REVIEW: Spring Breakers

Spring Break

Spring Breakers
Directed by: Harmony Korine
Written by: Harmony Korine (screenplay)
Starring: Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, James Franco and Selena Gomez

A neon pop nightmare of startling depravity, Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers shows no mercy in its depiction of America as a doomed beach party.  Set in (where else?) Florida during peak Spring Break season, it tells the story of four college friends who wax philosophical on their demented quest for not just a good time, but the good time.  Along the way they meet a rapper/drug dealer named Alien (James Franco) who thinks he’s teaching them the ropes but is ultimately just along for the ride.

What makes Spring Breakers tick is not the countless slow motion shots of jiggling T&A, beer bongs and jock straps, but in the hyper-stylized rhythm that puts them into context.  Despite the club soundtrack and the atmosphere of excess, it feels more like horror party than peep show, though at times Korine is clearly lingering in the bared flesh.  As a whole, though, it is the most cinematically alive movie I’ve seen so far this year.

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REVIEW: Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Written by: Zack Snyder & Steve Shibuya (screenplay)
Starring: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, and Vanessa Hudgens

Remakes and graphic novel adaptations are Zack Snyder’s MO.  Lately though, with last year’s Legend of the Guardians and now Sucker Punch, he’s decided to take his over-stylized style off of the comic book page and map out novels or original material into his own wild odyssey.

Sucker Punch has Snyder’s name all over it from the get-go.  It begins with a violent slow-motion sequence of a young girl (Emily Browning) accidentally shooting her sister when she was aiming for her wicked stepfather and then being brought to a mental hospital where she will await her lobotomy.

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