Welcome to Dan Glaser’s Movie Podcast: The ONLY Podcast You Have To Read. In each episode I go with a different comedian to see a movie and then we head to the closest coffee shop to chat about it over the internet. Yes it is a podcast, you just have to read it instead of listen to it. As always, you can catch up on all the other episodes here. Even better, consider supporting the podcast by subscribing!
Kiki and I met at the Alamo Drafthouse in Downtown Brooklyn. It was a pretty empty screening and I felt bad for the staff who, if you haven’t been to Alamo Drafthouse, are basically waiters and bussers who work at a restaurant where you have to always be crouching. After the heist, we walked through Fort Greene Park and over to BKG Coffee Roasters on Myrtle Ave to talk about what we learned. It was an iced green tea for Kiki, and a cold brew for me.
Dan: Hi Kiki! Thank you so much for joining me today on Dan Glaser's Movie Podcast: The ONLY Podcast You Have To Read. It is one of those hot spring days that cons you into thinking it's really summer and I am ready to cool off in the Ocean('s 8). Before we get started I just have one question: How do you con a con?
Kiki: What's up, I'm Rihanna. The answer to your question is, you tell the truth. That's how the cops do it. That's how the Feds do it. That's how the Pope does it. They tell the truth.
Also it's actually summer... tomorrow. Subtle con.
Dan: That's the oldest trick in the book. Summer only starts when you hit the PCH on your motorcycle and ride north til the credits roll.
Kiki: I assume that's how every Ocean's ends. But I wouldn't know! I wanted to watch them in number order.
Dan: Wow that's a GREAT point. I want to start things off by saying that I have seen every movie in the modern Ocean's cinematic universe and Kiki has seen just this one. What did you know about the concept, going in today? What did you expect from this movie?
Kiki: I knew it was a big heist and that it'd be schmaltzy and polished. With this one specifically, I had seen the trailer a few times (which is better than the long-form movie and is a masterpiece), and so I knew they were robbing the Met Ball. Can I say something catty?
Dan: Sure but it is a Gala not a Ball.
Kiki: Oh shit. You're right, and that's a plot point. Sarah Paulson gets a job at Vogue DESPITE mispronouncing gala, which I really truly believe would have disqualified her.
Dan: It's pronounced Vouge like Moulin Rouge.
Kiki: I wish.
Dan: You have permission to be catty only if I do also.
Kiki: Oh yes, so my catty remark is: couldn't they have gotten more movie stars for this movie? Meaning, I was underwhelmed by the cameos at the GALA. I wanted to actually see A-listers.
Dan: You mean like George Clooney. Or Matt Damon?
Kiki: Yes, or Rihanna.
Dan: As Rihanna.
Kiki: They had Anne Hathaway playing a worse celebrity than Anne Hathaway, and she's seated next to Katie Holmes. Like, Katie Holmes doesn't even always get to GO to this Gala. (She probably does. Sorry, Katie, you're cool.)
Dan; She is a long time fan of the pod please be nice.
Kiki: Hi Katie, I loved you in Getting Away from Scientology!
Dan: If I can be catty for a minute as well: the bad guy should have been another woman, not a shitty art dude. Don't @ me.
Women need to tear each other down, on screen and IRL.
Don't @ me.
Kiki: That's a good point! Women can be bad, too. And also, the only conflicts were romantic. Meaning, it was a boyf. Who was that, Gerard Butler?
Dan: Gerard Valet, his lower rent cousin.
Kiki: I'm laughing out loud! By the way, his entire character was another plot hole. But I'm getting ahead of us!
Dan: Yes, before we dive too deeply into What Happens In This Movie, I want to mention a few things about my experience with in the Ocean's Multiverse.
Kiki: REAL QUICK: Didn't realize that Ocean's was possessive until seeing this movie. Because it's a person (or a family). I get it now. GO ON.
Dan: I basically saw all three of them in theatres. I was young and I thought the first one was fun, stylized and COOL. On the border of too COOL for its own good but mostly a tight team-building heist movie. The second one was insane but whatever. The third was insane but whatever.
Kiki: Have all your guests been well-behaved? As in they shut up and type (unlike me right now)? I feel disruptive.
Dan: Do you want me to rank my guests by how closely they followed the rules?
Dan: The least talkative guest: Matt Porter (Upgrade) [Episode coming soon! - ed.]
Kiki: Am I number last?
Dan: The most talkative guest: Yoni Lotan (Truth or Dare). The end.
Kiki: Mine's not done! I could be more talkative by the end.
Dan: This podcast is over. Cut the mic.
Kiki: I'm laughing out loud and no one knows why. Okay so this movie was also COOL, no? You didn't laugh except for once I think. And it was when I made a little comment
At the end, Sandy Bullock BRINGS A MARTINI SHAKER AND GLASS AND THING OF OLIVES AND MAKES A VODKA MARTINI. Then she toasts to her brother's grave. And I said, "Why." And you laughed. That was the funniest part of the movie.
Dan: Yes totally. My main takeaway from all of these Ocean's movies is that I think Steven Soderbergh is good at this type of thing. Elevating simple genre movies in a way that feels fun for everyone involved. See also Haywire or Logan Lucky.
Kiki: I've never heard of either of those movies, but then again, I've never heard of this podcast either.
Dan: I mentioned this earlier, but my thoughts when I first saw the trailer for this movie were, in order:
Oh. Hmm. Yes, of course. This makes sense! Why didn't they make this earlier? Oh wow what a cast! Oh. Oh no. Why isn't Soderbergh involved? Oh dear. This looks bad. Uh oh.
I was worried!
Kiki: I love that you have perfect recall of your thoughts. Also a question. What did you think looked so bad? Because you can't see the plot holes from there.
Dan: Yeah it was not related to plot. I was afraid of the tone and style going too far into Oceanville without someone steering the ship.
I am happy to say this movie was not bad in the way I was afraid of.
Kiki: But did you think that only because you saw SS was not the director? Or was it the trailer itself? Because the trailer, I think, looks and feels very fun and is honestly better than this movie because it's shorter. And this movie is a morsel, not a meal. It's an amuse bouche. And my bouche was amused by the trailer.
Dan: Not only not the director, but not involved at all. His name was nowhere near the trailer which felt STRANGE and SUSPICIOUS. Almost as if he said, get me away from this thing.
Kiki: But if you weren't looking at names?
Dan: I think, and perhaps this is the trailer's job, things were too COOL. That is truly the worst part of the Ocean's movies. When the COOL is too much.
Kiki: So you thought the trailer was COOLER than the movie. I think I agree. But I like the COOLNESS, because we're talking about camp. And I'm one of the biggest fans of camp you've ever had on this podcast. Also really quick. We saw a trailer for the movie 8th Grade, and I realized I wanted a mashup called Ocean's 8th Grade.
Dan: I am not fully convinced that COOLNESS and CAMP can coexist in harmony.
Kiki: What's the difference! I think there is one, but then again, maybe I don't.
Dan: COOLNESS can become CAMP when it fails, either from trying to hard or missing the mark. Or even on purpose, but then it is closer to irony. Just my 2 pence.
Kiki: Is camp always a failure?
Dan: Definitely not. Not all CAMP is failed coolness. I merely suggest that failed coolness CAN become camp.
Kiki: I think that Susan Sontag thinks it must be in her essay "Notes on Camp", which is a seminal text on camp. And you can link to it! Because this is online.
But I don't know if I agree either. Yes... I'm on board.
Dan: Welcome to the team. Also, I do want to share one quick story about Ocean's 13 and then we can get right to it. Will you indulge me?
Kiki: Yes please! (It goes up to 13!)
Dan: It did not start at one. Fun fact: Most people think it started at Ocean's 1 but in fact it started at Ocean's 11. Not many people know this.
Kiki: Good. Too many for me to see. And it would ruin my earlier "number order" joke if it did. I think I actually knew that, but I thought it only went up to 12.
Dan: So, Ocean's 13 came out about a year or so after I moved to New York. I saw it with my friends Elliot and Steve and we bought a bunch of Giant Beers to drink in the back row. I bought 2 Asahi Tallboys. I drank them both throughout the course of the movie. Eventually, Ocean and the Beach Boys are all in Vegas getting ready to do The Big Heist; the one they spent the entire movie planning and preparing for. I stepped out momentarily to pee out all my beer. When I returned to the theatre, the heist was over and they had stolen everything and I missed it.
Kiki: Haha I can't believe they let people drink in movie theaters. For this reason.
Dan: I still don't know how they got all the money or why they needed to send Ben Affleck's abusive brother to Mexico to start a worker's riot...at a dice factory? (That is a plot point)
Kiki: Ben Affleck is part of this?
Dan: No, Casey is.
Kiki: I think I should avoid these Ocean's. How do you plural something that's already possessive?
Kiki: Casey is bad. Ironically I can't stand Clooney but I think he's a stand up guy? Although probably every male star is terrible. But this is too political! Back to COOLNESS.
Dan: What about James Corden?
Kiki: Is he bad? Because he was a delight in this. He was a pig in shit. I love a pig.
