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The Bling Ring

Just before eighteen-year-old Alexis Neiers was arraigned in November 2009 on one count of burglarizing film star Orlando Bloom’s Hollywood Hills home, she sat on a bench outside the LA courtroom having her makeup touched up by a woman from E! TV. Alexis was to have been the star of a reality TV show about Hollywood-scene club kids, and it was still being shot when Alexis and several of her friends were arrested, and charged with operating a popularly-dubbed “Bling Ring” that broke into the homes of media celebrities, making off with an officially estimated over-$3 million in loot. (The take from Bloom’s alone was said to be about $500,000.)

White House Down

I’ll bet it was one of the shortest pitches ever made to a studio executive: “Die Hard at the White House.” Of course, that pitch would have been made months before the most recent entry in that Bruce Willis series eroded a big new chunk out of audience fondness for that particular franchise. But if you can remember back to those halcyon days of 1988 and how much fun it was watching working class cop John McClane battle terrorists in a Los Angeles skyscraper, doesn’t it make you wish Hollywood could still turn out action epics that were so breezily entertaining?

Stories We Tell

“When we’re in the middle of a story, it isn’t a story at all,” a man reads from a text into a mic at the beginning of Stories We Tell. Nearby, monitoring the recording process and occasionally prompting him, is his daughter Sarah Polley, the well-regarded young Canadian actress who has recently found success as a filmmaker (Away From Her, Take this Waltz).

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