The Bling Ring

The Porn Version of Spring Breakers


91 minutes of footage cut down to 90.
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Reported on 15th of July, 2013

And not in the good way.  

The Bling Ring

15 July 2013 @ Duke of Yorks


$3.00 or, if one must be jejune, and one must... 
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

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Recently I talked about how great the parts are in between all the boring sex scenesThe Bling Ring has that quality of flat delivery and improvised bland dialog of a porn interstitial, but it’s too competent (also not in the good way, meaning not enough insanity) for my taste.  They’re my rules; they mean what I want them to when I want them to.  Just ask a philosopher.  Or a doctor.  It’s not a terrible film, as Ms. Coppola is wont to make, but it does feels like 91 minutes of footage cut down to 90.  Everything is left in.  Some is terrific; some is real time clothes shopping.  We wanted an-80s-trying-on-hats montage, but just didn’t have the footage!  So, as is my wont, first the praise, then the lesson.

Some is pretty above average.  Ms. Watson seems to get this film, by virtue of her character being a mashup of heartless vapidity and utter sincere belief in her own complex altruism.  On one hand, it might just be that this person in real life was like this, as opposed to the others who don’t seem to have much going on.  I’m inclined to credit Ms. Watson, since the other stand-out character belongs to Ms. Leslie Mann, the only other long time professional actor, whose solipsistic faith in The Secret seems ripe for an entire film.  Which this film isn’t, by the way.  Entire, that is.  And so, like Mr. Michael Cera in This is the End or Mr. Jeremy Piven in Car 54, Where Are You?, or Mr. Arliss Howard in Ruby (not Rudy, Ruby), we can say that being great in a mediocre or bad film may be the highest praise indeed.  On the other hand, Ms. Watson was actually in This is the End, and was utterly forgettable.  Which thus renders sentences two, three and six.

That's saying something. About saying something.

Speaking of intentional amnesia, there’s the rest of the film, which consists of the exact same scene five times and then an ending, making it the-inexplicably-long-commercial-before-you-see-the-film version of The Quick and the Dead.  That’s a film I always enjoy, and not just for providing some of the best dialog Mr. Gene Hackman has ever spake (and that’s saying something.  About saying something).  What was admirable about TQatD is the fact that it has to take sixteen gunfights, and find a way to do each of them differently, something that only a pre-Spiderman Mr. Sam Raimi could.  Ms. Coppola has a similar challenge with five robberies, and finds a way to shoot them differently and make them feel identical.  It’s the kind of thing that would make her a good commercial director, I say, having not seen a commercial all the way through in a year, and with the hopes of never seeing a Coppola joint again.

Which will put us in mind not of South Park but the damned entertaining South Park documentary.  There’s a lot of bits I pick up about writing and structure and so on, and while I highly recommend renting, or iTuning (That’s in spell check?  I just made it up.  Let’s try iListen.  iWait.  iShit.  All in there.  Apple is not screwing around with it’s iBlanketCopyrightEverythingAsASubstituteForInnovation.  Finally.  Got one) or watching eight sections on YouTube 6 Days To Air.  It’s about putting the show together – the whole thing – in seven days, and also it’s short.  So see it.  Anyway, Mr. Trey Parker has a nice bit of advice when he says and I don’t remember what he said: ‘I used to write “This happens, then this happens, then this happens” and at some point it made more sense to write “This happens because this happens but this happens”‘.   This is generally pretty smart advice for narrative drive, but as a document, The Bling Ring has the kind of bland sequentiality you would expect from a film made by the participants themselves

Editor's Note: Fran liked it more than I did, no doubt she is correct.  Weirdly, the average of the two tickets is the price I gave the film.  Thanks Picturehouse points!

Editor’s Note: Fran liked it more than I did, no doubt she is correct. Weirdly, the average of the two tickets is the price I gave the film. Thanks Picturehouse points!

As such, I feel like it could work under the When We Were Kings Rule.  It’s not like the film is a biography, but the then this happened aspect could be rescued by focusing just the trial, just the robberies, or, oddly, just the shopping.  There is a story here about class tension or fame or empty owning, or the funny combination of materialism and faux spirituality that embodies The Secret, but this is not it, one, or any.  It is a wasted opportunity, which is a combination of admiration and mourning.

Maybe if they made as a porno.  They could call it The Bling Ring.

Profits!

Ms. Watson’s work:
‘Let’s rob.’
$1.00
‘That’s why I’m taking business.’
$2.00
‘Yeah.’ You had to be there. In the theater. Not on the set. Which means you had to be there.
$5.00
Total Profits
$7.00

Losses!

We’re shopping, so you can cue the music…NOW!
$1.00
I want you to guess how interesting it is to see someone lip-sync while driving.
$1.00
The inclusion of a We’re-just-driving-around-I-sure-hope-we-don’t-get-hit-from-the-side–as-we’re-just-driving-around-la-dee-dah-because-that-would-be-totally-a-shock-to-the-audience-who-has-never-seen-that-before-that-meaning-a-movie-without-this-tired-old-trope…AGAIN.
$1.00
If I see this shot one more time, so help me.
$1.00
So help me.
$1.00
Total Losses
$4.00

$3.00

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