Ocean’s Thirteen – Soderbergh plays fast and loose in this third outing. I didn’t bother to count if Danny Ocean actually had a team of 13 this time, and the plot seems very implausible to me – come on, surely the Nevada Gaming Commission and ANY casino in Las Vegas must recognize these guys on sight by now. So how can they keep on conning the people who run casinos? If you can suspend you disbelief, however, the film is very enjoyable, looks incredible (makes Las Vegas comes across as more glamorous than cheap) and even Soderbergh seems to be enjoying himself behind the camera (I particularly liked his use of old style pans and zooms). The film still belongs to George Clooney, but this timeMatt Damon grows more confident in his role as the new kid. Also features one of Al Pacino’s most restrained performances in ages. Recommended.
Premonition – since the Sixth Sense, this is the type of crap that gets passed off as thrillers; I’ve seen better twilight Zone episodes. Sandra Bullock tries yet again to play a non-romantic comedy role but continues to disappoint. This time the entire film is at fault – the plot doesn’t hold up at all if you play any attention to it. Basically, Bullock is a wife who wakes up to find her husband dead and then alive and then dead again. The idea is that sometimes it is a “premonition” – but the film remains totally illogical and Bullock’s memory about events, real or imagined, is controlled by what the plot needs. Dreadful.
Pirates of the Caribbean : At World’s End – the last instalment of the Pirates trilogy ends with neither a bang nor a whimper. It delivers alot of excitement but is too convoluted and long. What keeps it unique from other blockbusters, I feel, is the quirkiness of Depp’s Capt. Jack Sparrow. Some may find the scenes with multiple Jack Sparrow’s indulgent, but I am going to give director Gore Verbinski credit for it in this age of committee driven studio productions. The film may be overlong but has more character than most Bruckheimer productions (working with Bruckheimer, I think Verbinski produces less anonymous and more original work than Michael Bay). The special effects are dazzling with a nice sea battle and the actors are all pleasant enough. Chow Yun-fat’s doesn’t really have a crucial role and I am sure it was a marketing move to cast him to appeal to the Chinese market (and promote HK Disneyland). While Keira Knightley looks real fetching in Chinese armour, Depp remains the prime reason to see the show. Recommended, but convoluted plot means viewing previous films is a must.