Spring Breakers

  • spring breakersIn contrast to his performance in Oz, James Franco, as Alien, is fantastic. Steals the show fantastic. He’s over the top, but, really, I think that is what the film needs. It needs someone charismatic who will draw attention so that you didn’t get sucked into focusing solely on the orgiastic nonsense of party scene after party scene.
  • Three of four young women are entirely unidentifiable. Not so much because the performances are lacking – they’re fine – but because the script doesn’t bother trying to differentiate them. Honestly, I cannot think of any of the characters’ names, outside of Faith and Alien (Selena Gomez and Franco).
  • Selena Gomez is terrific. Her character (Faith) is the only almost person in the film, and that isn’t because of writing. It’s because Gomez makes Faith vulnerable, sexy and just a little rebellious all at once. I wish the movie had belonged to her.
  • It doesn’t. The movie belongs to spectacle. And imagery. And sound.
  • Which is why the film doesn’t work for me. There are no people in this one. The plot barely makes sense for 7/8 of the movie and then devolves into entirely meaningless drivel for the last 1/8 when two of the leads somehow become psycho killers capable of taking out an entire house of gangsters.
  • And the sound. The sound drives me nuts. I don’t need to hear the same conversation seven times (or more).
  • Experimental is one thing. The experimental isn’t with what I have an issue. It’s the way Director Harmony Korine experimented. He captures the dream like quality for which he was going, I suppose, but that’s all he accomplishes.
  • Final Grade: F

5 thoughts on “Spring Breakers

  1. I am going to be one of those who is going to defend this movie. Spring Breakers for me and others felt like a satire on that whole youth culture that feels that they are invincible and that nothing would stop them. It would be a great follow up to Korine’s earlier effort “Kids”. The sound of having things repeated puts the audience in the girls’ mind. They are not thinking in a coherent fashion and sometimes their thoughts get repeated and we hear that. The cinematography is amazing and no I’m not referring to just the sight of naked girls. But the way the film is somehow remains in this pink and orange like hue make it look really beautiful.

    • You make a strong argument, and I find there is nothing in it with which I disagree. In fact, I’ll even agree that the film is beautiful. Korine has an eye for great imagery, and he shows it here, no doubt about that.

      And yet, I still don’t like the film. If Korine wants to make a satire about youth culture that is predicated in repeated sound and images, not in character and story, then I think he needs to do it with a movie that is shorter than this one. As is, Spring Breakers stops feeling fresh and becomes repetitive. Too much repetition, in my opinion, does not create intrigue; it kills it.

      Make this a thirty minute short with the same characters and plot points, and I’ll call it good. Make it an hour and a half feature and I call it something else entirely.

      I guess it comes down to this central bias: the best stories are ones with interesting characters fueling a compelling plot. Spring Breakers doesn’t give me any of that. It gives me repeated spectacle for too long a duration. That make sense?

    • Oh. One more thing. Thanks much for all of the comments! You are making me think, and I appreciate that.

      I’m even considering increasing my grade for Spring Breakers. I still don’t like it, but you point out something the movie accomplishes that I hadn’t considered before. It might be worth a D.

  2. I thought this was OK – some of it was pretty good and some of it was stupid. Most of it was annoying but overall – I’ve seen worse. Good reviews out here : )

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