Oh boy, here we go again…
Clooney & co.- not having learned their lesson with the atrocious Ocean’s Twelve are at it again. Frankly, I’ve never been a fan of this series. There are elements that I like about the films- namely the groovy soundtracks by David Holmes, but in general each film in this series has left me cold.
Many people seem to be under the impression that Ocean’s Eleven is some kind of classic, I’ve always felt that it was simply a better than average remake of a terrible film (seriously- rent the original Ocean’s 11 from 1960, and tell me that it doesn’t suck). I’ve always felt that the series was essentially a way for Clooney & Soderbergh to raise capital for their production shingle, Section 8.
Luckily Ocean’s Thirteen is not quite as bad as Ocean’s Twelve, although I’d hesitate the call it a good film. It’s passable entertainment, but nothing more. In this installment, the gang re-unites (minus Julia Roberts) to bail an old buddy out of trouble. Clooney & co. are entertaining as always, and it’s nice that the gang’s back in Vegas as opposed to the European locales of the previous entry.
My main problem with this film is the same one I have with the rest of the series. I’ve never liked the hipster tone of the series- I mean, yeah Clooney’s a cool guy and everything, but do we really need a whole film, let alone three, dedicated to his coolness. The plot is absolutely waifer thin, and at no point in any of the films did I feel that the characters were worth caring about, because none of them seem real to me.
Thankfully, audiences have started to catch on, and the grosses for the films have declined considerably with each passing installment. Both Clooney & Soderbergh have gone on record stating that this is the last film of the series, and I for one hope that they don’t change their minds. Their talents are better served elsewhere. I appreciate the fact that they use the films to raise money for riskier projects like Michael Clayton, but surely they can find other ways to get the projects made than to keep returning the the Ocean’s Eleven well.
The film looks and sounds great, with the disc sporting a flawless 16×9 transfer that faithfully reproduces the stylish look of the film. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is also strong, although I had to watch the film down mixed to 2.1 as my home theatre system is not quite state of the art.
The one area where this disc is lacking is in the extras department. The disc does not contain any commentary tracks, which is a shame as the Ocean’s Eleven disc had 2 great commentary tracks. We get a featurette called Vegas: An Opulent Illusion, which runs just under half hour, and gives viewers an inside look at the architecture and lighting of Las Vegas. The featurette is interesting, but is nothing special, although Vegas buffs will probably enjoy it more than I did. We also get a deleted scene, which isn’t anything special. Finally, there’s a quick promo piece where producer Jerry Weintraub gives us a tour of the film’s set. Ho-hum.
If you enjoyed the last two installments of the series, you’ll enjoy this one as well. All others need not apply.