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OCEAN'S THIRTEEN

SYNOPSIS:
When ruthless casino owner Willy Bank (Al Pacino) double-crosses Danny Ocean's (George Clooney) friend and mentor Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould), in the deal for his new Las Vegas casino, Ocean gathers the team for a revenge caper to break the Bank on opening night. He even talks competing casino operator and earlier sting victim, Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) into bankrolling part of the job - though Benedict gets to do a bit of double crossing via top thief Toulour (Vincent Cassel). The task is to milk the Bank casino with rigged games, which takes a lot of clevering, and top it off with a simulated earth quake so the winners can exit the casino with the cash. Oh, and $250 million worth of diamonds from the super-secure rooftop cage ....

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
The great escapist caper movie that was Ocean's 11 has spawned this franchise/sequel and it's a valid genre - in fact, it's been too long forgotten, and not always reliably revived (see the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair and weep). In this star studded affair, the diamonds are losing their sparkle; the jokes are less frequent and less fresh, and the caper is allowed to grow into an overly complicated matrix. Escapism is meant to be relaxing!

But the major elements remain in place: a top cast loving to strut their stuff in a piece that won't count in their acting careers as anything but frilly fun, and production elements that mix the hedonistic Las Vegas life with the super cool ethos of the Thirteen. It's great eye candy.

Overlooking the laboured patches, Ocean's Thirteen retains the tone of the original remake - if you follow my meaning - and for that Steven Soderbergh has to be thanked. It's a rare feat to remake a good film with any kind of tonal match. The familiar also has a role, and the antics, characteristics and peccadillos of the team members reminds us of the good company we are keeping here.

Lively but a tad too long, Ocean's Thirteen is written by two guys new to the caper; they need to learn a bit of plot minimalism. With this many good characters (and stars to play them), you can let them take all the weight.

Review by Louise Keller:
It may be way too clever for its own good, yet Ocean's Thirteen has plenty of ring-a-ding-ding. There are a couple of references to ol' Blue Eyes too - after all, a few of the casino heavies reputedly shook Sinatra's hand, and the closing tune 'This Town' has pointed lyrics ('this town is a make-you town or a break-you town'). Everybody uses everything in sight to make or break in this third film of the franchise, especially when they are in Danny Ocean's team. They finish each other's sentences, give meaningful looks and do a lot of eye-rolling. Of course, I'm talking about George and Brad and Matt, who are scrumptious eye-candy in anybody's language.

The plot, consisting of dollars by the millions, priceless diamonds and revenge, is wildly far-fetched, and I challenge anyone to follow it faithfully. But the detail really doesn't matter, and there is plenty of fun watching George, Brad, Matt and friends setting up their impossibly ambitious plan and executing it with hilarious disguises, outrageous gadgets, unlikely tools and an abundance of cool. The script is fast, the editing is even faster and there are some great lines 'Analogue players in a digital world'; Q: Are you ready? - A: I was born ready. Yep, these are characters and actors with abundance of style and brio.

There's a fake earthquake, a hilarious seduction scene between shapely Ellen Barkin and Matt Damon whose fake nose gets in the way, and a fleeting cameo by Vincent Cassel's uber-thief. Al Pacino is the callous casino boss who pulls his hair out when his flash joint gets thoroughly done over in the three minute window available. Everyone is having fun and so are we. This is slick entertainment effortlessly spooled out by all concerned under director Steven Soderbergh's magic baton. It's one gigantic in-joke and we are all in on it - from the spicy Vegas scam to the closing exchange between George and Brad, which could be real life banter with jokes about weight loss and having kids. Whatever the angle, Ocean's Thirteen rings the bell.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

OCEAN'S THIRTEEN (PG)
(US, 2007)

CAST: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Eddie Izzard, Carl Reiner, Vincent Cassel, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Elliott Gould, Michael Mantell, Eddie Jemison, Shaobo Qin,

PRODUCER: Jerry Weintraub

DIRECTOR: Steven Soderbergh

SCRIPT: Brian Koppelman, David Levien

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Steven Soderbergh

EDITOR: Stephen Mirrione

MUSIC: David Holmes

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Philip Messina

RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 14, 2007







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