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DVD Review: The Bling Ring

September 24, 2013

The Bling Ring Blu-ray CoverThe Bling Ring – An eOne Films’ Release

http://theblingring.com

DVD Release Date: September 17th, 2013

Rated 14A for coarse language and substance abuse

Running time: 90 minutes

Sofia Coppola (dir.)

Sofia Coppola (writer)

Based on the Vanity Fair article The Suspect Wore Louboutins by Nancy Jo Sales

Daniel Lopatin (music)

Brian Reitzell (music)

Katie Chang as Rebecca

Israel Broussard as Marc

Emma Watson as Nicki

Taissa Farmiga as Sam

Leslie Mann as Laurie

Claire Julien as Chloe

Our reviews below:

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The Bling Ring DVD Review By John C.

**1/2 (out of 4)

Fixated on living vicariously through the lives of celebrities, Marc (Israel Broussard) and his fame obsessed high school friend Rebecca (Katie Chang) impulsively broke into Paris Hilton’s house while she was away.  Teaming up with the wannabe reality TV star Nicki (Emma Watson), who was homeschooled by her mother (Leslie Mann) alongside close friend Sam (Taissa Farmiga), the young adults became engaged in hard drugs and increasingly risky behaviour, funding their extreme partying and filling out their wardrobes with what they stole from celebrities.  Paris Hilton was just the first of several famous targets, before their carelessness finally got them deservingly arrested.

Although the pacing is a little slower than expected given the subject matter and certain elements of the true story have been simplified, The Bling Ring is a fairly entertaining satire of celebrity culture and the obsession with trying to live this frivolous lifestyle at all costs.  Kudos to director Sofia Coppola for crafting a good looking film, without giving much sympathy to these shockingly spoiled and increasingly unlikeable individuals.  Even though they unfortunately aren’t the leads, Emma Watson and Leslie Mann easily give the best performances in the film and appropriately steal every scene they’re in, and are reason enough to check out The Bling Ring on Blu-ray.

The Blu-ray includes a “making of” featurette.

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The Bling Ring DVD Review By Erin V.

**1/2 (out of 4)

Based on the real life group of late teenagers who robbed several celebrity homes in Hollywood over the course of a couple years, The Bling Ring ends up feeling like it’s missing something.

Back in 2008, ‘The Bling Ring’ would stalk celebrities online, find out when they would be out of town, and then find their home address and break in.  What they called ‘shopping,’ they would go and take a bit of everything at each place – shoes, clothes, bags, and even wads of cash – figuring there was so much there that it wouldn’t be missed.

Headed by Rebecca (Katie Chang) as the ringleader, the five of them eventually got caught after stealing millions of dollars worth of goods.  The film profiles a quick play by play of some of their heists, although it is not as entertaining as other films of its genre.  Overall, you end up not feeling really any sympathy or rooting for any of the parties involved, but rather just watch the whole thing passively.

If you followed the actual story you might want to check The Bling Ring out now that it’s on DVD, but for the most part it’s pretty take it or leave it.

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The Bling Ring DVD Review By Nicole

** (out of 4)

Based on a true story, The Bing Ring follows a group of spoiled rich and impulsive teenagers as they burgle the homes of celebrities and steal their stuff.  The movie focuses on Marc (Israel Broussard), a lonely boy who is befriended by a young kleptomaniac and drug addict, Rebecca (Katie Chang).  He partakes in her thefts, accompanied by a gang of other thieves.  It turns out the celebrities are as ditzy as these kids, and they don’t bother locking their doors.  (This is like leaving your green bin out at night, and being shocked that raccoons knocked it over).

After stealing some new purses and outfits, these delinquents further their addictions by drinking and snorting cocaine.  While Emma Watson and Leslie Mann are decent as mother and daughter, The Bling Ring falters on the fact that it doesn’t delve more into the minds of these teens.  What is apparent is that poverty is not the only risk factor for youth.  Being too affluent can put youth at least as much at risk for criminal behaviour as poverty.  The biggest problem in the Bling Ring case was the self centred obsession with celebrity culture.

One thing that is confusing about the film is the timeline.  While the characters here are underage high schoolers, the real Bling Ringers were college age young adults.  This fact would have made their adult prison sentences seem more reasonable in the film.  All the young adults involved have now been released.  While The Bling Ring could have been an interesting film about celebrity addiction and youth delinquency, it is unfortunately a film that, for the most part, seems to glorify bratty and dangerous behaviour.

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The Bling Ring DVD Review By Maureen

** (out of 4)

Why shop when you can steal from your favourite celebrities?  That seems to be the attitude of the self-centred and celebrity obsessed teens who are the subject of writer/director Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring.  Based on a true story, the film observes as a group of bored rich teens, leader Rebecca (Katie Chang), Marc (Israel Broussard), Nicki (Emma Watson), Sam (Taissa Farmiga), Emily (Georgia Rock) and Chloe (Claire Juban) spend their time clubbing, doing drugs and carrying out their brazen break-ins at the houses of celebrities they target using Google Earth as their road map.

The scenes in the celebrity homes where the gang are “shopping” through the expensive amounts of merchendise in closets such as those belonging to Paris Hilton says so much about extreme consumerism.  Who really needs that much stuff?  Yet you never get the sense that these teens deserve it more.  The Bling Ring leaves viewers feeling a complete lack of sympathy for individuals who were no more than common thieves.

The film doesn’t really delve into the lives or characters of the Bling Ring members.  Sofia Coppola gives us surface information only, with just Nicki’s relationship with her mother Laurie (Leslie Mann) being moderately interesting.  Mom home schools Nicki and Sam using the new age book The Secret as her guiding light.  The scenes with Emma Watson and Leslie Mann are the main reason to watch The Bling Ring.  These two sparkle and stand out amongst the rest of the glitzy bland.

The Bling Ring is mildly entertaining, especially if you look up the true story online.  Emma Watson fans will also want to check it out.

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The Bling Ring DVD Review By Tony

**1/2 (out of 4)

The Bling Ring is a reenactment, with names and characters changed, of a crime spree that mainly occurred in 2008 and 2009. Several teenagers and young adults broke into the homes and cars of celebrities to steal their money and some of their clothing and accessories. The two ringleaders, Rebecca (Katie Chang) and Marc (Israel Broussard) began stealing while in an alternative high school to get money for expensive clothing and drugs. Rebecca was obsessed with the lifestyles of various celebrities, and Marc went along to gain her approval. Nicki (Emma Watson) and Sam (Taissa Farmiga), who lived with Nicki’s new age home schooling mom (Leslie Mann), were also in the gang.

I must admit complete ignorance and disinterest in the fashion world, not knowing the difference between expensive jewelry and a Del Griffith shower curtain ring. The idea that any article of clothing, handbag or pair of shoes would cost months of salary for the average person is completely foreign to me. Moreover, I have always avoided reality shows, particularly those featuring celebrities who except for self-promotion have no recognizable talent. The Bling Ring gave me a glimpse into that world that if anything alienated me even more, but at least the director Sofia Coppola provided some memorable moments along the way.

For example, the Paris Hilton collection was breathtaking (not in a good way). The glass house shot from a distance with only ambient night sounds in the soundtrack as the thieves went through it room by room was a brilliant touch. Finally, the performances of Watson and Mann were spot on in their absurdity, especially when reenacting word for word and gesture for gesture the interviews for their own reality show of their real life counterparts.

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Consensus: Although the tone sometimes feels as frivolous as the characters, director Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring is a mildly entertaining film that is worth checking out for the strong supporting work from Emma Watson and Leslie Mann.  **1/4 (Out of 4)

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