Screw spring break. I’m staying home.
A group of college girls (Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine) have the bad idea of robbing a fast-food joint in order to finance their spring break getaway. As you could expect, things go awry until a strange dude named Alien (James Franco) arrives to bail them out. In exchange for his help, he convinces the girls to kill his nemesis Archie (Gucci Mane).
Harmony Korine is the type of dude who’s movies I just don’t care for. I’ve seen Gummo, I’ve seen Trash Humpers, and worst of all, I’ve seen Kids, and none of them did anything for me whatsoever other than make me want to throw up and slap this kid in the face. But all my problems with him aside, I was still interested in seeing him take on a sort of “mainstream movie” that’s advertised as if it was made straight for the MTV-crowd that loves boobs, booze, drugs, sex, nudity, and a whole lot of partying. However, that same demographic it’s being shipped towards, are the ones being made fun of here.
Korine starts this movie off like you’d expect from any typical movie where there is a bunch of partying going on. Gratuitous nudity, drugs, sex, violence, and drinking, all to the sweet and soulful tunes of Skrillex playing in the background, but then it changes and you realize something is up with this movie. You can’t really tell right from the beginning what this movie is all about, but once you get to thinking of it; the movie is actually poking-fun at the crowd that this flick is being aimed towards. For instance, after this opening-sequence, the rest of the movie basically consists of these girls doing all of the wild acts of debauchery that you’d expect them to do, but here’s where it takes a closer-glimpse: why are they doing all of this?
We all get that these girls want to have a good time but is it actually legitimate or is it all a put-on so they can be apart of the crowd and hopefully get some cutie patooties by the end of the night? From this stance, I’m going with the latter option. Korine takes a comment on how certain programs like VH1, MTV, and YouTube have all made our world and idea of spring break to be nothing other than a wild time, with wild people, and wild things that will never, ever happen again. However, nowadays, it’s done in a more slight way that’s not as genuine as it once was, and is definitely a lot more shallow then ever before. People aren’t just going to spring break in order to let loose and have a grand time, they’re also doing it because what else better is there to do?
Now, I’m not saying that in the 21st Century, people can’t have fun if they’re drinking and acting crazy like they would on spring break. Not at all, but what it is that I am saying is that the times have changed and our society has definitely dropped a hell of a lot as of late where crazy shite like this, is apparently accepted and shown as a good time. Trust me, I’m not the biggest square in the world, sometimes I like to get a little crazy by drinking, getting wild, getting dirty, and getting nasty, but it’s all because I want to, not because of the others. What Korine is trying to say is that the world and society that we base ourselves around, is all based on the countless amounts of sex, drugs, and alcohol we can consume without dying, rather than how much fun we can have. If I lost you already, don’t worry; you’re most likely not the only one.
For this message alone, I have to give Korine a crap-ton of credit for going out of his way and making a stand about our society and the young people growing-up in it. What he’s saying now, like he did back in 1995, is that we, as a society and as a unit, are practically screwed. And who’s to blame? You? Me? Mom? Dad? Mom-Mom? Pop-Pop? The pets? MTV? VH1? Who knows! But what I do know is that it’s very sad to see a movie like this made and have me thinking the way that I do now.
But if you get past this message, you start to realize that there really isn’t much else going on here below the surface. If you like a bunch of T & A, then you sure as hell are going to be pleased, but if you’re expecting a fun and wild ride with a bunch of girls dancing, drinking, and being young: then you’re gonna be pissed. Heck, I was even a bit pissed-off, but I don’t count. Like with most of his movies, Korine doesn’t really like to follow any type of conventional-story so instead of showing us point-A to point-B in an understandable way, he jumbles things around and have us make up our own minds on what happens and what doesn’t. Sometimes it work, and sometimes, it totally misses the mark.
I don’t want to call this movie “boring” per se, because I was always interested and I always glued to the screen, but there just wasn’t much holding the fort down. After the 20 minute mark, I had it about up to here with these girls, the way they talked, the way they acted, and yes, even the way they dressed. I highly doubt it that they would go all throughout their days wearing nothing but a bunch of bikini’s and if that is the case in a world like this, then sign me right up! But still, for a movie like this, it didn’t seem reasonable and just seemed like another way for Korine to show us how much of a boner he has behind the screen. It’s a beautiful movie with visuals that pop-out like crazy, but the story lost me many, many times throughout and really took this flick down from being a very important movie that needed to be made and seen. Instead, without all of the fun, it’s just a message movie with a lot of titties. Good for some, not good for others.
The point in where my interest for this movie came flying right back was when Mr. James Franco showed up on-screen as the local rapper, drug dealer, gangsta, wanka, grilled-up mofo known as Alien. Almost everybody who saw Oz the Great and Powerful last week, almost had the same consensus on Franco and his performance saying it was dull, plain, and boring. For me, I liked his performance in that movie, but in this one, I absolutely loved it and I think those people who disagreed with me then, will agree now. As soon as this guy starts talking and being himself, you know the movie is going to turn-around and he’s going to give you all that he can as an actor, as a funny-man, and overall, as an entertainer. Franco lights up the screen with every scene he’s in where he plays up his wannabe-act as a gangsta that has a lot of money, has a lot of drugs, has a lot of guns, and has a lot of women, and this is where Franco works so perfectly. He’s absolutely hilarious and you can tell that a lot of the scenes he has, he’s just improving his ass off, because the people around him can’t seem to hold their laughter or joy in as much as they should. But still, it provides a bunch of hilarity and laughter for everybody who sees, but it isn’t all about fun and games with the dude.
