Spring Breakers

Spring Breakers ★★★★

"Ya'll be careful in that water. Lots of sharks out there. I know the water looks real pretty, but the sharks are waiting. Bunch of vicious motherfuckers...just lurking."

This was a movie that I really had to sleep on before giving my thoughts on it.

This is a rather perplexing movie; not in it's message, but it's perplexing because I wasn't sure if I liked it. I didn't really know what to make of it. I could tell from the get-go that Harmony Korine put a lot of thought into it and there were some really good and interesting messages to take in, but what I wasn't sure of was if I liked it to begin with. Out of this entire cast of characters, I don't think I liked a single one of them. I don't like dubstep so I thought the soundtrack was atrocious. I get the kind of messages Korine is going for, but the film can be just as repulsive to look at as the characters within them.

Then again, I saw this at around 3:30am so half of the things that came to my mind at the time was due to sleep deprivation. In fact, I probably need to see this again very soon given that I'm going off bad memory and badly written notes at the time. Which I don't usually jot down notes for movies, but I knew I'd be in no condition to review this when it was over and kept some notes for when I wake up.

So I slept on it (mostly because it was about 5:00am when I finished it so I should've been sleeping anyway), I woke up, thought about it, went about my day, thought about it some more, and now I can honestly say that Harmony Korine just might've created a work of genius.

Even in a sleep deprived state, there were so many things I found myself loving in this movie. One thing I really loved about this movie was the apparent theme of innocence. It's clear that the four girls in this movie want to steer far away from the things that make them innocent--which could explain the castings of former Disney darlings Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens, which looking at where their careers are now, they're trying to steer away from the innocence that made them Disney stars--by glamorizing themselves in glitz, glam, guns, sex, and violence. Ironically enough, their innocence is exactly what makes Alien (James Franco) attracted to them to begin with. He wants them to be his Beyonces' and his Britney Spears' while they're attracted to him because he represents something much more adult, gritty, and dangerous. If nothing else, they might feel as though they've found their southern whiteboy version of Tony Montana. I'll be the first to say that speaking as a member of the generation that Korine is trying to speak to and represent (I just turned 19 awhile ago) that many people like to idolize Tony Montana and find what he represents to be appealing; whether it's the money and power he holds or how he supposedly represented "The American Dream".

Also as a member of this generation, I can assure you old timers that not all of us are like the girls in this movie, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a problem with the modern idea of an MTV influenced American Dream. Korine seems to be making a point to show how desensitized this generation can be when it comes to sex and violence. How many young people (though it seems to be more common with people I knew in high school than the people I know in college) mistake the glitz and the glam and photoshopped photocopies of people that appear in magazines and mistake it for reality; the American Dream (something that is alluded to both aloud and in theme many times in the film). In actuality, it not only is a huge falsehood in real life, but it's also proven to be more of an American nightmare for the girls.

The out of this world cinematography adds to what makes this film feel like an unreal nightmare. Just witnessing the world that Korine creates for his characters is enough to recommend this film alone. Not only that, but you've got to see this film for James Franco's mesmerizing performance. He's just as hypnotic as this film itself. All of these elements create such a unique, well layered world for Harmony Korine's universe and it's just as much of a spectacle to the eyes as it is an incredible film to think about.

Overall, I probably need to see this again in a more refreshed, well rested state, but even when I was exhausted at 5:00am, I recognized the brilliance within this movie. I'm not saying everyone will see any brilliance in this movie. Just as many people hate this movie as those who love it, but isn't that what makes a great movie? A movie that divides audiences? A movie that isn't completely bad enough for everyone to hate, but doesn't sugarcoat to the point that everyone loves it?

All that in mind, even though I'm not sure of everything about this movie, I'm pretty sure that Harmony Korine achieved making a great movie.

Also, didn't know where to put this in the review, but it was wild seeing "Double J" Jeff Jarrett cameo as a pastor. And seeing Gucci Mane in a supporting role...EVEN WILDER.

If you don't know who Gucci Mane is, then I suppose that only drives the fact that Korine probably intended for people in my generation to see this movie.

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