Ocean's Eleven [VHS]
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Product Description

Ocean's Eleven improves on 1960's Rat Pack original with supernova casting, a slickly updated plot, and Steven Soderbergh's graceful touch behind the camera. Soderbergh reportedly relished the opportunity "to make a movie that has no desire except to give pleasure from beginning to end," and he succeeds on those terms, blessed by the casting of George Clooney as Danny Ocean, the title role originated by Frank Sinatra. Fresh out of jail, Ocean masterminds a plot to steal $163 million from the seemingly impervious vault of Las Vegas's Bellagio casino, not just for the money but to win his ex-wife (Julia Roberts) back from the casino's ruthless owner (Andy Garcia). Soderbergh doesn't scrimp on the caper's comically intricate strategy, but he finds greater joy in assembling a stellar team (including Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Carl Reiner) and indulging their strengths as actors. The result is a film that's as smooth as a silk suit and just as stylish. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews:

  • Entertaining
    This movie has a great cast with a decent story. Wouldn't think Ocean's 12 would be made and once was enough. Entertaining enough to sit through once, but the DVD is a bit of a waste because I don't see myself watching this film again....more info
  • Good movie
    The action in this movie is amazing. The idea behind the movie is great. Actors are great. This movie is great as a date movie.
    ...more info
  • Farfetched But Fun
    This is a 'heist' show that is quite well done.

    It features George Clooney as Danny Ocean. He just got paroled from prison after serving five years for a theft. He has planned a huge caper to loot three Las Vegas casinos when their vaults are at their fullest.

    To pull it off, he assembles a group of highly skilled crooks to carry out the job. The planning covers all kinds of diversions as well as the main event. Much of it is obviously over the top as there are some big flaws with the casino security.

    This movie does a good job of providing some laughs and overall entertainment. ...more info
  • Over-hyped excuse to bill big-name actors
    This film is a perfect example of how straight action and big-name stars cannot replace the necessity of well written drama.

    I will not give away the plot -- although that is admittedly hard to do since there is so little of it. Basically Clooney's character Mr. Ocean, a career burgler, is released from prison with a plan to rob the vault of a Las Vegas casino. So he recruits 11 men, each with a talent to add to the operation. This is where the trouble begins. The viewer is given no reason at all why he should sympathize with any of these characters. There is almost no introduction to many of them, and barely even a mention of their names. Literally half an hour into the film "the eleven" are assembled and they're already robbing the casino. How's that for plot development? And that's basically it ladies and gentlemen: go to Vegas, rob casino, go home, movie over. Some of the "good guys" are even outright repellant. Our would-be heros' enterprise is bankrolled by some greasy Hollywood tycoon. Am I supposed to like this fat weasel?

    The only reason we are given to sympathize at all with at least Mr. Ocean, is that the guy he's robbing, the casion owner, is a really bad guy. Supposedly he has people killed 'n stuff. (This actor played a bad guy in Godfather Part 3). But we never see any real evil deeds. In fact, he just seems like a handsome, polite, very prosperous businessman. He manages to raise his voice for just one line in the entire film. Mr. Ocean on the other hand, and his cohorts, are career criminals. But the guy they're robbing is an even greater criminal, you see. So that makes it OK. And really, if you were being robbed, wouldn't you want to be robbed by George Clooney and Brad Pitt? They're such nice guys. That makes getting robbed fun. Just a couple of nice guys stealing from another nice guy. How thrilling.

    This entire film is a rushed series of action sequences punctuated by a few soap opera moments with Julia Roberts. There are a few minor things going on in the backgroung, like a boxing match, which are essentially irrelevent. Throughout there seems to be vital information missing (like say, a plot). Soderbergh simply did a terrible job of making me care what happens to Clooney and Roberts.

    This film is also horribly cut. Several times what seemed like vital plot details were intoduced, and then completely forgotten about. Take the scene where Pitt and a buddy are casing out the joint and the casino's owner makes an appearence. The folder he has just been handed, explains Pitt, contains secret security codes. You would think that would be something important right? You would think they will need to get those codes. Well, wrong. In fact you won't hear or see a single thing more about them for the rest of the movie. They introduce what seems to be an important detail and then totally abandon it without any development. And that happens all the time in this movie.

    In fact Mr. Ocean's team gets down the secure elevator shaft and into the vault with only minor difficulties. (And boy, they started repelling down that shaft quick, didn't they? You didn't even know they were robbing the place yet. Wow, these guys are good. Or maybe Steven Soderbergh is as over-rated as his film.) They make it look easier than breaking into the safe at 7-eleven. This, after Mr. Ocean briefed his crew at the beginning on the nearly impregnable security measures the vault was supposed to have.

