Questions about Ocean's 13 (open spoilers)

First of all, I must say that I really liked Ocean’s 13. I went in with lowered expectations because of how Ocean’s 12 wasn’t that good, but this one was much better. 12 annoyed me because it had a plot that didn’t make much sense and a plot twist that basically negated the rest of the movie, and they didn’t make good use of all the characters (since half of them were in jail most of the movie).

They evidently learned from their mistakes from 12, because 13 was a great improvement. Not everything in the plot was explicitly spelled out, but it still mostly made sense, and there weren’t any tricks on the audience like in 12. All the characters were also well used any had some good lines. The brothers were my favorites (especially with their shenanigans in Mexico). I don’t often see movies twice in the theater, but I am planning on going to see this again.

Now to the questions:

  1. I understand that the FBI Agent was Matt Damon’s dad and that Damon’s arrest was a set up. But what about Livingston, the computer nerd? He was actually arrested right? I know that the brothers hacked into the casino security system and changed everyone’s names and pictures, but did they still have Livingston under arrest? At first I thought that Livingston’s arrest was a set up, since that was the opportunity for Eddie Izzard to switch out the blackjack machines for the ones Izzard rigged, but since all the characters seemed to be worried about Livingston’s arrest, I was confused.

  2. What was Bernie Mac’s part of the scheme? I’m probably forgetting something, but it seemed like all that Mac did was signal with his glasses when he was on the casino floor. Did they do the whole thing with the game that he was running just so there would be another way for people to win money in the casino?

  3. What was the deal with the “whales?” Clooney told one of them to get a lot of them to leave the casino before the Grand Opening, then they were convinced to go back for the Grand Opening. I didn’t understand how or why the whales were used in the plan, unless it was just to mess with Pacino’s head.
    So, if anyone has any answers, I’d really appreciate it.

I also liked this movie. But then I loved the first two, so take that into account. :wink:

  1. I’m still convinced Livingston’s arrest was a fake arrest that they did in order to set up the machine swap, as you say. I think the reason everyone was concerned was that Bank decided to run his fingerprints and that they had not thought of that.
  2. Good question.
  3. I’m thinking it was cover so that Bank (Pacino) wouldn’t be suspicious about Ocean’s presence. Or rather, so that he would be suspicious about Ocean’s presence, but for the wrong reason.

I’m just gonna say this for Danny Ocean; In NO WAY can he successfully streamline an operation. Are you going to tell me that was a thirteen man job? The OP makes a very valid point; what was Bernie Mac there for? I thought at times they were going to start sending Casey Affleck and Scott caan to starbucks for coffee for everyone.

Oceans Thirteen? Could have been Oceans &, if managed correctly.

And; AND!!

It wasnt even Oceans Thirteen; they had people at reception, people in the FBI helping out, people down in mexico helping out, plus that mexican guys brother lending a hand in Vegas… Oceans Thirty-Seven, more like!

No, he was arrested by Damon’s dad. It was all a setup to get the new blackjack shufflers (presumably rigged) onto the floor. Remember that Livingston called someone and asked for help and told him not to tell anyone: it’s clear in retrospect that he was calling Damon’s dad.

Note that the fingerprints were not given to Pacino by the FBI: he had his own (illegal) link into the database.

3. What was the deal with the “whales?” Clooney told one of them to get a lot of them to leave the casino before the Grand Opening, then they were convinced to go back for the Grand Opening. I didn’t understand how or why the whales were used in the plan, unless it was just to mess with Pacino’s head.[/quote}IIRC, “whales” are big, stupid bettors – high rollers who bet stupidly and always lost a lot of money to the house. With them gone, it was going to cut into Pacino’s profits for opening night. It gave him some leverage with Pacino.

Remember, too, that Terry Benedict was watching and listening to everything (remember the HVAC scene?) So when Danny says “the Bureau is here,” he’s also speaking for Terry’s benefit, to throw Terry off the trail and set up Linus for his move.

Frank is using his glasses to signal the pit boss who they busted pawning the gold silverware to replace the normal roulette balls with the loaded ones.

The deal with the whales was- pulling them out got Willy’s attention- bringing them back in Danny’s pocket puts Danny in the casino to be misdirection. Bank is so worried about what Danny is up to that he’s too preoccupied to put the other discrete events together as part of a bigger plan. You need the whales in the casinos to bet big enough to make a dent in the house take. If you or I ran that scam, we’d walk away with 50k.

