I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.
Connor Bynum // Film Critic
When we reviewed OCEAN’S EIGHT in theaters earlier this year, we gave it a favorable score and praised the film for its star-studded female cast, even if it didn’t offer as many laughs as its predecessors. It’s now safe to say that the film holds up exceptionally well as it makes its 4K home video debut.
Movie Grade: B-
From Courtney Howard’s theatrical review:
“Debbie ‘sister of Danny’ Ocean (Sandra Bullock) has had a lot of time to plan her latest scheme. Five years, eight months, and twelve days, to be exact. In that time, she’s plotted a way to lift Cartier’s famed Toussaint diamond necklace during fashion’s answer to the Super Bowl – the Met Gala. It will be the biggest jewelry heist in history, as it’s worth $150 million. Only she can’t do it alone, so she ropes in best pal Lou (Cate Blanchett) to help assemble a highly-skilled crew. The dynamic duo enlists tech wizard 9-ball (Rihanna), fast-hand Constance (Awkwafina), jeweler Amita (Mindy Kaling), fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter) and former fencer-turned-suburban-mom Tammy (Sarah Paulson) to go after the necklace worn by actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway, doing a spectacular, seductive send-up of herself) on the big night. Hijinks and hilarity ensue.
Overall, while this spin-off does quite a few things better than others in the franchise, it feels noticeably lacking when it comes to humor. It’s drier than the vermouth in one of Danny Ocean’s martinis. The picture’s pacing is aching for a jigger-sized shot of vim, verve and vigor. How did Ms. Ocean learn the themes for the next five consecutive Met Galas to know what to boost whilst stuck in prison? We’ll never know. Let’s just assume ‘informants.’ It also doesn’t matter a whole bunch. We can buy it in terms of her proven, quick-thinking. We’re not here for the logistics. We’re only here for the cunning wits, the glam and the sparkle.”
Video/Audio Grade: A
OCEAN’S EIGHT was captured in 3.4K; however, the resolution of its digital intermediate seems to be unlisted. I can only assume that the film had to undergo at least some upscaling from 3.4K, but the disc is, nevertheless, a remarkable achievement. Having virtually no computer-generated elements on screen certainly works in the film’s favor. Skin tones are downright gorgeous on this disc. Details on costumes and hair are beautifully vivid as well.
The inclusion of Dolby Vision and HDR10 is a fantastic improvement over the standard Blu-ray. Contrast levels are spot on with only a few night scenes appearing slightly crushed. The final act in particular greatly benefits from the increased color pallet as it features elaborate costumes and outstanding lighting. The trademark graininess from Steven Soderbergh’s trilogy is noticeably absent in this film, but this is a welcome omission in my opinion. Yes, film grain can be seen as an artistic choice but I just personally have never been a fan of the look.
The disc also comes with a Dolby Atmos audio track, and while this is undoubtedly a welcome inclusion, the film in question doesn’t consistently offer audio effects that will shake the rafters as would a more effects driven blockbuster. Regardless, dialogue is crystal clear and Daniel Pemberton’s score never intrudes on the rest of the mix.
Extras Grade: C+
There are no extras included on the 4K disc. All special features can be found on the packaged standard Blu-ray. These extras are certainly worth a look, but are limited to three features and two deleted scenes. The three features offer a fascinating look into the work behind the film; but after seeing the restrained amount of content in this department, I couldn’t help but wonder how hard it would have been to include it on the 4K disc as well.
- A Heist in Heels
- Ocean’s Team 3.0
- Reimagining the Met Gala
- Deleted Scenes
Final Grade: A-
OCEAN’S EIGHT is a wonderful entry into the series of heist films and now a fantastic entry for any 4K collection. Crime rarely looks this good.