Dan: I love shit. And speaking of, let's talk about this movie.
So we open up on a parole interview with one Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock). She explains how she just wants a simple life and will never crime again.
Kiki: Yeah, so Sandy B gets out of jail. Where she's been Danny Ocean's sister for the last 5 years. And all her life.
Dan: I decided, right then and there, that when we got to the podcast I would NOT comment on any of the appearances of any of the leads. Can you do it for me?
Kiki: It's a well-acted speech. She's in a perfect blowout with a regal smoky eye.
Dan: You literally gasped "Whoa" when they first showed her face.
Kiki: I wrote down: "Whoa her hair and makeup. Smokey eye.” So your facts are exactly right.
Dan: I wrote down, "Who is smuggling in her collagen?" Or whatever the hot new dermal filler is. I am not up to speed.
Kiki: Honestly, the whole movie I was like, I can't wait to get old. Because I'm 33 and my beauty is fading, but I think that well-kept 40-something beauty looks better than my natural early 30s face.
But in prison, no. I don't know either! Restalyne was big a few years ago, but I'm sure the world has advanced beyond that. But seriously, who did her hair? They do not have hot tools in the slammer. It was absurd but it sets the tone for the amount of disbelief you're asked to suspend. Which is fine, that's the gig.
Dan:I think the implication is: she can do anything at any time for any reason. That is an important precedent for this movie to set.
Kiki: Okay so she leaves prison. She gets out. We see she's had the hookup the whole time and is in cahoots with the COs.
Dan: Yes, and it's back to New York City!
Kiki: OH! So I wrote down: "New York first skyline I recognize."vI never recognize skylines ever in movies even if I know what they are. That was the first one that actually looked familiar to me. I recognized it before my brain remembered that it knew that's where this took place. So it's more of a comment on me than the movie, but it was pleasant.
Dan: I recognized when they were eating at Veselka because there was a big shot of the window that said Veselka.
Kiki: Wait. Was she in Rikers? No. No. F*cking. Way.
Dan: Maybe Sing Sing.
Kiki: She was in CT probably.
Dan: Or the Hague.
Kiki: What's the Hague?
Dan: The UN Prison for Bad Boys.
Well Sandra is back in the big apple and she has to run some grifts before she can do anything so that we know for sure that she is Still Ocean After All These Years.
Kiki: And boy does she grift! She goes to my favorite place in Manhattan, Bergdorf Goodman.
Dan: Briefly she: steals makeup and clothes from Bergdorf, grifts a free hotel room. Anything else?
Kiki: And I wrote down, "Good idea for how to steal." She runs a good scam on them.
Dan: Yes most of this movie is: Good Ideas For How To Steal. And also many: Bad Ideas For How To Steal. A little something for everyone.
Kiki: Yeah I was gonna say. They are mostly bad ideas. But for swiping lipstick? Yes, you could do that. She gets a fur coat...and someone's suitcase?!
Dan: I think the Met Gala was a misdirection from her real plan: free lip tint.
Kiki: Like, why a suitcase. You don't know if that's full of useless things.
Dan: Well she eventually gets to chill in a hotel room, but not before getting in touch with her old partner: Cate Blanchett as Iggy Pop.
Kiki: I'm remembering one funny line Anne Hathaway said, and it was my favorite part of her whole career. I won't reveal until later though.
Dan: Cate runs a night club where she hires women to water down Vodka.
Kiki: I wrote down "Cate B is hydrating people." It's not only a scam but a public service.
Also she and all the women spend the entire movie in incredible makeup. Cate Blanchett's accent coming in and out.
Dan: They at least do address that her character is “from Australia” so that is fine with me.
Kiki: She was a rock star! The entire time: Velvet and leather. Only Iggy Pop and other rock stars wear that.
Dan: Yeah it was cool. I will say that in general, my thoughts on this movie are: a bunch of very talented women having fun and doing a good job with a dumb script. It's like Book Club but with more diamonds.
Kiki:So Cate agrees to meet up with Sandra and they have brunch at Veselka. So, I was hoping that at some point we would get the FULL Australian accent. But we didn't.
Dan: Sandra feeds Cate some potato thing and entices her with the promise of an incredible heist.
Kiki: This movie, it was pretty dumb. It was fun but not funny. I didn't laugh out loud. And I'm an easy laugher. I need to see Book Club!
Can I take a call with my mom?
Dan: Let me think whether I laughed. Not that this movie was trying to make us laugh, per se. I think I laughed when they all showed up at the Met Gala and the most famous person was Serena Willams' back.
Kiki: Thanks, my mom says hi. You did not laugh. You were cold as fuck to this movie.
Dan: Not all heroes wear capes and not all laughs are out loud. That's why LOL exists. Otherwise you would just say L.
Kiki: But it should have been funnier! It was close. I think it was trying to make us laugh. And that gala! Why was no one famous?!!!
Dan: Everyone on the heist team was famouser than the guests. That is funny. I take it back that is LOL.
Kiki: It's a MOVIE, they know how to get MOVIE STARS. Gigi Hadid for 1 sec is not MOVIE STARS.
Dan: If I am making this movie, here is the guest list for the Met Gala: George Clooney. Brad Pitt. Matt Damon. Andy Garcia. Julia Roberts.
Kiki: Okay so before the plan is revealed, Sandy meets up with Gerard Valet...To shiv him!
Dan: Oh that's right.
Kiki: Because he squealed on her. And she cuts off a button on his shirt - the heaviest violence this movie gets.
Dan: Yeah She threatens an Art Guy, who it is implied there is a history with. She reveals her high level plan to Cate, who is intrigued and also skeptical.
Sandra is the CEO and Cate is the COO of Ocean's Inc. Agree or disagree?
Kiki: Cate spends the whole movie intrigued and skeptical. It's fun to see someone amazing at acting just nail two modes.
Dan: Good traits in any COO.
Kiki: Let me think about this. Yes I think so, and also CFO; It's just implied. Although there are cases where it's co-CEOs.
Dan: She is definitely more involved in people management and logistics.
Kiki: Cate had a lot of status and power.
Dan: Cate is not setting the direction or goals, IMO.
Kiki: Except she had one major argument with Sandy that she lost and then stopped caring about. Which was:
Dan: Do not run a job within a job. Which we will discuss in time.
Kiki: And boy will we.
Dan: At a high level, the plan is revealed:
We will steal a necklace that a movie star will be wearing at the Met Gala.
Kiki: Yes they are stealing diamonds and here's my big Q. Diamonds are so illiquid as an asset. Wouldn't their time be better spent with something they could more quickly turn around?
BUT this is exactly the wrong question to ask. It's not a legitimate question actually. But I just kept thinking about how much more work it takes to convert diamonds into cashflow.
They actually do address that. They say that banks are boring. Which is like - true! This is a movie. Plus it's about the glamour. There's no glamour in like, equities. You want to run a REAL scam? Spend 4 years in undergrad majoring in finance. Get an internship at Goldman. Convert that into a job. Work hard for 2 years. Get your MBA at Wharton. Go back to Goldman. Squeeze your clients on both sides of a trade. Boom. Rich. Ruin the economy. But that's not a movie! That's a life well lived.
Dan: Isn't that The Big Short, which actually is a movie?
Kiki: Yep, I didn't see it, though. I'm waiting for The Big Short 8.
Dan: Well. In general, I am willing to forgive things in a movie when the movie doesn't rely on them. What I mean by this is that I didn't decide this movie was going to be about a precision engineered heist 5 years in the making where every piece fits together like a puzzle. You did, movie! You are inviting these questions, I am sorry to say. And there are a lot, but we can address them as they come.
Kiki: Right. Those are the types of questions are legitimate. In fact, I'd say, necessary as an engaged viewer. Which I barely was.
Dan: Another thing I will say about the "target" in this movie is that it that they are literally stealing from: Cartier and...The Metropolitan Museum of Art? In other heist movies they at least go through the effort of making the target "a bad guy."
Kiki: Yeah! Cartier, fine. But the Met! The Met is great! You know what? The movie kind of treats it like they are stealing from celebs? Or from the GALA people? But they are not really the targets.
Dan: Maybe have a scene where the CEO of Cartier visits a diamond mine in Sierra Leone and pushes a child into a pit and laughs. Same with the Met curator. Then I'm sold.
Kiki: They did make the Met curator a stooge. Remember all he cared about were stupid paintings? The movie acted like they were stupid for caring about the art and not the jewels which were there temporarily.
Dan: All the world's a heist, and all the men and women are merely stooges. Okay back to the story. Cate and Sandra agree the plan is perfect, and the first step is to find a Designer.
Kiki: But one who is in desperate straits, and eager to cooperate..
Dan: Enter: A pleasantly subdued Helena Bonham Carter.
Kiki: HBC was underused.
Dan: More like Helena Bonham Cartier. I honestly was afraid she was gonna go buckwild in this movie but she really reined it in.
Kiki: She's lovely. I was hoping she went buckwild! Why cast a buck if you don't want her to go buckwild?
Dan: Wow. Well in the movie's defense, it did allow her to have an Irish accent for no reason.
