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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Ocean's 8 (Blu-ray)
Ocean's 8 (Blu-ray)
Other // PG-13 // September 11, 2018 // Region A
List Price: $24.31 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Oktay Ege Kozak | posted October 15, 2018 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

I apologize for this beforehand, but I can't write a review of Ocean's 8 and pass by the opportunity of making a lame joke about how they came up with the title by knocking the number from 11 to 8 because women get paid less than men. Thank you ladies and gentlemen, I'll be here all week, don't forget to tip your wait staff.

Ocean's 8 is yet another attempt by Hollywood to appeal to the female audience by gender swapping their popular intellectual property. The idea is to make the exact same movie with a women-dominated cast this time around, without changing pretty much anything to play the safest gamble at the box office as possible. Instead of, you know, coming up with fresh and original stories that can actually appeal to that "niche" audience that happens to be a whopping fifty percent of the population.

Ocean's 8 is such a by-the-numbers sequel to 11, 12, 13, it follows the exact same narrative beats as those movies so much -With occasional condescending "girl power" messages inserted here and there-, that the final question isn't "Did we need an Ocean's movie with an all female cast?", but rather "Did we need another Ocean's movie in the first place?" The answer is no, we didn't, but this forgettable but fun heist romp has enough energy to provide some easy kicks for fans of the genre, and is at the very least better than 12 & 13 -Not a high benchmark, I know-, so it gets a pass.

The Ocean this time around is Debbie (Sandra Bullock), Danny's brother. Apparently, Danny died sometime after Ocean's 13, and we meet Debbie right as she's done with her stint in prison for, you guessed it, stealing some valuable stuff and being a charming con artist. With her cocksure energy and her natural leadership skills, Bullock basically follows in Clooney's footsteps while constructing the character, with a dash of melancholy to guide her motivations regarding pulling off the biggest diamond heist in history. At least, the biggest until we reach the sequel.

So she pulls together a team of A-list stars and beloved comedians, sorry, I meant thieves and hackers, in order to snatch an impossibly expensive diamond necklace straight from the neck of a primadonna movie star (Anne Hathaway has a lot of fun lampooning what many must think how she acts in private) at the prestigious Met Gala. The chemistry between Bullock and team, which includes the prestige casting of Cate Blanchett and the obvious stunt casting of Rihanna, as well as the clever techie ways they get around this "impossible heist", keep this strictly formula narrative going. Interestingly enough, it's not the main cast but the supporting comedy roles from Mindy Kaling and Awkwafina that make the most charming impression.

The major issue that drags the pacing here is almost a complete lack of conflict to drive the story. Pretty much every roadblock is handled within a couple of minutes by this badass crew. The film barely even has a second act break where everything appears to be lost, a brief downward turn that's usually used by screenwriters to provide a bigger emotional release when everything turns out fine in the third act. It's almost as if Ocean's 8 skips the second act and presents a series of third act climaxes instead.

The Blu-ray:

Video:

The 4K transfer on the UHD disc is a great way to showcase your system's high dynamic range, since Ocean's 8 sports a lot of bright and versatile colors. The 1080p transfer of the regular Blu-ray also represents a crisp and clear representation of the film's digital cinematography.

Audio:

The Dolby Atmos track shows a lot of surround presence whenever the upbeat yet fairly typical heist movie score pops in. Otherwise, this is a fairly front-heavy presentation.

Extras:

Deleted Scenes: Barely two minutes of unnecessary material.

Reimagining The Met Gala: This is an intriguing featurette about how the production recreated the famous gala.

A Heist in Heels: Every one of these gender swapped films have to include a featurette about how this installment is different because the leads are women.

Ocean's Team 3.0: The crew talk about the challenges when it came to casting the film.

Final Thoughts:

Ocean's 8 should be fine time for audiences looking for basically an all-female remake of Ocean's 11, which itself was an all A-list male star remake of the Rat Pack original. This is a sly code for "Don't look for anything new".

Oktay Ege Kozak is a film critic and screenwriter based in Portland, Oregon. He also writes for The Playlist, The Oregon Herald, and Beyazperde.com

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