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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Tower Heist

By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: AmericanCatholic.org

Whatever you think “Tower Heist” is as a film, it is really not a comedy, despite comedian Ben Stiller in the lead as Josh, the manager of a luxury condominium complex in Manhattan and the presence of Eddie Murphy as “Slide” the gangster.
 
Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) is a millionaire financier who lives in the penthouse. The FBI arrests him for a Ponzi scheme that has robbed many people of their investments and livelihoods. Josh must admit to all the people who work at the Tower that he invested their retirement funds with Shaw, without their permission. He loses his job but along with his brother-in-law Charlie (Casey Affleck), an evicted tenant Mr. Fitzhugh (Matthew Broderick), a lock-picking housekeeper Odessa (Gabourey Sidibe), and the newly hired pseudo electrician Enrique (Michael Pena), they discover where Shaw has stashed his safety net funds.
 
I did not think this was a very funny movie but it is very clever and it has a strong moral center in a world where financial ethics are a joke. That center is Josh, who does perpetrate a heist to get their money back but uses illegal means. The FBI is ready to arrest them all but Josh provides the real treasure: information. The FBI agrees to let all his accomplices go, but Josh has to go to prison for two years. For the sake of his friends who had lost so much, he agrees to the deal. And Shaw does get arrested for his crimes.
 
The film was ok but I was disappointed that it wasn’t as funny as the previews led us to believe. Heists are supposed to be improbable tales about losers outwitting the winners and this one did so with interesting characters, though it was almost impossible to understand Casey Affleck’s mumbled lines.
  The heist takes place dangling between the 40th and 50th floors I think. I really hate a heist at that height.


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John Paul II: “Open wide the doors to Christ,” urged John Paul II during the homily at the Mass when he was installed as pope in 1978. <br /><br />Born in Wadowice, Poland, Karol Jozef Wojtyla had lost his mother, father and older brother before his 21st birthday. Karol’s promising academic career at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University was cut short by the outbreak of World War II. While working in a quarry and a chemical factory, he enrolled in an “underground” seminary in Kraków. Ordained in 1946, he was immediately sent to Rome where he earned a doctorate in theology. <br /><br />Back in Poland, a short assignment as assistant pastor in a rural parish preceded his very fruitful chaplaincy for university students. Soon he earned a doctorate in philosophy and began teaching that subject at Poland’s University of Lublin. <br /><br />Communist officials allowed him to be appointed auxiliary bishop of Kraków in 1958, considering him a relatively harmless intellectual. They could not have been more wrong! <br /><br />He attended all four sessions of Vatican II and contributed especially to its <em>Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World</em>. Appointed as archbishop of Kraków in 1964, he was named a cardinal three years later. <br /><br />Elected pope in October 1978, he took the name of his short-lived, immediate predecessor. Pope John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. In time, he made pastoral visits to 124 countries, including several with small Christian populations. <br /><br />He promoted ecumenical and interfaith initiatives, especially the 1986 Day of Prayer for World Peace in Assisi. He visited Rome’s Main Synagogue and the Western Wall in Jerusalem; he also established diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Israel. He improved Catholic-Muslim relations and in 2001 visited a mosque in Damascus, Syria. <br /><br />The Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, a key event in John Paul’s ministry, was marked by special celebrations in Rome and elsewhere for Catholics and other Christians. Relations with the Orthodox Churches improved considerably during his ministry as pope. <br /><br />“Christ is the center of the universe and of human history” was the opening line of his 1979 encyclical, <em>Redeemer of the Human Race</em>. In 1995, he described himself to the United Nations General Assembly as “a witness to hope.” <br /><br />His 1979 visit to Poland encouraged the growth of the Solidarity movement there and the collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe 10 years later. He began World Youth Day and traveled to several countries for those celebrations. He very much wanted to visit China and the Soviet Union but the governments in those countries prevented that. <br /><br />One of the most well-remembered photos of his pontificate was his one-on-one conversation in 1983 with Mehmet Ali Agca, who had attempted to assassinate him two years earlier. <br /><br />In his 27 years of papal ministry, John Paul II wrote 14 encyclicals and five books, canonized 482 saints and beatified 1,338 people. <br /><br />In the last years of his life, he suffered from Parkinson’s disease and was forced to cut back on some of his activities. <br /><br />Pope Benedict XVI beatified John Paul II in 2011, and Pope Francis canonized him in 2014. American Catholic Blog Lord, may I have balance and measure in everything—except in Love. —St. Josemaría Escrivá

 
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