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It's been about 48 hours now since I saw "Ocean's Thirteen." I saw it
with a group of people (the only way to see a movie), and the movie
took so long to get going, I really got the impression that my friends
were hating it. The theater didn't laugh very often, I laughed less,
and when the lights came up, my friends told me what a good movie it
was. "Definitely better than the second," they said.
I disagreed, but it took me a while to figure out why. "O13" isn't bad, per se, and I didn't really hate it while I was watching it, though it did take a while for it to get going. I think, ultimately, the reason the first movie was so good, was because it was fun, funny, and witty, but still knew the difference between "when to be funny" and "when to not be funny." Andy Garcia's character was dangerous, and treated as such. The situations were potentially dangerous, and you got the sense of real peril for the characters. You knew what was at stake. It was a real movie, and just as good on repeat viewings, due to a really original and fresh approach (as well as some great one-liners).
The second movie wasn't reviewed nearly as well, and having watched it again since, it's really not bad either, except for the huge and sudden changes in tone throughout, as well as the fact that it pulls the last 10 minutes out of its rear end. It was originally written as a different movie, then re-tooled for the "Ocean's" cast, and you can kinda tell; it's darker, tries to be more clever than it actually is, and as a result, is a lot less fun.
Whatever strengths the first two movies may or may not have had, the third is lacking them all, except the actors. Everyone from Clooney on down, including Pacino, Vincent Cassel and Eddie Izzard, all bring their A-game, and are pleasant to watch. But the plot is minimal; whether there was a screenplay or not (and there was, from the writers of "Rounders"), you still get the impression that this is just an excuse for buddies to hang out in Vegas and shoot a movie, a la "Blue in the Face" back in the mid-1990's. No one has to do any heavy lifting, and the only actors who even try are the bickering brothers of Casey Affleck and Scott Caan, and of course Pacino, though he could be phoning it in too, and you'd never know it.
Whether you're a movie fanatic or not, the three films can still be summed up by their opening shots. In the first film, cut to: a chair. Clooney sits down in it. The movie itself is really about him, and what makes his Danny Ocean tick, not just before, but during, and after the action. In the second film, cut to: a magnifying glass. Brad Pitt walks into a room, and the next 100 minutes is a closer look at Rusty's life and his relationship with the woman he wakes up in that first scene. Third film? Cut to: a toy store. Yeah, that sounds about right. Soderbergh ain't so dumb.
Too much talk, no action, no humor, no good enough plot and not big
enough ending. You keep watching and expecting something really big to
happen to make a climax, but suddenly you realize it's the ending. A
real disappointment concerning the big names involved and the great
And what was the deal with that nose? The tasks were made to seem pretty easy to achieve and there was nothing left from the former glory of the team.
A movie without spirit and essence.
A shame really!
Glad there's not going to be a forth one.
Is this the most valuable franchise in film? Will it last for a decade?
I like Soderbergh. I even like him when he has no goal in the world but making money through simple entertaining.
I like him because he actually thinks about film. About the bullets the towels. The phrases and melodies.
Superficially, this has two overt components. One is the well established con form. The strict version is that we don't fully understand what is going on and "see" it only at the end. Then it all makes sense. This is a weaker version where we see some of the plotting and problems. This is where the jokes are.
The second overt component is simply coolness. Its the sort of coolness that Apple-inspired ad editing has given us, in opposition to the heavy rap-gangster intimidation-coolness of the last great sales cycle. This is referenced within the movie with a bit about an all American black jumper (with a Jewelled flag on his teeth). Its colorful, fast. The pace is translucent with the music. Vegas Cellophane. The actors are cool. Even Matt Damon, who knows cool, plays uncool with coolness.
But its the technique here that impresses. Shots have shape and how those shapes are modulated (as they usually are not) and then assembled with those shapes forming new ones, is a matter of unique style with this filmmaker. Look at how fertile soft ends are punctured by sharp beginnings so that the very passage of time in the eye here is a matter of conceptual copulation.
Look at how many shots end on one of those colored artificial flavors and create a romantic movie at the atomic level as if a John Coltrane was compressing a thousand easy ballads into a few moments. This takes knowledge and the filmmaker has to actually operate the camera to pull this off. It was in his "Limey" and not in the other Ocean's.