Kiki: No! It said she was Irish. But right, why did they make her Irish?
Dan: Oh that's true, as good a reason as any for an Irish accent I would say.
Kiki: Also, was that an Irish accent? Sounded normal British to me.
Dan: Yes, because she was Irish. Ergo…
Kiki: Yeah, they let them all talk however they wanted.
Dan: Well Helena, we learn, was a big deal in the 90s but now she is not. Part of this plan, a BIG part actually, is that they need to be the ones who dress the Star (?) of this year's Met Gala.
This part of the plan is bad. The REASON they need the designer on their team is so the designer can convince Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) to wear a crazy diamond necklace so they can steal it.
Kiki: Honestly, Dan, how are we going to cover all these plot holes. The HBC stuff is really bad.
a) She just accepts this plan from two well-dressed strangers.
b) She gets a career-saving gig dressing a celeb, and yet she treats it like a stepping stone for a major risky grift she doesn't need to be a part of.
c) She seems to have no other friends or team.
d) Anne Hathaway also seems to have no team.
Dan: If I were Helena I would accept the part of the plan where she somehow gets to dress Anne and then go on to reignite my business with all the great publicity.
Kiki: Anne plays the big starlet. It's implied that this star is like, even more famous than Anne Hathaway herself almost. And it would have been better if Anne played herself. Missed opportunity. Always go John Malkovich if you can.
Dan: As someone who has not seen Ocean's 12, I had to explain to you that this plot point actually exists in that movie.
In Ocean's 12, the character played by Julia Roberts at one point pretends to be the actual Julia Roberts as a distraction.
Kiki: Which is amazing. But like, do it again in this one.
Dan: Correct. Later on in the movie when Rihanna the anonymous hacker goes to the Met Gala, it was an opportunity for her to have just been like “My real name is actually Rihanna.”
Kiki: Correct! Let Rihanna be Rihanna that would have been HEIGHTENING from the previous movie. Anyway, they magically arrange to get HBC the gig as the designer for Anne H's gown. Even though that is decided well before 3 months in advance of the Gala. And involves a lot more than one lunch that took one phone call to schedule.
Dan: Now is the time in the movie and in the podcast when we go through each member of the heist team, what their job is, what their personality is, and how they get recruited. Do you remember who comes after Helena?
Kiki: No! The hacker?
Dan: Oh wait, I wrote down a line.
Cate and Sandra meet Helena at an insane fashion show where she is creating either new flight attendant uniforms or new fashion inspired by them. Helena is crying and eating a thing of nutella and she shows them a...live...review (?) of her show. She says, "Did you read this? It's by a blogger."
That's a line, baby!
Kiki: That's where that line was. Yeah. Eating Nutella. That's camp.
Dan: Okay, I believe the next person they recruit is Mindy Kaling?
Kiki: Yes, who we see is a jeweler who hates her mom. Motive enough right there to join this crew. Although it's implied she has a history with the CEOs.
Dan; Her job is: making da jewels. Her personality is: wants a boyfriend and doesn't want to live with her mom.
Next up: Rihanna.
Kiki: Rihanna is COOL. She doesn't reveal her real name. Cate B procured her, and Sandy B was like, we only do real names. And then absolutely did not enforce that.
Dan: Yes her personality is COOL and WEED. Her job is: hacking and or anything else that needs to happen.
Next up is...Awkwafina? Or did I skip someone?
Kiki: I think that's right. She's the skateboarder with the worst lines.
Dan: Yes I felt bad for her. Her the actor not her the character. I'm happy for her the actor in that she is getting big parts, but also I feel bad that her lines were what they were.
Kiki: She's the cool one who can sneak up and take things off people's person.
Dan: Her job is: Pickpockety stuff. When we meet her she is running a 3 card monte scam on poor sweet Will Stevens in the park.
Kiki: Oh right, you asked me if that was him. I don't know him but I'm happy for him the actor, too!
Dan: Her personality is: YouTuber.
Kiki: Her personality is: all the lines that should have been cut.
Dan: Lots of people in our theater laughed at ALL OF HER LINES. So there's that.
Kiki: Did they? Wow I was so focused on how much I would have edited them right out.
Dan: Here is an opinion: Every character in this movie was the comic relief character. What if we made the whole airplane out of the black box?
Kiki: Yes! But is that true of all the Ocean'ss?
Dan: Yes. Okay last but not least we have Sarah Paulson.
Kiki: Who is a MOM.
Dan: Her personality is: MOM.
Kiki: That's it baby! All you need.
Dan: Literally all they have her do is talk to her kids on the phone.
Kiki: Just a relatable mom who wants out of her hum-drum life.
Dan: Her job is: Fence but also she is Q from James Bond but also she does anything that needs to happen for the plot at any time.
Now. I never thought about this until halfway through this movie. But there is a thing in all heist movies, and Ocean'ss in particular that I find fascinating. Literally all thieves are totally cool splitting Heist Loot evenly, even though there is NO WAY everyone's job is equally difficult, time consuming or dangerous. I think that's inspirational and socialist in the best way.
Kiki: Right, THIS is the fantasy. In the same way the REAL fantasy of 50 Shades was laziness. The real fantasy is: crime but take away the mean parts.
Dan: Sarah Paulson had to get a literal JOB in this movie and work at that job for a long time. My question is: does everyone get a cut of her paycheck? Do they split the health insurance?
Kiki: Sandy B went to jail. Not that long - just a few years. But also ridiculous amount of time. Sandy B planned this for 5 years, and shares this cut too! CEO and COO make the same as everyone else!
Dan: Honestly, Awkwafina had the easiest possible job AND she didn't even need to use her pickpocket skills.
Kiki: She kind of did. But any one of them could have done that. She got the necklace off of Anne H.
Dan: Literally anyone could have done that. A Roomba could have done it.
FURTHERMORE, and spoiler alert, Anne Hathaway joins the team anyway so the whole fucking scam ends up being unnecessary.
Kiki: That's the best line though. When they say, Anne why do you want to do this? Anne says, "I don't have many close female friends."
Dan: Yes that was a good line.
Kiki: That is the most I have ever believed her in a role.
Dan; Okay back to the plot. We have the team and now we get a sales pitch. Sandra and Cate have a powerpoint that goes through the heist in high level blurbs. Everyone is on board with no negotiating or questioning.
Act 1: complete!
Kiki: Who put together that deck? Why would they have a deck. If they get caught, the cops have a DECK of what they did and how.
Dan: Act 2 really begins when we are introduced to the real stars of this movie: 3D Gem Printer and Scanner Glasses.
Kiki: 3D printers were the 5th character, in Sex and the City and in this.
Dan: This is the part in the movie where I realized: Ocean's 8 is NOT a heist movie. It is a Sci-Fi Heist Movie. Sarah Paulson plays a "fence" who procures and sells stolen goods. This also means she has access to technology from other planets and timelines.
Kiki: Lots of fictional science going on. For instance, the best camera security in the world can be fooled by iPhone screens. I'll confess something. I don't know what fence means. My guess was "lookout." I know that often there is a lookout. But she did not lookout. She was a procurement officer and then she actually got a JOB.
Dan: Sarah brings the team a 3D printer that can print zirconium crystals and a also pair of Warby Parkers that can scan gems into micron perfect CAD renderings but only if there is a cell phone signal
Kiki: Oh about the glasses…
Dan: Kiki just said, out loud "Oh my god, about the glasses..."
Kiki: They scanned the necklace...but how did they know to do that? the necklace was sitting in a BOX. When did they give the instructions not to scan the box, too.
Dan: Huh? Who is the they?
Kiki: They meaning the heisters. The O8 crew. Like, the glasses seemed to know exactly which object to scan and send to the printer. But the glasses saw a lot of things.
Dan: Let's take a step back: part of this invincible plan is that Helena Bonham Carter will convince Anne Hathaway that she has to wear a $150,000,000 necklace that is deep in Cartier's vault. The necklace is a former Royal Jewel thing or something and no one has seen it for 50 years.
The Google Glasses are going to be used to scan the necklace when they look at it so that Mindy Kaling and the 3D Printer can make a fake copy ahead of time.
Kiki: Right. Yeah. Many steps implied in this. Thank you for explaining to the readers. I'm overwhelmed by the amount of steps it takes to pull that off. But fine, I accept that the movie doesn't want to spend time on that.
Dan: Also, the theme for the Met Gala is Royal Jewels or some shit which, okay, but later on none of the guests have costumes on which is INSANE. Don't worry, reader, we will get to the Gala later.
Kiki: OMG. That theme. The dresses were TERRIBLE. Meaning not on theme! They were basic dresses!
Dan: We will spend a lot of time on both the Met Gala and the Exhibit itself, do not worry.
Kiki: Okay okay.
Dan: I want to briefly mention how they...trick...Anne Hathaway into hiring Helena.
Kiki: RIGHT. They do one PR stunt.
Dan: You said that this was crazy and I agree but I only think that because I don't know how PR works. Make sure everyone knows that you literally are a PR expert and professional.
