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Jackpot! Danny Ocean and his elite crew of tricksters and thieves are back to back to back in all 3 of the sleek thrillers directed by Oscar-winner Steven Soderbergh.
Ocean's Eleven kicks off the fun with a daring Las Vegas heist. The team goes global to European glamour spots in Twelve. And Thirteen has the group reuniting in Vegas for a dazzling scheme of payback against a double-crossing casino kingpin.
For more about Ocean's Trilogy and the Ocean's Trilogy Blu-ray release, see Ocean's Trilogy Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on February 25, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy García, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac
Director: Steven Soderbergh
This Blu-ray release includes the following titles, see individual titles for specs and details:
Ocean's Trilogy Blu-ray Review
If you are looking for the first two films of the series on Blu-ray, this is currently the only way to get them.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, February 25, 2008
Nothing costs nothing.
Hollywood just can't help itself. While Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen are original films, the one that started it all, 2001's Ocean's Eleven, is a remake of the 1960 film of the same name, starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Cesar Romero, just to name a few. In a rare and stunning turn of events, the powers-that-be got this one right, casting the film with a list of who's-who in Hollywood that requires a marquee a mile long to list them all. Each actor brings a wealth of charm and fun to their roles, and therefore to the picture as well, and despite director Steven Soderbergh's relentless use of gimmicky visuals, this trilogy is not only watchable, but worthy of repeat viewings, especially the end cap films.
Fresh out of prison, Danny Ocean (George Clooney, Michael Clayton) begins almost immediately to plan a heist of three separate casinos in Las Vegas. Not only do they all deposit their funds into the same vault, but all three casinos are headed by Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia, The Untouchables), the man who is currently dating Danny's ex-wife Tess (Julia Roberts, Flatliners). His scheme involves not only ripping off over $160 million from a vault that is as advanced as those guarding nuclear missile silos, but also shaming Terry to win back Tess. Of course, pulling off such an intricate plot means recruiting more than a few friendly faces, and it just so happens that an A-list of Hollywood stars, er, friends and soon-to-be-colleague's of Danny's want in on the action. Helping him are ten associates, including Linus (Matt Damon, Dogma), Rusty (Brad Pitt, The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford), Frank (Bernie Mac, Bad Santa), and Basher (Don Cheadle, Reign Over Me). The heist will require extensive planning and coordination and lots and lots of toys (EMP bombs, getaway vans, and phony uniforms), not to mention everyone getting along and quite a bit of luck.
Ocean's Eleven is a whole lot of fun. Not only is the story engaging yet oftentimes funny and lighthearted, but it's clear that the entire cast has a great chemistry from the outset and are having as good a time making this film as the audience is having watching it. Each character brings a unique talent to the table to accomplish the heist, and the "villain," Andy Garcia, is especially adept in his role, playing a mostly soulless, business first casino boss with a methodical, almost robotic demeanor. He runs a tight ship, but not quite tight enough to keep Ocean's eleven from pulling off the perfect crime. I hadn't seen this film in years and I went into it having forgotten many of the cast members and the eccentric characters they portray. I remember not being overly impressed when I saw the film on DVD way back when, but the film definitely spoke to me today as an impressive, easy going caper flick with an impeccable all-star cast. 4/5 stars.
Danny, Rusty, Linus, and crew are back, facing their toughest challenge yet--their old nemesis, Mr. Benedict. Obviously, he wasn't in the best of moods at the end of Ocean's Eleven, and he wants his money back (with interest). He's hunted down each member of Ocean's eleven, demanding they return what is rightfully his. There's one catch, however--they've already spent millions, some more than others, and the only way to recoup Mr. Benedict's money is to stage another impossible robbery. They're facing too much heat in the United States to pull off another job, so they head overseas--to Amsterdam to be precise--and accept a challenge from the famous European thief, "The Night Fox" (Vincent Cassel, Eastern Promises) to settle once and for all who the greatest thief in the world is--Ocean and his crew, or himself. Meanwhile, the gang is pursued by a EuroPol agent, Isabel Lahiri (Catherine-Zeta Jones, No Reservations), a former love interest of Rusty's and a thorn in the side of the group. As things go terribly wrong for our criminal heroes, they must turn to their last resort, Ocean's wife Tess, who must perform the role of her life in order to save the crew and earn them the title as best thieves in the world.
