Ocean's 8 (Gary Ross, 2018)

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Ribs
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Ocean's 8 (Gary Ross, 2018)

#1 Post by Ribs » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:38 pm

Ocean's 8 is fun! It's plainly not Soderbergh and actually has a structural similarity to its heist that it shares more with Logan Lucky then the previous films but it's entertaining and the central heist is at least still interesting even if it doesn't quite approach the sophistication of the earlier efforts. It actually has a surprising poignancy in the end, which ties it to the original films in a way that's a little more deeper and nuanced than a cameo from any of the actually important players might accomplish on their own. Even though the cast is individually great I wish there was a bit more to each of them, in particular to Cate Blanchett's character, who other than just being in the #2 Brad Pitt role doesn't really have any existence that is discernible. I think this is ultimately a best-case scenario from someone like Gary Ross: competent, entertaining enough, hopeful that more can come with maybe someone with a bit more panache behind the lens.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: The Films of 2018

#2 Post by DarkImbecile » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:25 pm

I mostly agree with Ribs' sentiments on Ocean's 8, though I have to be a bit harder on the script and direction for failing to leverage the stellar cast to make anything more than an inoffensive bauble out of a project that had many of the elements in place to handily exceed all the previous entries in this franchise.

Ross does decisively average work directing a feather-light screenplay, and to whatever extent the whole enterprise is buoyed to anything beyond mediocrity, the credit goes solely to a strong cast anchored by a couple of truly radiant star performances from Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway. Blanchett in particular is the most fascinating person on the screen even when she's out of focus in the background of someone else's shot, and it's borderline offensive that the script wasn't reworked during production to give something - anything - of depth to the paper-thin character beyond what she puts on screen. Hathaway, meanwhile, takes the most delectable role in the film and really digs into it, demonstrating yet again how underutilized she's been for the last decade.

With Hathaway making the most of apparently all the character work the screenwriters were capable of and Blanchett blowing everyone else off the screen, there's far too little oxygen left to go around for the rest of the core actors, who all do good work with what they have (even Awkwafina, who has been driving me crazy in the pre-trailer promos for Crazy Rich Asians for the last couple of weeks) and - in line with what was apparently the central priority of the production team - they and their clothes all look fantastic. It's particularly surprising that Sandra Bullock is given basically nothing to do beyond looking great as soon as she's out of prison and channeling the smug slickness of Clooney's character (both of which she does quite capably).

As said above, the heist is decidedly middling in its ambitions and stakes - even the inevitable twist on the job is obvious from the start and basically just "What you thought was happening all along, but more so!" rather than adding surprise or depth to any of it. There are some tossed off lines - Bullock doesn't want a man for a role on the job because she wants to exploit how women are generally ignored, for example - that hint at some possible routes to subversive takes on gender that ultimately go nowhere, and any element of undermining the patriarchy is limited to getting revenge on an ex-boyfriend.

I wouldn't have predicted this, but I'd absolutely see another of these with this cast if someone with any sense of style or cool - Ross' cribbing of a handful of screen wipes to evoke Soderbergh's work on the previous films is basically just sad - could be secured for the director's chair. I'm sure someone like Michelle MacLaren could add something exceeding mere competence while maybe shepherding the gender-swap dynamic past gimmickry and toward some thematic resonance.

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Ribs
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Re: The Films of 2018

#3 Post by Ribs » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:31 pm

Judging on early estimates, it's hard to imagine WB not greenlighting a second one, but I do *kind* of feel bad for Ross that there's already a groundswell towards getting any woman to direct the next movie, something Clooney himself repeated to Deadline last night. I'm *really* surprised, out of anyone, that Julia Roberts didn't do a cameo of some kind (there was even a brief moment in the film when I thought she'd appear as herself, considering we know she exists in-universe!), and it wouldn't surprise me if that was the (if obvious) "hook" for an Ocean's 9, short of bringing literally everyone else back. But also, Ross will probably be able to go off and do what he wants so long as it's not crazy expensive right now, so maybe it'll all work out, and we'll get something more adventurous next time.

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Ocean's 8 (Gary Ross, 2018)

#4 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:30 am

You mean this isn't a homage to The Bling Ring where the they all team up to rob Julia Roberts' Hollywood home whilst she is out at the Oscars?

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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
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Re: Ocean's 8 (Gary Ross, 2018)

#5 Post by hearthesilence » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:01 am

colinr0380 wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:30 am
You mean this isn't a homage to The Bling Ring where the they all team up to rob Julia Roberts' Hollywood home whilst she is out at the Oscars?
I'd rather see this homage than Ocean's 8 or The Bling Ring.

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colinr0380
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Re: Ocean's 8 (Gary Ross, 2018)

#6 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:19 am

Of course you know it has to end with Julia Roberts teaming up with Helen Mirren for a jetski chase after the criminals!

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Luke M
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:21 pm

Re: Ocean's 8 (Gary Ross, 2018)

#7 Post by Luke M » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:04 pm

I really liked it. It was fun and clever, at times a bit too much like Ocean’s 11, but the characters felt more developed and still had unique enough. If there’s a weakness it’s that this didn’t stray far enough from Ocean’s 11 formula. Probably the most fun I’ve had at the movies in awhile.

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Brian C
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Re: Ocean's 8 (Gary Ross, 2018)

#8 Post by Brian C » Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:14 am

I was ... not disappointed, exactly, because I wasn't expecting much, but just about everything about this is extremely average to me. The performances, the direction, the mechanics of the heist - almost nothing stands out. Out of the actors, the only one who seems to realize that she's in a fun heist movie is Hathaway; a poster above said that she has the best role, but I don't know if that's true. I think she's just the only one that really commits to having fun with it.

Bullock's sleepwalking Clooney impression is a big misfire for me, and Blanchett just disappears as if she's bored with the whole thing and has zero impact. Even Kaling checks her personality at the door. But really I blame Ross the most, who's just too flat-footed to pull something like this off. He basically plays it like a straight drama, making no effort to punch up the humor and making a not-very-long movie feel about a half-hour longer than it is. Soderbergh is so nimble with this kind of stuff, and following his trilogy with a plodder like Ross (a trait evident in all of his work as a director) is a huge misjudgment. This could have been decent with a little punchier script and a more suitable director.

All that said, I don't want to make it sound worse than it is. I decided to see it instead of Jurassic World, and if nothing else, I see no reason to think that was a poor decision. But I just thought it's really generic.

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