Hey, whore, how's
the whoring? This week, the honor goes to:
The God Damn
Denver Post, again. Can't they deliver one fucking paper a week?
I've accepted they can't write a decent one, but they can't even
deliver someone else's on Sunday. They suck ass.
Randy Shandis Enterprises. All rights fucking reserved.
"It's every bit as cool as Entertainment Weekly!"
We're divided into three groups: 10% are truly cool, 10% are
truly uncool and the other 80% are the assholes in the middle
who think buying certain products will elevate them to cool.
I'm uncool, and I'm not proud.
But some day, all of us uncool people are going to rise up.
The time will come when we can't stand being at the bottom, hate
the way we're treated and finally get fed up with being made
fun of for our hightide pants. We'll unite, get our shit together
and fight back. And on that day, the cool people will beat the
holy fuck out of us.
How do cool people know what's cool and what isn't? Is it
genetic? Are some people predisposed to knowing what sunglasses
to buy before everyone else? Or is it learned behavior? And how
much work does it take to be cool? I don't know, but I know it
takes almost no effort to be uncool. It comes naturally to me
to walk around with my fly open, or to get drunk and challenge
a stranger to see who can fall down the stairs better, or to
run through the supermarket yelling for my wife and holding what
at the time seems like the funniest-looking banana ever.
The original Ocean's 11 had a lot of cool people in
it; Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy David, Jr. But it was
not cool. In fact, it's a bad, bad movie, and not all of that
can be blamed on the presence of Peter Lawford. It's just a bunch
of smug cool guys trying to get us to pay for their cool, and
that's why it's so awful and uncool. They were fully aware that
people thought they were cool.
My theory is you're only cool as long as you never think about
it. Once you start thinking whether or not you're cool, you become
part of that 80% who are status-hungry assholes. I want to set
up some sort of Schroedinger's Cat type experiment where I put
a cat in a box. I don't know all the details, and I guess the
cat would have to be cool or uncool, or both until observed.
Then we can prove that a cat is cool until observed and made
aware of its coolness. The trick here would be finding a cat
that you could teach to think it's cool. Okay, so maybe that's
not exactly like Schroedinger, but it would still be really fun
to stick a cat in a box.
The new Ocean's 11 is not cool. It's a pretty good
movie, but it's not cool simply because it is trying to be. Sure,
maybe Entertainment Weekly, People Magazine and
Access Hollywood will declare Ocean's 11 cool,
and the studio will shove it down our throats as the new definition
of hip, but if you're letting them tell you what's cool, you
might as well throw on your Members Only jacket and check out
happy hour at the Red Lobster. I seriously doubt that in 40 years
people will sit around saying how cool George Clooney was. They'll
be too busy pissing on his grave and remembering the pedophile
scandal of 2008.
In this remake, Clooney takes Frank Sinatra's spot, as Danny
Ocean, a can man just sprung from prison and looking for a big
score. He has a scheme to pick off a Vegas casino vault loaded
with 150 million boners. Like Sinatra does in the original, he
gathers a group of ragtag friends, each with a different skill,
to pull off the job. Brad Pitt is the brains, Matt Damon has
the light fingers, Bernie Mac can get them into the casino, Carl
Reiner is a casino distraction, Don Cheadle is a master safecracker,
Elliott Gould is the embittered former casino owner with a score
to settle, Shaobo Qin is the Chinese acrobat that squeeze into
tiny spaces, and Eddie Jemison is the tech-geek. Because that's
only nine and the movie is called Ocean's 11, Casey Affleck
and Scott Caan are thrown in as perhaps the least funny, most
annoying "comic relief" in history. They play screeching
weasels who behave, for some unknown reason, as through their
nest of babies is being threatened.
What Clooney doesn't tell the team is that the casino they
are knocking off is owned by the man (Andy Garcia) screwing his
ex-wife, Julia Roberts. Clooney wants the dough and his mustachioed
It's a caper genre picture, like The Heist and The
Score, but what separates Ocean's 11 is that the caper
is pretty fucking good and the movie isn't overly pleased with
itself just for thinking it up. It doesn't drown us in scene
after scene showing off how God damn clever the screenwriter
was. I won't go so far as to say it's believable, but it is definitely
more fun than its brethren. It's slick as a McDonald's Playplace
slide after a kid with the French-fry-runs goes down. The dialog
is also good. There's no exposition poking out like a blind man's
dick, and director Steven Soderbergh doesn't let anyone get too
There's also some pretty good acting. Damon is strong as the
pickpocket who has to prove himself. Unlike his drunkard pal
Ben Affleck, Damon can act and doesn't try to look like he's
posing for a poster. Cheadle and his Cockney accent are a fuck
load better than he was in Mission to Mars. Gould is by
far the funniest as the fat, furry millionaire who can't resist
getting even with Garcia, who is about the demolish his old hotel.
And Brad Pitt is good as the unflappable point man.
But, anytime you try to cram 11 thieves into a movie, along
with the victims, someone gets left out, and they all get the
short-shrift on character development. Clooney plays the same
God damn character he always plays. He's the smug, aren't-I-charming,
barely-acting asshole he is in every movie. This guy has the
range of a Holly Hobby oven; one soft-white bulb able to warm
but never to cook. And I want to repeat how similar to a case
of shingles Affleck and Caan are. They are painful, debilitating
to the movie, and use up way too much screen time that could
have been better spent developing somebody's character.
Actually, their presence is just more proof that the movie
is trying to be cool. It could have been Ocean's 9. But,
no, the moviemakers are selling us Sinatra's ghost, so it has
to be 11.
Anybody who has been reading me for a while knows how much
I loved Julia Roberts and how we were planning to get married
as soon as she acknowledged the letters I sent her. She sucks
ass here. She's a hardened bitch and I have no idea why Clooney
would want her back. I guess it's because she's Julia Roberts,
Americas Sweetheart, and we're supposed to accept that. I call
bullshit. Also, if she's so damn great why the fuck is she with
an asshole like Andy Garcia's character? She must be either the
biggest dope on the planet (besides Affleck and Caan), or a money-grubbing
whore to be in love with him. The fact that he's such an asshole
makes her decision at the end way too easy and predictable. The
fact that she's so unpleasant also makes it unsatisfying. Plus,
did the script tell her to grow the faint mustache or was that
her own touch?
Julia, I want my letters back, the wedding is off. I just
hope the Arvada Elk's Lodge will refund my deposit for the reception
Ocean's 11 claims to be about Las Vegas, but that's
bullshit. Director Steven Soderbergh and his crew never even
go out and see the city. It all takes place in the Bellagio,
one crappy casino for snooty showoffs. This place is the casino
equivalent of an upscale mall: boring as hell and as ostentatious
as a Lexus with gold-plate. There's a shitload of interesting
stuff in Las Vegas, but this movie is too interested in being
an ad for the Bellagio to bother showing it to us. (Want
to read about my trips to Las Vegas?)
Three Fingers for Ocean's Eleven, a good movie,
but a futile exercise in cool. Even more futile than when I tried
smoking cigars and lit my pants on fire.
to tell Filthy something?