*** Official "OCEAN'S ELEVEN" Review Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert Crawford, Dec 7, 2001.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for Ocean's Eleven. Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.
    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning! If you need to discuss those type of issues, I have designated an Official Discussion Thread which can be found at this link.
    Crawdaddy
     
  2. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    Even with extremely low expectations going into Steven Sorderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven, the film still manages to disappoint.
    A well-written comedy is one where both the cast members and the audience have fun with the film. Here, the all-star ensemble, mostly from previous Sorderbergh films, is the only one that is having fun. Don’t you just hate it when a group of people tells an inside joke to an outsider but the outsider doesn’t laugh at the joke while the rest of the group does? Then the one telling the joke says to the fellow that was not amused, “I guess you just had to be there”. That’s too bad because the outsider in this case is the audience while the cast and filmmakers get all the fun.
    Ocean’s Eleven is an attempt by Sorderbergh at some lighter fare. The plot points really don’t matter as they cannot be taken seriously. One just has to accept them in light of the nature of the film. While it has its moments, as a comedy, the film misses. Don Cheadle’s character and European accent had its funny moments and there were some occasional one-liners that actually worked. But overall, the script was just not intelligently conceived and the jokes were not enough to sustain an entire film. For an action/adventure heist film, it is very systematic and does not contain a single ounce of suspense. With such a large cast, no one character is really memorable nor is there one actor that truly shines.
    Now that Sorderbergh has had his fun making this fluff piece, at least I hope he did, it’s time for him to get back to making films that have made him a respectable young filmmaker with previous efforts such as The Limey, Erin Brockovich, and Traffic.
    Ocean’s Eleven rates [​IMG]. It is not bad, but it is not good either. (For a true comedy, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amelie works so much better).
    As with comedies, your mileage may vary.
    ~Edwin
     
  3. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    I completely disagree with Edwin. This is a great movie from Steven Soderbergh, and a much better one than Traffic.
    Firstly, it's a visual feast. The best filmed Soderbergh film that I've ever seen. The cinematography is breathtaking, equal to that of Scorsese's Casino.
    The cast is excellent, and each actor does an nice job. The movie is extremely funny and suspenseful.
    Anyway, I loved it. This ranks up there with Limey as my favorite Soderbergh film, and it's good to see him get his groove back after the mediocre (IMO) Traffic.
    It's not just a comedy, it's a heist flick with some pretty decent suspense (unfortunately the trailer spoiled possibly the most suspenseful part of the film).
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] /[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Moved from other thread:

    here is my opinion:

    I've always hated it when people decide to remake movies that I love the original of and then they screw it up. But I watched Oceans 11 (the original, 1960) last night and thought "this is getting remade?" The film struck me as a neat concept, with the rat pack, but pretty thin on plot.

    So, I figured: great! This is a chance for the remake to improve on the original. That occassionally happens. And, since I thought both Out of Sight and Traffic were excellent films, I looked forward to Oceans 11.

    But after watching it, I left with a "ho-hum" kind of feeling. Yes, there were special effects... though they didn't seem very special. Much of the film.. I'll say, 2/3 was devoted to explaining how the action would happen. I'm not giving away much plot to say (although this is updated) a crack team is assembled with the idea of breaking into the Bellagio, MGM Grand, and Mirage and get all the goods. I guess having recently been to Vegas for COMDEX, I found some of the moments revolving around these hotels to be rather humorous, though they were not meant to be.

    The pacing was very "stop start" and was not quite as impressive as I had come to expect from Soderbergh.

    The film as a whole was fairly entertaining, but pretty confusing due to a poor plot that wasn't changed hardly at all from the original, just made more modern with some hotel changes and dollar increases.

    I guess I would say I thought it to be a passable dissapointment, not a bad film, but not anything I would consider an Oscar contender, and probably not a film I'll buy on DVD. C+

    Chris
     
  5. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Well, so far we've heard almost every swing of the pendulum.
    I thought this was a nice and very entertaining film. I found much of the fun just seeing the actors inhabit their characters. Brad Pitt continues to get into films that let him play people very different from his other movies. While he plays so low key in most of the film, seeing him in "character" is a really funny exercise in bad costumes and overacting. Carl Reiner was also a pleasure to watch, and never failed to deliver.
    Although this film is based mostly around the heist itself, it is better charactarized as a style over substance film. And the style was very easy to get into. Although not as flashy as most of his previous films, there were some nice transitions, and the character portrait approach gave everyone of the actors a chance to shine - a task which could be difficult with an ensemble of 11.
    All in all, a fun exercise and one that I would recommend.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. Grady Hollums

    Grady Hollums Second Unit

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    I think I just watched a classic in Oceans 11. I loved the timing of the plot and the story. The entire movie was fimed with the plot in mind and as soon as I felt the movie was getting slow it would pep me up with a plot twist, humor, or suspense. I loved it. I felt like I was talking with a friend the whole time and by the end I knew that I had a friend for life. The acting was very good and the twists were wonderful. I love it enough to buy it on DVD and maybe even go and watch it a second time to catch the other things I missed. Just a wonderful all around movie.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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    Terrific, classic heist film.

