Saturday, March 23, 2013

Younger Than Spring Break (Movie Review: Spring Breakers)

"Spring Breakers" was shown at the last Venice Film Festival, and if I am not mistaken it was in direct competition with my beloved Nora Aunor's "Thy Womb." And that was the only thing I knew about this movie. Well, that and I knew it stars two Disney girls, Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez, in adult/more daring roles. I also knew there were some critical acclaim for this movie, and had indie cred, two things that normally entice me. I realize after that this movie was directed by Harmony Korine, who did "kids," a movie I absolutely detested. About an hour into the movie, I was beginning to feel buyer's remorse. It was so self-indulgent, and pretentious that I honestly felt like walking out. There were too many exploitative shots of the women, and I a so not the target market for that. Then the direction of the movie changed. James Franco's character came in and it became a gangsta movie featuring his character, Alien, interacting with the four female leads. It got more interesting but still, not my kind of movie. There was a slice of brilliance in the last ten minutes of the film, and yes, I did get what it was trying to do, I got the message, and I appreciate its artistry. The movie becomes philosophical in a way: how we in our youth find ourselves, for better or worse. All in all, I respect it as a movie, but I have no desire of ever watching a frame of it again. James Franco, I must say, is fantastic as the white rapper type character who lures the women in a drugs and gun fueled world. He is almost unrecognizable in the movie, but still oozes sex appeal, and you can see how he gets the young women smitten by him. I wish I could discern any of the girls from each other, but Vanessa Hudgens kind of stood out for me, and Selena Gomez did nothing for herself here. I never saw any of their Disney oeuvre so there was no shock on my end in seeing them smoke pot or snort coke. As I was leaving the movie house, there was a part of me that wished I had seen the probably more predictable/reliable Tina Fey movie "Admission."

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