Both your answers make sense. I think you’re right.

You’re right, I had forgotten about how they needed to deceive Benedict.

Now I’ve thought of another question I had: Ellen Barkin called the FBI agent to check out these suspicious characters that were in the casino. I’m pretty positive that it was Damon’s dad that Barkin first called. How did Ocean know that Barkin would call the right FBI agent? Damon’s dad was a career criminal right? So was he a real agent that did a fake arrest, or a fake agent that did a fake arrest?

Yeah, I knew that he was signaling and that the signals were important. But he could have just been playing blackjack, or wandering around the casino, or drinking cocktails and done the signals. Why put the extra effort into getting a table into the casino and running a game, when it seems like it would have been much cheaper and easier for Frank to just mingle and blend in the crowd and do the signals?

I know I’m probably putting too much thought into a fun summer movie, but I’m curious if these are plot holes or if I just missed something. If they are plot holes, it doesn’t detract from my enjoyment of the movie, because the movie was so good otherwise. But if there are answers and I just missed them, then I would just be further impressed by the movie having the plot fit together so perfectly. Because other than the few relatively minor things that are bothering me, the overall plot worked pretty well.

Thanks for your answers.

Fake agent. Bobby Caldwell is a con man- Ellen Barkin’s character, when she calls him, mentions that they met at some event previously. He was probably running the FBI scam as a continuous one, checking up on future marks, if you will. Fortuity or good planning? You never know.

Well, a couple of reasons. One, because Frank didn’t have the bankroll to be in that area. I dunno if Terry would have staked him a few mil in order to plant him when a simple ruse would do instead. Secondly, that also put Frank in position to make contact with the pit boss, as per Danny’s conversation with him outside the pawn shop. So it was neither cheaper nor easier.
Yes, I love these movies. Why do you ask?

What else you got?

Thanks! I was thinking there were answers and I just had missed them.

I love these movies too. That’s all I’ve got for now.

This wasn’t a for-profit job though, it was a revenge scheme (in fact, short of the diamonds, which was a later addendum to the plan, I don’t see them making any money at all, which is fine except it seems that they all put everything they ahd into it, so they had to be expecting *something *back). Danny couldn’t cut out any of his original crew out of helping Reuben get even, he had to make work for them.

Of course, he still needed skills and contacts that his crew didn’t have, so he had to bring in people he did…

I also liked this movie. Most of the questions have already been answered, but I did personally think that the reason Frank was working the table was so that he could pass the rigged balls to the pit boss and signal everyone when the A.I. computer system went down. Remember they showed him looking at that led display under the tables next to him a couple of times. I think when that went dark, it let everyone know that the uber-computer was down.

The whales agreed to go along with the scam because Danny guarunteed that they’d win big.

About the only thing I found implausible was the secret scent that made Bank’s assistant turn into a horny teenager. Other than that, I liked the movie a lot.

Oh, and I thought that Livingston called that other computer genius because he couldn’t get the card shuffler’s to work correctly. He just didn’t want the other guys to know and give him shit about not being able to figure it out.

SURE it was a for-profit job. The whales all made money on their night guaranteed. Remember, for the house (Bank) to lose, somebody has to win, of course. And the winners were the whales that Danny guilted into going along with his scheme. Those whales where the vehicle by which Danny got enough money onto the floor to put enough house (Bank) money in a position to be lost. Remember, this is gambling. For someone to lose, someone else has to win. Those were the whales. So Danny says to them,"I have a scam that is guaranteed to score you 250%. All you have to do is give me 40% off the top.


Everybody wins. Whales make money, Danny gets cut in, Bank loses. Score. =)

See my earlier post.

You didn’t shake Sinatra’s hand. :smiley:

I guess what I was saying was that I thought he was there more to see when the system had gone down and signal the other guys than he was there to pass the tampered balls to the pit boss. They could have done that a whole lot of ways, but being able to see that led display could only be done from behind the tables.

To further discuss the movie – though it was fun, it really played as an inferior and less believable episode of Hu$tle, which has been using this sort of plot for some time. The last show of this past season was pretty much the same idea – ripping off a casino owner who hurt one of their own – but was much more credible (an earthquake?).

