Ocean’s Trilogy UHD Review

4 Stars Fun set of three films
Ocean's Trilogy Review

Warner brings Steven Soderbergh’s popular Ocean’s Trilogy series to 4K UHD Blu-ray in a 3-disc set.

Ocean's Eleven (2001)
Released: 07 Dec 2001
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 116 min
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts
Writer(s): George Clayton Johnson, Jack Golden Russell, Harry Brown
Plot: Danny Ocean and his ten accomplices plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously.
IMDB rating: 7.7
MetaScore: 74

Disc Information
Studio: Warner Brothers
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 2160p HEVC w/HDR
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, English Descriptive Audio, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD, Other
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Other
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: Ocean's Eleven: 1 Hr. 56 Min.; Ocean's Twelve: 2 Hr. 5 Min.; Ocean's Thirteen: 2 Hr. 2 Min.
Package Includes: UHD, Digital Copy
Case Type: 3-disc UHD keepcase with slipcover
Disc Type: UHD
Region: All
Release Date: 04/30/2024
MSRP: $55.99

The Production: 4/5

In many ways, I see Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Trilogy films as an homage of sorts to the Burt Reynolds comedic action films from the late 1970s and early 1980s – films like Smokey and the Bandit and Cannonball Run – movies where placing a team of actors who enjoy working together in an ensemble is more of a month’s long party for the cast. The key, though, is that both Soderbergh and producer/star George Clooney knew that after the third film, that enough was enough and went on to other projects with much smaller ensembles, unlike the Burt Reynolds films that just kept going until they were well out of steam (Stroker Ace, anyone?).

Ocean’s Eleven – 4 out of 5
A remake (of sorts) of the 1960 film of the same name that starred Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop (commonly referred to as “The Rat Pack”), the 2001 film featured an all-star cast and was helmed by director Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich, Out of Sight, Traffic).

Danny Ocean (George Clooney) has just been released from jail on parole, and his first thought is to get the band back together for a never-before-attempted heist, taking down three major Las Vegas casinos – The Bellagio, The Mirage, and the MGM Grand – all owned by Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia). His first two recruits are old friends of his, Blackjack dealer Frank Catton (Bernie Mac) and partner in crime Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt). Danny and Rusty then start to recruit the remaining members of their team: financier and former casino owner Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould), the Malloy brothers (Casey Affleck and Scott Caan), electronics whiz Livingston Dell (Eddie Jamison), demolitions expert Basher Tarr (Don Cheadle), acrobat Yen (Shaobo Qin), con artist Saul Bloom (Carl Reiner) and pickpocket Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon). Complicating matters, though, is Danny’s ex-wife Tess (Julia Roberts), who is now romantically involved with Benedict and is curator for the casino’s museum. The cast are obviously having a great time working together, the script is never overly complicated yet does throw in some twists, and Soderbergh keeps the story m oving at a brisk and entertaining clip. Ocean’s Eleven is a definite crowd-pleaser through and through.

Ocean’s Twelve – 3 out of 5
The first film was a tremendous success for the studio, so three years later the band came together again for a sequel. The victim from the heist in the previous film, Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), wants revenge, demanding that Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his crew return the $160 million they stole from him in Las Vegas plus $38 million in interest. Danny pulls the team back together and they set their eyes on stealing the world’s oldest stock certificate kept under guard in Amsterdam. Their plot is foiled by a rival thief known as “The Night Fox” (Vincent Cassel), who also happened to reveal the identities of the casino heist to Benedict. Hot on their trail is Europol detective Isabel Lahiri (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who also happens to be in a relationship with Linus (Matt Damon). The plot just gets more convoluted, and that is one of the big problems with Ocean’s Twelve, is it tries too hard to top the previous entry with ludicrous plot contrivances and red herrings (such as Julia Roberts’ Tess trying o stand in as the “real” Julia Roberts). The movie gets too bogged down in its outrageousness, slowing the film to a crawl at times, that it’s just not as fun as the initial entry.

Ocean’s Thirteen – 3.5 out of 5
The third (and final “official” entry in the series – an all-female entry, Ocean’s Eight headed by Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett, directed by Gary Ross, was released in 2018) is a return to form, when Danny Ocean (George Clooney) gets the team back together one last time to avenge their ailing friend Reuben (Elliott Gould), who is in the hospital after casino tycoon Willy Bank (Al Pacino) swindled him out of his shares of Bank’s latest state of the art casino. Danny finds a common enemy in old nemesis Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), and the gang reunites to take down Banks. The original eleven members return along with “newcomers” Eddie Izzard as secondary electronics whiz Roman Nagel and Ellen Barkin as Banks’ personal assistant Abigail Sponder. This entry is more akin to the first, not only returning the film to Las Vegas, but effectively not trying to top what was done in previous films with lazy screenwriting.

