Tag Archives: George Clooney

The Set of 400: #249 – My Favorite Prison Tuxedo

Today! Because you can’t have six cards in a five card game –

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Directed by Steven Soderbergh

Starring George Clooney (x2), Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia (x2), Elliott Gould (x2), Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Carl Reiner (x3), Bernie Mac, Shaobo Qin, Eddie Jemison, Don Cheadle (x2), Topher Grace, Joshua Jackson (x2)

A remake so much better than the original that it’s almost unfair to mention its existence, 2001’s Ocean’s Eleven was the movie that I think everyone assumed Steven Soderbergh could make, but never would. Sure, Out of Sight hits largely the same tone, and with Clooney, too, but it isn’t quite the bustling movie star popcorn extravaganza that this film is. But while in some cases I’ve advocated that a filmmaker winning an Oscar was detrimental to society as a whole – Spielberg’s four year hiatus after Schindler’s List, James Cameron’s everything after Titanic, etc. – Soderbergh’s win for Traffic may have actually freed him up to make something more purely fun, purely Hollywood than we would’ve expected.

And boy did it deliver. Yes, the sequels were underwhelming and unnecessary, straight through to last year’s okay-if-beating-a-dead-mare Ocean’s 8, but the first movie is a dazzling gem of subterfuge and sleight of hand. From Danny Ocean’s first appearance, getting out of jail in a full on tuxedo, this movie is chocked full of style, attitude, and more than a little winking-at-itself humor that totally works. Sure, with a cast this large and accomplished, it’s bound to feel like some folks got a little wasted through lack of use, but they do manage to give everybody just enough character bits and snappy lines to satisfy – for the most part. Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #390 – My Favorite Clooney Hallucination

Today! Because half of North America just lost their Facebook –

Gravity (2013)

Directed by Alfonso Cuaron

Starring Sandra Bullock, George Clooney

Not so much a movie as a 91 minute amusement park ride, Gravity is a non-stop thrilling time at the movies. I’ve never tried to watch it on television, as I just can’t imagine it holding up on a small screen, but man, in theaters, this thing was outstanding. It’s just hurtling objects, spinning bodies, flying debris, and brief fever dreams packed into a simple, straightforward space survival story. The shame of Sandy Bullock winning that Oscar ten-ish years ago for The Blind Side is that she way scaled back on moviemaking (this is endemic of people who win Oscars after hectic careers, unfortunately) – only appearing in five live action movies in the last decade – but her handful of films have all at least been interesting, if not great, such as this seven-pack of Oscars winner right here. Hey, if you can get to a place in your career where you can only choose to do stuff that interests you and sit out the rest of the time, go for it!

Even if you’re making them for Netflix!

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