    One would hope this film would at least end strong. But Soderburgh makes the final scene open ended in such a way as to leave the audience confused and disappointed. We are left wondering whether the "eleven" actually got away with their caper...or worse. What a way to completely overturn the mood of a movie that at least had the merit of being light-hearted. The writer of the screenplay even said as much in the audio commentary to the DVD! (As did the actors in their commentary.)Probably the best moment on this DVD is hearing the screenwriter tell Soderbergh to his face that he screwed up the ending.

    I am loath to give either 1 or 5 stars, since hardly anything is absolutely good or bad, but this film comes very close to 1 star. This is your standard artistically worthless Hollywood product. It is big on budget, big on bling, and low on story. I suppose if you just feel like wasting some time, this is as good a way to do it as any. Personally I would rather have a story with more substance....more info
  • A movie worth watching!
    Definitely a great movie, Ocean's Eleven, brings to the screen the story of a recently released bank robber who plans to rob three Las Vegas casinos in one go. Things become a bit more complicated when the team he has set up to carry out the heist finds out that his ex-wife is the casinos' owner's current girlfriend...
    George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts, and the rest of this AMAZING cast, have outdone themselves with their performances, which are exceptional to say the least. All the actors, without exceptions, give it their 100% and it really shows! Very well written and very well presented, the movie is without a doubt guaranteed to provide more than just a few thrills, not to mention a few laughs.
    The setting, the plot, the dialogues, the humor, and the music are all wonderful!
    In short, Ocean's Eleven is a movie worth watching and one to seriously consider adding to your movie collection (if you haven't already done so)! It is definitely a keeper! 4? Stars
    ...more info
  • Just as good as ocean's 12
    A great movie with comedy and action. Julia Roberts is hot....more info
  • Quick Paced Caper
    I enjoyed this movie. It started with an interesting premise, a guy by the name of Danny Ocean gets out of prison with a plan to rob 3 casinos in Las Vegas. Instead over worrying too much about parole, he immediately begins assembling his crew of eleven people to do the job. Brad Pitt as Rusty Ryan, his second in command, Matt Damon as the pickpocket to get the codes from the casino boss, Carl Reiner as the high roller to help get some tools into the vault, Don Cheadle as the explosives expert to knock out the power briefly, a Chinese acrobat/contortionist to get smuggled into the vault in a cash cannister, Bernie Mac as the Blackjack dealer on the inside, a technical guy and couple of drivers round out the team.

    The target: The vault at the Belaggio which is also shared by the Mirage and the MGM Grand, all owned by the same man Terry Benedict played by Andy Garcia.

    The twist: Casino Boss Benedict's girlfriend is none other than Tess Ocean, Danny's ex-wife played by Julia Roberts.

    All in all, this was an entertaining, fast-paced movie expertly put together by director Steven Soderbergh. The editing of this movie was absolutely excellent. From the beginning scene of Danny Ocean in front of his parole board to the scene on the train where he's watching Matt Damon's character in action, to the complicated scenes of the heist itself, the editing really makes his movie. They did an outstanding job of making a picture worth a thousand words. A perfect example is the scene where they are blowing up the old casino to make room for a new Benedict mega-casino and the entire crowd except for Danny Ocean turns around to watch the building come down. Ocean's eyes stay fixed on the stage where his ex-wife stands next to Terry Benedict as he depresses the plunger to start the explosion. In that instant, you know that Ocean is motivated more by his ex-wife than anything else including the money. And they told you all that in a flash of a scene, just amazing.

    But the editing has to be first rate in a movie like this. You have to be able to see things unfold, especially in a scheme as complex as this. And they do a fantastic job of it in this movie, I had no trouble keeping up with what was going on. And was just as fooled in the end as Benedict and his men were. Just great!

    On to the acting, which is where I thought the movie was a little deficient. Where the movie stumbles is in it's overabundance of camera hogs. There's just too much star power and not enough feet of film to satisfy them all. Clooney, Pitt, Damon and Bernie Mac end up battling each other into mediocrity in their scenes. Cheadle is downright irritating, and a piece of furniture would have brought more to the role of Tess Ocean than Julia Roberts did. The rest of the team is totally faceless, they could have been played by anyone. The two actors that really stand out are Andy Garcia as Terry Benedict, the casino owner and Carl Reiner as the aging con man Saul. Garcia's portrayal of the casino boss is chillingly perfect, the ever gracious host with just the right hint of a threat of violence below the surface if you don't play by the rules. And Carl Reiner is totally cool playing a character within a character and pulls off Lerner Zerga, the wealthy east European arms dealer with aplomb.

