I don't like Vegas, and I don't like crime "caper" films…but with an awesome cast and a great director, I had to see Ocean's Eleven.
I can't say I was disappointed, because while the story line didn't really do it for me, my reasons to see it did not fail me at all.
Director Steven Soderbergh, once again being his own cinematographer like he was in the brilliant TRAFFIC, put together a really great cast of people who just had a great chemistry together. His actual direction was good, but not really in league with Traffic, or his hits Erin Brochovich and one of my faves, Out of Sight. I really loved Out of Sight, and back to work with Soderbergh was Sight's leading man, George Clooney. He's getting better and better.
I didn't used to think much of his acting, but lately he impresses me more and more. I never saw Brother Where Art Thou, but he got a lot of accolades for that film. Ocean's being a less substantive caper flick, he won't get too much praise for acting ability per se, but his chemistry with Brad Pitt should be lauded. They work really, really great together, and considering they are two superstars, and they're both stud-like (to the ladies anyway…how 'bout them Dolphins!) they're both seemingly very down to Earth and laid back. They must be to be in what amounts to an ensemble piece where they practically split the lead role.
A much lesser role in the movie went to another previous Soderbergh collaborator, Julia Roberts. She's hardly in this film, so it was sort of a throw away role…but I would say that she did as much with it as she could. There's not a whole lot there, but Julia can be so subtle…there's one scene where they show a close up of her face as reflected in a mirror. She says more with the look on her face than many actresses can accomplish with pages of dialogue…
Also in this film is the great Don Cheadle. I can't say enough good things about him. He just kicks ass! I think I first saw him on TV's Picket Fences, but I think my favorite role of his before this one was in the afore-mentioned Out of Sight, though he was also in Traffic. In this film he uses a flawless Cockney accent and he sounds right out of Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and SNATCH. He's just a brilliant actor.
Rounding out the cast are Matt Damon, Bernie Mac, and a very good, and surprisingly serious, Carl Reiner. The biggest surprise for me was Andy Garcia as a billionaire multiple casino owner. I'll just be blunt, I've never liked Andy Garcia. I'm not sure why, so maybe I should apologize to a fellow Cuban (well, I don't totally consider myself Cuban anyway, but that's so irrelevant right now), but here he impressed me with his cool subtlety. My only problem with the Garcia character is that his name is Terry (or was it Harry?) Benedict. That's way too cracker of a name for Garcia…aint it?
Is Ocean's Eleven a good movie?
Well, it's not bad. And maybe as a caper picture, it's great. I wouldn't know.
But for a lot of fun, great acting and chemistry… (bad pun warning!)…
Ocean's Eleven is a good bet!
Ugh, I hurt for you…