Friday, January 10, 2014

Saturday Movies: Spring Breakers (2013)

I have to say that while I didn't love this movie, I was surprised by how much better it was than I thought it would be. This is actually a good movie, but lacks a lot of substance needed to make an audience want to see it. Within the thirty minutes there is so much working against the movie, and because of a poor casting person the cast isn't that impressive. I hate to say it, but the girls were really annoying, and I sadly can't say they ever cross the barrier into being likable. Now what makes this movie really good, and a lot more enjoyable is James Franco in one of his stand out performances of 2013. The guy thankfully only waits 35 minutes or so to appear, and the movie instantly takes a positive turn.

Summary: Faith, Candy, Brit, and Cotty all want to go on spring break, and they are tired of missing the fun since they have no money. After three of the girls take drastic action to make spring break happen they find themselves having the time of their lives on spring break. That is until they get arrested, but Alien, a gangster, bails them out, and the girls begin to get involved in his world. Naturally, for him bailing them out they feel inclined to do some criminal work for pay back.

Acting: James Franco is the top billed actor, and deserving so, since he has to carry the movie. Without him the movie just would have been awful. I seriously almost turned it off until he appeared. Selena Gomez isn't in the movie as long anyone else, yet her face and name were swung to market the movie. I think that was a terrible idea. Gomez was Faith, and while she was decent I feel someone else could have did the part a lot more justice. I hate to say it, but with Gomez you feel like you are watching a grown up Disney movie, because even in the movie none of these actions seem natural to her even if she is more moral of them all, her minor slips still feel untrue to the character. Vanessa Hudgens is a much stronger actress, and honestly with the past couple of movies I've seen from her I think people underestimate her, yet she is sadly given second notice to Gomez. Her portrayal of Candy is eerie, but yet is suiting. Ashley Benson is Brit, and she works for the part, but considering Emma Roberts was to play the part before her you know there was a strong person to consider for it, even if Roberts didn't want a part in it anymore there had to be others in the running for it that would have been better. Rachel Korine rounds out the cast as Cotty, and I haven't seen her in much, but she does well with the role here. The only thing is I never know what I'm supposed to think of these girls other than dislike? By the end it seems perhaps the director wants me to pity them, but I really just want them to see them get their own chaos thrown back in their face.

Filming: Harmony Korine shoots a film with beautiful colors. I've never seen a movie pop so much, and so naturally with the colors of the surrounding. They are also very bold colors. Lots of music is set to the spring break atmosphere from dubstep to other tunes to immerse you there. The best thing about the movie besides France is just how pretty the movie is. The shots are also very artsy, and I love how Korine flashes ahead to scenes while the moment that scene happened is happening. It's very creative, and keeps you watching even in the worst moments at the beginning. I know a lot of people will disagree, but there is way too many nude scenes, and it's mostly of women who are being degraded and used. I don't know if the director was trying to make a point with this, but the way the scenes were shot seemed more pornographic than horrific. Sometimes it would just feature shots of boobs and butts with the other part of the woman cropped out. It was just too much in one movie.

Plot: The plot is where the movie gets a lot weaker. A lot of people believe that crowds mistook the plot, and the meaning of the story, and that is why they didn't like it as much. It's maybe a mockery on the idea of spring break or whatever, but how am I to gather that in an hour and a half movie that is very serious? The girls from the beginning are just very snotty and selfish. They are all about their own needs and living the materialistic idea of the spring break, which includes tons of sex, alcohol, and drugs. Then again maybe that is the point, they get their to live this dream, but the world they end up in is one of crime, and but it seems that some of the girls embrace this with open arms, and have just as a murderous heart as the one that took them in. James Franco's alien seems to be the most well developed character. He shares a bit of his past, he seems to have some sort of heart, but he's also a huge pervert who loves his money above all else. The girls never have anything about them that translated to the viewer to help us see they had grown as people, or where they were from.

Spring Breakers has some great stuff going for it. Franco, the filming, are great aspects of the movie. Some of the cast and parts of the plot though don't allow the movie to really gain the attention it should for other parts that are a lot better though. It's almost like pieces of the movie sit at a 3, where as other parts like Franco performance sit at a 10.

Rating 6.5 of 10.

Spring Breakers (2012) on IMDb

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