Liberace was an American pianist and entertainer well-known for his flamboyant lifestyle and the sense of grandiose he carried about with him. His personal life was embroiled in scandal with rumours of homosexuality which he vehemently denied. While everyone saw him as a figure of extravagance and individuality, behind closed doors was a turbulent relationship with a young chauffeur 39 years his junior. Scott Thorson became an important figure in Liberace's life; not only as a driver, but also like a son, a brother and a best friend. They embarked on a 5 year affair that saw Liberace persuade Scott into facial surgery to resemble himself, something which led to a desperate struggle with drugs on Scott's part and many a fiery argument between them. Just what was life for Liberace like behind the glitz and glamour of his luxurious existence?
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Mark Whitacre (Damon) is a high-level executive at ADM, a mega-corporation that supplies corn-related chemicals used in food production. When he notifies his boss (Papa) that the Japanese are plotting to ruin the company, two FBI agents (Bakula and McHale) come to investigate. Then Mark informs them that ADM bosses are involved in a price-fixing scam, offering to work undercover to expose the crimes. Over the next few years, he records key meetings and provides extensive evidence. But something isn't quite right here.
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Most of On the Doll's stories are writ small, but each is intense (save for one, which concerns another fetish-oriented call girl who's trying to get out of the business... and failing). Mignone does a remarkable job at taking what starts as a mild flirtation or tiptoeing into perversity and showing how baby steps can soon lead to full-on, downhill slides. The movie is surprisingly at its best in the story of the two teens, who first flirt with their perverted teacher (played memorably by Ocean's 11 series character actor Eddie Jemison), then end up taking a ride with him to the local web porn production studio, where they're crudely sized up for their value to the viewing audience. It's a shocking transition: Just minutes earlier these girls were worrying about their grades.
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As far as the "story" can be described, Soderbergh himself (in his only starring role) plays Fletcher Munson, who works for the L. Ron Hubbard-like New Age prophet T. Azimuth Schwitters (Mike Malone). A pale-faced wage slave, Munson haunts his cubicle, doing nothing, and occasionally nipping off to the office bathroom to masturbate and make funny faces in the mirror. Meanwhile, there's some strange goings on involving bug exterminator Elmo Oxygen (David Jensen), who darts about the city in his jumpsuit and goggles, romancing housewives and speaking entirely in seemingly randomly-generated, Rorschach-blot dialogue ("nose army ... throbbing dust generation ... beef diaper"). Then, Soderbergh shows up playing the other major character, dentist Dr. Jeffrey Korchek, who, to be quite honest, isn't nearly as interesting as Munson, who at least gets to write reams of meaningless babble for Schwitters to spout in public. This sideline with Korchek doesn't distract much, though, from Elmo Oxygen's rants, or scenes of office politicking with Munson's co-worker, Nameless Numberhead Man - both hilarious in a Theater of the Absurd sort of way.
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Twelve picks up 3 1/2 years after the surprisingly delightful original (er, remake), with our heroes living high on the hog on the spoils from robbing Terry Benedict's (Andy Garcia) Bellagio casino. Abruptly, Benedict finds them all -- Danny (George Clooney) is married to Tess in the suburbs, Frank (Bernie Mac) is running a nail salon, and so on -- and demands his money back in two weeks.
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Casino boss Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) has caught up with Danny Ocean's merry band of hipster crooks, and he wants his $160 million back -- with interest.
As "Ocean's Twelve" begins, the disbanded gang that cracked Benedict's "impenetrable" Las Vegas vault in 2001's Rat Pack remake has been backed into a collective corner and given two weeks to pony up. But that's the least of their troubles.
A cunning, foxy Europol detective (Catherine Zeta-Jones) -- and former love of the group's card shark (Brad Pitt) -- is barely half a step behind them (and sometimes half a step ahead) as they reunite to execute a string of elaborate heists on the Continent, hoping to hold off Benedict with the proceeds. What's worse, the Night Fox (Vincent Cassel), the world's most notorious cat burglar, is making a spiteful habit of hitting every safe and museum on their itinerary just hours (if not minutes) before Ocean's would-be plunderers arrive to do their thing.
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Leave it to the sublimely inventive Steven Soderbergh to do a remake the right way around -- starting from a mediocre movie that didn't live it to its potential, then setting out to make it better.
Looking to have a little fun after his back-to-back successes of "Erin Brokovich" and "Traffic," Soderbergh gathered a gang of his favorite actors who were willing to work cheap and set his sights on a high-tech retooling of the forgettable Rat Pack casino heist caper "Ocean's 11."
Made in 1960, the original starred Las Vegas habituates Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Peter Lawford, who just showed up, said their lines and brought their joking, drinking and womanizing personalities with them. The movie had character and style, of course, but little else.
Continue reading: Ocean's Eleven Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.
Liberace was an American pianist and entertainer well-known for his flamboyant lifestyle and the sense...
Telling an outrageous true story with humour and irony, Soderbergh crafts an engaging corporate comedy-drama...
Watch the trailer for The Informant! Mark Whitacre is a successful businessman, he works at...
Danny Ocean and his crew of master thieves are back on the hunt in Ocean's...
Casino boss Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) has caught up with Danny Ocean's merry band of...
Leave it to the sublimely inventive Steven Soderbergh to do a remake the right way...