Ocean's 13 (2007)
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Brian Koppelman, David Levien
George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Ellen Barkin, Al Pacino, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Elliott Gould, Shaobo Qin, Don Cheadle, Eddie Jemison, Andy Garcia, Carl Reiner, Eddie Izzard, David Paymer, Michael Mantell, Adam Lazarre-White, Michael Harney, Luis Chávez, James Martin Kelly, Lejla Hadzimuratovic, Angel Oquendo, Noureen DeWulf, David McDivitt, Jacquie Barnbrook, Scott L. Schwartz, Armen Weitzman, James DuMont, Gregor Collins, Caroline Timm, Maury Rogow, Holly Hindman, Nancy Stelmaszczyk, Rebecca Engel, Nick Puga, John C. McDonnell, Matt Duggan, Paul Walia, Kasey Mahaffy, Sean Lake, Adam Kaiz, Akebono, Musashimaru
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|Movie Review by Matthew |
June 13th, 2007
Fun and Breezy. A cool caper.
Danny Ocean (George Clooney) gathers the group together because one of their own has been hurt by a malicious new casino owner, Willy Bank (Al Pacino). Bank entered into a partnership with Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould) to use his influence, to steal his land and to smooth the wheels of bureaucracy. Reuben doesn't listen to the warnings and gladly helps with all of this. When his usefulness is over, Willy forces him out and Reuben collapses. Danny and Rusty (Brad Pitt) show up at his bedside and learn what happened. When Willy refuses to make it right, they set out, on two fronts, to destroy Willy and his new deluxe casino, the Bank Casino on opening night; they want to bankrupt the casino and prevent Bank from earning another coveted 5 Diamond Award. They bring in Linus (Matt Damon), Basher (Don Cheadle), Frank (Bernie Mac) and all of the others. There plan is to attack on many fronts, so they bring in a hacking expert, Roman Nagel (Eddie Izzard) to help. His news isn't good, so they refine their plan. Eventually, they need an infusion of cash and someone suggests they turn to Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia). He agrees, with one caveat; they must also steal the diamonds that Bank gives his wife every time he receives the 5 Diamond Award for one of his hotels. They are secured in a room at the top of the casino. Keeping an eye out for all of Bank's activities is his personal assistant, Abigail Sponder (Ellen Barkin), a tough as nails woman who seems to only have eyes for her boss.
"Ocean's 13", the second sequel to the remake of the original Rat Pack film, directed by Steven Soderbergh, is a really fun caper romp. Love those caper romps. More importantly, it is so much better than the last sequel. Sooooo much better.
Anytime filmmakers go to the effort of redoing the studio logo to match the look and feel of their film, it is a signal we are in for something special. For "13", the studio logos are set against retro graphics, something like you might see in a film from the 60s. Given this is a sequel to a remake of a film from the 60s, the filmmakers are clearly trying to return to the roots of the project and deliver a breezy, fun piece of escape to entertain their fans for a few hours during the summer.
The "Ocean's" films are Soderbergh's most commercial projects. He eschews most of the technical tricks and ideas he experiments with in his other films for a slick, glossy production value perfectly matching the Las Vegas setting. "13" is set at a new casino, which seems to be a mishmash of styles in an effort to attain a coveted 5 Diamond Award, and to appeal to most guests and particularly Asian high rollers. The hotel is filled with dark colors, shiny surfaces (marble, highly polished wood, gold, silver) and luxurious items. Soderbergh's camera (he also serves as the Director of Photography) captures every element of this excess.
The entire cast returns and they have added some memorable actors to make the mix exciting and fresh.
George Clooney seems tailor made for the role of Danny Ocean. He is a con-man and thief who always seems to be one step ahead of his prey. In each film, there are insurmountable odds, but he and the rest of his crew have come up with a plan that is difficult, maybe even impossible, but there is too much money at stake. They have thought through every aspect of the plan and now feel they can navigate through the treacherous waters. This all makes sense, because they put up their own money to bankroll the plan to reap the considerable rewards at the end of the operation, but wouldn't risk it. They would naturally work out every detail to protect their investment.
Clooney has an easy going charm that has helped to make him a movie star. Danny Ocean is for Clooney exactly what the role was for Sinatra; a chance to work with some friends, make some money and give him some bargaining power for more substantial projects. Last year, "The Good German", directed by Soderbergh and starring Clooney, made about $1.2 million, considerably less than it cost. Warner Bros. produced that film as well as "13". I'm sure "12" made "The Good German" and "Syriana" possible and now that they have "13", Warner Bros. is probably not very upset and willing to take a chance on another risky Clooney project.
Clooney is a good actor, but this is a breezy role and he doesn't have to exhibit a lot of acting chops. All of the actors just have to keep things moving, keep them lighthearted and keep the audience entertained. If they do that, they have been successful.
It won't fit. Please read the full review at thornhillatthemovies.com
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