    Good pace, crackling dialogue, perfectly cast, and a joy from start to finish.
     
  8. David Oliver

    David Oliver Second Unit

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    I very entertaining film, fine performances, stylish, good dialogue.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. TerryRL

    TerryRL Producer

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    "Ocean's Eleven" was great fun and I really enjoyed it. Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, and Berni Mac were all hilarious and I can't say enough about Clooney, Pitt, and Garcia. The three of them oozed cool. "Ocean's Eleven" is a thoroughly enjoyable flick. Can't wait to get it on DVD.
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Being a fan of the original and after seeing the trailer, I had some misgivings about this film. However, I was pleasantly surprised that I totally enjoyed this movie! Well, for those that seen this film, we know it would take very few brain cells to burn if you wanted to shoot holes in this film's plot so much so that it would resemble a slice of swiss cheese. But for me, the actors, lines of dialogue, and direction gave me a very enjoyable movie viewing experience. I had alot of fun just watching this film and seeing some of my favorite actors perform their craft. I thought Pitt, Mac, Reiner, Gould, and Cheadle were excellent in their roles. I laughed out loud many times as these actors delivered their lines. What I like most about this film is that there was little violence in this crime caper and I still got caught up in the action which is unique in today's cinema. A very good film and one I can't wait for the dvd.

    Crawdaddy
     
  11. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    Keep in mind, I have never seen the original......
    An almost perfect crime caper. There's no stellar performances, and I would have liked a little more time spent on some of the characters. I too think it's LITE Soderbergh. I think this movie is one of my least favs of his.
    RATING=B-
     
  12. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] out of [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Ocean's Eleven is an almost great heist film. Aside the problems with the weak plot, the film is a fun ride for the two hours your in the theater. Great preformances from all the actors, stylish editing and pace, and a "kick ass" soundtrack. I would recommend people to see it.
     
  13. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    My one word review of "Ocean's Eleven": Lackluster.

    This film was placed on autopilot almost as soon as you see Casey Affleck's character's Radio-Controlled "Stomper Bully" race/truck get stomped on by its inspiration, a real race/truck during a mini-race.

    I think the problem with this film is the serious lack of character development, it really felt like a video game adaptation in some respects. I didn't really care about any of the characters in this film. Soderbergh should've filmed this film in a documentary style because that's about as close it gets to the subject matter, at arm's length. I suppose part of the problem is having such a huge "team" and trying to give at least a bit of meat to the main stars: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts.

    The actual heist was ho-hum, ran like clockwork (you really need more things to go wrong, in the manner that actually affects the heist and they have to scramble to make it work, there were some small things go wrong, but nothing that wasn't easily overcome, and heighten the suspense), at least in the recent film "The Score" there was more suspense for the audience to get hooked into and the outcome was somewhat in doubt.

    For a second, I had wondered if I'd stepped into Godfather IV when Andy Garcia graces the screen, and his character's "background" in handling thieves of the casinos that he runs is rolled out for the audience.

    Perhaps it's the nature of the thieves, but there was some serious low-energy acting in this film. I felt like they were totally smirking underneath while they were phoning in their performances and fleecing the audience of their movie ticket money. It parallels the heist itself in some respects.

    I guess I expected more out of Soderbergh, but it seemed to be a "breather" film for him, something to shoot and hang out with some high profile actors/stars.

    The only really minimally funny scene is when Brad Pitt's character is teaching "real" Hollywood actors how to play poker, and among the real actors were Joshua Jackson, Holly Combs, Tofer (dude on "That 70's show), and some other young actors.

    I give the film 2.5 stars, or a grade of C+.
     
  14. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    I have to agree with the Soderburgh-lite comment.

    There is almost nothing "wrong" with the film. But it is also missing some gutsy grab-ya sequences that really get your blood going. So I laughed, a lot, but never from deep inside. I feared, lightly, as they ran the caper. I enjoyed seeing them win, like the team you made your favorite wins when your team didn't make the playoffs.

    I thought the acting was fine. I still think Roberts is a decent actress (unlike most) and Pitt and Cheadle are still amazing. In fact everyone does well, but they just don't have enough to do. I agree that you are always skimming the surface.