And it takes an editor who knows. The best editor was found fresh off "Babel" which among other variations, had the three segments vary on shotshape assembly. This matters. This is a five diamond film, yes?
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
Its time now to end the series NOW before it causes any more
embarrassment. Even an entire troupe of stars cannot save a movie if it
lacks a soul.
Oceans 13 is all about a star studded cast doing their own thing. Not one manages to create a connection with the audience. Even the great Al Pacino has his limitations when the script does not allow any scope for character development.
This time around the pack wants to settle the score with sly and hardboiled Willie Bank (Al Pacino) for duping their colleague Reuben (Elliot Gould). The plan is simple. Willie Bank has to go bankrupt on the opening night of his casino.
To narrate how they go about it, the movie drags through the first half, and then drags some more during the second. There are just too many characters around and many more angles to think your way through.
I give this movie a 6/10 just for giving the audience the likes of Pacino, Clooney, Pitt, Matt, Don Cheadle and Garcia to feast their eyes upon.
Chill out on your bean bag and wait for the DVD release to watch this flick. Cause it just ain't worth your ticket money. Yawn!
"Ocean's Thirteen" is a glitzy, gaudy joke. Unfortunately for the
audience, though, the joke is on them. I have felt more self-respect
after visiting gypsy fortune tellers than I have after seeing this pile
of glamorous, conceited, nothing. An Alka-Seltzer has more substance to
it than this movie.
Undoubtedly, fewer and fewer people are going to remember that this movie is based on the 1960's Las Vegas so-called "Rat Pack" of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., comedian Joey Bishop, and actor Peter Lawford. For all their talents, all of them were on the down-side of their careers, some sliding faster than others. Considerations of money aside, once you reach Vegas your creative career is over. Next stop, Atlantic City. The Rat Pack were famous for being famous, and everything they did was some sort of unfunny in-joke. Nevertheless, the one positive thing you can say about them is that they were who they were.
With the Ocean's Thirteen bunch, though, they are not who they are. George Clooney may appeal to many people, but no one can accuse him of having a surfeit of talent. Brad Pitt and Matt Damon are still decent actors, but you'd never know it from the roles they play in this piece of self-centered fluff. One of them should have given up his role to Ben Affleck, an actor much more suited to the vapidity of these roles. And to see Al Pacino in this film is practically a national tragedy.
Mostly, though, I'm mad at myself for ignoring my movie instincts and for joining my fellow movie-going lemmings in donating money to the makers of this idiotic enterprise. See, the joke is on me.
Everyone who's buying a ticket for this movie (like me), obviously
liked the two first. And if you did that- well, you still will be
Oceans 13 has all the unbelievable cast as before (- Julia Roberts) and has added Al Pacino. In my opinion this add made me not totally slaughter the movie, he was (as always) incredible in the role of casino owner Mr.Bank. The rest of the cast is actually just themselves, George Clooney plays George Clooney, and Brad Pitt- well, Brad Pitt... The actors is just enjoying themselves with what they know will be a box-office success anyways, so they don't really put in any effort.
Soderbergh really misses out on the poor dialog and (at some parts) confusing scenes, which makes everyone scratching their heads... You're looking for some scenes which makes you bite your nails(?)- look somewhere else, this movie has none! Soderbergh you should be ashamed- what a waste of talent! But, we all expected it- and as stupid as we are (myself included), we just hope that the amazing cast will make the movie worth while- as it should. It doesn't. Don't be fooled by the Big names, this is a movie that you wanna forget the second you go out of the theater! 3/10 (some points because of Pacino)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Just got back from from watching this and I'd have to say it's probably the best film I've seen in about six months. It definitely cheered me up after that disappointing Spiderman sequel. Don't get me wrong Ocean's 13 is not quite as good as 11 but it's still a good watch (Big improvement on the second one). The absence of Catherine Zeta Jones and Julia Roberts was a bit of a surprise, but I doubt their presence would have improved the film greatly. The addition of the great Al Pacino was definitely a big positive and as usual he played his role well and brought a lot to the film. The action sequence were well done, there are quite a few funny segments in the film involving some pretty hilarious disguises. The camera work and techniques are excellent. The story was a big improvement on O-12 but I agree with what I read in another review, that it definitely lacked the suspense of the first one. Nothing really happened where the whole plan went to cock and they had to quickly come up with an even more ingenious plan or else all was doomed. It was more like, oh no somethings broken, what do we do? I know, lets buy a replacement, Phew! Apart from that, everyone played their roles fantastically, with the exception of maybe Eddie Izzard who I think was a little off character, which I found disappointing because I really enjoyed his short part in the O-12. In summary I'd say; Room for improvement, still a really good film, definitely worth the price of admission.
