Saturday 11 February 2012

Tower Heist

Tower Heist is a great example of one of a film which no-one would miss if it had never been made. That said there are much worse films out there.

It is essentially a very low-rent Ocean’s 11. Actually The Parole Officer is a very low rent Ocean’s 11. Tower Heist is just a heist film resting nearer OE in terms of Hollywood stars and nearer TPO in terms of not having….sorry this isn’t working out. The main reason is Steve Coogan. I love Steve Coogan, you see, and for this reason I really like The Parole Officer. That and the fact that it’s a heist film set in Manchester.

To rewind then…Tower Heist looked as though it would be terrible when the TV spots were running a couple of months ago. But it’s not that bad, just a bit pointless. Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy are acceptable enough and there is a decent supporting cast. It’s just a bit meh. I still can’t figure out why Matthew Broderick was in it.

She was Dead Good

I, like many others, was shocked by the death of Whitney Houston (for younger readers she was the Adele of her day). As usual I found out via Twitter, ever since Michael Jackson this has been the source of death news of the rich and famous. Twitter is so far ahead that once I have found out someone is dead via it, I then have to wait 20 minutes for news television to catch up. And by catch up I mean telling me what Twitter has already told me. Television has the distinct disadvantage of celebrity journalists being involved when a celebrity dies. Dan Wootton is the last person you need to hear when you are trying to process the death of the lead of The Bodyguard.

Some Whitney Houston Memories 

  • My dad getting her first two albums, Whitney Houston and Whitney as part of one of those clubs where you bought like 5 albums for £3 but then had to buy 6 more albums over the next 12 months at £12 each. (He was also in a book club.) Both of Houston’s first two albums were fucking monsters.  I think I preferred her sophomore (American for second) effort, Whitney. One, she looked fit as fuck on the front of it – though I imagine I just thought she looked pretty at the time being nine. Two, it had I Wanna Dance with Somebody on it and I fucking loved that song and had a crush on WH. She would be replaced in my child’s heart by Kylie Minogue within the year, though.  The debut, Whitney Houston, did have had How Will I Know on it which was smoking, check out the isolated vocal track if you ever doubted the voice on that woman.
  • I bought my sister One Moment in Time for her birthday and soon after found it discarded, I think she may have even told me she didn’t want it. It would be easy to make my sister out to be some kind of monster, so I will. I was 10 years old. I had no proper pocket money and whatever I did have I put towards this gift for my sister. I lived in a village, aside from chocolates from the shop the only other alternative was a record rack in the newsagent shop. I chose the Olympic theme by the world’s greatest female artist, not including Madonna. And my sister (probably) said something like “This is rubbish” before putting Luther Vandross on smashing the 7′ of vinyl on the floor. But stop…stop there. It’s time to revisit this memory which haunts me on a daily basis. My sister’s birthday is February this single wasn’t released until the time of the Olympics in the summer of 1988. That means that I bought it her in February 1989. This means two things, it was her 16th birthday and the song had been out over 6 months. So for my sister’s 16th birthday I bought her an out of date vinyl single from a smelly village newsagent. I am lucky she didn’t smash it in my eyes, it would have been an appropriate response.
  • My infant brother used to enjoy singing I Will Always Love You. And Aint No Doubt by Jimmy Nail, specifically the line ‘she’s lying’.
  • I can’t pinpoint the date but my last lingering memory of Whitney was her being a bit twattish on Going Live, or whatever is what called at the time she was on it. I’ve researched this since the last sentence and it’s clear that it was probably Live and Kicking in the late 90s (probably promoting something off the My Love is Your Love album, maybe the only thing I liked by her from the last phase of her career: It’s Not Right But It’s Okay which is a bit of a template for Beyonce’s one song on each album about dissing a bloke/telling him to sort his shit out). She was obsessed with talking about how street she was and how she talked to her daughter in ‘street’ terms. I thought she sounded like a fucking nightmare of a mother. I don’t think I knew she was a crack fiend at the time. In retrospect if my mother was tooting crack 24-7 I probably would have bigger things to worry about than her keep calling me her bitch and referring to going to see her record company as keeping it real.

Miss Whitney Houston…

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