Customer Reviews: Spring Breakers (Blu-ray + UltraViolet Digital Copy)
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on March 24, 2014
Just look at all those 1-star reviews, my my. Why do I get the feeling that those 1-star rates and comments are from a bunch of guys in their early 20s going, "wtf"? They had hoped for something stupid and sexy; what they got was an art film from a moralist who has a lot to say about the gangsta culture embraced by bored Caucasian suburban youth. It's a culture that glorifies violence and ostentatious consumption ("Look at all my S***!" James Franco howls with glee while jumping up and down on his ridiculous bed). It's a culture that encourages young women to look and act like whores while simultaneously pretending to some sort of you-go-girl faux-feminism. I am Woman, hear me roar -- now watch me shake my booty like Beyonce. Feminism for Dummies. This culture is now mainstream among the under-25 set. "Spring Breakers" attacks that culture by taking its precepts to their logical conclusion. By doing so, director Harmony Korine (male, btw) also attacks the generation responsible for it. No wonder y'all hate this movie, yo. Not only has this movie gotten on your nerves, I suspect it has struck a few nerves, too.

One thing's for certain: Increasing equality between the sexes is creating more aggressive females, sexually or otherwise. The movie shows this paradigm in action with a superb scene between Franco and two of the girls in his bed. After thinking that he's impressed them both with his gangsta routine, he's ready to get down to business with them ... but they turn the tables on him, holding him at gunpoint (he has guns lying around everywhere) and sticking the guns in his mouth. The gender roles are reversed, or, more interestingly, blurred. The pink ski masks that the girls wear while accompanying Franco on his robberies is another example of blurred, or combined, gender symbolism. Pink, once disdained in the 70s and 80s as a girly color, is now the color of the female warrior. There's even a pop star who calls herself "Pink". By golly, I guess the girls of the world took back pink. Whether or not this advances the cause of women is up for debate, as is aggression for aggression's sake.

Our four Spring Breakers can be divided into three factions: 1) the earnest and Christian Selena Gomez, torn between her need for action and her sense of right and wrong. (The other girls mock her when she's not around.) 2) Rachel Korine as the pure party-girl. She gets the drunkest and goes along with the crowd, but when the going gets rough a latent survival instinct kicks in. 3) Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson, the Bad Girls, the girls who doodle male genitalia on notebooks while in class, the girls who go the furthest with Franco. They're his superior in every way, having established dominance in that bedroom scene with the guns. The movie encourages debate about what Hudgens and Benson are supposed to represent: the natural culmination of feminism, or a regression? What's better? -- the moral but helpless Gomez who weeps in terror as Franco tries to soothe her, or the promiscuous and violent Bad Girls, who, while totally in control of their situation, also happen to have the morality of vipers? There's probably not a "right" answer; the director is just posing some interesting questions.

4 out of 5; a fascinating surprise. Never has a movie gone so far out of its way to blow up expectations; it's as if director Korine deliberately tried to lose money in the hopes of creating a cult classic. I'd say that he has succeeded, if that was his intention. The fifth star is withheld because of Korine's fondness for repeating shots and bits of dialogue -- the problem is, the effect doesn't generate shades of menaing, because the dialogue is so deliberately unintelligent. Drop the pretentious film-school stuff next time.
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on August 27, 2015
Harmony Korine made something very unique and special. A movie with an underlying sub context of the drug underworld that somehow got mixed up with young and pretty college girls. The movie plays as if it is a drug trip, so I recommend being high while you watch it. Real life rapper dangeruss, the local St. Pete rapper is among this cast of depraved drug lords like Gucci Mane and Franco's character Al (Alien). The movie doesn't get into depth about the situations these drug criminals are in, or any history, but some of the scenes like the one with Franco and the girls singing Britney Spears is really trippy. (youtube search Spring Breakers Britney Spears)

All in all, it's worth adding this to the collection, cause it has some awesome parts.
Also checkout Dangeruss on youtube for an inside look at the world of South Saint Petersburg crack life.
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on November 23, 2013
I was really, really surprised by this film. The preview does not really do it justice, as this is NOT a film about a white gangsta and a crew of Girls Gone Wild armed robbers. Yes, there is a white gangster, and there are sexy girls in bikinis robbing and shooting. But the film is not actually about those facts. The film is a study in CONTRAST (both visual and thematic), and in challenging your expectations. The filmmaker is really, really good at changing gears once you think you understand the characters' motivations, or where the plot is going. At first, Franco's "Alien" character seems like a con-man hustler, and you feel an almost paternal fear for the girls as he sucks them into his world, but this perspective does not last long, and soon you are starting to wonder if the girls are really just using him as he grows more emotionally attached to them. They turn the tables on his apparent supremacy in a scene involving his gun collection and his bedroom, and the sexual dynamic of the group shifts radically.

On that topic, there is surprisingly little sex in the film. The scenes of spring break debauchery leave the actual act to the imagination for the most part, and by the time sex actually occurs in the Franco-Girls gang, it is far more emotional than you have been expecting. The scene where Franco's "Alien" serenades the ladies with a Brittany Spears song SHOULD have been a point of ridicule, but as it was happening, all I could think was that this is EXACTLY how a character like Alien would express his genuine emotions.

