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OCEAN'S THIRTEEN
U.S. Release Date: June 8, 2007
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Brian Koppelman, David Levien
Producer: Gregory Jacobs (executive)
Composer: David Holmes
Cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould, Ellen Barkin, Al Pacino
Running Time: 1 hour and 53 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (brief sensuality)

Vegas Piffle Entertains
by Scott Holleran

Having missed the first two of Steven Soderbergh's series (based on the 1960 Rat Pack original Ocean's Eleven), and without much enthusiasm for its blank stars, expectations for Ocean's Thirteen were less than sensational.

But this lightweight Las Vegas criminal caper is a breeze, tossing out humorous lines from a parade of familiar players executing a sting with a Robin Hood theme. Besides the usual cast—Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, George Clooney and many others—there's the typical show of cards, cads and high stakes.

There's also Oprah Winfrey, competing with Jay Leno as Tinseltown's most overexposed product placement, and, principally, Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin as targets of Danny Ocean's (Clooney) latest scheme. Ocean takes on Mr. Pacino—refreshingly restrained as big shot casino owner Willy Bank—for strong-arming his mentor (Elliott Gould).

Mr. Pacino's Sea of Love co-star, Barkin, starts out promisingly as Willy Bank's tough-talking efficiency dame, but she's ultimately reduced to a pair of goosey gams, falling over Matt Damon, masked as a tool named Lenny Pepperidge in a prosthetic nose. It's one of probably 13 angles that dovetail to the big kill.

The set-up's most of the movie, which unfolds like an overlong television episode with less emphasis on characterization, and the aim is to score a hit on Willy Bank's corrupt casino during opening night, snatch some diamonds and pocket the change for charity. Or something like that—sometimes it doesn't make sense.

With split screens, a jazz pop soundtrack, an elevator shaft like a motor speedway, private jets, prostitutes and Andy Garcia's dandy underwriting the operation, Ocean's Thirteen is as silly and glitzy as it sounds. As a fake travel reviewer, eighty-something Carl Reiner upstages everyone.

There's more scam than gamble in this version of Las Vegas and a computer-generated casino looks like a mangled canister of Pringles—or something designed by Frank Gehry—and the goodwill thieves aren't too good not to threaten the wife and kids.

Not as cool as Ocean's originals Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Frank Sinatra, the fleeting Ocean's Thirteen is cool enough.


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