Ocean's Twelve (2004)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer-Rain
|Year Of Production||2004|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (62:52)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Steven Soderbergh|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
"Twelve is the new eleven."
With the success of Steven Soderbergh's ultra-cool and hip remake of the 1960s heist film Ocean's Eleven in 2001, it was only natural a sequel would be in the offering and the suitably-named Ocean's Twelve brings together all of the original cast and adds a couple of big names for good measure. This makes for a large number of A grade stars involved at levels seldom seen in a Hollywood film. These guys must have been working very cheaply.
It has been three years since Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his thieving cohorts made off with a cool $160 million from the vaults of the three casinos in Las Vegas. Almost to a man they have been living the good life, surrounded by the trappings that only obscene amounts of money can buy. As the film opens we see Danny retired with the lovely Tess (Julia Roberts) and about to celebrate their 'second' third anniversary. Unfortunately for Danny and the rest of the original eleven, things are about to go pear-shaped. It seems the man they pinched all the money from, Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), still hasn't forgiven them and has been on the trail of the band ever since. Despite getting it all back on insurance, Benedict wants Ocean and his pals to cough up the $160 million, plus interest or he's going to do unmentionable things to them. Benedict gives the group two weeks to comply with his request or they must face the consequences.
So the eleven get together again to discuss just how they propose to come up with the loot. It's generally agreed they are far too well known to knock off anything of any value in the United States, so they decide to head to Europe to see if they can find something worthy of their thieving talents.
Once nestled in Europe - in Amsterdam to be precise - the gang set about casing the perfect crime, but this time things don't go quite as smoothly as they did in Vegas three years prior. Throwing a spanner in the works is the appearance of Europol detective Isabel Lahiri (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a former flame of Rusty's (Brad Pitt) who now specialises in catching the organised big-time career criminals. Another problem for the gang is the appearance and apparent one-up-manship displayed by rival and self-proclaimed greatest thief in the world, the man known only as "The Night Fox" (Vincent Cassel). As the rivalry heats up into a competitive fervour, Ocean's gang finds themselves having trouble staying one step ahead of the determined Lahiri and getting to the scene of the crime before The Night Fox.
The long setup eventually pays off and the gang look set to nick a seriously expensive artefact, just in the nick of time before Benedict comes looking for his money. There's a lot going on in this story and it might take a couple of viewings to keep tabs on who's who and what's what, a challenge not helped when director Soderbergh pulls a swifty and has one of the cast impersonate themselves in real life and throws in a cameo from Bruce Willis as Bruce Willis.
A fun film for sure with lots of high energy and some nifty camera angles and scene transitions. It's smart and snappy, but it does seem to lose sight of the fact that it is a heist film. At the end of the day, that is the payoff for the audience who has tagged along for the ride. It was done so well in Ocean's Eleven, but in this good-time sequel it seems of secondary importance to everyone having a laugh.
Oh - and it looks like some thieving mongrel has made off with the DVD extras.
It would be nice to say that this is an exemplary and eye-popping transfer. But it isn't, which is a shame. It is not that sharp and suffers from one rather obnoxious compression artefact. The video is offered in exactly the same aspect ratio as it was shown theatrically, this being 2.35:1. It is also 16x9 enhanced.
I was a little disappointed with the sharpness and detail level on offer here. The whole thing has just the slightest hint of softness and there is some edge enhancement noticeable in many of the lower lit interior shots. Shadow detail is fine, but grain does pop up on occasion. From the look of the shot composition this grainy approach seems to be intentional for certain scenes. There is no low level noise. It's not a poor transfer by any means, just a slightly less than perfect one.
The colours are well rendered, though certainly not as dazzling as the first film which was set amongst the neon lights of Vegas. Blacks are deep and solid, and skin tones perfectly natural.
Unfortunately the transfer is spoiled by a couple of rather large compression artefacts. On the whole these sort of nasties are absent except a really annoying and obnoxious one at 23.12. As Danny, Rusty and Linus are walking down the street in Amsterdam, a large fat line appears across the whole screen for about a second, totally distracting from the image. Another one pops up at 47.10 just as Rusty is talking with Isabel. Thankfully there is no annoying shimmer or aliasing on any surface and film artefacts are mostly absent.
English and English for the Hearing Impaired are the only flavour of subtitles available, and after sampling these extensively I found them mostly accurate.
This is a dual layered disc which is formatted RSDL. The layer change occurs at 62:52.
The sole English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack which graces this disc is a pretty decent effort, offering a wide soundstage, albeit with only a little surround channel use, but it is the power and reach that is the most impressive element of this soundtrack. All up it is a fun soundtrack capped off with a marvellous score.
Dialogue levels are excellent and there are no audio sync problems.
David Holmes's score is one of the highlights of the film. It is snappy and breezy and captures the cheeky heist genre to perfection.
There is only a little surround use, but it really isn't the type of film to benefit from an over-the-top enveloping experience. The odd streetscape and outside noise are pretty much all you are likely to hear from the rears.
The subwoofer crops up on occasion, with the odd explosion, but mostly the low end of the score is what benefits the most from its utilisation.
|Surround Channel Use|
Sadly, there are virtually no extras on this disc.
The sole extra is an incredibly snappy, sophisticated and suave trailer that truly shows what a stylish director Steven Soderbergh is. Runs for 2:10 and is almost as enjoyable as the film.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 release of Ocean's Twelve contains an additional French Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. Sadly that is it and the Region 1 contains no other new extras. It would appear that a special edition (ie double dip) is on the cards in all regions.
While not quite as sophisticated or fun as its smooth and intelligent predecessor, Ocean's Twelve is still an enjoyable night's entertainment, let down only by the fact it tends to forget it's a heist film and tries more for the comedic angle. The strength of the first film was the joyous way the team pulled off the impossible crime and walked away with $160 million, while in this caper the climactic crime seems to have been added merely as a footnote to everyone having a whole lot of fun.
The video transfer is a little softer than I would have liked, and is marred by one obnoxious compression artefact.
The audio is fun, with the score a definite highlight. There isn't significant surround channel use, but when it is there it is handled well and envelops the listener.
The extras are annoyingly limited to a trailer only. Hopefully this is an indicator another special release must surely be on the way.
|DVD||Denon DVD-3910, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||Front - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10|