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"Ocean's Thirteen"

Directed by Steven Soderbergh.
Written by Brian Koppelman and David Levien.
Starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Al Pacion.
Release Year:  2007
Review Date:  6/11/07


I've been all over the map on the remakes of the "Ocean's Eleven" premise that Sinatra & Co. made famous a thousand years ago; with "Ocean's Thirteen", you get exactly what you thought you were gonna get in this third movie, and that is exactly what you got in the second (and less popular) film that George Clooney & Co. made a couple of years ago--

A bunch of dudes that look really good in suits pulling off a heist so ridiculous it could only happen in the movies...but, you are rooting for these guys to win, because Sticking It to the Man never felt this good!

Talking about the movie's plot would be to insinuate that there really IS a plot; there isn't, really, but it's fun to watch the film's writers give us so many things that are happening when none of them makes any sense.  Here's what does matter--this time, the "bad guy" is a rich guy named Willie Bank (Al Pacino), who owns a number of high-end Vegas hotels and his latest iteration, The Bank, is the target of Danny Ocean (Clooney) and his merry band of, oh, about a dozen world-class thieves.

I saw this with Mom over the weekend; like the sands of an hourglass, so goes "Ocean's Thirteen", which is great in terms of very passable summer entertainment that is lost from your soul just minutes after you leave the theater.  Both Mom and I thought Clooney, Mr. Pitt, Mr. Damon and the other cast members did look good in their expensive-looking suits (and, that thin guys like Pitt really pull off the suit/dress shirt/no tie thing bad-ass-ly); that the business with the dice-making facility in Mexico and the supporting strike was maybe the funniest bit in the movie (Casey Affleck's fake mustache had me laughing each time he came onscreen); that Ellen Barkin was a VERY surprising choice for the cougar-like 40-something assistant to the Pacino character (ELLEN BARKIN?  Wow, was Kathleen Turner not available?); and, that getting this many stars into a big-budget film is truly remarkable stuff.

"Ocean's Thirteen" really isn't very good, but it's very watchable; between the expensive looking sets, and the expensive costumes, and the expensive stars, and Vegas at night, at least it's an easy sit. 

Rating:  Matinee


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09