Ep. 53: Ocean’s 11

George Clooney’s Danny Ocean wants the impossible — to steal $150 million from the three largest casinos in Las Vegas, and to make the audience care about his relationship with Julia Roberts. Spoilers: he’s only half successful.
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Story Analysis & Ratings:

Lucy says: 5 Pops ~ Lucy’s comments are coming soon.
Lucy’s rating breakdown: Craft: 5, Comedy: 5, Romance: 1, Suspense: 5

Alastair says: 5 Pops ~ A fast, fun movie, featuring the best heist of the series. The character work is deft and insightful, with the sole exception of Tess, but not even the lackluster romance can bring this film down. Excellent.
Alastair’s rating breakdown: Craft: 5, Comedy: 5, Romance: 1, Suspense: 5

Blog Poll Rating: Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

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Movie Info:

Story: Danny Ocean and his team of eleven plan to rob a Las Vegas casino baron. Release Date: December 7, 2001 Writer: Ted Griffin

7 responses to “Ep. 53: Ocean’s 11”

  1. I have a question. Should probably mention that I watched this a few weeks ago, so it’s not fresh. But did Rusty actually remove Danny from the execution of the heist? Because the impression I got was that the two of them planned that together, for reasons no one bothered to explain. Danny drops the cell phone in Tess’s coat, and there was obviously a SWAT costume ready for him, so he was clearly expected to be there. That confused me at the time, and I was annoyed because I felt like it served no purpose. Honestly, I had a hard time working up an emotional investment in this one. Not sure if it was the writing or the performances, but I just didn’t care very much.

  2. @Katie, I haven’t watched this in years, but I think the whole Rusty and Danny fighting thing was to make it plausible for Danny to get picked up in the casino and then sent to the little room where he was supposed to be getting the crap beat out of him when really he was just in place for the heist.

    If that makes sense…

  3. @Katie: It’s a good question, and I’ll need to watch the movie again to be sure; it makes sense that they would have a SWAT uniform for Danny before Rusty realises that Tess is involved, I guess, but I’m not clear on whether Danny’s fake beating is a part of the original plan, or an element that Danny came up with himself. Linus certainly seems surprised when he shows up in the elevator shaft, but I’m not sure.

    I wonder if there’s a deleted scene on the DVD that explains it better…

  4. I think it was just to harass and possibly test Linus. Linus was the least experienced and trusting or trusted. He lost people’s trust when he didn’t wait in the van. I think Danny getting “cut” from the plan in front of Linus was all show just to set up Linus and that all the others were in on it even though we weren’t. We were set up like Linus.

  5. I watched the commentary with Soderberg and the writer [which was mostly a waste of time] but they talked about the last scene where the guys meet at the fountain. Soderberg picked the music because he’s always liked the piece and the only direction he gave the actors was to have them stay until they thought their character needed leave. The rest was improv’d and it turned out to be a ‘last hurrah’ for Sol sort of scene

  6. @Kelly S: I think you’re right. Maybe that’s why I was annoyed, because I feel like they lied to me for no good reason. It doesn’t seem like the best idea to test Linus in that particular situation, and I don’t think it accomplished anything to deceive the audience on that point.

  7. I have to disagree that the SWAT team wasn’t mentioned. No they don’t say outright anything about the SWAT team. But in that wonderful scene with Bernie Mac and the car sales man, Bernie/Frank buys three vans. One is gets severly damaged by the Pinch. The second is used as a decoy with the cops, again damaged when they hit the explosives. The third, as we find out, is the SWAT team van. Right before they leave the warehouse there’s a close up of that pine car freshner that’s in the third van. Let’s not forget during the exposition scene of how the heist will go down Ocean answers Saul’s question of them just walking out the casino in which they did. Anyway, for me, it’s a beautiful reveal mainly because I didn’t feel ripped off. I believed these guys were smart enough to hack into Terry’s system and waltz out the casino no one the wiser.

    As for the romantic element, completely agree it rings hallow. There’s the mirrored conversation about the new painting Tess acquired for Terry’s gallery. (Tess asks Terry what he thinks of the painting and he says, “I like it if you like it.” It’s mirrored in the restaurant with Ocean and he has this short line about the color and light, which one was Monet and Manet, yada yada.) But that’s ain’t the makings of an HEA on any planet.

    Lastly, even after watching the movie a million times I still don’t know for sure if Ocean and Russ set up Ocean to get caught and for them to test Linius.

    Despite that I still love this movie.