Did They See the Same Movie? (‘Spring Breakers’ Edition)

March 22, 2013

The only thing the local dailies’ reviews of Spring Breakers have in common is the publicity photo they feature:

Picture 2


Picture 4

Beyond that, they’re talking about two completely different movies.

Ty Burr, Boston Globe:

SB_MM_00541_rgb-1‘Spring Breakers’ is mesmerizing

I derive no small pleasure from the thought of America’s youth flocking to see “Spring Breakers” expecting — well, what you’d expect a film called “Spring Breakers” to be — and finding instead a savage assault on every empty thought they hold dear.

At first glimpse, the movie is frat-comedy business as usual: images of half-clad college kids reveling in slow motion on the beaches of St. Petersburg, Fla. But the shots are held too long and the faces are dull-eyed and grotesque; the beer tubes and bong hits and naked breasts shade from bacchanalian to robotic. We seem to have left MTV’s spring break and entered David Lynch’s.

Actually, this universe belongs to Harmony Korine, the brat provocateur whose previous movies — including 1995’s “Kids” (which he only wrote but everyone gives him credit for anyway), 1997’s “Gummo,” and 2009’s “Trash Humpers” — have enraged proper-thinking audiences and critics while building a small, devoted base of cult followers. With the nominally mainstream “Spring Breakers,” count me in. Korine wants to give us a portrait of our nation’s children — the girls, especially — as beautifully depraved sharks, pleasure-seeking killers oblivious to the comedy and horror of their existence. And damned if he doesn’t pull it off, or come close enough.


James Verniere, Boston Herald.

Spring Breakers, James Franco‘Spring Breakers’ doesn’t fulfill hip entertainment promise

If you can imagine a raunchy, MTV beer commercial, featuring music by Skrillex, bikini-clad, coke-addled Girls Gone Wild and art-movie lighting and editing effects, you have some idea of what to expect from Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers.” Is it trash? Or is it hip and entertaining trash?
It’s mostly the former. Because I was bored much of the time by repetitious dialogue, repeated scenes stretching already cellophane-thin material and flagrantly shallow characters, I can hardly claim to have been entertained. Hip? Well, I guess if watching pretty young veterans of the Disney Channel parade around in neon-colored bikinis and misbehave is your idea of hip, go for it, dude.


Burr gave the flick 3 1/2 stars. Verniere gave it a C-.

Go figure.

If you want a tiebreaker, you could check out this, but forewarned is forearmed – the headline/subhead is:

Startling ‘Spring Breakers’ Film Explores Sexual Coercion Turned On Its Head

Harmony Korine’s new film captures the complexities of gender, violence, and the sex-drenched scene known as spring break


Yeah, that’s what I thought too.