Kiki: They convince a MORE FAMOUS celebrity (Dakota Fanning not playing herself) to let Helena dress her in exchange for donation to her charity which...
If celebs could be bought so easily, then the worst designer in the world wouldn't have been the only bidder, and wouldn't have won that. Also, maybe HBC would have just said, sure I'll design your dress, have a LEGITIMATE career comeback, and forget this illegal and risky heist. But amazingly, she didn't.
Dan: Point of Order: I got the impression that Dakota was NOT getting Helena to dress her, she only agreed to meet for coffee because it was implied that Helena was going to donate. The point of that meeting was to get a fake paparazzi shot of them holding hands to plant a STORY about Helena dressing her.
Kiki: Oh you're right. But also, she probably wouldn't meet her.
Dan: But still, Anne eats that shit up like the sloppy little shit pig she is.
Kiki: Anne is later revealed to be someone who catches on to this eventually and isn't so stupid. But presumably that decision is REAL. And that decision is stupid. Also she consulted with NO TEAM.
Even though, in the reality of this movie, she’s repped by CAA and others and people would advise her because other people's salaries also depend on her success because celebs are BRANDS. It's insane that she would just pick a designer she didn't like who isn't popular because she took a picture with a competitor. And also, HBC would have a PR team that would have thought of that without the O8 crew - who are strangers to her. Strangers who approached her.
Dan: Maybe you missed the part where Sandra explained that while in prison she ran through this plan so many times, changing it over and over until it couldn't possibly fail. So the movie has it covered.
Kiki: I'm sure she had all kinds of contingencies in place we never had to explore.
Dan: Oh ya, briefly, at some point after she gets out of prison, Sandra visits George Clooney's grave and says like, "I bet he's not really dead."
Kiki: Oh yeah, I feel like he's not dead. But then why bring a martini to his grave.
Dan: Okay back to work. Now, while setting up for the big heist, a bunch of shit happens and I don't remember what order it happens in, so let's just toss out stuff we remember. I’ll go first.
Something about Banksy.
Kiki: OMG wait. How was that relevant to the movie? Just to show us the convos with the security team? The security providers were SO snotty to the Met, who has to be an Important Client. So that was hard to swallow.
Dan: Sure, I'll handle this one. So Sarah Paulson and Sandra Bullock get tickets to the Met, or, what is more likely, they grift their way into free tickets to the Met by pretending to be Nuns or some shit.
Sarah distracts a guard, played by one of the homicide detectives from The Wire, who has to leave the conversation halfway because…
...someone hung up a Gender-swapped painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware!
Kiki: Which is a good idea.
Dan: A news story reports that it was literal Banksy who did it.
Kiki: Literal Banksy. How did they know. Did he sign his name?
Dan: Now.I like to think that this is the movie telling us that DEBBIE OCEAN IS BANKSY.
Dan: That is canon.
Kiki: How did it serve them again? I genuinely do not remember.
Dan: Sure. The point of this prank is as follows:
Kiki: I appreciate you calling it a prank. This is more of a prank movie than a heist movie.
Dan: And stay with me here...The company that is contracted for the Met's security gets a stern talking to by the board of directors for letting this prank happen. This does two things:
1) Force them to change their security protocols, allowing for Rihanna to hack them "without being noticed"
2) Force them to not notice when Rihanna literally dresses up like a janitor to put a microphone in a garbage can during the big meeting.
So that's that. Also, here's a heist idea: Make more Banksys and sell those.
Kiki: Yep! Or be a consultant to failing fashion designers. They have so many legitimate skills.
Dan: Maybe they all get jobs at Vogue?
Kiki: Right! Which, again, you can't just do. Unless you were Sarah Paulson PLAYING Sarah Paulson.
Dan: Conde Nast would be lucky to have them. Okay. What's another part of the prep phase. Your turn. We can talk about Sarah Paulson getting the job at Vogue if you want.
Kiki: Sarah P does get the job at Vogue and argues for a nutritionist to be present at the Gala. Which she uses to hire Cate B. Who can get ipecac into the soup so that Hathaway barfs, leaving her neck exposed.
Dan: The pickpocket doesn't really do much during the prep phase except teach Mindy Kaling about Tinder. Her character is named Constance and she is played by Awkwafina. Who again, I am happy for, but who is not given much to work with in this movie.
Kiki: Hold on. We just heard someone say, "Everyone is chopped liver, so I might as well be yours too" on the phone.
Dan: I think that was a line from this movie,
Kiki: Fantastic. Sarah Paulson also gets access to the Gala seating charts, and...finds out Hathaway doesn't have a bf.
Dan: Oh that part.
Kiki: They arrange for Gerard Valet to be the guy. Now I had questions about this.
Dan: Yes this is when Cate gets MAD and SKEPTICAL.
Kiki: Yes but first, who asked him? Isn't he a con man too? So why would he agree. What's the pretense they sold him? And doesn't he know who usually works with Sandy? He knows her squad.
Dan:My impression is: there is a separate event, which Sarah Paulson is organizing for her full time job that she now has. At this event, Daphne Kluger née Anne Hathway will be attending and an invite is also extended to Gerard Valet.
OBVIOUSLY, they will hit it off and Anne will invite him to the upcoming Gala.
That is the literal plan.
Kiki: We're making fun of this movie a lot (lightly) but it's actually a challenging plot for me. Yeah... I don't buy that Gerard doesn't realize it's Sandy.
Also: Anne H is a famous actress. She doesn't need to be set up with a random man who isn't that handsome and isn't famous! That would not be appealing!
Dan: He is famous in this world.
Kiki: He is? As an art dealer?
Dan: When Sarah Paulson shows her fake / real boss the guest list for this special bonus party she says something like, "wow! <that guy's name>!"
Kiki: But if he's a con man why is he famous
Dan: Tell that to Bernie Madoff.
Kiki: And isn't he a little bit in jail from the last heist? Because he sold out Sandy? And it would be public that he'd have immunity and snitched, right? Like he's bad news.
Dan: No he is not in jail because he snitched and as the movie explained, Sandra Bullock did not so therefor she has to go to jail and he doesn’t.
Kiki: She's playing someone as famous as Anne Hathaway.
Dan: I think she is playing someone MORE famous than Anne Hathaway. But less famous than Rihanna.
Kiki: Even more to my point. She doesn't need a SEAT FILLER.
Dan: Who would you have her date be?
Kiki: She has men she can bring. George Clooney as himself. Or Gerard Butler. Not Valet.
Dan: Or Lebron. Actually I think Lebron should have been the mark. They plant diamonds on Lebron and during a big basketball game they fall out of his shorts on national TV.
Kiki: I would watch Lebron dunk a diamond. I bet they tried because it seems like we watched a movie full of plan Bs.
Dan: Example: when they were telling Helena Bonham Carter about the meet and greet with Dakota Fanning, they REALLY hyped it up. Cate and Sandra said stuff like: "she is the most famous person. You will recognize her don't worry. She is the one person that Daphne will be jealous of."
And then it's Dakota Fanning. Like, I wanted to be BLOWN AWAY by the cameo. How was it not Beyoncé. Or at the very least Meghan Markle.
Kiki: RIGHT. Or Sandra Bullock. Give her two roles and make us eat it. That's how you go from good to great.
Dan: Eat it up you sloppy shit pigs.
Kiki: That's why you watch the movie and not the trailer.
Dan: That's why you eat the steak and not the sizzle.
Kiki: Dakota was so underwhelming.
Dan: Yes, make it BOTH OLSEN TWINS.
Kiki: They did have Anna Wintour. And did NOTHING with her.
Dan: Make it LIKE A VIRGIN ERA MADONNA WITH THE MAGIC OF CGI.
Make it QUEEN ELIZABETH.
Kiki: Right you can do that. Use the 3D printer. 3D printers can do anything.
Dan: Exactly. Missed oppo. Okay so what else is part of the set up? Oh yeah. The blind spot.
Kiki: Right. Lots was made of that blind spot.
Dan: Again, other than Sarah, Rihanna is doing most of the work in this heist. She hacks into the Met's security system and has to "Create a blind spot" near the bathroom large enough for Awkwafina to...steal the necklace?
Kiki: They gave us the dimensions of it. Also the blind spot is outside the bathroom.
Dan: This part is confusing because she literally ends up stealing the necklace inside the bathroom stall but whatever. Rihanna hacks a blind spot for them. Great. Next.
Kiki: Right, and it turns out to be an issue that the investigator could see that it was Sandy in front of the bathroom door on the periphery of the blind spot anyway. Wasn't really that blind.
Dan: Oh wait. Back to Gerard Valet. Cate gets mad at Sandra, for you see, "you do not run a job in a job." She is worried that involving Gerard means Sandra is planning to revenge all over him and possible ruin the heist.
Kiki: This is an emotional conversation. We are told by the movie that This Matters.
Dan: It is implied that as Anne Hathaway's date, Gerard will be framed as the thief when it is all said and done.
Kiki: It is implied that this is highly risky and will go wrong, and that the only reason Sandy is doing it is because she is blinded by personal revenge.
