Mini Movie Reviews: The Bling Ring and The East

I don’t always read books. Sometimes I watch movies. I’m trying to watch more movies and television and follow entertainment news more closely since I’m now buying all the DVDs for the library. These are mini-reviews of what I’ve seen lately.

bling ring

The Bling Ring is the ripped from the headlines story of a group of teenagers in LA who use the internet to find the address of celebrity homes in order to confirm that they are out-of-town so they can break in and steal their designer clothes, jewelry, accessories, and any cash they have lying around. My interest was piqued because it was directed by Sofia Coppola and stars Emma Watson.

While it was entertaining enough, I really felt like it just restated the facts of the story, rather than examining the motivations and psyches of these teens. I expected more of a social critique,  but it ended up being pretty flat and one-dimensional.

The composition of the scenes were sometimes exciting, but the webcam shots and integration of Facebook added little and were jarring. Even if the dialogue taken from actual statements is supposed to add an air of legitimacy, the haphazard docu-drama feel didn’t work for me. While Emma Watson was top-notch, the other actors were forgettable. I wasn’t very impressed with this movie. It ends up being a rather shallow look at consumerism and celebrity worship. The story seems more suited to a Vanity Fair article than a movie.

Other reviews at The Guardian and Robert Ebert

the eastNo surprise here, I wanted to see The East in theaters because it stared Alexander Skarsgård but missed it when it came to Liberty Hall. I finally got around to checking it out from the library.

The premise of a former CIA agent working for a private company infiltrating a anti-corporation domestic terrorist cell was interesting to me. The world of this fringe group was fascinating, and I liked the moral questions the movie raised. The acting was good and even if the plot was fairly predictable, I was thoroughly entertained.

Other reviews at Robert Ebert and NPR.

Have you seen any good movies lately?

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