    My only other gripe about the movie is the stupid plot idea of the "pinch" something that supposedly simulates the elctro-magnetic pulse of a nuclear bomb. First of all, there is no such thing, certainly not one you could load into the back of a van. Secondly if there was such a thing, you couldn't steal it. And thirdly if you did set it off in a large city like Las Vegas, the power wouldn't come back on after two minutes, it would take more like five years to completely rewire the city. But the "pinch" is a typically lazy Hollywood plot device that gets around the problem of howintheheck are these guys going to cut out all power, even emergency power, to the heavily protected and secured vault for two minutes.

    If you can ignore that and some of the sub-par acting, this is a great movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I'll have to check out both the original and the sequel sometime soon....more info
  • Very good, great sexy, stylish, modern cast and cool theme.
    I really liked this movie. It was done stylish, but not over the top. George Clooney was really good in this. I loved how it ended :) and wish they would've left it at that. cuz '...twelve' was a snoozer....more info
  • Fun movie
    The movie unfolds in a deluxe cast is very interesting.
    blu-ray is a good video and sound so beautiful.
    I love work....more info
  • Unimpressed
    I only caught the 2nd half of this movie on tv last night so can't comment on the movie as a whole except to say that I am no fan of ludicrous caper movies. But I must point out that the scene near the end where Julia Roberts runs up to George Clooney as he's being led away by the cops is totally stolen from the final scene of "Green Card" (Andie McCowell & Gerard Depardieu) and it's not done nearly as well, either. Don't want anyone to think that got past me....more info
  • entertaining from beginning to end
    Though I haven't seen the original, I'm willing to bet this is probably one of the best remakes in film history. Everything about this movie was done well from a good plot, developed characters, and intense moments. Quite honestly, Ocean's 11 delivers the best bank job I've ever seen. In addition to the character development, you can tell that the actors really had fun doing this movie and everyone just about had an equal part regardless of the main cast members. What really impressed me was how well Daniel Ocean's team had to work in attempt to pull off a near impossible heist. If you are looking for a film that offers a good thrill, Ocean's 11 is definately worth viewing and worth a second or even third view at that. As for the DVD, not many bonus features but the featurettes are pretty good....more info
  • Ocean's Eleven
    One's attention is immediately drawn to this movie for its many famous stars such as George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts. It is a bit odd storyline from the beginning that Daniel Ocean, played by George Clooney, risked robbing the casino for love and revenge. However, I liked how they planned the whole thing out carefully and how the movie proceeded speedy. I liked the part when Rusty, played by Brad Pitt, calls Terry Benedict, played by Andy Garcia, and tells him that they are robbing his casino. And yet, Benedict wasn't able to get anything, neither the money nor his woman. Also, I liked how it let Tess, played by Julia Roberts, know Benedict preferred money to her. I thought it would have been better if the casino heist weren't so perfectly planned and that there were some critical moments or tensions. Though I now know there is a sequel of this movie, "Ocean's Twelve", when I first watched this movie I predicted that there would be another one. Because at the end two of Benedict's staffs follow where Ocean and Rusty were going. All-in-all this was a hilarious and well-acted movie overall....more info
  • Great BECAUSE it's meaningless shimmer!
    Well, it may seem ridiculous to give a good review to a movie which is, let's face it, essentially a piece of Hollywood glitter - glossy, with no real substance. But this is the reason I like it. Despite Julia Robert's annoying, predictable role as the love interest and the worryingly bad attempt at a Cockney accent by Don Cheadle (who, nonetheless, I applaud for his characterisation of a demolitions genius), this film quite simply rules. In my books, this film falls into the same category as 'Gossip' - another film that most of the newspaper critics hated, reducing it to simply `more teenage rubbish'. I, on the other hand, loved it. Films like these two are great because they are pieces of slick, empty, stylish Hollywood trash, not bad because of it.
    `Ocean's Eleven' has very little storyline. Steven Soderbergh was preoccupied with getting as many established Hollywood film stars as he could, and tried to make the film more cool by adding in stars playing themselves, such as Joshua Jackson and Holly Marie Combs. The sheer number of leads in the film means that any characterisation (save a little for George Clooney) is joyfully tossed out of the window.
    But, I have to argue the other side.
    The filmmaking is slick and stylish, and despite not really an intentionally funny film, the understated humour sometimes made me laugh out loud (difficult to do) in enjoyment and satisfaction. The music is great, perfectly timed and perfectly selected. None of the actors are exactly taxed during this film; the lack of characterisation means that they have little part to play. Brad Pitt does what he does best - looks beautiful. I don't think Brad Pitt is a particularly good actor, but I do love what little character he has in this film - the constant eating was a quirk I particularly liked. Probably something I relate to.
    This is a smooth, streamlined film which I love so much because of its simplicity, not in spite of it. It revels in the effortless presentation of a not particularly imaginative premise (how many similar films sucked? Let's not mention `Welcome to Collinwood'). Basically, this film is cool. ...more info
  • Immensely entertaining!
    I watched this one on DVD last night and was pleasantly surprised at what I saw. Bear in mind that I'm writing this review from the perspective of one who has not seen the original 1960 version of this movie (featuring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., et al.). Therefore I know nothing about how the two versions compare with each other, and frankly I don't care. This version stands on its own two feet quite nicely.