Dan: As someone intrigued but skeptical, Cate agrees to do it anyway, but remains skeptical.
Kiki: Cate says "If you frame him, I'm out." We are promised those stakes and they are NOT the stakes.
Dan: It is never addressed again. Okay next!
Kiki: Right then here's the big plan to get the diamonds. They ask to see them. Scan them with glasses. Then the 3D printer takes care of the rest so they have a nice fake to pull this off. At first the glasses don't get a signal because they are underground. But they solve that by asking to see it in natural light
Dan: You know how people are always like: "This movie would have been a lot easier if they had cell phones"?
I feel like this whole movie would have been a lot easier if they had guns.
Kiki: Haha what would they use the guns for? To kill Gerard. And not do a heist.
Dan: Yeah. Or like, hijack a diamond auction?
Kiki: But then they'd get caught!
Dan: Not if they did it in a blind spot.
Kiki: It’s for the love of the con.
Dan: Also the guns are fake. That's the con.
Kiki: 3D printed guns. Right. Banksy makes them look like guns but they are Twix bars.
Dan: Damn that’s poignant. The real killer is diabetes.
So back in the real movie...what was the point of making them take the diamonds out of the vault and upstairs into the showroom? 2 minutes of Not Tension?
Kiki: There was no tension in this movie. It was watching people do things they wanted to do the way they wanted to do them.
Dan: Yes I know they “needed a signal”, but like, what was the point from the movie's perspective. Why did that delay exist?
Kiki: Right. What was the point of the convo between Cate and Sandy mmhmm?
Dan: Which one?
Kiki: The one about not doing a job within a job. Turned out not to matter. Like, none of the stakes mattered.
Dan: Ah, I see. Well every Ocean'ss needs a Classic Line.
Here are some from Ocean'ss past:
"It'll be nice working with proper villains again."
Kiki: I love that you just know these off hand
Dan: "You're a liar and a thie!" - " I only lied about being a thief."
"You do not run a job in a job.”
Kiki: And, "Did you read this? It's by a blogger." The more I think about that the more I realize how truly bananas that line is. As though blogger credibility is a real punchline in 2018.
Dan: Yes. It is the movie saying "I get that this fashion show is still going on right now so it makes no sense for a review or article to exist about it already but what if it were a blog instead? Those are live sometimes?"
Okay, last piece of the puzzle is that Cartier hires ex Mossad assassins to guard the necklace. Which is great. But also, these guys literally don't even kill anybody. So again, missed oppo.
Kiki: Thank you for explaining what Mossad is offline. And for not calling me out. No violence was ever going to happen in this movie. But also, no real disagreements, setbacks or frustrations
Dan: Okay next up we have to talk about the actual dress that Helena makes and how Anne Hathaway decides to do her own makeup.
The dress is boring as hell.
Kiki: THAT DRESS, was a mess. OMG it's the worst dress I've ever seen.
Dan: It looks like a first draft of a Disney Princess at a knock-off Russian Theme Park.
Kiki: It's a plain unflattering hot pink strapless thing with a cape. That designer DESERVED her blogger reviews.
Dan: The dress is bad, folks. Or, if I am being generous, insane to present as the Highlight of the Met Gala.
Kiki: All the dresses were. I actually can't believe Anna Wintour went in for this and didn't make sure the outfits were fab and on theme.
Theme being ROYAL. which is so easy to make amazing. You can interpret however you want.
Dan: Well, the point of the dress trying on scene is two-fold.
Kiki: Please include a screengrab of the real Rihanna's Met Gala outfits. [maybe - ed.]
Dan: 1) We learn that the diamond necklace actually has a special magnetic clasp! That only the Mossad Agent can unlock.
Kiki: It's a wrench in the plan, except they know a smart 13 year old who understands magnets.
Dan: Lol yes the clasp dilemma is literally resolved in the very next scene with zero complication. Like most things in this movie.
2) Helena has to take a video of the clasp unlocking so our team can solve it back at the base.
Kiki: Right they send the video to Rihanna's genius baby sister Who does not sign an NDA or anything. She's just a smart trustworthy girl who can safely interact with organized criminals and live her life.
Dan: I hope she got paid 30 million like everyone else. She literally did more work than Awkwafina.Nothing personal, Awkwafina.
Kiki: Not her fault. She walked away with a good deal.
Dan: Question: Since they end up literally cutting the necklace apart anyway, why not just cut it off her neck?
Kiki: That's such a good question. I guess it wouldn't have been as fast? But I will accept this more gracefully than the information that Anne H, huge movie star, needs some B list con man as her date and loses her shit over him.
Dan: I actually think it is faster to cut it off than use the magnet. Or even just shoot it off with a gun.
Okay, I guess the last detail we need to cover before Act III begins is that Sarah Paulson shows up with a bunch of dry cleaning that she hands out to everyone. Also Cate Blanchett buys a toy submarine.
Kiki: The dry cleaning is the dresses they all wear! Stolen from the Vogue closet.
Dan: Spoilers. Wow. Can't believe you spoiled the big reveal. That they all get to go to the fun party.
Kiki: Also. Why do they need to wear dresses other than that we the audience want to eventually see them all fancy? Putting aside for the moment that they DON'T EVEN LOOK GOOD.
Dan: So they can sneak out with the diamonds in a non suspicious way.
Kiki: Oh, I buy that. And so Rihanna can say (in my head), "I'm Rihanna."
Dan: Did I talk about how in the other Ocean's movies the target is a personal vendetta?
Kiki: Only offline to me.
Dan: For our listeners / readers:: we got kicked out of the coffee shop and went to a park and I forgot everything that happened.
Kiki: For readers making it this far, do you realize we are just gchatting each other while sitting side by side in (relative) silence?
Dan: Kiki, everyone knows how this podcast works except you.
Kiki: And I will never know.
Dan: The other Ocean'ss, and many other heist movies, often have the target of the heist mean more to the heroes than just money. There is a personal motivation or sense of retribution for a perceived wrong. In this movie, there is an element of revenge: framing Gerard Valet. However, as mentioned the actual victims of the theft are: Cartier and A Museum.
Kiki: The real crime though is against fashion.
Dan: Everything in this movie is "fun" but it never feels like we are rooting for our heroes for any reason beyond they are fun. No one is getting their comeuppance! Anyway, time for the party!
Kiki: Except: We want Gerard to fail but we literally never see him be evil in present time. I love a good villain, and we only see his in flashback.
Dan: Literally this movie is just as good if Sandra just stabs him in the first scene they have together like she threatens to. Problem solved.
Kiki: It would have been amazing to have very real, gruesome violence in the middle, then back to a fun little heist.
Dan: And now Anne Hathaway can date Roger Federer instead.
Kiki: ROGER FEDERER. Beloved tennis player and crush of Anna Wintour.
Dan: Famously, as the movie takes time to point out. Okay, so we can finally talk about this Gala. Let me begin in the following way.
Kiki: The GAY-la. Just kidding. That was a no-no.
Dan: The Met Gala is a big themed party, attended by celebrities from around the world. It is ostensibly the launch of the Met's yearly themed fashion exhibit, but is more actually just a crazy show-off bonanza.
Kiki: It's also supposed to be the most high fashion event of the year. And they wore basic frocks. It was embarrassing.
Dan: For example, the current exhibit is a showcase of fashion and jewelry in Christianity...which is insane and I hate it. This is in real life.
Kiki: You hated that theme or that they have a theme?
Dan: The original intention of the curator (in real life) as I understand it was to do an examination of fashion in the Abrahamic religions. He later changed it to Christianity because of a relationship he developed with the Vatican, who offered many pieces on loan for the first time. My issue with this is you have this incredible platform to show potentially less understood or celebrated pieces, specifically those from within more marginalized religions like Judaism or Islam.
Instead it's literally more Pope shit. Which is beautiful, but like, already very much everywhere.
Kiki: You're right. I liked when the theme was white tie, and then almost no men did that. And the women had no rules.
Dan: Annnnnnyyway, my point is in real life there is this big exhibit and so the theme of the Gala matched the exhibit: Pope shit.
In the movie, the theme of the Exhibit is: Royal Jewels, or something. The theme of the Gala is the same, and NO ONE DRESSES UP.
Kiki: Which is such a basic theme that celebs have license to go REALLY BIG Some could have dressed up as a jewel. You could have takes on ANY royalty in history. Such a missed opportunity.
Dan: Let the costumer go buckwild. Why hire a buck, you know?
Kiki: Also HBC did no work creating her dress. Bucks gotta buck.
Dan: The Gala sucked ass.
Kiki: They all got to act like their real job was their hobby. It was a bad gala. But the Temple of Dendur was beautiful. And it made me want to go.
Dan: The celebs were weak and the costumes were non-existent.
Show me Lady Gaga in full Elizabeth I.
Kiki: Or as a country star in her new movie with Bradley Cooper, which is a real trailer we saw.
Dan: Show me Lebron as King Tut.
Show me Hillary Clinton as Princess Leia.
Kiki: Hillary Clinton and Carrie Fisher actually could play each other. RIP to Carrie of course.
