Spring Breakers

The American tradition of the spring break was invented to give hard-working college students a much-needed reprieve from their rigorous course studies and a means to blow off some steam in a reasonably safe environment. At what point then did it become a callow justification to take complete leave of your senses and shamelessly plunge headlong into a sexually hedonistic, drug-induced crime spree? Oh, well. You’re only young once, I guess.

Four listless and bored college girls are feeling that old irresistible itch for adventure and are certain that a week of unbridled rebellion in Florida holds the answer. Woefully short of funds to finance their devious enterprise, they follow Quentin Tarantino’s sage advice to all would-be criminals and rob a coffee shop. Instead of feeling any remorse or fear of getting caught, all reason and common sense vanishes and they find liberation in the thrill of being bad and wonder, “Just how far can we take this?” And we’re left to speculate how such abysmally stupid girls ever got into college—any college—in the first place. Thelma and Louise at least had a reason. The question is, will these girls apply the brakes in time before flying off the cliff?

Shot in hand-held documentary style, scenes are strung together in a disjointed hodgepodge with no strong narrative. This movie is credited as being written and directed by Harmony Korine, but I’m finding it hard to believe there was ever a script for this thing. Nearly every line of dialogue—and I use the term loosely—comes across as completely improvised and then repeated ad nauseam in case you missed it the first six times.

The HD picture sports a deeply saturated color scheme with rich and vibrant hues, tinted lighting, and deep blacks mixed with sporadic overexposed sepia-toned video footage. If nothing else, it’s a sharp-looking image. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio shines brightest in the hip-hop bass thumping musical interludes and gun slide sound cues that are overused for scene transition. The profanity-laced dialogue track holds up well against the oppressive surrounds.

Extras include deleted scenes and outtakes, featurettes, audio commentary, and theatrical trailer and TV spots. At last, someone finally thought to include the theatrical trailer! Digital Copy included.

Richard Roeper is quoted on the cover as touting Spring Breakers as “the most unforgettable film of the year!” I have to agree with him. Try as I might, I can’t seem to banish it from my memory, either.

Studio: Lionsgate, 2013
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio Format: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Length: 94 mins.
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Harmony Korine
Starring: James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens