February 14, 2021

Film Review: Ocean’s Eleven (2001) and (1960)

If the purpose of this project is to show Bernard the great wealth of movie culture that existed before he was born, then Ocean’s Eleven was an abject failure. For on this evening, he was in a Sad And Grumpy Mood For No Reason, as is the nature of a 14 year old in lockdown, and he had had a disappointing takeaway which must be mitigated with PBJ sandwiches, poached pear, and so on. He paid the movie no attention whatsoever, largely because of the Sad And Grumpy Mood, and also because his parents are idiots.

Nonetheless we soldiered through, enjoying both our own takeaway meals and the movie despite his dark and brooding presence.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001) is a perfectly good movie, and nobody should feel bad about the fact that a bored 14 year old had no interest in it. We chose it because he enjoys Money Heist, which is rubbish, but his choice and therefore superior. It starts fairly slowly as the gang is introduced and assembled, and then a voiceover heist plan is explained, just as it is done in Money Heist, but no. Various problems arise and are resolved in clever ways. One character is inexplicably English (or “British,” as the Americans would say), but as there are no English actors, the character uses words like “knickers” and “guvnor” to clarify what his accent is supposed to be. Julia Roberts stars as The Only Female Character, and knows the difference between Monet and Manet, so clearly is not just a very pretty face; however her only role in the movie is to be claimed by whichever man she considers less vile at the time. It is all both clever and formulaic, and Bernard goes to bed before the end.

In a crazy turn of events, we then took up the idea of immediately watching Ocean’s Eleven (1960) for the purpose of making this review more interesting. The cast of this movie knew each other so well that apparently they improvised most of the dialogue, and generally appear to be having a laugh with their mates throughout. Five minutes in, we already have twice as many female characters as the 2001 edition, and this excellent trend continues. All the female characters wear white fox stoles, and some of them have actual lines. It takes about an hour of chit chat to get to the heist itself, which consists mainly of men walking around giving each other meaningful looks, and is then over in ten minutes, at which point I did fall asleep.

Ocean’s Eleven (1960) wins hands-down for the musical numbers and Sammy Davis Jr’s fascinating jawline, also they robbed five casinos not just the vault of one casino, because they did things properly in the 20th Century.


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