Ocean's Twelve

After having stolen $160 million from a casino in Ocean’s Eleven, gorgeous George and perfect Pitt team up together again with their old crew to steal enough money to pay back what they originally stole, plus interest. They do this not because criminals are so honest, but because their lives are at stake. Oooohhh. They quickly discover, aghast, there exists another thief in the world of thieving. Now they need to out steal the new guy in a bet that could repay their loan, er, debt, er, um, what they took in the first place. Imagine a lighthearted Mission Impossible without the John Woo. Ocean’s Twelve seems to be a fun movie with a retro/European groovy feel full of odd camera angles, frequent use of text on the screen, and a fairly constant flow of music with a quick and quirky beat. There are also more celebrities than you can shake a stick at, but each one is introduced individually, first mistake, and not always mentioned by name, second mistake. Although they do put text up on the screen saying what city they are in, (like that matters as much as knowing who the hell everyone is.) There are almost too many people to keep track of and that makes it even harder to remember their character’s names when they do give them. So you sit there going, “okay, so the old guy is out and the Asian is stuck in a baggage claim somewhere? Is that right? Hit pause, I’m confused.” I’m not saying they did a bad job, but Back To the Future messes me up, so over twelve main characters is a bit much for the common man, uh, woman.

There are some easy gimmicks, a couple of predictable events, throw in Bruce Willis as Bruce Willis and you have all but the last fifteen minutes or so. That’s the biggest problem. Most of the action comes at the end, along with a pointless storyline thrown in for Catherine Zeta-Jones’s character, and there you have most of the movie. It seems like with movies today you don’t get one long cohesive plot anymore, but a random montage of mini subplots strung together, one after another, until everyone in a theater feels like they suffer from ADD. I think as grown adults, knowing we’re going into a movie, we can handle one story line.

Eighty years ago people watched silent pictures for fun, and without anyone having to throw in cleavage, they still managed to pay attention. Aside from virtually all of them being “talkies,” this is the biggest downfall of movies these days. Very few writers are brave enough to throw something out there that doesn’t jump from one separated event to the next. Yes, there should be tensions growing and propelling the characters forward, there should be mini conflicts all leading up to the big climax, (all good writers learned this in a high school English class), but these short-but-building dramas should do just that. They should build onto the running story. Instead they jump over here for a while and then over there for a while, and finally, they work on the main point of the film, which by that time is just enough to edit clips for a trailer to get the “public” to buy tickets. I wish Ocean’s Twelve was the exception to this but I’m afraid it is the rule here.

I’m sure all of these “stars” had fun working together again to make another film, but maybe it was more fun for them than it is for us to watch. I’ll admit there’s a great chemistry between George and Brad that almost rivals Clooney’s stint on Roseanne as Booker, and like Ms. Barr, almost every time you see Pitt, he’s eating something. With Ocean’s Eleven we had star-struck wonder glittering in our eyes. Now, our eyes are glazing over as we wait for something bigger to happen that actually ties into something that had already happened. Sadly we went from “yeah, cool” to “I guess that was cute.” Since when is it okay to not put anything on a disc but the movie? Wasn’t the whole newness and fascination of DVDs the fact that there was a movie “and more”? So here we are with Ocean’s Twelve, and where’s the “and more”? Yes, Brad Pitt is hot. George Clooney is hot, so hot in fact that part of my marriage is based on an agreement that I’m allowed a good one-night-stand with him, with no consequences, if the opportunity ever becomes available. But, hot is not enough. A cast of beautiful celebrities is no excuse to leave us empty-handed. Damn it, I want my “and more.”

The only thing we get with this disc is the trailer (which I know some people really like to have), but you know what? I don’t need another trailer, I have the whole movie. What I need are extras. Special features. Exclusives! When there’s no “and more” on the disc, the only difference between DVD and VHS is about seven or eight bucks. Why would anyone pay more to have the same? Oh wait, don’t tell me: the DVD format. Bull. Wafer thin doesn’t mean a thing if there’s nothing more on it than on a tape. A cute little opening screen with a music track that repeats itself is not worth the cost when we don’t get anything extra. Are we supposed to be so glad to see celebrities that we shouldn’t ask for extras?

I want to know why we keep getting gypped. The least they can give us is something to watch besides the movie and its trailer. Who watches the trailer after the film anyway? It’s good for one viewing and then it’s overdone since you’ve, hello, seen the movie. So, you already know what I’m going to say. I want a making of. I want to see interviews. Where’s my friggin’ audio commentary?