    Visually it's vintage SS still. Soundtrack too (think Out of Sight soundtrack). It felt like Out of Sight if you removed the deeper emotional involvement.

    It's done well, there's just not enough done, period.

    In fact, here's what Ocean's 11 is...

    a GOOD popcorn flick. When we talk about SMART popcorn flicks, this is it. Light product done with some taste and class brought to you by a guy who has made his name lately by making amazing challenging films.

    So the next time you hear someone saying they don't want to check their brain at the door to enjoy a popcorn flick, they mean they want something with Ocean's 11 quality and lack of depth.

    7.5 out of 10
     
  15. Allen Hirsch

    Allen Hirsch Supporting Actor

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    I agree with you, Seth.

    It would be hard to get depth from many characters when you have a star-studded cast like this, unless it ran 3+ hours.

    Much better to do it this way - keep it smart, even if it's not deep. The alpha males are clearly Clooney and Pitt, and they do a good job. (I like their cool and their "leadership" in organizing the heist.) There's some fun stuff for Matt Damon, Carl Reiner and Don Cheadle to do, too, and Julia Roberts has gotten a bum rap from a review or two I've seen.

    The story doesn't ever insult the audience's intelligence IMO, even if it's impossible to actually pull off this job the way they do it. IOW, it's highly Hollywood plausible, even if it's real-world impossible.
     
  16. Chris Dugger

    Chris Dugger Supporting Actor

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    My .02 worth....

    I saw OCEAN'S 11 in the last week of October.

    I currently attended a second screening to see if my feelings from the first screening were valid. Unfortunately, my feeling haven't change.

    OCEAN'S 11 succeeds in the realm that is must have been allot of fun to make. We have seen this type of fun in every Burt Reynolds film between 1978 - 1985. This is where Burt gets all his buddy together to make a flick and it just looks like they all had a blast, but the movie pretty much ends up sucking.

    Here with OCEAN'S 11, I get the same feeling. The actors here are allot of fun watching. The chemistry that they all exhibit is hollywood magic, plain and simple, but the overall movie is just somewhat bland.

    Any attempt at suspense and mis-direction is poorly choreographed. What I mean here is that it is telegraphed so blatantly that the out come is of no surprise. I was looking for more of a "STING" type of surprise, here. Yet, although attempted, it just didn't happen.

    So.... I suggest, if you're looking for a film in which you just wish to have a great time watching the actors and you wish to flush the plot... this is the flick for you.... But, if you wish to see and good time caper flick with a group of the good old boys, I suggest you rent "THE SCORE".

    Dugger
     
  17. AdrianJ

    AdrianJ Supporting Actor

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    I went to see Ocean's 11 yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. I had just seen the original only a week ago, and thought this was a much better film.
    I think the chemistry between the cast memebers of the film, expecially Clooney and Pitt, is just incredible. The dialogue is generally sharp and the overall planning/execution of the heist was good. (I'm sure that the plan can be picked apart in afterthought, but it was highly entertaining as it was going on.)
    My only complaint was the ending. It was just too happy, happy at the end! Also, it looks like the might be planning a possible sequel.
    I give it [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]1/2 out of [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  18. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Ocean's Eleven is a preposterous plot (more Mission:Impossible than bank heist) wonderfully presented by a superb cast. Ignore the silly plot problems and technical flaws, and enjoy the performances, muted humor, and funky Soderbergh directing.
    I enjoyed Ocean's Eleven a great deal. It's lighter and more humorous than Out of Sight, though the story is less substantial.. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it.
    If you demand realism, or can't enjoy a journey for its own sake (regardless of destination), then stay away. But if you like Soderbergh's movies, or Clooney, Pitt, Damon, Garcia, Roberts, or some combination thereof, then go see Ocean's Eleven.
     
  19. StephenT

    StephenT Stunt Coordinator

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    This is certainly a lighter film compared to Soderbergh's recent efforts, but light doesn't necessarily translate to bad. George Clooney has proven he's more than just a TV doctor, and this performance does nothing to change that. The rest of the all-star cast get at least one scene to show their stuff. All of them were fine if not great except I couldn't understand why Don Cheadle had to use that unnecessary and horrible accent. I really liked the scene where TV stars played themselves attempting poorly to learn poker. Topher Grace needs to be in more films playing someone other than himself.
    The pace was right, the dialogue was fun, and the end heist was entertaining if not all that plausible. Soderbergh should do more films like Traffic, The Limey, and Out of Sight but there's nothing wrong with a little fun diversion now and then.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (out of four)
     

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