Easily the weak link of the Ocean's Trilogy, the film managed to take everything that was fun about the first in the series and negate it. Not only does the crew simply "give in" to Mr. Benedict far too easily for men of their talent, stature, and pride, but they choose to first go after a prize encased in a house with an occupant who never leaves it and ultimately find themselves ensnared in a game of wits with the shady "Night Fox" character who, in my mind, is already the better thief, seeing as he doesn't need a crew of a dozen to pull off robberies as impressive as Ocean's eleven (or twelve). The script is overly complex and completely inane, sinking faster than Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s acting career as the movie wears on, climaxing with a completely ridiculous scheme involving Julia Roberts. Director Steven Soderbergh seems to be paying more attention to his 70's-style visuals rather than focusing on a taut, exciting narrative. The highlight of the film is mixed in with the low light of the film. Bruce Willis delivers an excellent cameo in the midst of the Julia Roberts mess, stealing the entire sequence and nearly the show. The rest of the cast, especially Clooney, are wonderful as expected, and it's a shame they didn't have better material to work with, but they manage to squeeze every last ounce of respect out of it that they can muster. 2/5 stars.
Fresh off their European excursion, Ocean and crew are back in the United States and come together when they discover that one of their comrades, Reuben (Elliott Gould, American History X) has fallen ill after a confrontation with Las Vegas casino magnate Willy Bank (Al Pacino, Donnie Brasco). Determined to keep him alive by doing something that he would find worthy of continuing on and living for, the crew decides to pull off a job to ruin the grand opening of Banks' newest casino and rip him off for millions in the process. Things are going according to plan until an unexpected hiccup leaves the crew needing to purchase an item that will aid in the robbery. Coming up millions of dollars short, they are forced to turn to their old friend and Bank's rival casino owner, Terry Benedict. He's more than happy to contribute. After all, Banks' new casino casts a shadow over his swimming pool. There's on catch, however: the team must steal Banks' prestigious "5 diamond" award necklaces from an impenetrable fortress high atop the casino. The crew agrees, and they begin planning for the impossible, attempting to pull off one last job to save an old friend and perhaps earn a new one in the process.
Surprisingly, I found Ocean's Thirteen to be as enjoyable as the first film. While the heist isn't as straightforward as in the first movie, the charm, charisma, and easy going attitude of that first movie is back, and all the negative vibes still reverberating inside me from the second film were wiped away. This film starts off a bit slowly as the story builds, but we are treated to a wonderful, prolonged heist scene that is over the top yet graceful and fun. Steven Soderbergh has added another A-list star to the list of performers. Al Pacino dominates every scene he is in, playing his role straight but with a bit of attitude and flair as only he can, reveling ever so slightly in the comedy but never allowing us to believe that his character really finds what's happening all around him amusing in the least. While every member of Ocean's crew plays a part, I couldn't help but feel that everyone took a back seat to Clooney, Pitt, and Damon. Bernie Mack's character, Frank, probably my favorite in the series, seemed almost an afterthought here, as did the other minors. Sure, without them the scheme would not have worked, but their roles seem greatly reduced. The film maintains Soderbergh's unique visual style and 1970's themed look, and it works well, combining an old- school cinematic flair with modern set pieces and characters. Overall, I found Ocean's Thirteen as enjoyable as Ocean's Eleven. 4/5 stars.
Ocean's Trilogy Blu-ray, Video Quality
Warner Brothers has released Ocean's Eleven as part of this Blu-ray trilogy package only. At the time of writing, only Ocean's Thirteen is available for individual purchase. This 1080p, 2.40:1 Blu-ray release looks fairly good considering the shooting style and artistic choices employed by director Steven Soderbergh. Those looking for a straightforward, non-stylized, generic image will not be pleased with this one. The image spots a processed, overly saturated, almost bleached look about it. Contrast appears to be pumped up, especially noticeable on shots with excessive shades of white on screen. Flesh tones appeared to be slightly redder than expected, but black levels maintain a consistent, natural, and pleasant inkiness. The print is noticeably marred by speckles, most evident during the opening act of the film but noticeable throughout. This issue verges on being distracting, and anything more than what is here would have been. Color reproduction is excellent and detail, depth, and clarity are fine. Considering the film has a slightly awkward look because of Soderbergh's artistic licenses seen throughout the film, this one remains a mostly good, yet subtly flawed, high definition transfer. 4/5 stars.
Ocean's Twelve arrives on a Blu-ray disc that is strikingly similar to its predecessor in overall quality. Presented in 1080p high definition and in its original 2.40:1 aspect ratio, this film features a return of Soderbergh's pumped up contrast look with extra bright whites and other overly processed colors. There is also quite a bit of grain scattered throughout the movie, giving it a vintage, gritty look that accentuates the use of 1970s style music heard throughout the movie. The image is at times overly soft and there is a definite lack of fine detail throughout. One positive here is the solid black levels that are deep and true. Overall, I felt this was the worst looking of the three films, but how much of it is director intent (probably most of it) versus a poorly authored disc, I cannot be sure. 3/5 stars.
