Review for Ocean's Trilogy
I did it again! The collector’s instinct continues to run riot, even as the collector’s market proceeds to become more fragmented and niche oriented, supplanted by online streaming services. Around our way, the term ‘reliable broadband’ is an oxymoron, and so I remain one of the older generation, forever looking for more storage space. This time it was Ocean’s Eleven that called to me to be re-watched, and it’s a DVD that I eagerly chose to upgrade to Blu-ray, as it ticked my ‘upgrade your favourite movie’ criteria. But then I saw Ocean’s Thirteen sitting next to it, and I thought I might as well double dip that as well while I’m at it, for consistency of format, despite the fact that I got Ocean’s Thirteen free with a snack food promotion, and I’ve only watched it the once. Of course by this point, it transpires that it’s cheaper to buy the trilogy than it is to buy two out of three films separately, and so it is that I now own Ocean’s Twelve, a film that I have never seen, and film I had no intention of watching, so bad is its reputation. I guess I’m going to have to watch it now...
But the first film in the trilogy quickly became one of my favourites. There is something so cinematic and entertaining about the art of the con, seeing someone deserving getting their comeuppance at the hands of someone quick of wit. Films like The Sting, Trading Places, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels will always find their audiences, and even on the small screen, shows like Hustle become mainstays of TV schedules. Then there are variations like Inception and The A-Team, but when you think about it, it’s all about audiences rooting for small-time criminals getting one over on bigger criminals. It’s actually a pretty amoral premise. Thankfully it’s usually pretty enjoyable too. But in one crucial respect, Ocean’s Eleven is a movie of a type we really should see more of. Hollywood these days runs on the comic book adaptations, the sequels, and the remakes. Of the latter, they’ve mostly been remaking successful films to disappointing effect. Ocean’s Eleven was one time when they took a film that was a comparative flop, a Ratpack movie that never troubled the box office, and they remade it better.
You get the three Ocean’s movies in this collection, reviewed separately from the links below
You get three discs in a BD Amaray case, two either side of a central hinged panel, and one on the rear face. The case also gets an o-card slipcover.
I did indeed do it again! My innate desire to double dip my collection, combined with the prospect of a bargain overrode my common sense. I really only wanted Ocean’s Eleven, but the trilogy only cost a few pennies more than the first film by itself, and the case takes up just as little room. But, lossy soundtracks all around, and while Ocean’s Eleven gets the most disappointing transfer of the three, none of the films really do well by the HD format. Ocean’s Eleven is the one, decent film in the trilogy, Ocean’s Twelve is a dire mess of a film, and Ocean’s Thirteen is watchable (for story, not retina burning visuals), but visibly tired.
These are all old discs from the debut of the Blu-ray format. Ocean’s Eleven is really the only one worth owning, and it really does need a complete do-over from a 4k master. Hopefully the release of Ocean’s Eight will convince Warners to give the film the attention it deserves.