Friday, February 14, 2014

Pretty Little Thieves

The Bling Ring
Director: Sofia Coppola
Cast: Katie Chang, Emma Watson, Tassia Farmiga, Israel Broussard, Leslie Mann
Released: June 21, 2013

This movie about teenagers stealing from celebrity homes is based on a true story that happened in 2008-09. Apparently I wasn't checking the TMZ sites (which I NEVER do so no wonder!) so I had no idea about this story until it was made into a movie.

I watched a little feature-ette on the DVD after I saw the movie about the real crime and teens and it looked like Coppola took some liberties with the movie. For instance, the real teens didn't come from much money (as it was reported), but in the movie, most of the teens seem to be pretty well off and live in nice houses. Since I'm not familiar with the actual true story, I'll just base my review strictly on the movie and not worry about technical little changes. Even the names of the characters are not the same as the real people they are based on.

The (bling) ringleader is Rebecca (Katie Chang), a girl who is a hard core kleptomaniac. After she meets Marc (Israel Broussard), the new kid at school who's a bit of an outcast, she takes him under her wing and they become fast friends. While at a party, they go outside and Rebecca starts checking car doors to see if they are unlocked. If they are, she looks inside to see what she can take and finds purses and iPods which she takes. It's amazing the valuable things people leave in an unlocked car! Marc is a little hesitant at first, but wanting to impress Rebecca and keep her friendship, he joins in with the car robbing. Continuing on with their heists, they raid the nice home of a kid Marc knows whose wealthy family is out of town. They find thousands of dollars under a bed and blow it all the next day on a little shopping spree. Rebecca even "borrows" their Porsche with intentions of bringing it back in time before they return because even she knows she can't get away with stealing a car and a nice one at that.

They get even bolder in their breaking and entering when they are reading a celebrity blog and come across an entry about Paris Hilton being in Las Vegas for an event. They look up her address (because on the Internet, you can find anything) and Google Earth her house to find the best entrance. These kids live in Calabasas, California, which is part of L.A. At Hilton's house, they FIND A KEY UNDER THE DOORMAT! OMG, Paris, are you kidding me? They enter and start "shopping" (or should I say "shop-lifting") in her closet. Paris let Sofia use her real home for the movie and, oh my God, it is everything you would expect Paris Hilton's home to look like. You will not be disappointed. She is ever the egotistical narcissist with throw pillows that have her face on them, there are photos of her from magazines blown up and plastered on the walls along the staircase, and she even has her own "club room" with a strip pole. (Of course she does). Her closet, which is bigger than my apartment (I'm guessing...looks that way!) is full of so many clothes that I doubt she would even notice if anything was taken! Same goes for her shoes and jewelry...she had so much crap that it would be impossible for her to know if anything was missing. But that wasn't the only time her home was burglarized as Rebecca and Marc go back several times. At one point, Rebecca even wants to steal Paris's rat-dog to sell, but Marc puts his foot down on that one, pointing out it would be too obvious that even Paris would notice her dog was missing!

Rebecca tells her friends, Nicki (Emma Watson), Sam (Tessa Farmiga), and Chloe and they're all impressed and want to go to Paris's as well to score some sweet stuff. This sets off their string of Hollywood burglaries and they realize with the Internet it's easy to find when a certain celebrity they want to target will be out of town and it's easy to find their address with Google Earth. Even with all that, you would still think it would be difficult to break into a high status person's home with security and camera, but nope, a lot of the celebrities' homes they broke into didn't have alarms that went off and more surprisingly, they could easily find an unlocked door!

Besides Leslie Mann, who plays Nicki's mom, Emma Watson is the only well-known name in the cast. She does a very good job at speaking in a spoiled teen valley girl accent (not sure if that is a compliment!), but it was kind of distracting seeing her in this movie that is about these girls (and one gay guy) who want to emulate their favorite Hollywood celebrity stars. I'm sure if Emma Watson lived in L.A. (I'm not really sure where she lives to be honest), she would have been one of the stars that would have been targeted as most of their victims were young Hollywood female stars known for their style. And girlfriend has some cute clothes! Emma Watson is as famous as many of the celebrities they robbed from, if not more. Uh, hi, Audrina Patridge. The only reason I even know who she is, is because my brother (who is heterosexual and in his 30s, mind you) is for some unknown reason I still can't comprehend, a fan of The Hills. For those who don't know, this was a reality show on MTV and it is probably the most stupid and pointless thing I have ever seen. (Now I have never watched Jersey Shore, so I'm sure it has competition!) All they did was follow around these sorta rich, semi-attractive people and all of their (boring and manufactured) drama. Audrina was one of the "characters" and she lives in a nice house so she's doing pretty well for herself even though I still don't know why she's "famous"! The point is, Emma Watson is a more well-known face and name than Audrina.

They also steal from Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel Bilson, and Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green. They actually steal a gun from Megan Fox. (I don't know why she needs a gun when she has David Silver to protect her!)  When they steal stuff, they keep some of it for themselves, but they also sell some of it to make money of their own.

Even though these celebrities do seem to be careless with leaving their doors unlocked, they do have video cameras, though the teen robbers do their best to conceal their faces. They do get careless when they start bragging to other peers about their conquests and posting on Facebook how their stuff used to belong to certain famous people. When the celebs start going to the police to file complaints, the police start investigating and it isn't long before they are told by other kids what Rebecca, Marc, and the others told them about breaking into certain stars' homes. They also see Marc's face in one of the security videos when he gets too careless. The interesting thing about Marc was that he seemed to be very hesitant about what he was doing and you could tell he knew it was wrong because he was always rushing the girls when they wanted to stay and ooh and aww over all the swag. However, the real life guy he's based on seemed to be enjoying it as much as everyone else, if not more, as he was the one who bragged about it on Facebook!

They're all caught and sentenced to jail (up to a year for many of them) and even though what they did was stupid and wrong and they deserved what they got, I did feel a little bad for them because they were just stupid, young kids who probably thought what they did wasn't that bad because they were just taking stuff and celebrities have a lot of stuff and they have a lot of money to buy more stuff. I'm sure all the celebs weren't happy with their stuff being taken, because who likes having their stuff taken? Nobody! Burt most of all, I'm sure they mostly didn't like that these kids were going into their homes and going through their stuff and acting like they owned the place (like they did in the case of Hilton's) and use it as their hang out as well as their thrill for stealing stuff. That is a massive intrusion of privacy and nobody should have to worry about someone breaking into their home, even Paris Hilton, who I can't stand!

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