Ocean’s Eleven Arrives on 4K Ultra HD

George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Elliott Gould, and Don Cheadle in Ocean's Eleven. Courtesy of Warner Brs.

Ocean’s Eleven finally makes its arrival on 4K Ultra HD in a separate steelbook, digitally, and together with The Ocean’s Trilogy.

The 4K remasters of Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, and Ocean’s Thirteen were completed at Warner Bros. Discovery’s Motion Picture Imaging (MPI) with the participation of director Steven Soderbergh. The restored 5.1 digital audio mix was overseen by original re-recording sound mixer and sound editor Larry Blake.

While the film is a remake of the Rat Pack’s Ocean’s 11, it is as far from the look and style of that film as can be. I mean, the closest they come is recreating a photo of that film’s cast. That’s it. Soderbergh’s direction and Ted Griffin’s screenplay help to make the film its own thing. Anyway, there is a bonus featurette about the original film. It marked the first film together for the Rat Pack. They were a variety of actors, comedians, or singers but they defined the epitome of cool.

In the making-of documentary, Soderbergh describes the film as “a throwback kind of film to the 1940s with a kind of 1970s aesthetic thrown in.” In short, the film is a popcorn movie. The cast is having fun and the audience is having fun. If you’re not having fun, I really do not know what to tell you. Ted Griffin’s screenplay goes for comedy and it certainly helps having this ensemble for the cast. George Clooney and Brad Pitt are front and center in setting the tone for everyone else. They don’t even have to say a single word in a scene. There are so many other moments of great comedic acting. But in as much as this is a guy’s movie, one cannot ignore Julia Roberts. Clooney and Roberts are so great together. The two play ex-spouses (not for the last time) and the chemistry is just picture-perfect.

The heist takes up the bulk of the film. Everything about it has to go right or the entire $160 million heist would fall apart. Unfortunately for Danny Ocean (George Clooney), Terry Benedict (Andy García) bars him from the casino. That’s because Terry happens to be dating Danny’s ex-wife, Tess (Julia Roberts). Tess unknowingly plays her own role with the heist. Danny’s right-hand man, Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt), plays a pivotal role in pulling things off. On paper, this would screw up the entire heist but Danny has his own plans. Eventually, the film lets the audience in on just how the heist is happening. We think it’s happening in one way but it’s happening in a completely different manner. Danny ends up back in prison but everyone else goes their own ways, if only for a few months. This is a trilogy, after all.

The Bellagio hotel is not one that can easily be doubled. This where having Jerry Weintraub as a producer comes in handy. Weintraub’s connections is what enabled them to shoot the film on location. It’s not convenient for hotels but they would close down entire sections during the daytime. This really helps for the film’s authenticity. Otherwise, they would have to recreate an entire casino set on a soundstage. Let’s be honest in that it would not be ideal. In any event, imagine being George Clooney, Brad Pitt, or Julia Roberts on a set with hotel and casino-goers nearby.

The film’s budget is $85 million but it doesn’t feel like a big-budget film. It feels like a smaller film. Regardless, it brought in just over $450 million. The film was competing with the likes of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. But anyway, there was room in the budget for a stylish wardrobe. Whether it’s walking out of prison or pulling off the heist, everyone in the film is dressed in a glamourous fashion. Clooney gets darker clothing while Pitt gets lighter clothing. As for Matt Damon, his character of Linus Caldwell is a new recruit and is dressed like he just graduated from college. Some of the clothing selections write jokes for themselves–Clooney walks out of prison in a tuxedo and he goes back to prison while wearing a tux.

There are a few quibbles to make about the film. The first is Don Cheadle using a cockney accent. I think Cheadle is an actor with great talent but his cockney accent is on par with Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. Speaking of Cheadle, things happening behind-the-scenes are why he is uncredited in the film. On the science side, a pinch would not be able to knock out that much power in Las Vegas. But as unrealistic as this part of the plot is, it should not detract from the overall entertainment.

Ocean’s Eleven is pure entertainment.

Bonus Features

  • Commentary by Steven Soderbergh and Ted Griffin
  • Commentary by Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Andy García
  • Are You In or Out? The Making of Ocean’s Eleven
  • Pros & Cons: Inside Ocean’s Outfit
  • The Style of Steal
  • The Look of the Con
  • Original Ocean’s, Original Cool

DIRECTOR: Steven Soderbergh
CAST: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy García, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Elliott Gould, Bernie Mac, Carl Reiner

Warner Bros. released Ocean’s Eleven in theaters on December 7, 2001. Grade: 5/5

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.