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Member's Reviews

Ocean's 11 (1960), a review by Antares

Ocean's 11

Year: 1960
Film Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Length: 127 Min.

Lewis Milestone (1895)

George Clayton Johnson (1929)...Story
Jack Golden Russell...Story
Harry Brown (1917)...Screenplay
Charles Lederer (1911)...Screenplay

Lewis Milestone (1895)

William H. Daniels (1901)

Nelson Riddle (1921)...Composer

Frank Sinatra (1915) as Danny Ocean
Dean Martin (1917) as Sam Harmon
Sammy Davis Jr. (1925) as Josh Howard
Peter Lawford (1923) as Jimmy Foster
Angie Dickinson (1931) as Beatrice Ocean
Richard Conte (1910) as Anthony Raymond 'Tony' Bergdorf
Cesar Romero (1907) as Duke Santos
Patrice Wymore (1926) as Adele Ekstrom

   WARNING: Citizen Kane this is not!

       When Frank Sinatra sang the famous line, I want wake up in a city that doesn’t sleep from his last great hit, New York, New York, he may have been singing about the Big Apple, but I think in his heart he was lamenting his love for Las Vegas. It was here in the modern day offspring of Sodom and Gomorrah that Sinatra cemented his reputation as the ultra cool and free-spirited man about town, foregoing society’s moral ambiguities in his pursuit of endless wine, women & song. Along with Dean Martin, Sammie Davis Jr. and a host of boozing brethren christened the ‘Rat Pack’, they transformed the dusty and distant gambling spot into the world’s hottest destination. By the end of the late fifties, their sold-out shows at the Sands were the hottest ticket in town, and as a diversion from the booze and the broads, they decided to make a film together.

       The result was Ocean’s 11, a jazzy crime caper set amongst the nightlife, gambling and sin of the neon city. Never for a moment does this film try to be anything other than what it was intended to be; a cool and diversionary Rat Pack romp showcasing the wonder and glamour of Las Vegas, and as a by-product, luring new visitors to the cash guzzling metropolis. Overly clichéd and campy, it never takes itself too seriously and you get a sense that Frankie and the gang are having fun making this picture. This is what gives Ocean’s 11 its enduring appeal; it makes us wish that we were a part of Sinatra’s inner circle and lucky enough to live such a hedonistic lifestyle.

       Danny Ocean (Sinatra) is an ex-paratrooper from WWII who cooks up a caper involving his old army buddies to rob the five largest casinos on the strip at midnight of New Years Eve. Each of his ten mates is a specialist in some form and he recruits them systematically to insure the job’s success. Sam Harmon (Martin) is a singer working at one of the casinos, and thus the ‘inside man’, yet his true purpose is to belt out a couple of ballads to set the atmosphere and sell the soundtrack. Josh Howard (Davis Jr.) is a garbage truck driver, who also gets a song to sing, but whose true purpose is to get by the police roadblocks with the money after the heist. Jimmy Foster (Peter Lawford) is Danny’s playboy best friend, but a bit of a mama’s boy and it’s this character flaw which will throw a monkey wrench to their plan. His mother is engaged to Duke Santos (Cesar Romero), a big time gambler and purported gangster who finally deduces what Danny and the boys have done after Jimmy’s mother tells him about her son’s glory days in the war.

       If you have never seen this film and go into it looking for the inspiration for Steven Soderbergh’s re-imagining of the story, you will be sadly let down. Ocean’s 11 is a product of its time and that means women are ‘broads’ and are meant to serve one general purpose, to serve the booze and to be eye candy for their male counterparts. And it is in this sense that the film has its charm, it’s a time capsule to an era before AIDS, political correctness and moral conservatism. I’m not ashamed to say that I like this film and would recommend it to anyone that likes campy, fun flicks. And hell, Angie Dickinson was one smokin’ dame in her time.

Ratings Criterion
5 Stars - The pinnacle of film perfection and excellence.
4 ½ Stars - Not quite an immortal film, yet a masterpiece in its own right.
4 Stars - Historically important film, considered a classic.
3 ½ Stars - An entertaining film that’s fun or engaging to watch.
3 Stars – A good film that’s worth a Netflix venture.
2 ½ Stars - Borderline viewable.
2 Stars – A bad film that may have a moment of interest.
1 ½ Stars – Insipid, trite and sophomoric, and that's its good points.
1 Star – A film so vacuous, it will suck 2 hours from the remainder of your life.
½ Star - A gangrenous and festering pustule in the chronicles of celluloid.

(From Ocean's 11 (1960) on January 30th, 2010)

Member's Reviews

Tremors 2 - Aftershocks, a review by Rich

Tremors 2 - Aftershocks

The foul-smelling "Graboids" from the original comedy-science-fiction-thriller return to snack on more people in this long-awaited sequel. The original worm hunter is called out of retirement to save Mexican oil fields from the pesky subterranean critters, but they prove to be a bit tougher this time around.

More fun with the Graboids! But after the excellent opener with Fred Ward and Kevin Bacon, this sequel is majorly disappointing with Earls sidekick unconvincing and a movie bereft of any originality until the worms start evolving (why show them on screen so often though, they lose any mystique). Don't get me wrong, it is still fairly entertaining in a silly way, the cheesy dialogue makes you smile, and the effects reminiscent of a B movie.
Made for video sequel, of mild viewing interest.  :-\

(From Riches Random Reviews on March 4th, 2009)

Member's TV Reviews

Tom's TV Pilots marathon, a review by Tom

     The Black Adder (1983/United Kingdom)
IMDb | Wikipedia

(United Kingdom)
Length:195 min.
Video:Full Frame 1.33:1
Audio:English: Dolby Digital 1
Subtitles:Danish, Dutch, English, French, Italian, Norwegian, Other, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish

Set in England at the end of the War of the Roses, we soon find out that the history we know is a Tudor fiction. In fact, Henry VII did not actually win the battle of Bosworth Field; he lost and though Richard III died in the battle, his nephew King Richard IV (who certainly was not smothered while still a boy in the Tower of London) reigned on for some years. The story focuses on Richard IV's younger son Prince Edmund, a sniveling coward who calls himself the 'Black Adder'. Assisted by his grungy servant Baldrick and the moronic Lord Percy, Edmund plots his rise to greatness.

Black Adder
1.01 The Foretelling
Writer: Richard Curtis (Writer), Rowan Atkinson (Writer)
Director: Martin Shardlow
Cast: Peter Cook (Richard III), Brian Blessed (Richard IV), Peter Benson (Henry VII), Robert East (Harry, Prince of Wales), Rowan Atkinson (Edmund, Duke of Edinburgh), Tim McInnerny (Percy, Duke of Northumberland), Elspet Gray (The Queen), Philip Kendall (Painter), Kathleen St. John (Goneril), Barbara Miller (Regan), Gretchen Franklin (Cordelia), Tony Robinson (Baldrick)

My least favorite Black Adder series. Compared to all the other series, this one is quite different. Atkinson's Blackadder is more like a talking Mr. Bean. And Baldrick is the cunning one in the duo at this point. When not comparing it to the other series, it is still quite fun and has some nice ideas.


(From Tom's TV Pilots marathon on March 29th, 2011)