Best Movie Openings | Out of Sight (1998)

3 07 2008

Once upon a time, Jennifer Lopez was a well-respected actress who actually starred in pretty decent films. Ten years ago, she team with George Clooney, Ving Rhames and Don Cheadle for the Oscar-nominated story, “Out of Sight.”

The story revolves around the relationship between a career bank robber, Jack Foley (Clooney), and a U.S. Marshal, Karen Sisco (Lopez). They are forced to share her car trunk during Foley’s escape from a Florida prison. After he completes his getaway, Sisco chases Foley while he and his friends – his right-hand man, Buddy (Rhames) and Glenn (Steve Zahn) – work their way north to Bloomfield Hills, a wealthy northern suburb of Detroit. There they plan to pay a visit to shady businessman Ripley (Albert Brooks), who foolishly bragged to them years before about a diamond stash at his mansion. But a vicious criminal (Cheadle) who also spent time in jail with Jack and Ripley, is planning on hitting up Ripley’s mansion with his crew as well. The question of whether Sisco is really pursuing Foley to arrest him or for love adds to “the fun” Foley claims they are having.

Featuring a cameo from Samuel L. Jackson, “Out of Sight” actually marked an important turning point for Clooney. Prior to this film, he mostly appeared in films that did little to accentuate his cool, old-style Hollywood persona. After the release of this film, he partnered with the film’s director Steven Soderbergh and as they say is history. One decade later and several Oceans’ film, Clooney has transformed into an Oscar-winning actor who has all of the clout and privledges that the A-List allows.

Meanwhile, Lopez’s acting career started a downward spiral with plenty of suspect film choice, largely because of her ego and money, that have her virtually non-existent in Hollywood. She also starred in one of the worst films of the decade, the pitiful “Gigli,” that partly was responsible for her slide – and effectively ended her relationship to Oscar-winner Ben Affleck.

Cheadle also fared well solidifying his place as one of the industry’s most consistent talents. As a member of the unofficial updated “Rat Pack,” he and Clooney (as well as Brad Pitt and Matt Damon) have appeared in the updated “Oceans'” franchise. Nominated for an Oscar for “Hotel Rwanda,” Cheadle along with his famous friends has taken up political and social causes.

For all parties concerned, “Out of Sight” really is a fitting title because it aptly explains the career fortunes of several members of this talented cast.

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