‘Ocean’s 8’ Is A Movie Made For The Age Of The Scammer

Photo from Warner Bros. Pictures

The real con is that a fictional Rihanna will never be as cool as the real Rihanna

Brian De Palma’s Femme Fatale (2002) begins with the heist of jewels right off the body of the vain, gorgeous celebrity wearing them down the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival, in a scheme—and a sequence—fueled by the almost pornographic excitement of glitzy movie make-believe. In Ocean’s 8, Sandra Bullock and her team of con-women plot to lift a Cartier necklace the size of a small chandelier off the décolletage of Anne Hathaway, playing a movie star who’s more or less Anne Hathaway, at a Met Gala staged for the film and with help from a truly exhausting array of famous friends (Kim K.! Serena! Matt Harvey!). The theme of the celebrity hangout-within-the-celebrity hangout movie is, naturally, royalty. And while Femme Fatale shivered with pleasure at the sinuous unfolding of cinematic clichés, the intoxicating element in Ocean’s 8 is high fashion and fame itself.

Bullock’s Debbie Ocean is supposed to be the sister of Danny Ocean, the George Clooney character from the Bush-era trilogy of neo-Rat Pack romps, and the film follows a similar formula: Out of jail in the eveningwear she was wearing when she gets in, she immediately enlists her exasperated but game sidekick (Cate Blanchett in the Brad Pitt role) in an overelaborate theft which will require them to assemble a diverse team of quirky specialists from across the film industry. The heist itself in Ocean’s 8 is entirely generic, neither particularly intricate nor wickedly suspenseful, so the primary appeal is the someone-for-everybody ensemble, with a number of female stars (the title of the film counts as a spoiler) trading one-liners in the open-plan loft space where they prepare for the heist, like a sort of crime atelier.

The prep for the heist takes up a relatively short segment of the movie and doesn’t allow the cast to play off each other very much, so it’s mostly a matter of soaking up individual personae. Bullock is the wry ringmaster, saddled with an unnecessary backstory—even if this film must exist in the same “universe” as the previous Ocean’s films, rather than be an all-female a remake, it’s still a mistake to stick Bullock under Clooney’s shadow, especially in self-referential ending that has nothing to do with an audience that will surely be younger and more female than from more than a decade ago. Cate Blanchett has no backstory, just an endlessly watchable way of sitting and swaggering at the same time, her legs sprawled out mischievously in Kate Hepburn-ish pants and tailored blazers (Harold…). Perhaps the film can interest you in Rihanna as a stoner whose miraculous hacking skills are the black box where all the really crucial heist stuff happens, and who should probably demand a bigger share of the take, sisterhood be damned? Or Awkwafina as a pickpocket, who is also a stoner? Sarah Paulson, in a Peter Pan collar? Helena Bonham Carter, in an Edwardian K-hole? Mindy Kaling as the one who lets out a far-off aspirational sigh when the glamorous setting for the heist is unveiled? (You knew it would be her.) Hathaway parodies her own image as a high-strung drama-queen priss as the target, “Daphne Kluger,” her fame exposited with wire-service photos of Hathaway but also turns up the vanity to an ecstatic, neck-caressing frequency that harmonizes with the general ambient horniness of all this feminine finery—she’s her own girl crush.

It’s not just Hathaway who gives less a performance than a cameo—these are all self-aware star turns. (The Clooney Ocean’s movies were, of course, the same.) Anna Delvey was able to scam her way into high society simply by showing up in places where no one without money would have the balls to go. For a while, she was so ensconced within SoHo boutique hotels and international art fairs that the ordinary core of herself was hidden—the scam only ended when her credit ran out. 

The premise of Ocean’s 8 is, nominally, that its characters are similarly outsiders infiltrating the world of Wintour. But this is the barest pretense. The film opens with Bullock in a prison jumpsuit and, as a tight enough close-up shows, professionally applied eyeliner—she’s never looked less like one of the gals. The audience is the only gatecrasher, and the film plays along indulgently, like we’ve won a charity auction to be there, or maybe like they’re waiting for security to show up. In the same way that the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Gala attendees and their designers all lend each other their cultural cachet in a self-perpetuating razzle-dazzle, the film surrounds itself with New York bling, from the Met’s Van Gogh self-portrait to high-end Manhattan retail (and, for a touch of canonical grit, Veselka), all augmenting, and augmented by, the star wattage, as much as the on-point makeup and hairstyling. 

When the film contrives to get its stars into gowns at the end of the job, for reasons which appear quite irrelevant to pulling it off successfully, it doesn’t look like they’re playing one-night-only dress-up—it looks like they belong. In fact, Rihanna gets a head-to-toe reveal in a dress that—as most people who see the film will know, having clicked through slideshows this May or last—is pretty underwhelming compared to how hard Rihanna usually goes at the Met Gala. It’s the rare bounced check, a moment where Ocean’s 8 fails as fantasy; to the extent that the movie will work, it will be because its audience is happy to live inside the dream it’s selling. Femme Fatale knew this; so do all really successful grifters, and all really likable celebrities. The movie itself is the con.

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube

Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video)

Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.