    George Clooney plays just paroled con-man/convict Danny Ocean. On the very day he gets out of prison, Danny starts to set in motion a plan to pull off the biggest scam ever -- to raid the vault that holds the earnings of the three hottest casinos in Vegas, to the tune of $160 million. The vault is described as having a security system comparable to that of your average nuclear missile silo. Oh, and by the way, these casinos just happen to be owned by the man who stole Danny's wife, Tess (Julia Roberts), so there's a little extra motivation to stiff this guy but good.

    Joined by his right-hand-man, Rusty (played by Brad Pitt), Danny begins to assemble his squad of top-notch crooks (one of whom is played by Matt Damon), each one an expert in one or another necessary skill, and each one with his own little quirks. Once the plan begins to develop, it's likely poetry in motion. Watching these consummate professionals in action was a total treat. The element of suspense was limited throughout the film, as the focus was more on watching Ocean's crew in action. However, there are a few nailbiter scenes, and the surprise twist at the end was wonderfully unexpected.

    If you haven't seen this movie, you really should. Don't get hung up on how it compares to the earlier version, or you'll miss all the great stuff in this one. Clooney and Pitt do a bang-up acting job, but Damon's character is a bit marginal. I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel, "Ocean's Twelve"....more info
  • I don't really like it...and quite frankly I don't understand why!
    With a cast this great and a director this good you'd expect this movie to be much better than it really is. `Oceans Eleven' isn't horrible, it isn't even bad, it's okay, but okay is not what I wanted. When I first saw this film I was blinded by the star power and ended up purchasing the DVD, but upon watching it again, shortly after buying it, I realized something. I don't really like this movie. It bores me a bit and doesn't leave a lasting impression. In fact, I have no desire to see `Oceans Twelve' or the upcoming `Oceans Thirteen' although I will most likely end up seeing them some day. The plot could have served up a great movie, but so many areas of this film run dry. It's hard to explain really because nothing seems to be wrong with it. Great cast, decent script, good plot...it should be wonderful but something...I can't place it...but something is horribly wrong!...more info
  • Clooney and company hit it big
    No major special affects, no grand CGI animation, no promise of a violent showdown between the protaganist and antagonist. Ocean's Eleven is a tribute to simple film making that relies on characters, dialogue and pacing.

    Considering the cast, it's amazing they were able to make this movie. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia...where does it end? If this was the NFL they would have broken the salary cap five times over. I think the money they cart out at the end of the movie was their paychecks. It was reported that George sent his buddy Julia a twenty dollar bill in his request for her to be in the movie. The quote inside; `I hear you work for twenty these days'. This kind of simple charm has worked it's way into the movie. Clooney and director Steven Soderberg have created a masterful remake of the Rat Pack movie that is far superior to the original, which starred Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. The 1960's version was widely known to be a stinker, so you may wonder why anyone would re-make a bomb? Why ask why? The new version is witty, quick and sharp as a ginsu.

    Everyone is in top form playing characters who are specialists in one way or another. Don Cheadle is especially note worthy speaking with a British accent, playing an explosives and electronics expert. Clooney's character, Danny Ocean, pulls together a group of professionals to pull off one of the biggest Las Vegas heists in history. Timing and intelligence are key, as well as the delicate art of the con.

