That Movie Book – Week Twenty Five

This week’s theme was “Play It Again, Sam: remakes that are better than the original”. Last week’s theme about being royalty was a bit of a non-event seeing as I was on holiday when I would normally be typing things up, so I moved on to this one instead. Remakes are becoming such a common occurrence these days that it’s becoming old hat. Most of the time you just roll your eyes and mutter about lazy filmmaking, but sometimes a remake is done that is, dare I say it, better than expected.

Unfortunately for me, computer issues (which I’m blaming Ben for, seeing as he touched my computer last) means I only watched one film from this week, and it was one that I had seen many times before. I was planning on watching one I hadn’t seen on Sunday, but instead I’m on an old Macbook that whirs ferociously out of the blue and all my movie collection is on the second (thankfully/hopefully fine) hard drive in my box that won’t start up. I am getting withdrawals already; our dvd collection has nowhere near enough trashy entertainment to meet my needs.

So, when I did end up watching was Ocean’s Eleven. Danny Ocean gets out of jail and decides to rob three of the biggest casinos in Las Vegas. To do this he needs to gather associates to help pull the heist off (the ‘Eleven’ in ‘Ocean’s Eleven’) and hope that everything goes according to plan.

 

I just want to say straight up that I really like this movie. The sequels I didn’t like as much, but this one is probably up there on my list of Films I Like Quite A Bit. I am pretty sure it was one of the first films that I wanted to watch multiple times (that wasn’t a kid’s movie) to catch things I missed. I feel like I should watch the original to compare, but I don’t think I would enjoy it as much as I might have if I hadn’t seen the remake.

From what I can remember, this was one of those films that my brother got a little obsessed about and decided he (and by extension, I) needed to watch it. Maybe he secretly wanted to be like George Clooney, who knows? Whatever the reason I probably wasn’t overly enthusiastic to watch it. My brother and I have some similarities in our tastes, but it seems that most of the time he insists I watch something I am not that fussed about it. But I guess this was one of those times where our tastes match up.

I think this version just has a consistent feel to it that I really like. The soundtrack, the costumes, the actors, the sets, all work well and play off each other to create a well-balanced theme to te film. Everyone’s a little weird and sleazy and everything’s a little too shiny and bright, it just makes up the (probably cliched) image of Las Vegas nicely.

That’s not saying I don’t dislike some parts of it. Don Cheadle’s cockney accent is fucking appalling. I hope he is embarrassed by it because it was so terrible that I couldn’t help but laugh at it. Was it imperative to the story that Basher had to be British? If so couldn’t they have gotten a British actor to play the role and not have it be less of a terrible fake cockney accent? Also, Julia Roberts as Mrs Ocean? Whenever she walked anywhere she just clomped along like she was wearing high heels for the first time. There are so many other people out there who could look sexy and confident and strong willed without being Julia Roberts. This dislike for her is probably also fuelled by the fact that in one of the sequels the other characters mention how much Tess looked like Julia Roberts and get her to “pretend” to be her so they can sneak into an art gallery. Ham. Fisted. Comedy. Like I said, the sequels were kinda shitty.

So yeah, I liked the film I watched this week. But I also knew I was going to like it, so I feel a bit lazy. I should be expanding my horizons, not sticking with comfortable options. The other suggestions were Scarface (which I was intending on watching before this whole computer fiasco), The Man Who Knew Too Much, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and 3:10 To Yuma.

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