Video: 4.5/5

3D Rating: NA

All three Ocean’s Trilogy films in the series were photographed using 35mm film stock in the Super 35 format. The first film was completed in 35mm with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 (it was also an early 1K DCP release). The last two films were completed as 4K digital intermediates (at least according to IMDB – my gut tells me they were originally 2K DI’s until recently) also with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1. According to Warner’s press release, all three films were remastered at the studio’s Motion Picture Imaging (MPI) facility under the supervision of director Stevn Soderbergh. The press release does not specify if MPI completed new 4K scans of the 35mm camera negative or not, but regardless, the films have never looked better. These 2160p HEVC encodes are very film-like with no obvious digital manipulation and the application of HDR10 high dynamic range is done tastefully (sorry, no Dolby Vision on the discs) and are a major improvement over the now aging VC-1 and AVC encodes used on the previous Bly-ray releases. The first and third movies have more flair, capturing the neon-lit city of Las Vegas rather perfectly, with vivid uses of color and contrast. Fine detail is excellent with noticeable but non-intrusive film grain. Blacks are deep and inky with excellent shadow details and bright highlights.

Audio: 4.5/5

Per the studio’s press release, the sound mixes have been “restored” under the supervision of original sound mixer Larry Blake, but they still retain a 5.1 layout (in other words, no Atmos remixes) and are presented in lossless DTS-HD MA. They are still very lively mixes, immersing you in the multitude of sounds of an active casino. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout the Ocean’s Trilogy.

Special Features: 4/5

Most of the extras from previous home video releases have been included in this set, and can be found on each film’s BD-100 disc (no Blu-rays have been included).

Ocean’s Eleven
Audio Commentary by Steven Soderbergh and Ted Griffin

Audio Commentary by Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Andy Garcia

Are You In or Out? The Making of “Ocean’s Eleven” (upscaled 1080p; 28:08)

Pros and Cons: Inside Ocean’s Outfit (1080p; 13:00)

The Style of Steal (1080p; 10:48)

The Look of the Con (upscaled 1080p; 9:40)

Original “Ocean’s,” Original Cool (1080p; 13:48)

Ocean’s Twelve
Audio Commentary by Steven Soderbergh and George Nolfi

Ready, Jet Set, Go: The Making of “Ocean’s Twelve” (upscaled 1080p; 25:38)

HBO First Look: “Twelve” is the New “Eleven:” The Making of “Ocean’s Twelve” (upscaled 1080p; 13:02)

Deleted Scenes (upscaled 1080p; 28:18): A total of 18 scenes are included.

Ocean’s Thirteen
Audio Commentary by Steven Soderbergh, Brian Koppelman and David Levien

Third’s a Charm: The Making of “Ocean’s Thirteen” (1080p; 29:44)

Ahab with a Piggyback: The Means & Machines of “Ocean’s” (1080p; 9:01)

Jerry Weintraub Walk and Talk (upscaled 1080p; 2:26)

Masters of the Heist (upscaled 1080p; 44:02)

Deleted Scenes (upscaled 1080p; 4:35): Four scenes have been included in Ocean’s Trilogy. Unfortunately these appear to have been upscaled from a 480i/30 source and suffer from dropped frames.

Digital Copy: A Movies Anywhere code has been included to redeem 4K digital copies of all three movies.

Overall: 4/5

The Ocean’s Trilogy films are fun pieces of entertainment that feature an all-star cast and look great in 4K.

Todd Erwin has been a reviewer at Home Theater Forum since 2008. His love of movies began as a young child, first showing Super 8 movies in his backyard during the summer to friends and neighbors at age 10. He also received his first movie camera that year, a hand-crank Wollensak 8mm with three fixed lenses. In 1980, he graduated to "talkies" with his award-winning short The Ape-Man, followed by the cult favorite The Adventures of Terrific Man two years later. Other films include Myth or Fact: The Talbert Terror and Warren's Revenge (which is currently being restored). In addition to movie reviews, Todd has written many articles for Home Theater Forum centering mostly on streaming as well as an occasional hardware review, is the host of his own video podcast Streaming News & Views on YouTube and is a frequent guest on the Home Theater United podcast.

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Ushabye

Projectionist
Joined
Mar 31, 1999
Messages
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Dublin, Ireland.
Real Name
Paul
I've always enjoyed the second one the best. It's Soderbergh's most Richard Lester-like. Plus the gymastic robbery sequence with Vincent Cassel is something special, acompanied by the best music track in the film, composed by a friend of Cassels, which alas is not included on the soundtrack album.
 
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