Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I'm starting to think this is the most spiritual place I've ever been.

In college, I really never had any money. It wasn't all ramen noodles and bagel bites, but the truth is, I never worked during school. I made all my money waiting tables at an outdoor restaurant not-so-cleverly named Hang Ten (where I had to answer the phone by saying Aloha! like a true asshole), which happened to be located just under five thousand miles away. Meaning during Christmas and summer break my bank account went up. Way up. But during the semester? I had to be cautious. Once, one time, I said f--k it. I'm going on Spring Break like everybody else. Destination? Chicago.

That's not what you were expecting, huh? Well, neither was the film Spring Breakers from director Harmony Korine. What I thought was going to be a throwaway flick featuring hot chicks shaking their asses, turned out to be something entirely different. Oh, the chicks are still hot, and asses are definitely shook. But after that is something about as surprising as going somewhere colder for Spring Break. F--king dummy.

Anyway, Spring Breakers, on paper, is simple enough. Four college girls, by less than savory means, get some cash together in order to leave behind their shitty lives at their shitty college, and go on f--king spring break. They head to Florida, and quickly get vag-deep in some insane partying and unfortunately get locked the f--k up. Crazy? Sure, but at least at this point things are still manageable. But seeing as our fearsome foursome haven't got shit on them except for some skimpy bikinis (no complaints here), making bail is going to be a bit difficult. Luckily isn't the right word, and neither is fortunately, but somehow the girls get sprung. Good news, right? Well, not exactly. Seems their liberator is a bit of a character, with likely more than a random act of kindness as his motivation. Hmm, I wonder what he wants?

To tell you anymore would ruin it, but I'm not sure the plot really matters anyway. Spring Breakers, regardless of what you think of the film as a whole, shines in its presentation. Unfolding like a dream in neon fragments, sounds and images spiral all over themselves, creating something unique and memorable.

Notice I stayed away from enjoyable or incredible.

For me, the experience, while oddly intimate at times, was hollow. While I initially signed up for more salacious reasons, I was hooked when everything became life-or-death. Seriously, it gets pretty f--king intense. But, in the last ten minutes or so, it goes to a place that I found laughably absurd. All the tension climaxes in such a silly way that it undermines the fascinating foundation built in the previous hour. And while that final scene may have had me cringing, there was one thing I didn't do - blink. Sure, it came off like a bonus mission in Saint's Row, but that doesn't make it look any less awesome.

Speaking of a lackluster end to something, here are the Yays and Boos for Spring Breakers, or as its known around here The first movie we ever reserved at Redbox.

  • Let's just get it out of the way now, not only does this movie welcome titties with open arms, it also features them in slo-motion
  • Okay, can I just say that The Chicken Shack scene was motherf-king BADASS. One-take from the passenger seat? Probably my favorite shot of the whole movie. And I just mentioned slo-motion titties!
  • You see the poster, you see some pics and you probably think this movie is about girls. Screw that. This movie, for me, is all about James Franco. What an insanely creepy performance. Alien, as misguided and ultimately pathetic as he is, is also the pulse of everything. Needless to say, didn't see that coming.
  • While we're talking about shit we never expected, can I go ahead and cheer for the inspired weirdness that was the semi-poignant piano-led version of Britney Spears' Everytime? I tried to exchange befuddled looks with my wife, but she was actually dreaming, not just thinking she was.
  • Seriously, though. The soundtrack is flawless.
  • Those pink ski masks. I can already see them at Party City this Halloween. Wonder what lame title they'll give them. My vote's something lame like Gun Girl. Wait. Sexy Gun Girl.
  • Diminishing numbers. One goes home because she's scared. One goes home 'cause she gets capped. And then there were two. Which oddly enough, is exactly how many we need for a threesome!
  • Man, Arch, you's a sophisticated dude. There you are nailin' some big bitches and you're dropping some Mozart references? Play on, playa.
  • Juxtaposing one-way phone calls home with heading into battle on a speedboat? That's some inspired shit right there.
  • And finally, I loved that final good-bye kiss. Goodbye, Spring Break. Love you.
Reminds me of my wedding night.
  • Wait. You bitches save all year and all you come up with is $325? Are you f--king kidding me?
  • Money has never made my tits look bigger. Well, I don't think so anyway.
  • Teasing your friend when she's underwater? Shit ain't right.
  • The Twins. F--k those guys. They scared the shit out of me. DP'ing motherf--kers.
  • So, your friend is in tears, and wants, no demands to go home, and not one of those bitches goes with her? Not cool, Cotty. Not cool.
  • What's likely going to be the most memorable scene baffled the shit out me. The two girls turn on Alien and his only move is to suck off their guns? And it works? What the shit is this?
  • And finally, I really don't want to spoil it, but that mess on the dock was ridiculous. One goes out like that, but the other two? Shit the other two we're like the Terminatrix. Terminatrixes. Or something. Anyway, it was disappointing. Bummed me out.
Look, here's the deal. The more I think back, the more I kind of like how f--king strange this movie was. It was almost like actually being hypnotized. Weeks later, I'm thinking hey, that shit was a good time. But right after it happened, I didn't like really care for it. I was thinking, what did I just do? Hopefully something I won't regret years later.

Like spending Spring Break in Chicago.
The Windy City for f--k's sake.


  1. Great review! I loved Spring Breakers so much I'd go as far as to say it is one of the best films I've seen in years, hands down.

    The end was brilliant, and as you say extremely tense. Like you said also, with the mention of Saints Row (a game my boyfriend showed me last week and I now must own them all) I too thought it was like a game, the whole film sort of was with the ending being the final boss battle.