Dan: Anyway, after a dazzling red carpet walk with...Heidi Klum and Serena Williams' back, as they say about Rihanna when she hacks a place: "she's in."
First things first, Cate Blanchett is in full cater-waiter mode as she slips some barf poison into Anne Hathaway's dinner.
Oh wait, we need to mention that Helena Bonham Carter walks the runway with them. You told me this is not how it works.
Kiki: Designers attend, I think, but they are usually not dressed to nines and participating in media interviews with the celebs they dress. Maybe because Anne was the host, but the outfit was so laughably basic there would be nothing to explain.
Dan: Great! Okay inside, everyone is doing their job and Anne has an incredible table with all the hottest VIPs including:
And uh, their dates.
Kiki: And... no one else.No one famous at the table with the hosts. Just seat Mindy Kaling out there as herself.
Dan: I think every character should have had to serve champagne to themselves. That would have been fun.
Kiki: It would have been as groundbreaking as their outfits weren't. Seat Steven Soderbergh too since he wasn't busy directing.
Dan: Ooh clever.
Kiki: Anne Hathaway eats the soup. Which... I bet she would not have! Meaning these celebs diet and then don't pig out (probably) that night! They know they still have to be photographed
Dan: Kiki It was just soup.
Dan: Let the sloppy shit pig slop her shit.
Kiki: Ok wait. She didn't wanna wear the jewelry at first because she thought she looked fat. This was earlier. And later we see that as the moment she caught on to the heist. Was that a totally fake moment or simply WHEN she realized?
Dan: My impression of that scene was: that was just one of those "women be crazy" moments that all good directors and screenwriters include in movies. That is truly what I think, it was just a lazy thing. Because they needed a reason for Helena to push harder so that she would be discovered.
Kiki: You know, HBC didn't have a lot of function. Her position did, but it was all plot. She served nothing dramatically. She's a buck how dare they. It sounds like I didn't like this movie... and I think I didn't! I really, really liked the trailer.
Dan: Her main want as a character was: get to the end of the movie.
Kiki: She never changed her emotions. She just seemed overwhelmed and distant.
Dan: Would it have been nice to see, I don't know, the perspective of a once popular successful designer, now involved in this plot that inadvertently catapults her back into the spotlight? Maybe! That seems interesting to me! It doesn't even have to take over the movie, just literally let her have an opinion about what is happening all around her.
Kiki: She has no opinion. It’s weird. Also, Gerard sees Sandy at the Gala. She runs into him literally, so she can say good luck, and he doesn't... immediately realize something is up.
He's there on a con, so. He knows it's not a coincidence Also the wig and her German.
If I were Gerard, or the screenwriters, that's the moment when he throws a wrench into the plan. And by the way, that's Sandy being reckless, As Cate predicted. Like, Cate doesn't want to protect Gerard, she just thinks Sandy's emotions will make her sloppy and cause a mistake. This would be the mistake that creates consequences. And then we'd have a movie!
Dan: Bazinga! Wait I want to add that Rihanna makes a fake dog website to trick a computer guy into letter her hack him. Okay back to work.
Kiki: Rihanna created a beautiful virus using Facebook knowledge about the director of whatever at the security company, by making that dog website that MESMERIZES him.
Dan: That is how we lost our government to Russia.
Kiki: And what did they gain from access to his laptop camera? I don't even remember but I bet it wasn't worth the Wix subscription or whatever she used.
Dan: They did that so she could get access to their security cameras to "make a blindspot"
Kiki: Right, but didn't they already have access?
Dan: I don't see why they didn't just 3D print a blindspot.
Kiki: You can 3D print everything except the absence of something. A very Catholic idea. As a nod to the Met theme last year.
Dan: Also, 3D printers are the worst thing to happen to movies since Hacking. Truly solving every problem at all times.
Okay back at the Gala, Anne Hathaway has to go barf. All according to plan, as Awkwafina has done her incredibly dangerous, skill intensive job of locking all the bathroom stalls. Earn that share.
Kiki: I do like that tactic though. It was refreshing after having magic 3D printing.
Dan: What is the point of it? To make sure no one else uses the bathroom?
Kiki: And no time constraints. And to make sure they can keep track of which stall she was in, I guess? To save a few seconds?
Dan: Sure. Why? Who cares. Right, so Anne starts barfing and Awkwafina holds her hair and magnets her necklace. This is the part where she could have just as easily snipped it off.
Kiki: Question. Why didn't they just put the fake one on her right then. Now I realize that's tricky, but.. Eh actually I know why.
Because a) the movie wants the big hullaballoo.
Dan: A similar question could be: why didn't they just shoot everyone and steal all the jewels right then.
Kiki: and b) they are not PUSSIES for only trying to steal one necklace. PUSSIES Dan.
Dan: Correct. We later learn that, word for word, from Cate. Okay, now the plan swings into action. We have a little hot potato with the necklace as Awkwafina drops it off with Sandra who gives it to a busboy who gives it to Mindy.
There is another moment of anti tension when the unwitting busboy stops for 5 seconds to chat about weed, necklace dangling precariously off his tray.
This is resolved instantly and the plan is back on track.
Kiki: I have a question, but first, a few things about the hot potato. I'm sure they didn't need so many handoffs. The diamonds would have been detected on camera. When you have investigators, they zoom in on that shit.
Dan: Yes but don’t worry about that.
Kiki: The pot conversation I think was supposed to be more comic relief. But as you said, every character is comic relief so that was an unfunny break.
Dan: They also do a thing in this movie when, after the diamonds are discovered to be stolen, they evacuate the party and the museum, including for some reason all of the guards. But we will get to that. What is your question?
Kiki: Oh right I have a BIG question. About money, specifically the money they all get. As I said, diamonds are not liquid.
Dan: No it cannot buy happiness but it can buy you a Youtube Loft, as we will learn.
Kiki: How do they know how much everyone is making and when do they see that money?
Dan: Okay so the way that works maybe:
My assumption is that as a fence, Sarah Paulson will be moving the majority of the stones. Point of order: we have not mentioned this explicitly, but the REAL heist is that the Ocean's 8 will be stealing ALL OF THE JEWELS IN THE EXHIBIT, not just Anne's necklace.
Kiki: Seconded. (Robert's rules of order)
Dan: Now, as a fence, she presumably has connections on the black market. You can assume something like 30-50% of the actual value of the stones can be obtained. Pick a number, but my assumption is that she can move them, either through auction houses around the world or other back channels.
They know the actual value, they create an estimate based on that.
The on screen auction that we see later, serves a different purpose, which we can discuss.
Keep in mind, this is me giving this movie a TON of credit and inferring a lot that is never mentioned.
In the movie the answer is: she 3D prints the money or something.
Kiki: That's it. It has to be.
Dan: Problem solved.
Kiki: So to piggy back though.
Dan: Oink oink you little shit pigs.
Kiki: Onto your earlier point about this socialist utopia where capital is divided equally (even though the labor is NOT) and these criminals accept it with zero debate or fruition, then we realize they are working with VERY loose numbers.
There would be a lot of room for a criminal to exploit this Yet these are all honorable and SEVERELY trusting women. It's bananas, but also sweet.
Dan: I think they are promised "a cut" meaning in this case a pure percentage. It is Debbie and Lou's (Sandra and Cate's) reputation that allows them to build a team and conduct business in this fashion.
Kiki: But also they talk about the cuts in earshot of everyone! That's not how salaries are usually negotiated.
Dan: I think open disclosure of compensation is healthy and beneficial for workers. Only management benefits from internal competition. Also if even ONE of the Ocean's 8 had a gun they could definitely steal someone else’s cut. It's just amazing that they have such progressive labor relations. Way to Lean In, team!
Kiki: This is the lean in movie of the year.
Dan: Maybe you didn't see Book Club. The message there is all you need to be happy is a man. Ideally a rich one. But back to the plan!
Kiki: Well that's true, happiness is a male privilege Wait is to be a man or have a man?
Dan: Mindy has da gems and she takes them to her lab which is a bathroom that they converted into a jewel lab. Which is already more work than the rest of this heist combined. When did they do this conversion in the kitchen of the Metropolitan Museum of Art? It's wild and never addressed. It is very clearly someone saying, "Hey wouldn't it be cool if she opened the baby changing station and it was some jeweler's shit?"
Kiki: And it takes her absolutely no time to do 8x the work we thought she was going to do because of the secret bonus heist I assume Sarah P, in her role as event coordinator for conde nast, had access to the space beforehand. But that's still meeting them more than halfway.
Dan: Again, if this movie didn't spend the entire second act articulating how intricate this heist was, I wouldn’t care about dumb shit like this. You asked for this, movie! Not me!
Kiki: Anyway Mindy starts chopping up the necklace, piece by piece. Which doesn't need to be done, not in its entirety. Like chop it in thirds and then easily carry it out, don't literally extract every diamond.
Dan: It is about this time that Anne comes out of the bathroom and her Mossad bodyguards are freaking out because her necklace is gone. Anne doesn't seem to care (which, okay sure she is “in on it” at this point) but that makes her very suspicious, and also she is never treated as a suspect in all of this.
