Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Why Tower Heist is destined to make out like bandits at the box office

The big movie for this first weekend in November is Tower Heist, which has an ensemble cast with the likes of Ben Stiller,Eddie Murphy,Matthew Broderick and Gabourey Sidibe on board to raid the high rise home of a shady business man whose financial hijinks have robbed them of their
retirement funds.

The buzz on Tower Heist has been strong,due not only to massive commercial time it's been receiving on TV and online over the past few weeks but also to the timeliness of the story line.

Not to get all political here but just a quick glance at our current circumstances. along with Bernie Madoff's family peddling their tell-all book,Occupy Wall Street's expansion across the nation and news of major housing companies(which contributed to the current financial crisis)handing out incredibly huge bonuses to their staff, tells you that some comic relief is sorely needed here and the crime caper theme is the perfect cherry on this silly cinematic sundae:

Movies like this have cropped up before,especially when regular folks are feeling the pinch in their wallets and those living above their means have to take a few steps back as well.

A few of these films began to appear in the mid 1970s such as Fun With Dick and Jane that had suburbanite couple George Segal and Jane Fonda become stick up artists in order to continue keeping up with the Jones-es.

The 2005 remake with Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni didn't fare so well with audiences or critics but it may have been remade a little too soon. The reception for the original film was mixed as well yet for many it holds up far better than the new version ever will:

By the time the eighties officially started,the cash crunch was being felt most keenly. Women at this time were struggling to make ends meet,mainly without the support of men either in or out of their lives. That brought on an attempt at smirky sisterhood in 1980's How To Beat The High Cost of Living.

Future sitcom co-stars Jane Curtain and Susan Saint James teamed up with then newcomer Jessica Lange as a trio of truly desperate housewives who decided to rip off a big cash giveaway at their local shopping mall.

The humor is far from subtle here and while it may be dated in it's references,this attempt at female bonding humor shouldn't be completely ignored:

Even older folks wanted to get into the game,as 1979's Going In Style really lived up to it's title. Classic comedians George Burns,Art Carney and Lee Strasberg played the bored retirees looking to make the rest of their existence a bit more interesting and profitable.

While their motives may sound self serving at first,the limited finances that these gents were in are and were very real. The charm of the film is the matter of fact manner and down to earth sensibilities displayed within the plot and towards the characters.

There wasn't any attempt to make elderly people cutesy crude or to overplay the humor. One of the best scenes in the movie is when George Burns lays out the practicalities of the outcome of their intended crime and he does make it sound like a safe bet either way:

Of course,no one is advocating resorting to crime as a viable solution to any type of money woes as the consequences are truly dire. Tower Heist may be an unintentional sign of the times but I for one won't begrudge it any of it's expected success. Movies like this are a harmless escape that audiences need and having a laugh at the insanity of it all can help you cope, no matter where you are within the 99 percentile:

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