    You're right about the music, it was awesome. That's why I found it a task to make a playlist of songs inspired from the vibes of the film for my blog, but hey I posted it in all its glory!

    As said before, great review, and I had a quick chuckle at the slow motion boobs.

    1. Best in years? Whoa! High praise.

      It fully was a boss battle! Alien's fate just seemed so incidental, it kind of lost me. But damned if that whole sequence didn't look incredible.

      I stayed away from everything Spring Breakers until now. I'll have to check out that post about the soundtrack.

      Quick chuckle? Mission accomplished.

  2. This movie isn't about girls? Darn!! Ah well, the poster, pictures, and slo-mo titties sealed the deal for me a long time ago. This movie might be good entertainment while I go for a spring break to Chicago!

    1. I doubt you'll ever catch this one, simply because I've already seen it. I think the only things you see are the big summer movies before I do. Where's your review 2Guns? I'm sure you've already seen it.

      Honestly, I'm not even sure what this movie is about. I'm not even sure I watched it. I think I put the disc in and smashed my head off of the entertainment center. This post is the vision I had.

      Hence the slo-mo tatas.

  3. I never did Spring Break at the beach back in the day. I never had the money (ah ... Ramen noodles), plus I managed to get into enough drunkenness and jackassery without leaving town.

    I skimmed part of this review in case I watch the movie (the jury is still out). But what I read was hilarious and awesome, as per usual.

    1. Not only was Chicago my only experience with Spring Break, but once I stayed at school when the entire campus was closed. I was the only person on campus. It was pretty much like 28 Days Later.

      The thing I didn't anticipate? The cafeteria was closed, too. And I didn't have a car.

      I did some things I'm really not proud of.

      Just watch it!

  4. So, your were the inspiration for Jonah Hill's character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall?

    Thank you for reserving and not standing there going through every movie when all I want to do is return my movie!

    ... And I know what you're thinking. Yes, everyday is spring break for me.

    1. Yeah. I used to fawn over the random celebrities. Seriously, I talked to a slightly lost Kelly Kapowski and I think she could sense that I couldn't handle myself and left hurriedly.

      Holy shit. We need to put a PSA together for the 99% of the population who can't figure out that Redbox is NOT f--king Blockbuster. Browsing for more than 30 seconds? Pretty sure that's grounds for justifiable homicide.

      That's exactly what I was thinking. Weird.

  5. Great and hilarious review here. I like the film much more than you do, but this is a damn tough one to love. I actually love how it gets more and more absurd, before building up to that ridiculous (and, in my opinion, ridiculously awesome) climax. Notice how the black lighting made their skin appear black? It's all part of their wanna-be gangsta persona. Loved it.

    1. I've been meaning to go back and read your post because I know that you loved the shit out of this one. I was just waiting to see it myself before I dived into yours.

      It is a tough love, indeed. My wife just kept looking at me like Really? I just shrugged and counted the seconds till she passed out. It didn't take long.

      Anyway, the ending is ridiculously awesome - but it's too abrupt. Sure, it mirrors the abrupt end of Spring Break itself, but I think I needed a little bit more. And c'mon, what the shit was that with Alien? It was like the doctor guy in WWZ?

      Their wanna be gangsta shit actually creeped me out. Seriously. Can't trust a gangsta bitch. At least not a hot one.

  6. Here's the plot twist - I enjoyed the movie :) I think it was the music that won me over, I love Martinez's style, he makes everything so magical and along with awesome cinematography it really made for quite an experience, unlike Only God Forgives which also had his music and lovely visual side SP at least had some sort of story and characters that were, well, interesting. I liked the ending, I thought that maybe they will steal a bunch of money and that's why they did that, but I didn't see them take anything so I guess there was some deeper meaning going around there :)

    1. I completely agree on the added to the surreal nature of the whole experience. Definitely a plus.
      I'll get back to you on OGF. Can't wait for that one...

      You liked the ending? C'mon! It's so, even-for-this-movie ridiculous. My brain refused to accept it...the rest of my body, however...liked it a lot. I mean, chicks in bikinis shooting bitches?


    2. I actually suspended my disbelief quite early in the film as they had no trouble robbing that diner with water guns, then they just torched that car and nobody even chased them. Plus Alien has shitload of money and he is clearly guilty as sin, just shouting he is a gangster to anyone who listens yet the cops do nothing. So either it's all really silly or Florida cops are useless :)

    3. Yeah, Florida is basically completely lawless. Though partying too hard is not going to be tolerated. 20 minute blacklit shootouts? Cool. Underage drinking? Bad.

      Maybe Alien was really from another planet. Maybe only the girls could see and hear him. And he disappeared when he completed his journey, like in Safe Haven.

      That would explain the piano number.

  7. I really dug this movie. Sure it was bat shit crazy but it was a fun ride. Was bummed out to see so many folks dismissing this film as a simple T&A fest.

    You went to spring break in Chicago ????? lol

    1. Yeah, if you came for solely for the T&A, you probably left thinking that the movie sucked ass. Sure the setting (and maybe the posters?) screamed 'hot girls partying' but this movie is miles beyond that. It's a trip.

      I know, right? What asshole would ever even consider it, let alone book the ticket? Oh, wait. I know who.

  8. Man, i gotta tell you this is the best review of Spring Breakers EVAH! You really did a great job. It's interesting the fact that you are one of the few people that really got the perspective of the movie. It's way more than just a film, it's an anthem. Seriously, I've lost the count of how many times i watched it. It's fuckin addictive, and I don't even have to talk about the soundtrack...C'mon, the song of Faith leaving gave me chills all over my body, every song matchs perfectily in their own moment. Right, if I keep talking about the movie i'll stay here till tomorrow. Good job, dude :P