAMN BIT OF IT
Joshua Efron: FUCK YOU TOWER HEIST