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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Ocean's Eleven - 50th Anniversary [Blu-ray]

 

(Lewis Milestone, 1960)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Warner

Video: Warner Home Video

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:07:28.682

Disc Size: 22,231,241,155 bytes

Feature Size: 20,751,618,048 bytes

Video Bitrate: 18.00 Mbps

Chapters: 38

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November 9th, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.4:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: VC-1 Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1109 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1109 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English SDH, French, German, Castellano, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, none

 

Extras:

Commentary with Frank Sinatra Jr. and Angie Dickinson
Tonight Show with Johnny Carson with Frank Sinatra (Guest Host) (3:46)
Tropicana Museum (1:40)
Interactive Las Vegas 'Then and Now Map' Sahara (1:26), Riviera (3:46), The Desert Inn (3:13), The Sands (4:50), and The Flamingo (3:56)
2 Trailers

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. Roulette wheels spin, cards snap, slots chime, champagne fizzes, shows go on…and the lights go out. It’s the perfect time to steal a kiss or a $25 chip. But for Danny Ocean (Frank Sinatra) and 10 partners in crime, it’s the ideal moment to steal millions. Sinatra and off-screen pals Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop and more play army buddies who scheme to knock out power to the Vegas strip, electronically rig five big casino vaults and raid them all at the same instant. Packed with location-lensed glamour, sweaty suspense, swinging comedy and a stunning twist ending now in gorgeous hi-def, Ocean's 11 is your entertainment best bet.

 

 

The Film:

One of the first in a series of heist movies in the sixties, Ocean's Eleven (1960) perfectly captures the neon buzz and nighttime glamour of the world's most popular gambling den. At the same time, audiences are treated to a glimpse of Sinatra and his favored cronies having fun with their on-screen personas which are not so far removed from their off-screen lifestyles. In addition to 'Rat Pack' regulars - Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Joey Bishop, Peter Lawford, Norman Fell and Henry Silva - Ocean's Eleven co-stars Akim Tamiroff, Cesar Romero, Richard Conte, and Angie Dickinson as Ocean's estranged wife. Guest cameos include George Raft, Red Skelton, and Shirley MacLaine.

Lewis Milestone, the veteran director whose most famous film remains the anti-war saga, All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), seemed an unlikely choice to direct Ocean's Eleven. But his career had suffered during the communist purge of Hollywood due to Senator Joe McCarthy's influence in the fifties and Milestone needed the work. And it turned out to be hard work. Milestone had never experienced an actor like Sinatra before. "When he wasn't actually acting himself, he would say, 'Get him to do this' or 'Make sure she does that," Milestone recalled in All the Way, a Sinatra biography by Michael Freedland (St. Martin's Press). "Ask me which was my least favorite film that I ever made and it has to be Ocean's Eleven." For Sinatra fans, however, Ocean's Eleven is a good-time blast from start to finish and even though the "Chairman of the Board" doesn't sing one song on-camera, his pal Dino gets to croon a fun rendition of "Ain't That a Kick in the Head".

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

 


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
 

The original Ocean's Eleven is brought to Blu-ray by Warner on a single-layered disc using a VC-1 encode.  It's 1080P and has some grit and minor grain. It actually looks quite good - better than I anticipated.  There are lots of scenes in the casinos and nothing is overly dark or noisy. Colors are impressive - especially reds, greens and blues. Warner has done pretty well bringing their older titles to Blu-ray without any digital fiddling - and this is another fine example. Detail is moderate and there is some softness - but this seems authentic to the original source. I doubt it could look significantly better and the Blu-ray probably represents the best this film will ever look for your home theater indulgence.

 

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

No Surround boost going on here - its a mono track in DTS-HD Master at 1109 kbps. There is no range but a perceived depth and crispness that notes that this is indeed lossless. Original music is by, stalwart, Nelson Riddle and fills the film with more character with occasional orchestral blasts. There are plenty of optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

Supplements are, mostly, from the last DVD edition with a commentary from Frank Sinatra Jr. and minor contributions from Angie Dickinson (love that voice!). Junior does some narration and there isn't an abundance of production info. It's reasonably laid back. There is also a 4-minute, very rough looking, segment of when Frank Sinatra hosted the Tonight Show in 79'. Dickinson is a guest and they briefly talk about this film. We get less than 2-minutes on 'The Tropicana Museum' and a reasonably interesting interactive Vegas 'Then and Now' Map focusing on the hotels - specifically The Sahara (1:26), The Riviera (3:46), The Desert Inn (3:13), The Sands (4:50), and The Flamingo (3:56). Lastly there are 2 trailers in HD.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The film seems to have more value for its 60's swing'in Vegas nostalgia than as an actual 'caper' movie. But despite being scattered I preferred this to the Soderbergh remake (that I didn't enjoy at all). I may be in the minority there but the 'Rat Pack' appeal - even 50 years later - is still very prevalent. Like Senjun Suzuki's films this has its own standard of 'cool' and part of that is the lack of capitulation to be something more... coherent.  It doesn't have to make that much sense and the
Blu-ray does its job very well in the a/v department. New extras might have been nice (50-years and all) but the existing ones suffice considering the modest appeal of the film. There really isn't much more to talk about the original Ocean's Eleven - just watch it... with a cocktail in your hand! 

Gary Tooze

November 2nd, 2010

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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