Film Briefs: “The Bling Ring”, “The Purge” and “This is The End”

this-is-the-end2Film Briefs is our way of giving our opinion on films we might not necessarily have the time to review in full.  This is a column where we sum up our feelings about the last few movies we saw and throw ‘em up just to give you an idea of what’s out there.

Follow the jump to see briefs for The Bling Ring, The Purge and This is The End

The Bling Ring

the-bling-ringone-star2Sofia Coppola‘s latest is nothing more than an exercise in redundancy that appears to be aimed at the same audience of which I suspect it’s attempting to satirize, the shallow obsessives who worship all things celebrity and whose substitute for CNN is TMZ. And this is coming from a huge defender and fan of Coppola’s filmography, up until now that is.

It usually doesn’t bother me when a film insists on its lead characters being unlikable, but when they’re placed in a repetitive and pointless structured narrative loop, I have to throw up my hands and ask why. After one go round of the numerous rotations of watching scenes of trespassing, theft, a few surveillance camera perspectives, and then the thieves flaunting and bragging about their criminal activities, I was ready to walk out and ask for my money back. But being that I am a big fan of Coppola, I decided to stay and give her the benefit of the doubt in hopes that the film would go somewhere interesting. Sadly, it never does.

Quite frankly, I was dumbfounded as to how a movie based on the real life burglarizing of celebrities’ homes by a group of unprofessional teen thieves could be so dull. Then again, who knows? Maybe there’s a deeper meaning or hidden enjoyability factor to this film that has gone right over my head and has gotten lost in translation somewhere. Hey, that reminds me, I think I’ll go watch Lost in Translation and Somewhere again, two of Sofia Coppola’s instant classics in where the use of her minimal restraint actually complements her subject matter.

The Purge

the-purge-2013-imagetwo-stars1The Purge isn’t as smart as it sets out to be, but that’s okay. It still hit all the right buttons it needed to in order for it to be worth my time, as generic as it ultimately was.

The greatest success of this home invasion movie is that it has found a way to create a reality where cell phones are rendered useless without using any of the tired clichés of bad receptions or low batteries, etc. Here the invasion takes place on a Government sanctioned night in where for 12 hours all assaults and murders are legal. Since the introduction of this Purge night violent crime has been practically non-existent and unemployment is at 1%, so I guess it’s working, unless you or your family are one of those being purged upon, that is.

As far as high concept home invasion thrillers go The Purge is neither as smart as Michael Haneke‘s Funny Games, yet nor is it as dumb as David Fincher‘s Panic Room. I’d say it’s a well executed summer popcorn movie aimed at those seeking to be thrilled and feel a bit icky rather than for those seeking laughs or adventure from the many super hero offerings over the summer movie season.

This is The End

this-is-the-end-interviewthree-stars15Not since Shaun of the Dead has a comedic themed horror movie come along that was even remotely entertaining. Actually, there was Tucker and Dale vs. Evil and Cabin in the Woods. But aside from those, there hasn’t been dick. And since I’m on dick (obviously, not in the literal sense) Seth Rogen‘s directorial debut is loaded with dick jokes, which I’ll have you know, along with fart jokes, is the type of humor I never tire of. Hey, don’t judge me!

The film stars a slew of primarily comedic actors playing bizarro versions of themselves holed up in James Franco house during a devastating end of the world scenario, the best of which coming from cameos by Michael Cera and Channing Tatum.

My only qualms with the movie, as minor as they were is that I would liked to have seen more of Danny McBride, as I thought he gave the funniest performance of the group, and I could have done without the dreadful way in which the movie ends. But overall, I was happy with I got, which was situation after situation of jokes and gags hitting all my funny bones.


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