"The robb'd that smiles, steals something from the thief."
Andy Garcia's wealthy Terry Benedict is financing Danny Ocean's Vegas heist from casino owner Willie Bank (Al Pacino) in order to get the last smile of vengeance, thief to thief, while Danny and Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt) exact their own revenge. No honor among these slick reprobates, and good time is had by all the men and, this time, not Julia Roberts, but Clooney's real-life squeeze, Ellen Barkin, as Abigail Sponder, tough right hand to Bank.
I go to most movies as a film critic with my sensibility well-guarded against the fluffy confection of just another heist. But the Ocean's franchise, like the Bond's, has a cachet all its own with eye-pleasing duds, high-tech high jinx, and self-referential dialogue. Thus I am free to enjoy without feeling as if I'd sold out to crass commercialismI have, but willfully and pleasurably.
I guess I'm sucked in like everyone else at the movies, even with as many as I've seen and written about, because I want to go where the director, in this case the estimable Steven Soderbergh, wants to take me. In Ocean's 12, it was all over Europe; in Thirteen it's the entertainment Mecca of the Western world.
No deep thoughts come to mind, just summer mindlessness dressed up for partying (Pitt and Clooney very nicely decked out, understatedly). Clooney's musings about the changes in Vegas since guys like him had shaken Sinatra's hand serves as "change" leitmotif lighter than air. Twenty years from now we'll be talking about the iconic Pitt and Clooney in the same nostalgic way. Ocean's Thirteen reinforces its place in popular culture as a repository for our transitory adulation of movie stars and the escapes they gave us long ago.
At the end, Matt Damon exits with "See you when I see you," a fitting piece of noncommittal that may promise another Ocean's installment or just more star sightings. Clooney says goodbye to Pitt with an in-joke the world is in on: "Hey! Next time! Keep the weight off. Pitt retorts, "Have a couple of kids." This is typical of the low-key, sweetly narcissistic third installment.
Ocean's hits a lucky thirteen this time around without a big jackpot but a great deal of good will.
This one starts with Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould) in the hospital
with everybody coming together around him. Then it goes back 4 weeks
earlier. Reuben was afraid of being old and tried to build a hotel with
Willy Bank (Al Pacino). Only he got double crossed by Bank and suffered
a heart attack. Six months later, the hotel is finished and Bank is
looking to get a five diamond award for his hotel. The gang comes up
with a plan uniting with old enemy Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) to take
revenge by taking away his hotel.
Steven Soderbergh and the gang have returned. The good news is that they're back in Vegas where this franchise belongs. The plan is as convoluted as ever. It's slightly better than Twelve, but the original excitement can never be recapture. This is more star gazing than anything else.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I feel like a broken record, but I need to say it again: Ocean's
Thirteen is the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade make-up film (to
Temple of Doom.) Now, I am actually an unapologetic supporter of
Ocean's Twelve, but I truly and really liked this chapter.
Does it match the original's originality, even though that was a remake? No, but it comes pretty damn close. And they made it back to Vegas, where they belong.
The gang gathers around a fallen and deceived member and comes up with a brilliant and often hilarious plot to thwart the great Al Pacino.
Literally, that's the plot. Now, I don't mean to downplay it I had an absolute blast here, but also admired this movie tremendously.
For example, the graphics and locations were amazing. I'm a stickler for "getting Vegas right." Con Air had the strip all over the place, including casinos/hotels that didn't even exist when the movie premiered. The movie 21 had "our heroes" stay in the Green Valley Ranch that had a convenient view of the strip, even though the strip is miles away. In Ocean's Thirteen, there was a fake casino erected, and the location they gave, it made sense. Even the views from the place and hotel rooms was accurate had this place existed.
The comedy was back, the tension and fun was relevant and the suspense was key. If you loved 2001's Ocean's Eleven and that does happen to be one of my all-time favorite movies, you should truly love this. (Yeah, it helps if you saw Part "Twelve," but not 100% necessary.)
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