Blu-ray Review: Spring Breakers

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spring breakersIt’s difficult not to look at this one and immediately be caught off guard. Especially when you start taking note of the cast list. But “Spring Breakers”–a copy of which our friends out at Lionsgate sent our way for review–will offer up not only some wild novelty, but also quite a bit of more of the same.

“Spring Breakers” follows four friends–Faith, Candy, Brit and Cotty–who want to go out and have some good old fashioned Spring Break debauchery. But as is so often the case, our foursome doesn’t have the cash for a proper fling. Rather than swallowing their dreams and waiting for another day, part of the group decides instead to rob a restaurant, steal a car, and head off for wild fun in the sun. But when instead the four land in jail, it’s looking like a pretty sad spring break indeed, that might just end up being 10 to 15. But the four are bailed out by Allen, whose resume starts with “rapper” and ends with “drug dealer and gunrunner.” Allen’s plans for the foursome, meanwhile, may not be exactly what you might think, but may well get them all killed.

Given that the cast list here starts with Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens–two former Disney stars known for kid-friendly material (indeed, Gomez had to at one point actively discourage her legion of teenage fans from catching this one, and with good reason)–it’s a bit of a shock. Not really a pleasant shock, either, even if Gomez is at first riding the “obligatory good girl” role for something like this. Where she and Hudgens, backed up soundly enough by cohorts Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine, will go is a very unusual development indeed.

This one was a very hard one to read. In all honesty, it did some things that were really rather exciting. This wasn’t the exploitative fluff piece that some might have expected by lining half the cast with Disney fodder. No, this was cute young girls going on horrendous killing sprees. This juxtaposition is jarring to say the least but the question of the day is is it going to have an impact. In some cases, I’m going to say no, absolutely not. Why would it? I mean, we’re talking about the cinematic equivalent of a fluffy pink stuffed teddy bear with a chainsaw running amok while insisting that it wuvs us beary much. I don’t know whether to shoot it in the head or give it a hug.

And by like token, this sheer genre confusion, this clearly jangling presentation, is going to shake more than a few jaded cinephiles clear out of their seats. This is “Scarface” by way of “My Little Pony”. It’s clearly desperate to make you believe this is a kind of “Scarface” redux–right down to the Florida locale–but it’s introduced bouncy college girls in the place of grizzled Tony Montana.

It’s a puzzle, “Spring Breakers” is, and it’s the kind of puzzle that’s going to ultimately leave some people soured on the experience and others downright exulted. Personal taste is going to play an incredibly large role in this particular package, so consider this one carefully before taking a chance–which is essentially what you’ll be doing on a rental here–on this one.

Special features, meanwhile, will include a set of deleted scenes, a behind the scenes featurette, a featurette about the music score, a set of featurettes done for Vice, a commentary track, your choice of English or Spanish subtitles, and trailers for “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III,” “Trainspotting,” “The Letter,”  and “Spring Breakers.” There’s also a preview for the Epix channel.

“Spring Breakers” is all about the cuddly criminality with a heaping helping of carnage. For those looking for a new experience, and a new set of paint on an old set of wheels, then this might be just what you’re looking for.

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