Kiki: Oh that really bugged me.
a) She would care, for a few reasons. She could be a suspect. This is bad PR. She... liked getting to wear the necklace! She doesn't wanna be a screw up!
and b) They (Cartier, Mossad, etc) would not have been so nice to her. Celeb or not, she'd be in big trouble and she'd know it.
Dan: Correct. This movie tries to explain away all of this earlier when Sandra says she wants no men involved because "people never notice women." This is good line, in and of itself; it makes a point about the real world in a way that this movie mostly shies away from. It also permits dumb shit like this, though.
That can be the fallback if anyone asks too many questions. Well either way, the whole place is on lockdown now and it's time for phase 2 of this heist.
Dress up! The entire team puts on their dresses and they each get a portion of the chopped up necklace, recrafted by Mindy into smaller pieces.
Kiki: The line about women not being seen is so good but thematically unexplored and unfulfilled. Is this movie feminist? I don't like hard yeses or nos on that q.
I guess it's not anti-feminist. What do you think? As a MAN.
Dan: I don't know or feel qualified to answer, to be honest. It is female in casting. There are lines that feel like they have been added to the script to FEEL feminist.
Kiki: I think one truly good thing is that we have basically a superhero movie that has a LOT of women who never fight.
Dan: Correct. I think a movie can have a feminist message even if the characters are not real women or that face or deal with real issues.
Kiki: But it's Lean In if for no other reason than we still have two white corporate women helming it.
Dan: I think it can, in avoiding MANY problematic issues that a "typical" movie like this can be littered with, be a positive thing.
Kiki: Right. It's good and fair for us to get a movie where we don't have to confront "our" issues and just have fun with a lot of us on camera. And a lot of us who aren't all white
Dan: I agree with that. To that point, while there is diversity present, there is no real intersectionality addressed?
Kiki: Nope, it's lean in diversity.
Dan: Since there is zero conflict in this whole movie, the issues that different characters may or may not face is never brought up. Similarly, since none of these characters have more than one dimension, it's kind of a moot point anyway.
To answer your original question, I truly don't know how to qualify what is or is not feminist, but I am certainly glad this movie exists. I would rather this movie exist and let it be dumb and fun and an excuse for talented women to have a ball and hang out and get paid. That is feminist to me.
Kiki: Same. I just can't believe how much there is zero conflict. In fact, that would make all the plot holes fine with me. If they had a fun villain. Gerard wasn't even a villain.
He was a block of wood. I need a good villain. One who is having as much fun as the heroes are. Who is camping it up.
Dan: I think the CEO of Cartier should have been a Cruella DeVille type.
Kiki: The security company's son was a fatuous twerp, which was fun.
[it is at this point that it got so dark outside, we are sitting in a park since we got kicked out of our coffee shop, that we parted ways and agreed to reconvene the following morning - ed.]
Dan: Sure. In conclusion, because there is no villain we are left to root for Everyone To Have Fun.
Kiki: Which, in the fullness of a good night's sleep, I now see as a central problem of the film. I am down for rooting for everyone, but villains are very fun, and missing that opportunity is like having a high-budget film take place at the Met Gala and then NOT killing it on fashion.
Dan: Sort of like that yes. Missed Oppo.
From the star of Miss Congeniality comes...Miss Doppo.
Kiki: Laughing out loud again! Do you feel any differently about the movie after a night's rest?
Dan: Nah. I thought about it 0 times.
Kiki: I do feel differently. Yesterday I thought it was good fun, I was chatty about it, we were younger then.
Dan: Is it better or worse now?
Kiki: Yeah, it's worse. It's not offensive. But it's definitely lacking.Today I realize. That wasn't good. I wouldn't recommend it, and it won't stay with me. And I'm sad to be an Ocean's h8er
Dan: Oh interesting. Even yesterday there was no way I would recommend this movie to anyone unless they wanted to see 8 talented women act alongside each other but rarely with each other.
Sandra and Cate where the only two who had any chemistry TOGETHER, which was odd. They should all be having fun TOGETHER. Wouldn't that have been nice?
Kiki: Right, that's a good point. None of the women felt very connected to each other except the C-suite (Sandy and Cate). But they easily could have. There's a lot of personality in this cast.
Dan: Yes, I also understand that they have "history" as characters. That isn't even important to me. They are doing a heist together! Let them bond through that process!
Kiki: You know what?
Dan: Tell me.
Kiki: The movie spent time making sure we knew they had that history, that there were old wounds and dynamics, that there was real love. Then their relationship... underwent zero challenges or changes.
In other words, I expected it to matter to the narrative that Cate was skeptical at first or that Sandy was foolhardy. It did not matter. In Bride Wars, these things mattered! Bride Wars is a bad movie, but I've spent more time than anyone you know going through that script.
Dan: Awkwafina and Mindy have a microsecond long scene where they talk about Tinder. That is the extent of the camaraderie between these women.
Kiki: That scene should not have happened. Mindy Kaling in any role knows how to use Tinder. It's like asking us to believe that any character Tom Cruise plays isn't ALSO a Scientologist.
Dan: I mean jeez do you think these women have things in common? Shared experiences? I do! I would be interested in them getting to know each other.
Kiki: You're asking about Sandy and Cate?
Dan: No. All the women on this heist team. Like, this is a Man's World. The World of Heisting. As we learned. There has to be more to unpack about that. Things that are relatable even outside the World of Heisting.
I don't know. Missed oppo. Let them have fun together, that's all I'm saying. Everyone felt like they were just in a room together.
Kiki: They were attending a women's networking event together. That's what it felt like. Women at a Lean In meet-up.
Another catty aside. Ocean is a stupid last name.
Dan: Counterpoint: Ocean is a good last name.
Kiki: I cannot see how you think Ocean is a good last name. It's a body of water. Oceans themselves have names. They are not names.
Dan: What would you name her? Debbie Fountain. I like that.
Kiki: I was hoping this franchise was somehow about the ocean.
Dan: Also, we need to get back to the actual movie eventually.
Kiki: And that's a hard disappointment. Yes, cut back to the movie.
Dan: Okay, so the heist goes off literally without a hitch.
Kiki: The Gala is happening. Literally, no problems.
Dan: We can just skip to after the Gala.
Kiki: You mean skip to after the movie. When the movie ends and there's an after-movie.
Dan: Haha yes.
Kiki: An extended denouement, as I believe you put it.
Dan: Yes I used those words. Sue me. There is a second movie. A job within a job if you will.
After the first Movie, Ocean's 9 literally starts. I say this because Anne Hathaway joins the squad and now it's a movie about James Corden doing insurance claims investigation. Also:
New York City is the 9th member of Debbie Ocean's crew.
But now Anne Hathaway is.
Kiki: Yes there was a job within a job - revenge against Gerard Valet. But then there was also an addendum job which was bigger than the main job. The amount of times James Corden says, "My job is so interesting”...to make sure we don't realize, "This plot is not!"
Dan: Correct. James Corden works for the insurance company that Cartier hired to insure the mega necklace. He shows up and starts being cute. Also, it was strange that this character becomes the main threatening authority, rather than a police or FBI team?
Kiki: Cartier, the good guys. The innocent jewelers who aren't being sold to us as deserving. Very strange, very strange. In fact, I don't believe it. I don't believe it would have happened that way.
Dan: As mentioned, the other main plot point of Ocean's 9 is that Anne Hathaway KNEW something was up from much earlier but just...went along with it and now wants a cut.
The other other main plot point of Ocean's 9 is that yes, the mega necklace theft was a distraction for the real heist:, all of the jewels in the exhibition.
The other other other main plot point of Ocean's 9 is the full reveal of the plan to frame Gerard Valet.
Kiki: The least satisfying of all. Can we unpack Anne H for a moment? It feels like the movie was saying, "Oh, you fools, she isn't an idiot, she was just acting."
But like, no, it's even MORE psychotic that she intuited what was going on, went along with it as long as she did (including getting poisoned), and was almost the fall person for it when she was being questioned. And then later? Only later does she join?
Dan: Yes. Why she doesnt let them know ahead of time is baffling.
Kiki: Even within the world of this movie. Also! Why is that moment off-camera? We don't get to see that.
Dan: That way they can have a big reveal.
Kiki: But now, that would be a real unexpected twist with some stakes if we did. The reveal is that a reveal happened off-camera. And by the time we hear about it, everything's cool? It's like being told about a movie by a movie.
Dan: Although, in the movie's non-defense, the Ocean'ss have a stylistic flourish that they do quite often where they do a micro flashback to a scene we never saw from a few hours earlier. They could have done that with Anne.
Kiki: That's a point for the prosecution, not the defense! I didn't even know that was a convention they could have used.
Dan: Yes. They do it in this movie too, when they show how Cate used the power of a toy submarine and the Ocean’s Original Cast Member: Chinese Gymnast (the one job a woman can never replace!) to steal more gems.
Kiki: Right! And to be fair, I said to myself, "Oh that's why she bought that toy." And I think that's what they wanted from me as an audience member.
