The Bling Ring

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bling ring
There was only one good Emma Watson scene. When she cried for her mom while being arrested.

How Sofia Coppola won an Oscar is beyond me. She’s done two movies that were okay (Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation), and a few that were bad (Marie Antoinette and Somewhere).

She wrote and directed this movie as if she were as bored as the audience watching it was.

Watching a movie about spoiled teenagers robbing celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton (based on a true story that appeared in Vanity Fair) could be interesting; if the protagonists were examined a bit more.

A few of the shots were interesting – the way these kids go to Facebook and post photos of themselves wearing the clothes they just stole from the rich and famous, edited nicely with a techno beat. A little of that goes a long way, though.

Another long shot was interesting. It showed a burglary take place from a camera outside and far away, shooting into a glass house with no background noise or music. That scene reminded me of the Brian De Palma movie Body Double. Boy do I wish there could’ve been a “body double” of me that sat through such a boring film.

It’s is amusing because we realize that the photos will obviously be used as proof that they were involved in these burglaries.

The actors playing these characters were good enough looking, but lacked charisma. Even the talented Emma Watson isn’t going to make anybody forget about her great performance last year in The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

People often make fun of reality shows, and rightly so. Yet this movie seems to be showing us the lives of these people that seem to be in a reality show that doesn’t even have that guilty pleasure you get when you watch a few minutes of the Kardashians when nothing else is on. Perhaps you just check out the fourth time you see the group trying on jewelry and clothes in a huge closet.

There is this subtle nature about what is going on that makes me want to slap the camera out of Coppola’s hand a lot more than I want to slap any of the losers that are committing crimes.

I remember picking up an US Magazine while I was in a long line at the grocery store. I was shocked that there weren’t stories in it. There would just be photos of celebrities, and captions about them. Some were eating ice cream. Others were frolicking on the beach. I literally read the entire magazine while standing in line.

This is like the movie version of that, but even less interesting. At least in the magazine, you might occasionally come across a photo of somebody like Halle Berry without make-up or something fun to look at.

Coppola goes for this style of filmmaking that is maddening. One of the worst movies of last year was Somewhere. It involved a bored actor that just sits around a hotel, occasionally sleeping with fans, and trying to entertain his daughter. This movie makes absolutely no attempt at entertaining the audience.

For some reason, I always got a kick out of watching the characters in Sex and the City try on shoes or outfits (I’m talking about the TV show, not the ridiculously bad movies). Yet when these girls do this, time and time again, it’s boring.

I thought Leslie Mann (a regular in husband Judd Apatow films) was good as the religious mom home schooling her daughters. She brings the only bits of humor to the story, with her cardboard, inspirational cut-outs. Yelling to the girls, “It’s time for breakfast and prayer,” or “Girls, time for your Adderall.”

The first laugh didn’t happen until about 30 minutes into the movie when a character asks “What qualities do you admire about Angelina Jolie?”

Paris Hilton strangely enough, appears as herself in a few scenes (and had me and another critic wondering if they filmed any of this in her house).

A few fun music related notes about the movie. Bush singer (and Gwen Stefani’s husband) Gavin Rosdale is good in his role as a crooked club owner. And Francis Ford Coppola’s nephew Marc Coppola has a small part. San Diegans might know him as the afternoon DJ on 101.5 KGB FM.

This movie only gets 1 star out of 5.

My only hope is that if anybody decides to use Facebook and Google in the future to steal from celebrities, please start with the cameras Sofia Coppola has. She really shouldn’t be allowed to make any more until she takes a screenwriting class.

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