A Time Capsule of Cool
Brad Pitt is a product of my current residence of Springfield,
Missouri. A few weeks ago he and Jen, as we now call her in
these parts, came back for the weekend. They went to see his
nephew play basketball at the Y, and they had a family night
out at a restaurant at which my friend bartends. "So
there you are," he says, "stuck in a bar in a vapid
conversation with some anorexic Julia Roberts wannabe, while
the real thing is sitting there with his arm around Jennifer
Anisten. How does that make you feel about your life?"
That sums up how I feel about Ocean's Eleven, the
cinematic Gentleman's Quarterly. I don't give a damn
how stylish all this is, how we're supposed to fork over our
hard-earned cash to watch a bunch of movie stars "have
fun." I don't give a damn about how Clooney and Soderbergh
prove how cool they are be undermining the racism and destructive
alcoholism of the original. I don't give a damn that this
is supposed to be some sort of document of style, a celluloid
time capsule waiting to be buried and dug up by future movie
stars to study their forefather's sense of fashion and attitude.
I don't give a damn about "high grade entertainment,"
or whatever the hell critics keep calling this crap.
Listen, I really like Brad Pitt. I know that many critics
consider him the acting equivalent of GQ: all cover
but nothing filling the pages. Screw that. Brad takes some
challenging roles to go with his fluff, and he's always good
for a laugh. Really, someone else care to take the ass-beating
Brad's absorbed in his last few movies? Hey, Tom Cruise, if
you had the guts to bruise and bloody your pretty face like
Brad Pitt, you could very well have won an Oscar for Vanilla
Sky. But you didn't. And I'll also bet Tom wouldn't drag
Penelope to see his nephew play basketball in a place like
Springfield, Missouri. That's what I like about Brad: not
only does he take some pretty dark roles, he's unselfconscious.
C'mon, I know he's been on "Friends" and "Jackass,"
but he was also Tyler Durden and in Se7en and Twelve
So Ocean's Eleven is a movie so cool that Brad Pitt
is the loser best friend. Screw thatit's insincere.
I don't give a damn how stylish this is, Steven Soderbergh
is wasting his talent making fluff this inconsequential. Fine,
he and George are using it to bankroll their art projectsthat's
fine. But don't purport that your movie is so cool that Brad
Pitt goes scoreless. Screw you, Soderbergh. Like Sean Penn
told James Lipton about entertainment vehicles, "As a
filmmaker, you should always give a piece of yourself back
to the audience. If you want entertainment, get yourself a
speedball and a couple of hookers." Then again, Sean's
been on "Friends" too. Damn.