Updated: Sep 26, 2018
4K ULTRA HD REVIEW / FRAME SHOTS
4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital copy; 2018; PG-13 for profanity, drug use and some suggestive content; streaming via Amazon Video, FandangoNOW (4K), Google Play (4K), iTunes (4K), Vudu (4K), YouTube
Best extra: “A Heist in Heels” & deleted scenes
GARY ROSS, author/director of “Pleasantville,” “Seabiscuit” and “The Hunger Games,” co-wrote and directed this companion piece to the “Ocean’s 11” reboot starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt.
“I wanted it to be joyous. I wanted it to be a celebration of these women coming together. I wanted it to be offbeat and eclectic in the way that the previous franchise was, but to have its own identity,” he says in “A Heist in Heels,” one of four bonus features in Warner Brothers’ presentation.
Ross’ story begins much like “Ocean’s 11.” Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) has just been released from prison. Eventually, we’ll find out she was betrayed by former lover/partner Claude Becker (Richard Armitage, “The Hobbit). Sister to the presumed-late Danny Ocean (Clooney), she’s had more than five years to plan her revenge centered around the heist of a $150 million Cartier diamond necklace at the annual gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Debbie gathers her old team together beginning with Lou (Cate Blanchett). Together, they assemble the rest of the team: Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), an out-of-fashion fashion designer; jewelry designer Amita (Mindy Kaling); computer hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna); pickpocket Constance (Awkwafina); and Tammy (Sarah Paulson), stay-at-home suburban mom and fence. Anne Hathaway plays Daphne Kluger, a celebrity/actress inspired by Elizabeth Taylor. Kluger is the unwitting mark, who will be wearing the diamonds, the target of the women's heist.
The beauty of the plan is its simplicity. Viewers know the ladies should be able to do the job, it’s the twists and turns layered between that create tension, Bullock explains. And the chemistry. These women work and play together very well, particularly Bullock and Paulson. Who knew Paulson, ongoing star of Ryan Murphy’s “American Horror Story” and Best Actress Emmy winner for “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson,” could be so funny? Be sure to catch their two deleted scenes among the extras. It’s a shame they were cut.
“We’re taking that outlaw trope, which is the center of American cinema in a lot of ways, and … giving it to this group of amazing women.” — Gary Ross, co-writer/director
Both the 4K Ultra Blu-ray and standard Blu-ray are presented in 2.39:1 ratio. “Ocean’s 8” was digitally filmed, but details are sketchy, although it would seem to be completed in 2K at post-production.
Warner’s 2160p is very, very satisfying. This is a picture that benefits from HDR toning, which delivers the most delicate nuance. Color is rich and true, detail sharp, and blacks solid. There is plenty of life amidst the fashions, jewels and settings. By the end of the film, each actress gets to wear a custom gown complementing her character’s personality: Valentino for Hathaway; Dolce & Gabbana for Bonham Carter; Prada for Paulson; Zac Posen for Rihanna; and an archival emerald green Givenchy jumpsuit for Blanchett. Givenchy was Audrey Hepburn’s designer of choice.
Alberta Ferretti designed a work of art for Bullock’s Debbie Ocean filled with starfish, shells and waves, all embroidered in gold and silver against a sea of black, near transparent silk. As much as she wanted to take it home, Bullock knew the gown was destined for the Warner Archives.
“In the way that the Bellagio is such a central part of [Las Vegas and] ‘Ocean’s 11,’ the Met is New York’s,” Executive Producer Diana Alvarez explains. Instead of building a set, “Ocean’s 8” was actually filmed on site at the Met. “Rather than stealing from a jewelry case or a vault, we thought we’d talk our way out of the vault and steal from someplace interesting,” Ross says in “Reimagining the Met Gala.”
The Met might have also been one of the most terrifying set locations ever. One wrong move among its priceless, world famous art and “you’ve wrecked more than the budget of the movie,” he says.
Detail is exquisite throughout, and it truly shines in 4K. Cinematography by Danish filmmaker Eigil Bryld (“In Bruges,” “Becoming Jane”) captures every moment.
“I have never done this many costumes before in my life, ever," says Costume Designer Sarah Edwards. "When you think Sandra Bullock had 60 changes, and I think Cate was up to 38 by the time we wrapped, it sort of became a fashion parade, almost. It was just a riot of color and silhouette and texture. Every day, another one.”
Both formats have Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundtracks. Effects are more subtle; there are no explosions gunshots or car chases, but natural, environmental ambiance from prison to workroom to party is excellent throughout. Dialogue comes through clearly, well balanced with the effects and David Pemberton’s original score. Additional music includes Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots are Made for Walking” (so appropriate); Curtis Mayfield’s “Superfly”; Linda Rondstadt’s “You’re No Good”; “Hypnotize” from The Notorious B.I.G., a dash of classic Bach and more.
They are all fun, with little repetition. In addition to the two deleted scenes, “Reimagining the Met Gala,” and “A Heist in Heels,” find “Ocean’s Team 3.0,” in which Ross, the actors and creative team talk about the characters.
Most of the best heist films – the “Ocean’s 11” franchise, “The Italian Job,” “Now You See Me,” “The Sting” – blend suspense, heart and, if we’re lucky, a touch of humor. It’s fun to see women get a chance to take on the job. Haven't we all wanted to be the Artful Dodger at one point or another?
Here’s hoping we’ll get to see them again in a new caper.
— Kay Reynolds
Several well know actors and celebrities have cameos or small parts in the film including Shaobo Qin (Yen. of all three "Ocean's" movies), Serena Williams, Banksy, Common, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, Katie Holmes, Tommy Hilfiger, ) and Dakota Fanning. Marlo Thomas, Dana Ivey, Mary Louise Wilson and Elizabeth Ashley play the four older women who help distribute the diamonds after the heist.