Ocean’s Eleven Movie (2001)


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It’s quite rare for the remake of a movie to becomes hit and do better than the original version. Ocean’s Eleven 2001 is one of those few movies that go on to be better. However, this should not be taken to imply that the original was a major flop. It’s just that director Lewis had the potential to do better. He is credited with heavy hitters like All quiet on the Western Front.

The remake, directed by Steven Soderbergh, has all the elements of a great film. The director understood what the original version lacked – some finesse. He meshed it in nicely, kept the storyline about hitting three casinos in Las Vegas and he got away with a low blood pressure picture quality. Still, he managed to rally some enthusiasm while at it, and the film is a pure blaze of pride and plenty of flair.
We have to hand it to the director for his choice of cast. The film features the likes of George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, and Brad Pitt. And then there’s Julia Roberts, a huge star even by today’s standards.

Soderbergh also invested his great skills in the film, and it is a great step away from his other project Cannonball Run. The point of concern in the original Ocean’s Eleven wasn’t whether the cast would succeed in the score, but whether they could go about it with straight faces.

This film is entertaining, although some people find it unambitious in the way it combines comic riff with traditional caper rhythms. Other crime films like the Heist, directed by David Mamet make Ocean’s Eleven seem diluted. George Clooney plays the character Danny Ocean, thief and con-artist, who is already planning his next job a few hours after leaving prison. This one is huge, north of $150 million, and even if they split that spoil by the 11, the result is still a huge sum.

The plot unfolds exactly how you would expect from a con film. The storyline, admittedly, isn’t the best. There are gaping holes in the plot, but the audience is spared enough to have an opportunity to make guesses. To be fair, there are some instances of comic effect, and if you enjoy good humor, it’s granted that you will let loose a guffaw or two. The film is lacking in morality, and champions for honor amongst cons, so if you do not laugh out loud, you are most likely to cast some appreciative smiles. It is somewhat exciting, minus the disagreeable sweaty palms.

Your appreciation of this film is solely based on expectations or memories of the older version depending on how long you have lived. If you expect some Erin Brockovich Traffic type of action, be ready for some huge disappointment. For the director, it was just another day in the office and not a quidditch type of quest for Best Something Oscar. It’s purely a popcorn type of movie: sit, watch with family or friends, and not talk much about over dinner. That said, there’s plenty that’s different about this movie from your typical over salted film. It’s probably about all the creativity that Soderbergh could infuse into this remake without pissing off fans of the original.

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