The film is shockingly beautiful, visually. The moments of color contrast are perfect. At one point, Alien, in an electric green jacket stand opposite his ethnically black arch rival, decked out in vibrant red, and their color profiles (white+green vs jet-black+red) seem as opposite as their position on each other. The entire movie is a study in contrast. Innocent Faith (Selena Gomez) standing in a crowd of pool playing gangsters, ski masked girls in bikinis, the sub-tropical beauty of Tampa against its urban ghetto. Bad-looking Alien expressing (probably) real emotions compared to the girls with their secret motivations.

The film moves in a curve, with some elements repeating at the beginning and the end, and it has a dash of the Kirosawa 'Rashamon' technique of alternative perspectives (but never heavy handed). The entire film moves like its a 90-minute preview of a movie itself, and I don't recall being bored for a single minute.

As I said, this movie really, REALLY surprised me. I found it to be quite intelligent and artistic, and the film maker played with my emotions and expectations in a really interesting way. Would definitely watch it again and have been recommending it to all my friends who are into interesting cinema.
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on March 28, 2015
One of the most disturbing movies I've seen in a while. This movie is absolutely NOT the movie it was marketed to be - this isn't a fun, campy Spring Break movie. Instead, it's a seedy, uncomfortable look at out-of-control young women and the nasty things that can happen to them when they party too hard with the wrong people. James Franco is almost unrecognizable as Alien, the gangster/rapper who springs the girls from jail after they get arrested for underage drinking and drugs, and he proceeds to lead them down a dark, dangerous path of destruction. Seeing this movie would make any parent say to their kid, "No way you're going on Spring Break."
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on March 20, 2015
I really did not want to like this movie. I didn't even want to watch it, but people kept recommending it and insisting that it was surprisingly deep. Once you get past the overall corny I'm-so-sexy-horny-and-bad attitudes of the main characters and all the bouncing titties and party derps everywhere scenes, there is a message. I wouldn't call this a deep movie, but it conveys what it's trying to say in a unique and interesting way. Don't take it too literally, it's not a typical over-sexualized teen movie (though I'm sure 13 year old boys everywhere will manage to love this movie without ever grasping any true meaning from it). It's meant to be a satire on young american values and what our society considers normal or prized. There's maybe one or two scenes that will really stick in your mind afterwards. I wouldn't watch it again, but it wasn't a total waste of time.
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on July 7, 2013
Why so many negative reviews? I found it awesome. I expected it to be a stupid movie about the leads getting drunk and going crazy, but it's more than that. The way the movie is filmed, the way the characters think, makes you think about today's society and what are we doing with it. The movie is such a mind blowing experience that you can't stop watching it no matter what. James Franco was the best actor of this movie, his talent is undeniable and it's not absent in this movie. I also liked Ashley Benson's performance.

I just think that Vanessa Hudgens should retire from acting. She was just plain annoying, and her character was a little robotic in my opinion, at least she should take some acting lessons. I'm just a little sad that this movie has three stars when it deserves five. People expected a movie full of nudity and the girls having fun, but that's not the case. Teens will not really enjoy it, they will found it boring, but in my experience, I found it amazing. Give it a chance, and you will love this movie. Harmony Korine is an amazing director and I can't wait to see more of him soon.
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on September 14, 2015
I thought this would be just another college party movie with plenty of boobs, drugs, and bad decisions. While all of that was basically the premise of the movie, it was edited and directed surprisingly well. It had an artsy vibe with much more substance than I would have guessed. Wouldn't buy it but for sure enjoyed it. If it's free, go for it.
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on August 12, 2015
Not at all what I was expecting, but this film was brilliant.

Franco has taken our modern ideals and blown them up to the extreme. Spring Breakers depicts the epitome of a culture of consumption and disregard for human beings. All the while, the camera work and shots take you through an almost otherworldly trip (not so otherworldly if you've been to college) of the parties and drug abuse of our disenfranchised youth.

As someone living in southern California, the surrealism shown here is not lost on me. Spring Breakers is a potentially true story.
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on November 4, 2015
This movie definitely shows the destructive path that some young people can take when they aren't thinking rationally. It's not a well-made movie but the message is still there. I would be worried if you weren't disturbed by this movie because it shows the path some have taken once you get past the drugs, sex, and bad attitude at the beginning. One of the main characters Faith played by Selena Gomez realized the destructive path the girls were beginning to take after they were arrested and then bailed out by Alien played by James Franco. Unfortunately the others did not leave when they should have.

Now I know this is only a movie but if this was real life these kids could have wound up dead with their destructive behavior. Fortunately for these girls they survived, but it was not an experience they will soon forget by any means.
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on June 27, 2015
It is a must watch to see how a complete schizophrenic when given a Hollywood green light would create a movie.
While watching don't be suprise if you find yourself reiterating this phrase a lot " what the f×ck???????"
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