'Bling Ring' has no zing
Shame on Sofia Coppola.
Her father, Francis Ford Coppola, has done so much to associate the family name with fine filmmaking and she nearly wipes it out with one movie, “The Bling Ring.” It's almost impossible to believe the director who gave us the masterful “Lost in Translation” is responsible for what only laughingly passes as a feature film. “The Bling Ring” is as shallow and pretentious as the victims of the crimes depicted.
This is the 2008 story of how teens living in and around Calabasas, Calif., broke into the homes of celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Audrina Patridge, Lindsay Lohan and Megan Fox to go “shopping.” Their targets were high-end fashion, jewelry, money and any other bling they could find. The teens spent nearly a year on their crime spree before their bragging resulted in arrests and convictions.
Everything about this movie rings fake and false.
Coppola builds the movie backward, showing us the work of these criminals before giving us a glimpse into the psychology of what would make them act this way. The interesting part is not how they committed the crimes, but why. Instead of spending more than a few seconds showing how bad these teens had it (probably because it wasn't that bad), Coppola wastes time with long passages where we watch them sing, try on clothes and shout out the names of designers.
“The Bling Ring” shows how the robbers merely walked up to the front of a celebrity home — whose address was found on the Internet — and went in through an unlocked door. In this age of stalkers, it seems like a fairytale world where every house and car is left unlocked and loaded with riches.
Even Coppola seems to nod off during the film. In one scene, the focus fades out before gradually returning. Sadly, it's the most memorable moment in the movie.
It doesn't help that this is the weakest group of actors you'll find outside an elementary school auditorium. Newcomer Katie Chang as the mastermind of the gang has all the energy of a dead rat. That means Israel Broussard, the dude in the group, gets little help trying to make his lifeless character work.
The biggest disappointment is Emma Watson, whose Valley Girl accent is as transient as the wind. The work is so bad it almost nullifies her standout performance in the dark comedy “This Is The End.”
Along with a story structure that doesn't work, the movie's pacing makes snails look like they are on speed. “The Bling Ring” story is interesting enough for an eight-minute segment on E!, but it's so stretched for this feature film that the 90-minute length feels 10 times longer.
“The Bling Ring” sets a new standard for film failure. It's such a mess, the teens should get back together and steal all of the copies of the movie. No court in the land would find them guilty.
Rick Bentley reviews movies for The Fresno Bee.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- DVD reviews: ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ ‘Godzilla’ and ‘Think Like a Man Too’
- McCandless Cinemark set to open Sept. 19
- Review: ‘The Drop’ is a simmering thriller
- Review: ‘The One I Love’ unsettling, fascinating and real