    The story unfolds however to reveal that Ocean's former wife, Tess (Julia Roberts) is now married to Terry Benedict, the man he is trying to con, and rob over 200 million dollars from. He knows Terry doesn't care about Tess like he does and in the midst of the robbery, he proves it. Don't worry, I haven't spoiled anything for you. Trying to keep track of everything going on can be a little exhausting, but in the end, everything is made clear. And if not, don't worry because you will want to watch the movie again. I'm really looking foward to the sequel....more info
  • OK disc - really only worth 2 stars...
    ... but i really wanted to watch it on my 50" 1080p Panasonic plasma at its best version. no 3D pop or great picture quality. HD audio is OK. this is the best of the 'Ocean' series, and if you love this movie, the blu-ray version is the best one to have (if one owns a blu-ray player). a couple steps up from the DVD, it's worth getting used or at a good Amazon price....more info
  • Jais review of oceans 11

    Steven Soderbergh out does himself with the 2001 release of the 1960s remake Ocean's 11. By assembling a dream team of today's hottest actors including George Clooney( reprising the role once played by Frank Sinatra), Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, and Andy Garcia, the movie has fantastic written all over it. Yet the real star of this movie is Las Vegas. The current day decadence of Las Vegas provides for the perfect backdrop and flows so effortlessly into the film it becomes the 12th member of the cast. Ocean's Eleven is a witty film about a casino heist where everything turns out just the way you want it too, even if you need to wait till the end to have everything explained to you. The team of cons are so flamboyant and funny that you forget their criminals. It also does not do any harm that these criminals are very very good looking. Brad Pitt is fabulous in his role as Rusty. Second in command to the plan and Danny, Pitt is fantastic and he played it just right, not overriding George Clooney. All are impeccably entertaining, with witty script, and an even more witty cleverness to their plan. The plot of the film is to pull off robbing three of Las Vegas's biggest casinos on fight night, but what gives the film depth is the charm of George Clooney playing Danny Ocean. This film is a classic heist film wrapped up in a love story. Ocean's 11 is the best way to spend two hours, you become lost in the film mostly due to the extraordinary camera work. Simply stated Oceans 11 is one of the best movies I have ever seen.
    ...more info
  • Clever
    I thought this movie was very clever - the plot was so out there...so many things had to happen for things to work out. I think the cast was AMAZING, they were perfect at their roles. There was humor, but it wasn't normal humor. It was humourous how George Clooney could have a conversation with Brad Pitt, with only one of them talking...the other one sitting there, stony faced, not saying a word. Things like that were funny. I think some people may find this movie boring, but if you're into really weird, abstract humor, and twisted plots, this movie is for you!...more info
  • Cheating the System (spoilers)
    In Oceans Eleven, cool colors are used throughout the entirety of the film because it helps calm the audience from then building suspense when the colors the actors are wearing are relaxing and soothing and because when the surroundings are not vibrant and explosive the mood seems to change and contradict the plot. However, Julia Roberts character, Tess, her clothing color choices are warm, which reveals the importance of her character.
    My experience with this film has always been an enjoyable one. I have seen this film on various occasions, my first being at the local movie theater in town. I bought this movie when it first came out onto DVD for my sister.
    The cool colors that the actors wore, mostly blues and greens and browns, were very soothing to the viewer. The characters had to keep their "cool" throughout the film because they had to pull off the impossible feat which was attempting to purloin three huge casinos in Las Vegas. By wearing certain colors they were able to keep the audience under control and not cause any hyperventilation from the insane unending suspense. For example, throughout the planning and the first steps of the actual Bellagio robbery attempt, the characters were faced with a few major dilemmas. After they got the person inside the container and inside the vault, they noticed that the person had placed a briefcase on top of the container, and since his breathing time was running out the other characters were forced to figure out how to get him out of the box, without bumping off the briefcase and without setting off any of the alarms. With the cool color choices, the low key lighting, keeping the scenes darker, and the cool colors, the characters were able to pull it off, without being forced into frantic.
    The cold colors are not depressing at all due to the contradiction that they served. They were used throughout the film in not only the clothing choices but the scenery as well. All the furniture and props that were used all considered within the cool color range. They were all very relaxing and seemed very comfortable and soul soothing. For example, when they are in the room waiting for everything to follow through with the plan and waiting for the next person to do their part, the room has a "cool" feel.
    However, the cool colors, the blues, greens, and purples, weren't always used appropriately for say through out the film. As previously mentioned Tess's character threw off the serene feel that the other characters were attempting to produce. She was commonly found wearing red. She was drawing attention to herself in hopes to throw off her ex-husband and sidetrack him so that he wouldn't be able to finish his task even though she didn't know exactly what he was up to. She was a symbol of what was at stake for Danny, who was played by George Clooney. He could loose her again if this whole thing flops, conversely he doesn't have her back. Her vibrancy is an obstacle that is being forced upon Danny. The real challenge for Danny may possibly not be to rob the casinos, but to be able to do so without the interference of his ex.
    The movie Oceans Eleven has an overall uplifting theme that can make anyone smile.
    ...more info
  • Master stroke
    Are you in or are you out?

