a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Ocean's Thirteen Question

So I saw Ocean's Thirteen tonight, and it's undemanding fun, an entertaining two hours in the company of some movie stars worth spending time with.

My only question is what the purpose was of the whole Bernie Mac/domino game subplot. What does getting his table in the casino accomplish?

There has to be a reason, but my brain is stuck. Anyone?


At 5:07 AM, Blogger Burbanked said...

That's a great question and I'm stumped as well.

What follows could maybe be considered *SPOILER* material.

I'm still having a hard time figuring out who the 13th member of the team was. If we go with the original 11 - although one could argue that Elliott Gould really isn't in on the heist and Bernie Mac doesn't have anything to do - and then add Andy Garcia as the 12th, who's 13?

It could be Eddie Izzard because it seems like they really need him, but he never truly becomes a member of the team, buddy-wise, so that's kind of weak. But who else could it be? Matt Damon's dad? The guy who switches the roulette ball?

It seems to me that if you're going to using a title convention for your sequel that we shouldn't have to work so hard to understand it.

And if by "undemanding fun" you also mean "crushingly boring by about half its running time", I'd completely agree with you.

At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Argo said...

Spoiler, of course.

It was two-fold. The first was just one more way to "rig" another table, but mainly it was so that Bernie could pass the pit boss the special roulette balls. They needed a dealer to make the pass so it wouldn't be too noticeable. Of course, they could've just gotten him to be a regular Black Jeack dealer...

At 11:03 AM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Scott, I was so UNDERWHELMED by "Oceans 12" it has tainted by my view on "13." Is "13" worth is it worth the price of admission?

Did rent and watch Clooney with Catherine Zeta Jones in "Intollerable Cruelty," and was shocked how much it SUCKED! Wathced about 2/3 of it, was uttenry bored/uninvested in its two main characters, then turned it off. Story still rules. If you don't have a well executed premice, all the great acting in the world can't bail it out.

Scott, do you like George Clooney's on screen personnna? To me he's slowly starting to take on the personna of an overconfiedent, impervious to peril character. He's got charm to burn, but he doesn't use in such a way that makes me want to like him. What's your take on George Clooney?

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Matt said...

You weren't asking me, but I'll answer. Clooney is a great actor. Seek him out in roles other than the Ocean's movies.

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Thomas Crymes said...

Scott, I think the Answer to the Bernie stuff I guess is mentioned when Clooney gets Garcia to use the con on Pacino. It could have been nothing more than a way to get more money out of Pacino. Feels like the answer is on the cutting room floor.

Ocean's 13 had no plot. No character development, and seemed jumbled together at points. So why did I enjoy it so damn much?

I think the answer is disturbing to us screenwriters because in he end there are no rules and it is just a matter of making interesting screen time.

O 13 is all about watching the planning and execution of a "heist" as portrayed by very likable crooks.

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Ocean's Thirteen is definitely a weird film, in that there really isn't a lot of character stuff at all, and the actors really aren't required to do much. But somehow this works.

As for George Clooney, give the man credit for the fact that he is always determined to work with good directors on interesting projects. And he has done a lot of good work, widely ranging from Syriana to Oh Brother Where Art Though.

At 2:31 PM, Blogger s.warren said...

I'm a bit hazy on this, but wasn't Bernie a cue for the exit? Didn't he tell Danny that the security system was back up and they needed to make their exit.

At 2:52 PM, Anonymous eddie said...

My favorite part of this movie was when -- oh, that's right, nothing really happens. The Bad Guy is never really that bad. The Good Guys are never really done that wrong, and in getting their revenge, nothing is ever really on the line.

I understand this is an established money maker, but come on, if this script was a spec, it'd get passed on quicker than Paris Hilton's jail cell.

A lot of talking about what they were doing rather than action, and in so-so dialogue, not even some Tarantino or Mamet-esque shite that might please your brain.

At 7:15 PM, Blogger Naila J. said...

I sort of agree with Eddie. I can't decide if I liked it or not. I'm giving it about 3 stars because of the franchise and the actors... but the plot seemed week.

There was no pzaz! For a casino, action, heist movie... kinda dull. The storyline was... eh! Some parts were impressive, but mostly because of the amount of money involved. There was no super incredible stunt that made you gasp.

However, the twist that twists itself... great. As was the use of Damon's character's father.

At 12:52 AM, Blogger wcmartell said...

No exactly THE STING is it?

And that's the answer - they needed to come up with a bunch of funny things for all of the cast to do that seem like they are some sort of con (but more "fun" than clever) and Bernie got stuck as some dominoes dealer... helping to make sure the house lost and the customers won.

- Bill

At 5:26 AM, Blogger Katie said...

I agree with Thomas, I think too much of the explanation stuff ended up on the cutting room floor, and the plot just became fragmented. What happened to the Eddie Izzard character, who looked so promising? What actually was written in those letters? As far as fun, fluff and eye candy goes though, great movie!

At 6:28 AM, Blogger Thomas Crymes said...

Thinking back, the thing I liked the most about the movie was that guy they sent to Mexico to lace the dice with the magic dust. He goes there and starts a labor revolt.

That was a lot of fun to me.

At 5:56 AM, Blogger ScreenwriterJ said...

You are so right. They should have looked at The Sting for inspiration. Great movie.

I can't understand why they didn't make the story better when they have so many amazing actors.

Time pressure from the studio? What's the reason for all these talky scenes and no motivated action?

At 5:58 AM, Blogger The Moviequill said...

I think it was just to get Bernie Mac in the building, he was only there demonstrating the domino game, so by Garcia wanting it for his place, Pacino sealed the deal by agreeing to take it on?


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