This One Goes To 11

Steven Soderbergh Pumps Up the Volume of Stars in 'Ocean's Eleven'

The original's racism gets a slightly different twist. In 1960, a Chinese houseboy giggled, and Sammy D picked through the garbage. Today, Bernie Mac plays the race card for bucks and yuks. And Pitt and Clooney actually sit back and chuckle about the difficulty of telling one "little Chinese guy" from another (Jackie Chan or Jet Li--who cares?). But hey--it's okay. This little Chinese guy (acrobat Shaobo Qin) is in on the joke: He throws them the finger. Yes, it's race humor circa 2001: Include a critique of your racism, however insincere, and you can get away with anything. However masked, the media game is still about (protecting) power.

But I was talking about reflective surfaces. Perhaps these horrors are part of Soderbergh's satire. In a holdover from the first movie, the director sits Pitt down before a pair of erotic dancers. But the dancers are behind glass--mirroring glass. The camera focuses back on Pitt's face, as he watches almost sheepishly. He doesn't look away. Neither do I.

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