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Ocean's 8 (2018)

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
4K UHD Released: 9/11/2018

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Review by Mike Long, Posted on 9/13/2018

For years, actresses have been complaining that there aren't enough good, meaty roles for them. And Hollywood did very little about this. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements brought the struggles of women in the entertainment industry to the forefront. And Hollywood did very little about this. So, what can be done about this? The truth is that there is a lot to overcome and women in Hollywood are a long way from being equal. However, one small step would be to create an ensemble piece for women which could rival similarly male-dominated films. And that first step would be Ocean's 8.

Ocean's 8 introduces us to Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), the sister of master thief, Danny Ocean. When we first meet Debbie, she is being released from prison, after she promises to keep her distance from other criminals. After robbing a department store and stealing a hotel room, Debbie re-connects with her former partner-in-crime, Lou (Cate Blanchett). Debbie confides in Lou that she spent her time in prison planning the perfect crime -- to steal a priceless jewel from the Met Gala. Lou is skeptical, but Debbie has covered this crime from every angle. So, the two embark on putting a team together -- a jeweler (Mindy Kaling), a hacker (Rihanna), a fashion designer (Helena Bonham Carter), a pickpocket (Awkwafina), and someone who can fence the goods (Sarah Paulson). This group gets together and begins to work on their individual parts of the heist. However, there may be some roadblocks that take Debbie by surprise.

At first glance, when people look at Ocean's 8, all that they are going to see is an all-female version of the modern-day Ocean's 11 series. But, give the movie some time and dig beneath the surface and you'll see that it's more than that. Now, to be fair, the overall vibe of the movie does echo the George Clooney-Brad Pitt films, but it does it on its own terms. If nothing else, the movie hits the ground running and within minutes, Debbie has her heist underway. The overall target -- priceless jewels -- may not be that original, but having the robbery take place during the Met Gala is. This is an event that many of us have seen on television and we watch for the celebrities and the outrageous clothes. One would never expect that a robbery would occur there. And, yes, the movie seems to be going out of its way to make the crew as culturally diverse as possible, but there's no denying that the women have very distinct looks and personalities. I especially liked Sarah Paulson's housewife who is leading a double-life. The heist has a nice amount of suspense, and the requisite twist ending is nicely played.

Again, Co-Writer/Director Gary Ross and Co-Writer Olivia Milch waste no time in getting the story going, but this does leave some character development in the dust. It's clear that Debbie and Lou have a strong past, and Debbie knows several members of the crew, but we never get specifics on what they've done together in the past, other than commit crimes, obviously. Is this a deal-breaker? No, but it makes Ocean's 8 feel like a sequel to a movie which we've never seen and like we're just supposed to know who these people are. As noted above, the characters are nicely essayed, but I think that the movie misses an opportunity with Mindy Kaling's character. In the past, she's proven that she can play high-strung very well and it would have been funny to see her character get hysterical during the robbery. And, this is also nitpicking, it's a bit vague how they plan to unload priceless and rare jewels.

Heist films aren't rare, but ones that work are. The movie not only has to present us with a story filled with enough twists and turns to keep us engrossed, it has to ask us to care about a group of criminals. Ocean's 8 does not reinvent the wheel, but it is a solid entry into this genre. The film moves along at a nice pace, the characters are likeable and there's a nice mixture of action and humor. I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the fact that this crew always rely on their wits and never resort to any sort of violence. Maybe the guys can take a cue from this.

Ocean's 8 teaches everyone how to shoplift on 4K UHD courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains an HEVC 2160p transfer which runs at an average of 75 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing no overt grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look very good, as the film is filmed with rich tones, and the image is never overly dark or bright. The level of detail is very impressive, as we can clearly make out textures on objects. The depth works very well, giving the image a quasi-3D look. The Disc carries a Dolby Atmos audio track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 2.8 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The mix reaches it high point during the gala, as sounds emit from the front and rear channels, placing us squarely in the action. These effects flow very well from stereo to surround channels. The music in the film provides some much needed bass action.

The special features for Ocean's 8 can be found on the Blu-ray Disc included in this set. The Disc contains two DELETED SCENES which run about two minutes. Each prominently feature Sarah Paulsen. Hmmm... "Reimagining The Met Gala" (13 minutes) examines the work which went into presenting the famous event. Through on-set footage and comments from representatives from The Met, we learn that there was an mutual agreement to make things as realistic as possible. "A Heist in Heels" (12 minutes) looks at the challenge of taking a male-dominated franchise and putting a feminine twist on it. The piece briefly looks at the characters and the film's look. "Ocean's Team 3.0" (13 minutes) takes a more detailed look at the cast and the characters. We hear from the actors and Director Gary Ross as each is described.

Review Copyright 2018 by Mike Long