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Thursday 16 December, 2004

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home : news : local news : movie review
Ocean's Twelve has the ingredients for a successful blockbuster
By Leigh A. Brasier 12/16/2004
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This Hollywood movie recipe calls for a cast of blockbuster stars, a visionary director and a clever story, yet Ocean's Twelve isn't quite as tasty as the first - nor as ingenious.

Like other Steven Soderbergh movies, Ocean's Twelve introduces his characters in atypical ways. For instance, we see each and every character smugly living their lives and carelessly spending their stolen money. But when Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), the Bellagio owner whom they stole $150 million from in Ocean's Eleven, tracks all of them down, panic sets in rather quickly.

Threatening a severe backlash, Benedict orders the crew to return the stolen money, regardless of the fact that Benedict's insurance company covered his loss. Now, each one must come up with roughly $19 million each, an amount nobody has.

Forced back into the game, Danny Ocean (George Clooney), the crew's undeclared leader, has an idea ­ one that takes the whole bunch to Europe, jet-setting first to Amsterdam and a heist that involves a clever move ­ or actually one that raises a building. Remember, suspend your sense of disbelief, especially when watching this scenario.

This job was supposed to lead to another more lucrative one. But when a rival thief, dubbed the Night Fox, sneaks in under the wire to nab the object first, Danny and the crew are left puzzled.

The deadline to pay Benedict is rapidly approaching, and everyone senses the impending doom. So when matters turn from impossible to hopeless, it looks as if Ocean's 12 may wind up in jail. After all, police inspector Catherine Zeta-Jones is in hot pursuit, especially after ex-boyfriend Brad Pitt.

Ocean's Twelve fares better than most sequels. The first key ingredient was a big-name cast, one that's enough to draw a crowd. But what I enjoyed was the clever way Ocean's Twelve introduced two cameo performances. One was a bit of a stretch, and not developed enough beforehand, while the other cameo performance was one that added believability to the first. This was one clever way to bring in another star without simply just bringing them in as scene dressing.

Ocean's Twelve was a little too drawn out for my liking. I did, however, like the story and cast.

Ocean's Twelve will play at Marco Movies through next week. It has a running time of two hours and five minutes and is rated PG-13.


New to DVD/Video

* Collateral. Rated R.

Taxi driver Max (Jamie Foxx) unexpectedly picks up a mass murderer, Vincent (Tom Cruise) who has a list of five targets and one night to knock them off. Max is forced again and again to find a way to prevent Vincent from killing as well as save his own skin.

I didn't give this movie much justice when I first reviewed it. I think I will give it another look to see if my first instinct was right.

* I, Robot. Rated PG-13 for brief nudity and violence.

In this sci-fi thriller, humans have become more and more dependent on robots, which are programmed to never harm humans. But when a scientist turns up dead and a robot is the main suspect, Del Spooner (Will Smith) leads the investigation.

*Door in the Floor. Rated R for nudity, adult situations and sexual situations.

Ted and Marion Cole (Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger) are left with an empty marriage after their sons die tragic deaths. Marion enters a serious depression, and Ted enters into one affair after another. Neither are willing to devote any attention to their surviving daughter, Ruth (Elle Fanning). So when Ted hires 16-year-old Eddie (Jon Foster), who has an uncanny resemblance to one of their sons, to help edit a book, turmoil really boils.

* The Princess Diaries: Royal Engagement. Rated G.

This sequel picks up where the first one left off. American teenager Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) and her best friend Lilly (Heather Matarazzo) travel to her little known country of Genovia after their high school graduation. Suddenly, Mia discovers that she must marry before she can be crowned queen.


Leigh A. Brasier is an avid moviegoer who frequents most first run movies. She is an award-winning journalist in criticism, who took various courses on film and acting in college. Leigh can be contacted at and her previous movie reviews can be found online at marcoislandflorida.

©Marco Island Sun Times 2004
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