Archive for June, 2007


I saw Ocean’s 13

attraction is powerful and complicated.

At first, it can all seem so simple: that girl is pretty, I desire sex, this car goes fast, I want one, that kind of stuff. even when it gets a bit more involved, you can still reasonably see where it comes from. wealth and fitness for example. “wealth can get me stuff, and fitness will make me strong and desirable” you would say, and this is without mentioning the want for security, but you see what I’m getting at.

I can’t, however, explain the ultimate attraction. the attraction of cool.

Half the time, we can’t even agree on what “cool” is. In most of what we do, the coolness is rigorously disputed. Are cars cool? yes. Is knitting cool? no. and again, it gets complicated. are, say, computers cool? no, they’re “nerdy”, cool’s difficult little roommate. And if all the scholars of cool are of like mind on one thing, it is that nobody wants nerdy. the weird thing is, nerdy is more useful than cool. nerdy gets things done while Cool wafts around uselessly, flipping his collar up then back down, again and again, undecided.

But no, coolness will prevail each time to permeate the hearts of men. Don’t let the history books fool you, either. whatever reason they give for most of those events were really just to be cool. What really happened was stuff like “Shall I paint this cave? yes, then it would look cool!” or “Hey, let’s hang around that Jesus guy, he seems quite cool.” Napoleon was desperate to be cool and he was short, and thus spent his life overcompensating. Hitler’s ideals and his slaughtering of thousands was so severely uncool that the globe erupted in probably the coolest war ever, just to make up for it. people will die for cool.

Bearing all this in mind, the ultimate coolest of cool things has to be, without question, the Caper.

And I don’t know why.

I Cannot begin to explain the allure of watching or participating in a convoluted heist so intricately woven that the slightest deviation from the set plan would be devastating to the participants; the..I dunno, Caperists. and the more complicated the better. if you have 14 parts of the plan I need 46 scenarios of potential failure and 5 solutions to each of them.

Such is the case with Ocean’s 13. With the previous two installments, we took the time to learn about the motives and quirks of each participant and the dangers of failing such a complicated and risky venture. we watched them assemble the first time, unsure of their capabilities or limitations and sat with held breath until the very end where we sighed in relief. we then saw the crew being pursued and tested from seemingly everyone. would they get the money to save their lives? would mysterious dancing frenchman show them up in the end? would Michael Gambon magically appear? we were clueless. This, however, is not the case with the latest adventure.

By now, we know that Danny Ocean and his numerical accompanists have pretty much thought of everything and will have, as if by magic, planned for any scenario, no matter how unlikely. so well do we know this, that we’re not teetering on the brink of a theater seat, we’re lying back, comfortably, with our feet up and casually eating twizzlers, just waiting to see what happens.
the filmmakers know this and that’s why they’ve done away with the story almost completely, and wisely I think. Why wrack your brain attempting to create conflict to seemingly impervious wizards of happenstance and forethought? just harness the dizzying allure of the heist and weave a complicated plan with back-ups and back-ups to the back-ups, and conspire against conspirators while triple crossing the double crossers.

The end result is an hour and a half long Rube Goldberg Machine. One incredibly long and complicated set-up that leads to an inevitable and obvious result. you know what will happen, but the route they’re taking to get there is just so outlandish and ridiculously convoluted, you enjoy just watching all the pieces work together. this is why I enjoyed this movie, the attraction of the complicated and ultra cool Caper.

Or maybe it’s just Don Cheadle.



So I’m blogging now, apparently.

Welcome to my Blog.

wow, what a silly word.

Anyway, whatever it’s called, I have one now. I hope that it will be interesting.