Let's start from the beginning...
Director Steven Soderbergh (out of sight, Traffic, the insufferable Erin Brockovich) took a cult classic from the '60s, dusted its premise off and ran with it. The result was the cool, breezy, updated Ocean's Eleven. It was almost too cool for its own good, but managed to project an air of suspense and fun in its caper plot. Now, three years later comes Ocean's Twelve. It is dull, unimaginative and there exists no good reason for it to.
George Clooney reprises his role as master thief Danny Ocean and it's up to him to pay back angry casino owner Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia, collecting a paycheck) or face death. So he assembles his motley crew and they set about planning a score in Europe that will give them a big payday and get Benedict off their back. Along for the ride this time is Catherine Zeta-Jones as a former flame of Brad Pitt's character and an Inspector hot on the trail of Ocean and his gang.
If I made that sound exciting, fun, or in any way involving for the viewer I apologize. Save for one scene with Julia Roberts in a hotel room, the film is on autopilot, as we watch these characters mingle in hotel rooms, trains, jail cells, restaurants, and many more places. As a travelogue, it's brilliant. As a film, it's acrid. The "heist", when it does come, is the least suspenseful ever committed to celluloid. Vincent Cassel is totally wasted as a competiting thief and there never seems to be any credible threat to any of the characters. Ocean's Twelve feels threadbare, worn, and reheated several times. The viewer can picture Clooney saddling up to Soderbergh and saying, "Hey, let's take a trip to Europe and film a sequel while we're there!" The script by George Nolfi (Timeline) was initially to be filmed as a totally unrelated movie entitled Honor Among Thieves, but was retooled as a sequel to Ocean's Eleven.
The movie marks a major misstep for all involved. It splashes its indifference on the screen in broad, unapologetic strokes and expects us to lap it up eagerly. Inferior product is inferior product. With other cinema choices out there and more to come soon (Lemony Snicket's A Serious Of Unfortunate Events, The Aviator, Sideways), please don't let Ocean's Twelve steal your time. It is one of the worst movies of the year.
Yesterday a FedEx Freight truck brought a HUGE yellow crate on a wooden palate. The FedEx driver was adamant that we would not be receiving this unless we helped him bring it in. So the manager and I went outside and he brought it to the rear of the truck. He said to grab the left side of the palate which I did. However, it was not secured to the bottom of this huge yellow crate and he yanked it off of the waist high truck bed. The entire weight of the crate shifted toward me. I tried to back away but the crate fell towards me, breaking my glasses, leaving a friction burn on the right side of my face, and bruising me on the upper left part of my torso. Then today we get a marketing guide book that states that we are *not* to help FedEx Freight drivers unload product. Thanks! I could have used that yesterday. So I am wearing taped glasses and will shortly be receiving new ones, hopefully very soon. And here's the kicker: the damn crate's contents are for a promotion that corporate will be using - we're not participating! Isn't that funny?
Well I'll be back later with all of the Golden Globe nominations and my picks and who I think will actually win.