I actually thought the fake earthquake idea wasn’t bad for movie science. Find the steel in the foundations, and vibrate it enough to make it feel like an earthquake. Compaired to say “The Core” and it’s ‘forget everything you ever learned about science from 3rd grade on’ level of competance, it’s not bad.

Yeah, but the digging machine was pretty silly. And having a second available and able to be shipped to Las Vegas in days, unnoticed by anyone, is stretching disbelief pretty damn far.

I was willing to buy it, but it’s still preposterous. It ranks up there with Wally West’s origin as Kid Flash.

  1. Bobby Caldwell was in on the thing from the beginning via Linus ( his son) and Danny and Rusty. The call was intercepted via Livingston Dell and his usual methods.

The reason why we don’t see this part of the puzzle/scam is because of Bobby Caldwell’s distinctive gravelly voice. Which is why in the scene where Linus is talking to his dad about something and getting/giving him a hard time via the phone, his father asks to speak to Danny and then Rusty and Linus tells him ‘no you can’t speak to Danny. No, you don’t need to speak to Rusty.’
1.a: What we saw Livingston Dell made a phone call plea for help from Eddie Izzard ( master con man) to help him rig the black jack cards. What we didn’t see was Livingston and Dell’s convo regarding how to fix the Black Jack machines and get them inside the casino.

1.b: Livingston is arrested by Bobby Caldwell posing as an FBI guy right on the floor of the casino. Pacino says to whomever ( right hand guy?) that all the black jack machines need to be switched out as Livingston’s fingerprints are on
that machine ( and traceable) and he’s probably rigged all the other ones as well.
1.c: ** I cannot decide **(and have only seen it once) if Bobby Caldwell met with his crew at that restaurant or met with FBI agents and scammed them as well. Remember, the FBI did get prints and were running checks on Livingston, forcing Virgil to hack into the system and morph the faces of the known accomplices…etc.
Bernie Macks role was to a) be on the inside on the casino floor to see the action and giving warning via his glasses. He could see unimpeded if the security system was still running.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one this time around. The middle one was a dud and was ruined by women I’m looking directly at you Julia Roberts and a retarded plot line. This one almost makes me forgive them for Ocean’s 12.

Perks that Pleased me:

Linus and his nose The Brody HA!

The Chinese guy having a different role other than being just a Greaseman.

Basher doing a con

** Virgil and Turk in everything. They are complete Utility Players in this.**

I have being trying to figure out what : The Gilroy is. I know it is some kind of pheromone patch [ie: Dr. Winifred Cutler and the Athena Institute which is featured in the back of every guy-themed magazine on the planet. But what does Gilroy refer too? Wiki and google are failing me.
Anyone. Bueller?

My guess The entire floor of black jack machines are switched out, the rigged ones - done by Izzard and Livingston - are switched in as replacement. We see a brief glimmer of Izzard’s character bringing in the machines, IRC.
However I am wondering if the other two agents with Bobby Caldwell are real agents which he inflitrated or a part of Bobby’s crew. As the Mormom Twins and Basher had to do a Cartwheel ( major distraction) to **a) ** hack into the FBI website to distort the faces of Ocean’s 11 (Mormon Twins.) who are known accomplishes of Livingston Dell b) Distract Al Pacino with Basher as Evil Kneivel which was really nice to see him do some scam on his own. I just love Don Cheadle. Somewhere, the FBI was involved.

Ignore the last paragraph. I am a moron in editing and time limits.

Since they indicate that it is a very powerful pheromone (one which, apparently, even refracts light) I would be willing to bet that it’s a reference to Gilroy CA, self-proclaimed “garlic capitol of the world” and host to the annual Garlic Harvest Festival.

I know I’m in the minority here, but I was also a fan of O-12; not that it didn’t have its problems, but what I like about it (besides the fact that it had the best soundtrack of the series) was what I like about the first and the last movie: the convoluted schemes involving a fantastic level of assumptions and coincidence and impossible technology, key parts of which are hidden from the audience until the end; and the great banter between the characters, especially but not exclusively Clooney and Pitt.

I did miss Topher in this one…

I was thinking, too, that Gilroy, referred to the Garlic Festival. It was the first thing that came to my mine when I heard it.

And I think some of the 13 had bets placed themselves?

This film was hwaaaay better than 12.