Monday, June 18, 2007

Ocean's Thirteen

It was weird enough that they made a sequel to a remake of a 1960s movie, now they have gone ahead and made it into a trilogy. I liked this one more than Ocean's Twelve, which was a bit too clever and snappy for its own good, but not more than Ocean's Eleven, which was quite good though not exactly good enough to mandate a sequel, let alone two.

This time around the premise goes like this: Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould) has some kind of stroke after being cheated out of a Vegas casino partnership by bad guy Willie Bank (Al Pacino). To square things up, Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his boys (Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Matt Damon, et al) scheme to infiltrate the casino, rig all the casino games, and take off with hundreds of millions of dollars in winnings.

This series is all about style. It has a very lighthearted breezy cool feeling to it, as if Steven Soderbergh got the inspiration to make the movie on a whim, rounded up his ensemble cast in an afternoon, and whipped together the entire movie in a week or so. But I mean that in the best possible way... some of my proudest work, of any form, is produced when I just let things go and allow nature to take its course. When too much thought goes into something it often turns out anticlimactic, clunky, unnatural.

Maybe the trouble is that since the series is defined by its lightheartedness, a lot of thought has surely been put into ensuring that the movie maintains that distinct style. The form seems to be all good, but there's that indefinable substance that seems to be somewhat off, and while the movie turned out to be good in all respects, I get the woeful feeling that it is distinctly forgettable.

By the way, to the three girls that were sitting in the corner of the theater, chatting and giggling loudly throughout the movie: There are a billion other places you can do that for free, with the added bonus of not pissing everybody off.

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