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Non-Review Review: Tower Heist

Hollywood has always had a strange way of reacting to current trends and realities as they exist outside the multiplex. Films tend to take a while to react to shifting cultural phenomena. That said, changes in response to particular incidents can be relatively swift. Gangster Squad was famously re-shot following the Aurora shootings and released less than a year later. Although still in the early stages of its production, Zero Dark Thirty was heavily re-worked after Osama Bin Ladin had been shot and killed. However, it’s the broader changes that Hollywood takes longer to acknowledge.

The Dark Knight was praised by The Washington Times as “the first great post-Sept. 11 film”, but this was in 2008 – almost seven years after the attacks. The 9/11 zeitgeist still lingers over American film and television. However, it’s telling that – only recently – have we seen reactions to the financial crisis creep into contemporary blockbuster cinema, as the studios try to acknowledge the shifting economic reality.

Tower Heist is very clearly an attempt to capitalise on some of the anger and the hurt generated by the failure of banks and official bodies to protect the average citizen from the financial collapse. It’s confused, muddled and a little disjointed, even if the intentions seem noble. It still feels a little disappointing that it took almost half a decade to produce this rather bland reaction.

A crash course in economics...

A crash course in economics…

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Non-Review: There’s Something About Mary

There’s Something About Mary is easily one of my favourite comedies of all time. I don’t like to think I’m especially crass or low-brow, and I don’t have much love for the work of the Farrelly Brothers outside this film (though Dumb and Dumber was charming while Kingpinwasn’t all bad). However, there’s just something so wonderfully chaotic and random about the wit on display in the film, which manages to encompass old-fashioned physical slapstick, situation comedy, grossout humour, character-based laughs and all manner of subversive charm. All those elements and styles are at play in the film, under the watchful eye of the Farrelly Brothers conducting: they know it would be too easy to hit a bum note, but instead they manage to keep pretty much everything playing in symphony.

Had me hooked from the start...

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