Also presented in a 2.40:1 frame, Ocean's Thirteen continues on in the tradition of Soderbergh's odd-looking, highly augmented contrasts. The look of the film alters on nearly a scene-by-scene basis. At times heavily grainy, at other times artificially brightened, and sometimes "normal," this film certainly runs the visual gambit making it difficult to judge. When the movie takes on a more naturalistic image, it looks top-notch. At other times, viewers may be thrown through a loop, wondering what they are looking at as a heavy grain field, blooming, off- kilter colors, and flesh tones that make the actors look like they have tomatoes for heads permeate the look of the film. Still, considering how much Soderbergh has gone against the grain, so to speak, I am confident what we are seeing here is pretty much what he intended for us to see. 4/5 stars.
Ocean's Trilogy Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The packaging for this set says it contains "Hi-def sound." Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Not only do all three discs feature Dolby Digital 5.1 only soundtracks with no sign of a truly high-definition, lossless of uncompressed mix in sight, but each one features a paltry, lethargic mix whose number one achievement is that it's there. The low bit rate track provided for this movie lacks in just about every department, save for dialogue reproduction which comes across just fine. I took very few notes on the audio presentation for this film, and the first word I wrote was "flat." This is an almost completely lifeless, dull track with very little going on. There is little in the way of deep bass, even in scenes that scream out for it. A club scene early on, for example, offers up a bit of ambience that is mostly music bleeding into the rears, and just enough bass to let us know that we have a subwoofer connected to our system. Otherwise, the experience was uninteresting and spiritless. Granted, the film rarely calls for exorbitant use of sound, but hearing the sounds of the casino emanating from the rears to create a more immersive experience would have been most welcome. 2.5/5 stars.
If you were to re-read the brief audio review for Ocean's Eleven above, it mostly all applies to this mix as well. This underpowered mix might be the weakest of the three (though they are all pretty anemic). Dialogue reproduction sounded a bit muffled at times, and I had to strain to hear what the actors were saying on occasion. I don't think I heard anything come from the rear channels this go-round, and the mix is just about completely focused up front. Even for a lossy soundtrack this one was especially bland, offering up little more power than what I would have expected from a stereo LaserDisc soundtrack circa 1993. 2/5 stars.
Where's the beef? Like the other Ocean's films on Blu-ray, this one sports a paltry Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack that often sounds as if it's on life support. In fact, the mix is so plain, so front heavy, and so dull, despite the kickin' 70s-esque soundtrack that it has to be filmmaker intent. We are treated to only the briefest of moments that offer up a hint of notice that the rear channels are even active, notably in the underground digging sequences as we hear the humming of the equipment ever so slightly all around us. We are also treated to a few instances of good LFE use, most evident during the film's climactic moments during the heist. Otherwise, this one may as well be a stereo track. Dialogue reproduction is strong and focused in the center, and the music plays nicely through the front, creating a pleasant experience that really hearkens us back to the days of 1970s cinema. This soundtrack is sufficient in delivering what it wants to, but expecting anything above and beyond the bare minimum is only a set-up for disappointment. 2.5/5 stars.
Ocean's Trilogy Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Ocean's Eleven comes loaded with several excellent supplemental features. Leading off are two commentary tracks. The first is an actor track with Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, and Brad Pitt. All three begin the track with quit a bit of humor, including likening their participation to an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. We get a fun mix of behind-the-scenes stories and technical details, including the joys of working with so many of the biggest stars in Hollywood today. We become privy to several interesting tidbits, including names of cast members seen scattered here and there, not to mention small homages, such as one to THX 1138. This is one of the better tracks I've heard. It features three big name actors who are clearly enjoying working together both in the film and on this track. Fans of these actors or the film won't want to miss listening to this one.
Next up is the second track that features director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Ted Griffin. Contrary to what I expected, this track isn't as dry as I thought it would be, and there is quite a bit of good information to be gleaned here. There is never a dull moment, and even though much of the track is technical in nature, the participants are entertaining and engaging enough to hold your interest, especially if you loved the movie.
