Thursday, August 2, 2007

Ocean's Eleven

Brad Pitt poses and George Clooney smirks in a caper film that tries hard to be stylish and has more holes in its plot than a rusted-out cheese grate. The movie does redeem itself slightly with a couple of explosions, but the other requirement for keeping my attention while Hollywood pretty-boys play to the camera was thoroughly missing, i.e. a fine or at least attractive female performer. There were a lot of fine clothes and a beautiful casino in this film, but I don't recall a single shot of a single attractive woman. The entire caper was run by men and the casino was run by men, so the casting director made up for this testosterone overload by selecting for the female part Hollywood's Least Interesting Woman, a wide-mouthed stick-figure who mostly stared emptily from within the folds of her ugly costumes. Anyone, absolutely anyone with more acting talent than Britney Spears would have been a better choice than Julia Roberts. Even Cameron Diaz would have been an improvement, and that is a painful admission indeed.

Of course, I don't need to have women in it to enjoy a film, no indeed. Only for a semi-stylish caper flick was this one lacking in that ingredient. Imagine a James Bond with nothing but men and, I dunno, Julia Roberts. Makes you sick, doesn't it? But apart from that, there were three fine actors who comported themselves wonderfully. Andy Garcia had clearly learned from his mentor Michael Corleone how to trust no one and operate a huge gambling operation with ruthless efficiency. Elliott Gould was nearly perfect as an overdressed elder of the Jewish mafia who had been shoved aside by an upstart Italian and wanted revenge. And Carl Reiner was a delight in every scene, playing his double role with total conviction, managing to be both humorous and awe-inspiring in every go.

Nothing against Pitt and Clooney. Their banter was delivered well enough and they're handsome fellows, and I'm sure they're quite popular. Clooney made a great film in OBWAT (YKWIM), and Pitt, well, I've heard of him a lot so he must be somebody. But was this thing entertaining? Well, sure. I'm just glad I rented rather than bought it.


Teacake said...

I have no idea what you're on about. Oceans 11 is a Great Fucking Film (GFF). Twelve was an abomination. Haven't seen 13 yet.

It's true that George and Matt Damon are pretty, and that probably influenced me, ahem, somewhat.

One of the really fun things about O11 for me is that they're clearly all just fooling around - there are several moments where it's clearly the actors and not the characters laughing - and I find that funny.

But if you're going to say a GFF requires a GFP (Great Fucking Permance), then fine: Don Cheadle.

And has anyone reading this ever, even for a second, been disappointed by a Casey Affleck performance? One brother got the talent, and the other got the, um, really square head.

Teacake said...


You know. Performance.

Jodie K said...

Why'd they take the only strong female lead of the trilogy, Ellen Barkin, and turn her into a sad, clich├ęd old cougar?

And as a girl, I noticed she wore the same boobies-up-high-and-tight dress (albeit in an array of colors) all throughout the film.

msb said...

Waiting on baited breath to see this one. Maybe fish breath. but to look at Andy Garcia for 90 minutes... worth every penny.

Don said...

GFF, fine. I'm just sensitive to deus ex machina that make absolutely no sense. What was the point of using "The Switch", this sci-fi looking gizmo that supposedly EMP'd Vegas for 30 seconds, and which they stole with no tribble a' tall from a secure energy research center in the next state over? I liked the Don Cheadle character a lot but that was a serious misuse.

Anyway. Sar another film the next night but no chance to write it up.

Jeff said...

"One brother got the talent, and the other got the, um, really square head."

Watch "Hollywoodland." Ben Affleck surprised the hell out of me -- it was a great role.