Oceans Eleven - Classic Boxset DVD Edition
Are You In Or Out?
Running Time: 116 minutes
US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12
Country: United States
Oceans Eleven, Steven Soderberghs remake of the 1960 Rat Pack vanity project of the same name, is less about the art of the heist or the heist itself, for that matter than it is about convincing us all how cool it is. From George Clooney with his trademark ooh-look-at-me-Im-a-bit-suave persona, to Ted Griffins screenplay priding itself on being slicker-than-your-average, Oceans Eleven couldnt be any cooler if the DVD came encased in a tiny Arthur Fonzerelli leather jacket. Woop-de-sodding-do.
As Billy sorry, I mean Danny Ocean, Clooney is the dapper ex-con whos no sooner regained his freedom than hes off planning to rob three Las Vegas casinos, all of which just happen to be owned by the boyfriend (Andy Garcia) of his ex-missus (Julia Roberts). So, as the title suggests, he finds himself a team of ten other like-minded crims and gets cracking.
Among his gang are Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bernie Mac, Carl Reiner and Don Cheadle, the latter of which sports a Cockney accent so enthrallingly bad that it makes Dick Van Dykes Mary Poppins effort sound like that of a born-and-bred Pearly Queen. Seriously, Cheadle could have done any of the following and the resultant noise would have sounded infinitely more convincing than his attempt at a London twang: a) farted into a soup bowl, b) thrown a piece of fruit against a wall c) slumped in a corner and wept. Had he chosen any of those three options, his part in the film would also have been infinitely more entertaining.
Not that Id want anyone to think I had a particularly deep dislike of the film. It does have some really good bits, and theres little fault to find with Soderberghs accomplished handling of the material. And, Cheadle aside, most of the performances hit the mark: Clooney and Pitt are tailor-made for their irritatingly laid-back characters, Roberts role is small but hits the mark, and Garcia produces another on-the-button display to suggest he remains one of Hollywoods more undervalued performers.
Also to its credit is the fact that its always light-hearted in tone, although I couldnt help but think that it would have been funnier if it wasnt so pre-occupied with ramming its coolness down our throats. Personally, I reckon funny is a more valuable commodity than cool any day of the week.
It's Got: Good use of pony, one of my own personal favourite Cockney terms, me old sparrow!
It Needs: In the words of Elvis contribution to the soundtrack, A little less conversation, a little more action.
DVD Extras A fairly insignificant movie it may be, but theres no doubting the fact that this Classic Boxset edition of the DVD really pushes the boat out on the Extras front. You get two feature length commentaries (one with Soderbergh and Griffin, the other with Damon, Garcia and Pitt), three behind-the-scenes documentaries, trailers, and some DVD-ROM enhanced features. And thats not all either, because also included in the box is an exclusive soundtrack, collectable senitype, commemorative information booklet, and a poster. DVD Extras Rating: 8/10
Alternatives:Foolproof, Ocean's 11 (the 1960 original), Ocean's Twelve
Cooler than a cucumber plantation, but not as funny.