#19: Ocean’s Eleven – Top 25 Films of the Decade

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould, Edward Jemison, Bernie Mac, Shaobo Qin

Directed By: Steven Soderbergh
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10 Memorable Episodes of ER

This week, the question that has surrounded NBC’s venerable medical drama ER for years will be put to rest. That question, of course, being “that show is still on?” Unbelievably (and probably unnecessarily) ER lasted 15 seasons, bursting on the scene in 1994, helping shape network TV drama in the process. I was a huge fan of the show when it debuted, and it remained one of my favourites for years to come. But, like many people who followed the show, I eventually dropped out. I gave up near the beginning of season twelve, deciding that a show that had none of the lead actors left from its first season (Noah Wyle left at the end of the eleventh season) no longer bore any resemblance to the show I once enjoyed. And, really, after a decade, I’d seen all I needed to see (although I did tune a couple weeks ago to see the return of Wyle, Eriq La Salle, Julianna Margulies, and that George Clooney guy).

So obviously this list is by no means definitive, although I’m fairly confident that few fans would rank episodes from the final four seasons amongst the show’s very best (even if they may have been pretty good). Moreover, I’m working completely from memory here, so it’s entirely possible that I’m missing some great episodes. Which is why this titled “10 Memorable Episodes of ER”, rather than “The Top 10 Episodes of ER”. I watched these episodes as they aired, some again on reruns, and have rewatched the first five seasons (the Clooney years) on DVD (I’ll probably keep buying and watching the series on DVD until I no longer enjoy it, which I suspect will be earlier than when I first stopped watching it). So my methodology is a little spotty, but, hey, if I remember an episode, it necessarily qualifies as “memorable” right?

Oh, and by “memorable”, I mean “memorably great”, not “Freefall” memorable (AKA “Romano v. Helicopter II: The Revengening”, AKA when the show jumped the shark). Because now that it’s over, let’s not remember all the reasons it faded into obscurity, and rather celebrate one of the truly great network dramas in the history of television.

The list, arranged chronologically…
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Movie Review Catch-up

I’ve cooled off on writing movie reviews lately, in part because I wrote up 28 movies in 10 days about a month ago, in part because I’ve been wanting to use this blog for more than just movie reviews. So I’ve let a few 2008 releases that I’ve seen pass without reviews, but still have the desire to get my opinion of them on he record. In some cases, enough time has passed since I last saw the film that I couldn’t hope to write a full review, so here’s four mini-reviews on some 2008 movies that may be of interest.

Read on for reviews of:
Baby Mama (2008) 
Burn After Reading (2008) 
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) 
Pineapple Express (2008) 
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Movie Review: Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)

Lazerbug stole the red poster from me.

Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)

Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Ellen Barkin, Al Pacino, Elliott Gould, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Carl Reiner, Shaobo Qin, Eddie Jemison

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
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Movie Review: Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Just wait for the Ocean's 1-10 prequels.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould, Edward Jemison, Bernie Mac, Shaobo Qin

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
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POST #20: Top 5 George Clooney films

To give you an idea of the sort of thing we do at topfive_reviews, I decided to do a Top Five post, without stretching it into five posts. I already did this list when we first started the community, but since then, I’ve seen more movies by the Cloonster which alters the list. This also shows that no list at T5R is permanent, so people shouldn’t sweat their selections too much. If you have an opinion, go ahead and post it. You can always change it later.

I generally don’t answer the question, “who’s your favourite actor” because the truth is, actors don’t get me to watch movies. I watch them for stories, and there are directors who get me into the theatre. But it’s rare that I’ll ever watch a movie just because of the presence of one of the performers, and there’s few actors that will make me not watch a movie I’d otherwise be interested in. But, if I were to answer the question, I’d probably go with Clooney, who exudes a certain brand of masculine charm that I admire and, in truth, would like to exude myself. I also admire his choices as an actor (in terms of roles), using his celebrity to get intelligent movies made that maybe otherwise wouldn’t. That said, he’s still not enough to make me watch Solaris. I’ve seen 15 of his movies. The ones that I’ve missed, besides Solaris are Intolerable Cruelity, Spy Kids 3-D, Welcome to Collinwood, The Perfect Storm, and anything in his pre-ER days.

5. O Brother, Where Art Thou? – First off, I think this movie is fantastic. That it’s number five on the list bespeaks to the quality choices Clooney has made in his career post-Batman & Robin. Clooney gets to show off his notorious comedic side in this one, playing off his suave reputation to generate laughs at his expense.

4. Good Night, and Good Luck. – Because this is a list of Clooney the actor, not Clooney the director, his supporting role in this role moves it down to number four, even though I think it’s a five star movie. Clooney proves that he can work around his star power in a supporting role for a lead (David Strathairn) that is much less famous than he. Also: he can direct.

3. Syriana – His Oscar winning role at number three! No wonder he might be my favourite actor. Of course, it’s not his best performance anyway, given that it’s a supporting role and he mostly got it because he got fat for it, and voters love that shit. Still, it really is a great performance, showing his maturity as an actor.

2. Ocean’s Eleven – One of my all-time favourites, powered mostly on Clooney’s undeniable cool. The other actors also have their own cool, but Clooney (and director Steven Soderbergh) are what make it work.

1. Out of Sight – Last time I did this list, I reversed one and two, but that’s because I was on an Ocean’s Eleven kick in anticipation of the somewhat underwhelming Ocean’s Twelve. This is the superior movie and the superior performance. This is the defining role of Clooney’s career, and too few people have seen it. If you’re one of those people, you should seriously consider putting an end to that injustice.