Moving along, HBO First Look: The Making of 'Ocean's Eleven' (480p, 15:01) is yet another in a long line of fluff pieces featuring your usual blend of cast and crew sound bites discussing their characters, their fellow actors, the crew, and the movie, replete with pats on the back galore. The Look of the Con (480p, 9:40) looks at the costuming seen throughout the film. Finally, the films theatrical trailer and two teaser trailers (all 480p) conclude the extras on this disc.
In yet another case of Warner Brothers making much ado about nothing (or little in all fairness), the viewer is greeted with a page that is jam-packed with extras, but upon a closer look, what we really get are four extras spread out to look like there are about twenty. First up is a commentary track with director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter George Nolfi. For the second movie in a row the track leads off with a discussion about the Warner logo. The duo delves into the ideas for the film, namely from an original screenplay by Nolfi entitled Honor Among Thieves. There are some instances of prolonged dead air. Even though this is the driest of the three tracks yet, it still offers up some fantastic insights into many aspects of the movie, including the writing, pace, details of the story, and costuming.
HBO First Look: Twelve is the New Eleven (480p, 13:02) is almost a carbon copy of the similarly titled feature from the first disc. The format is the same, as cast and crew discuss the film. There is a focus on the success of the first film, the ease of reassembling the cast, and on the new angle of the second film. Honestly, if you need a crash course on Ocean's Twleve and only have thirteen minutes, this feature pretty much recaps the entirety of the film. Next are eighteen additional scenes, each one individually labeled on screen. Together they have a runtime of 28:19 and are presented in 480p standard definition and Dolby Digital 2.0 channel audio. Finally, the film's 480p theatrical trailer rounds out the extras on this Blu-ray disc.
Like the previous Ocean's films, Ocean's Thirteen features a commentary track with director Steven Soderbergh and writers Brian Koppelman and David Levin. The track features a discussion about the opening scene of the movie, reminiscent of the second movie's track about the differences in philosophy regarding several choices in way to introduce the movie to audiences. The track is pretty average with a few laughs scattered about, but for the most part the trio deals with the writing process and turning scripted words into a finished film, re- shoots, shooting with a handheld camera, stories about the cast from the set (bossing around the biggest names in show business), and what it takes to find the perfect shot, even for the more mundane and less important images seen throughout the movie, such as a two or three second shot of the Bellagio hotel.
Next up are a trio of features that have little to do with the movie itself. First, Masters of the Heist (480p, 44:02) looks at four of the most famous heists and cons in history. Vegas: An Opulent Illusion (480p, 22:47) looks at people's fascination with Las Vegas, what it takes to create more and more elegant and high-tech attractions, and the influence of "The Strip." We become privy to the history of Las Vegas, the importance of keeping the city on the cutting edge to keep patrons coming back, and the importance of gaming and gambling. Jerry Weintraub Walk and Talk (480p, 2:25) is a brief tour of the set of Ocean's Thirteen. Finally, several additional scenes (1080p, 4:36) not to be found in the film are included.
Ocean's Trilogy Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
If your movie night is in a rut and you need a few films to liven things up, the Ocean's trilogy is a heck of way to go. All three films, even the lackluster Ocean's Twelve, offer a wealth of pure entertainment bliss sure to be a hit on the next movie night. Despite a completely lackluster soundtrack, viewing these films on Blu-ray is currently the best way to experience them. Director Steven Soderbergh has littered these films with some quirky and off-the-wall visuals, and for the most part, these Blu-ray discs replicate his vision for each film. All three movies come with a decent helping of supplemental materials, and they should be enough to satiate the appetite of most fans of Danny Ocean and his closest friends. Recommended.
Ocean's Trilogy Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Amazon Blu-ray Deal of the Week: Ocean's Trilogy - April 1, 2012
Amazon's Blu-ray Deal of the Week affects the Ocean's Trilogy package. This boxset features all three entries in Steven Soderbergh's popular crime-comedy franchise - Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve, and Ocean's Thirteen. Through April 7th, Amazon is offering the ...
• Amazon Blu-ray Deal of the Week: Ocean's Trilogy (Expired) - May 22, 2011
Through May 28th, Amazon is selling the Ocean's Trilogy boxset for $17.99. This 50% markdown is the lowest retail price for which Amazon has offered the trilogy, which includes Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve, and Ocean's Thirteen; prior to today, its lowest price ...
• Ocean's Trilogy in Amazon Gold Box Today - June 26, 2009
Amazon's Gold Box deal-of-the-day is a special offer on 'Ocean's Trilogy' (Ocean's Eleven, Twelve & Thirteen Gift Set), which today can be bought on Blu-ray for only $36.99, or just over $12 each title. This was a runner-up in the vote Amazon held to decide which ...
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