Director: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and an all-star ensemble cast
This recreation of Lewis Milestone's 1960 film of the same title is a huge hit among us twenty-something gents - and why wouldn't it? It's got gambling, explosions, and a plot with a nice twist at the end! Although not all reviewers gave it a five-star rating (it has a rating of 80% on Rotten Tomatoes), it certainly didn't fail for their audience; it grossed $38m on its opening weekend.
The film centers on Danny Ocean, just released from prison. In the opening scene, he is asked what he is going to do when he gets out. The day he's released, he's back to work, scheming how to rob three of Las Vegas's biggest casinos. The plan is incredibly complex, using the brilliant minds, athletics, and positions in society of Ocean and his 10 cohorts to bring the plan together.
Although I haven't seen the original film, starring The Rat Pack, I've read enough to know that they've certainly changed a lot of the script to keep this film up to date. The original Eleven were all friends from the Air Force during World War II, while the 2001 film's ensemble are all experienced criminals. The original also leaves the criminals empty-handed at the end. It appears that Soderbergh had other plans in mind for the team... (omgz sequelz!)
As far as personal observations go, I'd like to point out how diverse Soderbergh's films are. He's directed all three Ocean's films, Erin Brockovich, Solaris, Traffic and the recent two-part biography, Che. I've honestly never heard his name before today - I can't deny how bad I am with names - but, holy diversity, Batman! I also noticed that some of the shots he chose looked very old-fashioned to me, and I have to wonder whether he took some of them directly from the original.
Fun Trivia (stolen from IMDB):
- Sammy Davis Jr. appeared in the original version of this film. Don Cheadle, who appears in this version, played Davis in The Rat Pack(1998) (TV).
- George Clooney also begins the film in prison in Out of Sight (1998) and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000).
- In the scene near the end when Andy Garcia realizes that the police he was watching was a video he gets on the walkie talkie and hears from one of his guards "What happened to all that money?". The voice heard is actually the voice used in the original version.
- The wig used by Rusty (Brad Pitt) in his disguise as a doctor was Mike Myers's rehearsal wig for Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997).
This was the first time I've seen this film, and I'm really not quite sure why. Maybe not a masterpiece, but extremely entertaining. Two thumbs up!