Canadian spring break has always been pretty underwhelming compared to our friends south of the border. Canadian college kids go skiing, play a few rounds of beer pong and maybe do some mushrooms in a forest. In America they go straight-up crazy, party naked, shoot guns and have coke-fueled, dry-hump orgies for days on end. At least that is the way it seems in the movies.
Spring Breakers opens at the Whistler Village 8 this Friday and while director Harmony Korine (writer of Kids, writer/director of Gummo) is definitely up-playing the chaos, Spring Break in Florida looks like a bikini nightmare. This flick is basically a girls-gone-wild-gone-breaking-bad morality tale wherein four fit college girlfriends rustle up a little cash and head to the beach to "find themselves" over spring break. Instead they find a spot of trouble and a local hustler/rapper named Alien, played with deep-throated commitment by James Franco. The good girl goes home and the other three hop out of the proverbial frying pan and into the fire. (The fire, of course, is super hot so no one really has much need for clothing.)
Many people will hate this film. Three of four protagonists are nearly indecipherable from each other, there is very little meaningful dialogue and what there is is repeated ad infinitum. Also, not a whole lot happens to anyone (not counting kegs and coke and gyrating, some crying and a bit of gangster posing). But that's also kind of what makes it good. Korine is a cinematic artist/provocateur with little or no interest in straight linear narration (or tripods) but love it or hate it at least his film gives us something to talk about.
Is Spring Breakers a surreal nightmarish conflagration on the dwindling power of Jesus Christ? Is it a warning about the perils of misguided feminism in a morally corrupt society? Is it exploitative sexy fetishism disguised as a morality play? Who knows? That's what's nice about art films, they can be anything.
Unless you loved Kids you'll probably hate Spring Breakers but it's well shot, creatively edited and taps into the freewheeling madness of youth with what looks like visceral honesty. Spring Breakers is certainly a break from the Hollywood norms but that's never a bad thing, and it has two Britney Spears musical sing-alongs. So there.
Also opening Friday is Jurassic Park 3D. This is not one of those stupid Hollywood remakes where Jessica Biel wet t-shirts her way through a starring role and McLovin plays the Jeff Goldblum part (even though that would be kind of awesome). Instead, this is just the original 1993 Steven Spielberg classic run through a 3D filter and packaged for the next generation of kids.
I'm fine with that, I prefer that to a remake. Jurassic Park was/is awesome and it was really one of the first flicks to use CGI to make photorealistic monsters, making it the grandfather of the Lord of the Rings, Cloverfield and even Sharktopus. If a new generation of kids needs to experience the awesomeness of a Tyrannosaurus chasing a jeep or two velociraptors stalking through a kitchen then so be it.
Spielberg builds his worlds from scratch and draws us into them with personal stories about real-ish people. Sure, it's often a bit cheesy and sentimental but at least it serves the story and action and everything works together to give you a real movie. Apparently the 3D is decent too. (Can you really go wrong with a giant Jeff Goldblum in 3D? Maybe they will do Cronenberg's The Fly next!)