Sunday, June 17, 2007

An Open Letter to the Cast and Crew of Ocean's 13

Hey, Guys…

In the interest of full disclosure, I should probably let you know that I actually watched your movie on the flat screen at my barber shop last Saturday. But, for only $5, I could've taken home my own "studio copy" bootleg DVD. It's a long story and I've probably already said too much.

Anyways…I'm not really sure why I gave up 100 minutes of my Saturday afternoon. I was at the barbershop, already, but still…

Look…I really wanted to like this film. The reviews were kinda-sorta positive with everyone pretty much in agreement that Ocean's 12 never, ever happened. This was essentially your do-over, like the way last year's Rocky Balboa washed the acrid taste of Rocky V out of everyone's mouths.

Right off the bat, though, I could tell what I'd gotten myself into.

Now, it might've been my illegal copy, but did you know that there's, like, NO first act in your movie? Call me crazy, but I've watched every episode of The Critic and I'm pretty sure that movies are supposed to be three acts. Your movie glosses over the back story and build of the plot, as well as the motivation of the characters, in about five minutes. How could I care about the health issues of one of the original eleven when you guys took him from vibrant to bedridden in the blink of an eye?

Those wheels are set in motion by the movie's primary antagonist, casino magnate "Willie Bank", played with an almost schleppy indifference by Al Pacino. You know what made 2001's Ocean's 11 one of my all time favorite movies? Andy Garcia's "Terry Benedict" was the epitome of ooze and excess. Viewers wanted to see him taken down because he was easy to hate and Garcia absolutely owned that role. Pacino looks small and weak, as if dressing in his daddy's clothes somehow empowers him with a grown-up's authority.

So, if the villain is uninteresting, I'd have hoped that the heroes could make me care.

Yeah, about that…

You could've done this movie with just George, Brad and Matt, you know that, right? No last names, since every scene they're in plays like my "everyone else is cooler than you" high school years. All of their annoying, winking "Billy Martin" and "Gilroy" schemes grew more and more grating with each inside joke. The rest of the cast is wasted as background fodder and comic relief (although Don Cheadle's gold-toofed daredevil biker riff is a hoot).

And, don't get me started on the plot.

OK…I know that they can crack the impenetrable safe, since they've done it in the first two movies. And, I know that every insurmountable obstacle can be overcome since they've done that in the first two movies. But, when Ellen Barkin's character (right-hand broad to Willie Bank) is seduced by some weird pheromone (complete with animated effect to show the scent floating to her nose), uh, yeah…

Well, like I said at the beginning, it's not like I paid to see your movie at my local multiplex. But, how about we keep Ocean's 14 from ever seeing the light of day, m'kay?


Greg said...

Please tell me you've found "How It should Have ended" and it's trailer up for Ocean's 40.

for the unenlightened:

The whole site is worth it, but I think this makes your point.

Mike the Knife said...

Holy Shit! Why am I just now learning of that site??