There’s a couple of scenes where we actually see Alien show some vulnerability and even break character. He doesn’t really seem like a terrible guy to begin with, but just a hood rat that you wouldn’t want hanging around with you at all, unless you wanted all of your change taken. But still, that loveable side of Franco that we usually see, makes this character work wonders and makes it more than just him, goofin’ off and jerkin’ off (that’s Korine’s job), he’s actually got a show to do and does a fine job at that. Sweet job, James. Fuck all of them nay-sayers.
As for the girls, they are all fine with what they’re given even if that isn’t saying much. Vanessa Hudgens seems like she really effin’ wants people to forget that she used to be in all of those High School Musical movies, and it just may work if she keeps this pace up. The other two, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine, are just there for props and do what they can, but that isn’t saying much. The only weak-link here in the cast seemed to be Selena Gomez who seemed like she was on a entirely different planet from the rest of these gals. I get that since she was the church gal that never left mommy and never left home, that she was going to be a bit of a prude, but seriously, come on! Grow up, drink a beer, bone a guy, take some clothes off, and have some fun! You’re only young once. Trust me, I know.
Consensus: Spring Breakers is the type of movie that gets better once you start to think about it. The messages and ideas about society and how far we are going down the gutter, are as interesting as I think Korine has ever said in the past, but the fact that there is no type of story really backing it all up, seemed to be a major fault on his part.
7.5 / 10 = Rental!!
Being controversial does not make a good flick.
The film follows teens over the course of two days during the mid-1990′s where the HIV/AIDS epidemic started to run rampant. Telly (Leo Fitzpatrick) is on a mission to deflower as many virgins as possible with an addle-brained theory that boffing first-timers will protect him from contracting HIV. Trouble is, he already has it.
As everybody knows director Larry Clark is a dude that loves to shock people with his constant showings of teens shirtless, doing drugs, banging a lot, and just doing evil things that parents don’t think they would normally do. In ways, this works for me, but in others, it just doesn’t even seem like it matters.
Yes, this film is an eye-opener for parents if not one of the first flicks to do that, so I will give Clark that. There’s a lot of dirty stuff that goes on here that is very shocking, but it’s also somewhat true considering I see a lot of this now that I am in my last year of high-school. Now I don’t know any kids that go around deflowering chicks like Telly here but I can say that the weed smoking, the drinking, and the constant partying with sex everywhere is definitely what goes down in high-schools in real-life. It’s not as effed up as this flick makes it out to be but in reality, this stuff does happen and I think that’s where the film at least had me at.
However, despite this realistic view, the film still had its major flaws that took me out of this film completley. Within the first 10 minutes we realize that the two main character, Telly and Casper, are not only the biggest assholes in the world but two kids that have no redeeming quality about them whatsoever. It’s not like they didn’t seem realistic, because I may actually know some kids that are just like this, but it’s the fact that they are so unlikable makes you just wanna beat the crap out of them the whole film and actually pray that they do. These are the types of kids you see messing with old people on the boardwalk and get themselves bootie-raped in jail because they weren’t wise enough to watch the eff they say in the clink. It sucks because we spend the whole film watching them to do stupid shit considering they are terribly unlikable but then again, not every main character in films have to be likable.
Another problem with this flick is that even though there is so much damn shock-value, everything still feels rather dull. There are moments here that are totally devoid of plot and just have these characters talking frankly about their sexual experiences, smoke weed, and drink beer for long-ass periods of time. I’m not saying that this sort of stuff isn’t done amongst teenagers, but after about the 3rd time in the first 30 minutes you see these kids getting high and talking about boning, then it just gets old real quick. I also couldn’t help but think that I highly doubt kids talk about how they are going to find every virgin and have sex them and then talk about how they did it and whatnot. I don’t really think actual kids talk about this kind of stuff but writer Harmony Korine apparently does.
Clark was pretty smart in choosing actual young, teenage actors for these roles because it actually makes us feel like were watching real kids up on-screen rather than some 30-year old who’s trying to play a sophomore in high-school. Chloe Sevigny is good here as Jenny, and her story is not only the only actual sight of any heart in this flick but it’s also one of the more realistic; Rosario Dawson also shows up in one of her first ever appearances and that’s pretty cool too; and Justin Pierce is actually pretty good as Casper, but it’s a shame that the kid died 5 years later because he seems like he could have actually done something with his career.
Most of you probably noticed that I didn’t even mention the main character, Telly. One of the main reasons for that is because the actor who’s playing Telly, Leo Fitzpatrick, can’t act for shit. Telly is a character that is supposed to be a total stud because of his sly moves, sexy look, and just overall cool act but Fitzpatrick is neither of them. Instead he says every word as if he was reading notes he wrote on his hands before filming, he’s skinny as Kate Moss, and the things he says is laughably bad and I don’t know if that was actually intentional or not but I caught myself laughing a whole lot at what this dick-head was saying to these girls just to get them in bed. Hell, they should have called me up for this role even though I was probably 2 at the time but still, I got more game than this joke for a kid.
Consensus: Kids has shock value and rings true in certain elements, but feels rather dull mainly because the script features moments that have no actual development of plot, or even its awfully flawed characters for that matter and the lead actor, Leo Fitzpatrick, can’t act one bit and we have to watch him struggle the whole 90 minutes.