    Are you prepared to see a very dangerous theft but too fun to be ignored? Are you ready to see some of Hollywood favorite actors playing crooked and unabashed criminals, without any other pretension than to entertain us for two hours? Because Ocean's 11 do not keep any deep moral message; is pure escapism, first class.

    We have George Clooney in the role that Frank Sinatra once played, a thief and a liar that doesn't let pass 24 hours after being released on parole when he is already organizing his next job. And what better right hand to orchestrate the operation than Brad Pitt? His Rusty Ryan is an expert con man that curiously is always eating and backs up Ocean in every step.

    Together, they gather a team of ex convicts and professional thieves. The target? 150 million dollars safely hide underground the vault of three of the largest casinos in Las Vegas, whose owner is Terry Benedict (Andy Garc®™a), a multimillionaire that happens to be dating Ocean's wife, Tess (Julia Roberts).

    Brilliantly directed and written, Ocean's 11 is a criminal adventure without violence but packed with energy, humor and cleverness. The restless camera of Steven Soderbergh captures Las Vegas' world of extravagances and excesses, the perfect scenery for the plot. So accomplice we become with these lovable con men that we forget, in fact, that they are criminals. We are rooting for the wrong team, for Danny to get the girl, for the boys to fill their pockets.

    I'm in. What about you?...more info
  • (:D)....(:D)....(;D)

    I usually don't like remakes but this one is great! My family and I watched both the original and the new version and agreed that this will become part of our collection.
    You can just watch it again and again and it is like watching it for the first time. All-Star cast with a far-fetched storyline, but it just sucks you right into the plot and you get wrapped up in the action...more info
  • Falls Flat
    I recently rented the movie; and apparently I'm in a small (but vocal) minority. This movie had lots of star power, but the script gave them no place to go. No chemistry among the stars, either. Many scenes people looked, frankly, bored (... or perhaps the director was going for 'cool'. Who knows?)

    I'm willing to suspend disbelief for a decent movie, but this movie asks viewers to stop thinking all together. So much of what was done was not even remotely plausible.

    Too bad. This could have been a great movie....more info
    well worth seeing - but where do these women's hair styles come from - yuck!

    will probably watch again in a year or two ----
    Recommended for space in time....more info
  • Remake Misses Originality of First Version
    "Ocean's Eleven" is only an average movie. It hardly excels in either the Frank Sinatra version, or in this remake, the George Clooney version.

    The story: Can Danny Ocean bring together a hodge-podge of characters to pull off a great heist in Las Vegas? The rest, like seen in later movies like "The Dirty Dozen," involves the preparation of the attempt, with a dramatic crescendo as they attempt the impossible.

    As a collection of stars goes, "Ocean's Eleven" is second only to the Academy Awards in bringing together the best known faces in Hollywood. However, the screen is too crowded to give each their due. Their personalities aren't exposed as much, and rely on quips and face shots to get the point across that the movie is supposed to be cool. As a result, it isn't as cool.

    What is the difference? Why is the original better than the remake? Sammy Davis, Jr. could be one reason. He had it all, like Frank, plus he could dance. Dean Martin is another reason. These guys were all multitalented stars, where as in this version, all we have are pretty boys with a modicum of acting ability.

    Don Cheadle is loaded with talent - just see "Hotel Rwanda", and all of that is wasted here. Brad Pitt is basically a less masculine Matt Damon. There is not enough distinction, and neither has a chance to stretch their skills that made them stand out in the first place. This is not "Meet Joe Black," or "Good Will Hunting."

    The movie is entertaining, but not because they go for the biggest game or a strong cast fills the ranks. It is tightly directed and edited, with great production. Everything looks perfect, and they take an average story and milk it well.

    Anthony Trendl
    editor, HungarianBookstore.com...more info