ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Royal Tenenbaums
A Beautiful Mind
Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh
Four stars (out of five)
As imaginations run tired in Hollywood, it seems logical to remake old movies in hopes of guaranteeing box office success.
With Ocean's Eleven, director Steven Soderbergh aims to remake the 1960 Rat Pack film with a cast along the same A-list lines as the original. It's a film with a plot so witty and complex it has to be spectacular to try and live up to the original.
Only Soderbergh could do it and he did.
Hints of the director's previous work on Traffic are evident in the speedy cinematic layering. Soderbergh beats the original by throwing out everything but the story's skeletal outline, revamping the characters and turning up the notch on the elaborate nature of the heist.
The plot revolves around gangster Danny Ocean (George Clooney), a compulsive charmer, who rounds up ten criminally-minded associates to rob $150 million from three major Las Vegas casinos on New Year's Eve.
Although one may want to avoid such a star-studded cast especially as some of the actors don't stray far from their "usual" character types the chemistry is apparent.
The underworld camaraderie of Ocean's Eleven offers up the spectacle as a projection of high masculine style. Danny Ocean leads his crew as a man with a mission, but does so in a convincing, nonchalant way.
The action unfolds by revealing the details of the plan only as it happens right in front of us. The heist's tricks interlock in split-second ways, making all of the impossibilities look easy. Who else but a crew of good looking, good-for-nothing guys could rip off the MGM Grand, the Bellagio and the Mirage, all from the inside out?
A fast-paced, visually thrilling and comedic film, Ocean's Eleven is one of 2001's best productions and a must-see.