Spring Breakers is a must own on Blu-ray
New on Blu-ray from VVS Films is the tantalizing and titillating new film from “Kids” scribe Harmony Korine, the heavily buzzed about “Spring Breakers”. Starring a pair of former Disney child stars, a ‘Pretty Little Liar’ and Harmony’s own wife as bikini-clad bandits who desperately want to leave behind their humdrum college lives for sun, drugs and the allure of Spring Break. Spring Breakers has grown with infamy over the explicit nature of its subject matter and its stars as well as the nature of where Franco’s character truly came from, but the film succeeds on its own merits and is one of 2013’s best offerings so far.
Spring Breakers Blu-Ray Review
Written and Directed by Harmony Korine
Four sexy college girls, Faith (Gomez) Candy (Hudgens) Brit (Benson) and Cotty (Korine), plan to fund their spring break getaway by burglarizing a popular fast food shack. But that’s only the beginning. At a motel room rager, fun reaches its legal limit and the girls are arrested and taken to jail. Hungover and clad only in bikinis, the girls appear before a judge but are bailed out unexpectedly by Alien (Franco) An infamous local thug and rapper, Alien takes them under his wing and leads them on the wildest Spring Break trip in history. Rough on the outside but with a soft spot inside, Alien wins over the hearts of the young Spring Breakers, and leads them on a Spring Break they never could have imagined.
Spring Breakers plays out like a hypnotic fever dream, you are captured and enthralled by the striped bare and honest beginnings, you fall willingly further down the rabbit hole along with the girls as they keep getting over and over their heads deep. Though never innocent, the lengths and depths the girls find themselves in gets more dangerous as the film goes on, and once the conscience of the group leaves them others behind to return home, the moral compass of the remaining girls spirals out of control. It’s in this later third act that the film does jump off the rails as the story gets crazier and resolves itself in a bloody confrontation. But the third act is what benefits most from the home video format as the final scene’s ‘Grand Theft Auto’ video game inspired shoot out plays much better on the home screens that so many of the video games it is inspired by live on.
Gomez is excellent as Faith who is the first to feel that after hooking up with Alien that the girls may be well out of their depth. Faith is the story’s heart and as the most level headed of the group she can keep the girls in some sort of check. On second viewing Gomez’s performance becomes even more impressive and the film really loses something after she leaves. Hudgens and Benson are the insane wild party girls that quickly change to just insane, and the pair grabs the roles with gusto. If there is a weak link in the four it would be Korine’s Cotty who seems to be ready and willing to sleep with anyone she passes when drunk. Korine’s tendency for overacting is obvious, it just happens to work most of the time for Cotty. Korine being the most inexperienced of the four may have also played into this. Franco’s slimy, sleazy and ‘ghetto fabulous’ Alien is spot on, though he spirals out of control with the film towards the end, and his performance on piano of Britney Spears is a highlight of the film.
The Blu-ray includes featurettes on the filming produced by Vice magazine that cover most aspects of the film as well as a behind the scenes featurette that covers quite a bit of Harmony Korine’s process in shooting the film, including storyboards and audition footage. The featurette on the music of the film examines the insanely brilliant music and score and the strange yet genius collaboration between composer Cliff Martinez and dub step pioneer Skrillex that produced it. The disc also includes an audio commentary and deleted scenes.
Spring Breakers will be a revelation for most. The first film of Harmony Korine’s that feels like a true follow up to “Kids” because it features characters that develop true relationships with its audience in an atmosphere where it appears they can have everything they want. Though the girls in Spring Breakers never suffer the consequences that characters in “Kids” do, the risks and stakes are higher. Spring Breakers is a must own on Blu-ray and remains a heavy favorite to make the best of the year list in December.
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