Saturday, June 9, 2018

Ocean's 8

The last time Hollywood came out with an all-female cast to remake a classic film, it was in the way of Ghostbusters. And the end result was an awful one as that was one of the worst movies to come out in the past decade. Now if I were a smart man, I would’ve just lied in my review of it and said that it hit on all cylinders but there’s a reason why I’m 86 years old and single, I’ve never learned to pick my battles. I instead chose to hold on to my "artistic integrity" and told the truth. Well as you can imagine, the backlash was brutal and I didn’t get laid for 4 months afterwards. Things got so bad at one point that I would see female friends of mine in the streets and they would look at me and simply shake their heads in disgust. You would’ve thought that I had become Cosby Jr. and was passing out roofies like they were Starbursts!

Well when I saw that Oceans 8 was coming out, I was praying that it would at least be decent just so I could maintain some semblance of a social life this summer. I can walk out of the convenient store with only a bag of potato chips and lotion only so many times before the clerk finally realizes what’s up. "Wait a sec, he isn’t THAT ashy!" But thankfully I learned from last summer’s fiasco and had a Flesh Light on order through Amazon Prime just in case this movie did suck and I had to hole up in a bunker somewhere. Hey, don’t judge, I’m getting in touch with my inner self and helping the economy at the same time!

Now if you have never seen Ocean’s 11, I suggest popping in really quickly mainly because it’s good but also because they make so many references to it in 8 that you’ll miss half of the jokes and cool guest appearances if you don’t. But what’s sad about that is Ocean’s 8 is almost a shot for shot remake of 11. They steal the opening scene, the overall plot, and even the filming style of Steven Sodomy (I know that’s not his name but I hate him and refuse to call him by his real name), which is a shame because the women that are in this film are legends and they at the very least deserve their own original story.

What made 11 so cool was the fact that Clooney, Pitt, Damon, Mac, Garcia, and Roberts were all at the top of their games and you could tell that they were having time of their lives. Now it helps that they were all in Vegas because it’s kind of hard not to have fun there but still, seeing Damon, fresh off of Jason Bourne, playing something completely out of character for him was both funny and engaging. And that, combined with the fact that Pitt was eating in every scene and casually dropping the film’s funniest lines, made you feel as though you were a part of the crew.

Well that’s what was missing in this film. Don’t get me wrong, I liked 8 but it took a while to get over the fact that Hollywood didn’t feel as though Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, and freaking Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) couldn’t carry a film on their own. All of whom were amazing in this film by the way. It felt as though you could visibly see Bullock feeling the pressure of becoming the new Danny Ocean but Blanchett and Hathaway were clearly having fun.

In 8, Bullock has just been released from prison and she is looking to get the old gang back together to pull off the ultimate heist. She wants to steal Cartier’s version of the Crown’s Jewels when they are on display around the neck of Hathaway at the annual Met Gala. So Bullock and Blanchett go on a recruiting tour to find a team that can pull this off. This is where they find Awkwafina (the pickpocket), Mindy Kaling (the master jeweler), Sarah Paulson (still not sure what her special skill was), Rihanna (the hacker) and Helena Bonham Carter (the fashion designer).

Blanchett showed that she still has it as she just oozed coolness on the screen and thankfully Rihanna wasn’t distractingly bad with her acting but the highlights were clearly Bonham Carter and Awkwafina. Bonham was her normal quirky self but in this film she displayed a vulnerability that you don’t normally see in her characters, similar to Damon in 11. And everything Awkawafina said and did had me in tears. I will admit that there was a plot twist at the end that I didn’t really see coming but looking back it did fall in line with their original goal which was to copy everything that happened in 11.

Overall, I liked this film and it is definitely better than Ocean’s 12 or 13; I guess I was just hoping that Hollywood would come out of the Dark Ages and allow it to have its own identity. Oh well, at least they are getting closer. I give it a rating of FRESH. Now can I please be removed from the Blacklist on Bumble?
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