Dan: You got conned. Well anyway Ocean's 9 wraps up when Anne Hathaway seduces Gerard Valet and plants a diamond in his room...that they already planted on him earlier.
She calls it in and James Corden then calls the cops and they arrest him. Furthermore, they hire Old Lady Actresses to sell the chopped up jewelry from earlier at auction and deposit some money into one of Gerard's offshore accounts, further incriminating him.
Kiki: Also that plant was ridiculous. It was just resting on his tie on top of his dresser. That looks like a plant.
And the old ladies were the SELLERS? Okay. I was not understanding that. But I still think they are being optimistic about how quickly they could convert diamonds into liquidity. You don't always know you're going to get the price you want. The fluctuation would be huge. Now, I realize, either way, it's large sums.
But I can't believe we have sophisticated criminals who are not trying to close the spread here. Was that the right timing? Do they have any market intelligence about when to sell?
Dan: Again, that is all part of Sarah Paulson's job. She does way more work than anyone else.CFO. CMO. All the rest of the C suite is occupied her.
Kiki: Sarah Paulson had every intellectual job.
Dan: The entire C-suite was white.
Kiki: And honestly, blonde. Sandy was blonde for a lot of this movie. And spoke German.
Dan: It's still progress. But in the same way that the CEO of Thinx ended up being a sexual harassing bad woman.
Kiki: Right, It is. I still use those panties. It was a good product.
Dan: I have heard nothing but good things about their product. The point is. Sarah is doing WORK.
The movie ends where we see what every member of Ocean's 9 does with her share of the l00t.
Kiki: This is the real key into who they were the whole time.
Dan: Correct, let's take turns saying who does what. You can go first.
Oh, by the way it turns out they each get not 16 million dollars but like 30 million or something, which is...literally pointless.
Dan: It is the same arbitrary amount of money from a storytelling perspective. It is very pointless.
Kiki: And again, none of the characters care. They act like this is just normal good news, and they are fine with their salaries being fucked with.
Okay so with her cash, Anne H directs movies!
Dan: Mindy Kaling goes to Paris and on a tinder date.
Kiki: I forgot about Mindy's date. She had a recurring game of not speaking French very well. So that's good writing.
Cate B gets on her hog and cruises the PCH
Dan: Yes, that was a good one.
Rihanna opens a pool hall. Her name is 9-Ball in the movie.
Kiki: RIGHT. Although it's really Leslie. Her genius sister who added more value than Awkwafina blew her cover.
Sarah Paulson seems like some kind of manager at like a Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Dan: You stole mine.
Dan: Yes, Sarah Paulson gets a job in a loading dock or something wearing a hard hat.
Kiki: Oh right, it's not BBB.
Dan: It literally looks like she got to fulfill her dream of managing a Home Depot. But I guess we are lead to believe she...opens...her own...Home Depot competitor? Who knows.
Kiki: Maybe it's implied that she killed her annoying kid. And her dream is just not to have that kid.
Dan: Awkwafina buys a loft and starts a YouTube channel. Most of the dreams that are fulfilled in this movie can be done with a small business loan or a 0% APR for 12 months credit card.
Kiki: She literally says, "What up YouTube" to her phone, and that's how we know. She got the worst f*cking lines. I feel so horrible that anyone had to sell that line.
Dan: She got paid to sell that line. She'll be fine.
Kiki: Well, that's the other thing. You bring up a good point. None of them were far from their dreams when the movie began.
Dan: Sandra Bullock makes George Clooney's grave a Martini.
Kiki: And I said. “WHY.”
Dan: You did say that, out loud.
Kiki: Not necessary, Sandy. To shake the vodka. Bring a flask. Drink from the flask. Or just don't do this. Because it's implied he's not dead. And if he's not, it's implied that you know that, Sandy.
Dan: Oh wait. Helena Bonham Carter...continues to do her day job.
Kiki: Right, that was going to be my point. HBC is the only one who was in trouble at the start. She was the only vulnerable one. And it was only because... she wasn't good at running a profitable business.
So now with her career boost and the capital to lift her out of debt, she's fine!
Dan: Right even though I don't think she learned how to run a business any better.
Kiki: Nope. She also didn't learn anything during the heist. She didn't grow or change. She didn't even look like she realized the significance of being able to dress the biggest star for the Met Gala.
Dan: The last scene is Sandra sitting at George Clooney's grave and saying, without irony: "You would have loved it."
Kiki: She meant it. There were olives. In the martini.
Dan: No. There was Olive. Singular. It went "plunk".
Kiki: But she had more. She only put one in the drink. She had a whole kit.
Dan: Yes she had a tiny bell jar.
Kiki: The phrase "kit and caboodle" is what she brought to a grave. To be fair, we should mention this isn't a usual grave. It was a gorgeous marble catacomb situation. Maybe this was covered in the earlier Ocean'ss. But it was new to my eyes.
Dan: Possibly while I was in the bathroom, during the other movies.
Kiki: Possibly. There was a man at the beginning of the movie. Who met her at the gravesite. To try to talk her out of a plan he somehow knew she had? But so, he was just there.
Dan: Ya that man is from the other movies. He is the financial backer of all the Danny Ocean heists. A role that did not exist in Ocean's 8. In this movie the money comes from "a loan" that Cate Blanchett arranges off camera.
Kiki: Lean In, bitches.
Dan: Okay so then the movie ends and we get up to leave and I find out that you have no idea how this podcast actually works.
Kiki: And I never will.
Dan: It's 4:32 on Thursday 6/21. We began this adventure at 1:30pm yesterday.
Kiki: I was slightly late to the theater but it was fine. Oh, and I should tell readers I ordered the mushroom flatbread at Alamo which is fantastic. Even if they didn't play movies, I'd go to eat that pizza.
Dan: Is this the sponsored copy we talked about?
Kiki: I told you I'd end up doing the promos even though I'm the guest.
Dan: Fair. Well we did it. We said everything that there is to be said about this movie. Is there anything we missed? Any thoughts you want to bring up before we move on to the closing questions?
Kiki: I don't think so, I'm ready.
Dan: Oh I have one. Somehow it took like 90 minutes until These Boots Are Made For Walking played in this movie.
Kiki: Yes! I remember feeling like, there you are, old friend.
Dan: Okay! Question number Ocean's 1: What were your 3 favorite things about this movie?
Kiki: 1. Sandra's smokey eye.
2. When they asked the TRUE question of why Anne H would join criminals, and she said, "I don't have many close female friends."
3. The one olive.
Dan: For me:
1) I liked Cate Blanchett's character trait of having little hats and eye masks and things on her head most of the time. This is analogous to the Brad Pitt character "Rusty" from the Boy Ocean's movies who is always eating random stuff in every scene for no reason.
2) I love that the only cameos from the Boy Ocean's movies were: The Rich Jew and The Flexible Asian. Weird choice!
3) I thought the opening montage of Sandra Bullock grifting her way back into new york was confident, well paced and fun. It set a tone that the rest of this movie unfortunately could not match.
Next question! If you could change one thing about this movie what would it be?
Kiki: The fashion. Devastate me with grandeur or gtfo.
Dan: I would have had things go wrong during the heist. Something unaccounted for, unplanned for, or just plain random threatens to derail the entire operation. When it seems that all is lost, Debbie gets a phone call. Her eyes go wide as she looks at the caller ID: Mickie Ocean. She turns to the entrance of the Gala to see a backlit silhouette of....
A baby in a tuxedo!
That's right the 3rd Ocean sibling, Baby Mickie is here to seal the deal.
Kiki: I would have had a real villain. Gerard can even be the villain. I want Sandy's run in with him to have MEANT SOMETHING that changed the events. I want Cate B to have been really disappointed and maybe to have left the operation. I wanted Sandy to have to improvise something truly clever under duress. I want to feel satisfied when Gerard doesn't win.
Dan: You can only change one thing I am sorry. Too late. You get fashion or villain but not both.
Kiki: And then I want to choke up a little when Sandy wins back Cate by feeding her a thing.
Dan: You literally do not understand how this podcast works.
Kiki: Literally no idea. Fine, fashion.
Dan: Okay final question: if you could rename this movie, what would you call it?
Kiki: Ocean's 8th Grade.
Dan: That makes no sense but deal.
Kiki: What's yours?
Dan: I'd go with: Gala Interrupted or A Heist of Their Own.
Well Kiki, thank you so much for joining us on Dan Glaser's Movie Podcast. I think that unlike the heroes of this movie, we encountered a lot of conflict, we learned a lot, and we bonded over our shared experience. Any last words for our audience?
Kiki: Yes, I hope this is the longest podcast you've ever done, both in number of words and time it took to complete. Because any longer and it would be unforgivable. And I want to know who actually read this.
Dan: Wow same. And remember folks: this wasn't written by a blogger, it was written by a podcaster!
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Kiki O’Keeffe is a writer in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in PureWow, The Belladonna, Janice Magazine and more. You can follow her newsletter, I don't believe in astrology, for people who believe in astrology, or her Twitter and Medium @alexkiki.