On DVD & Blu-Ray: July 9, 2013


Spring Breakers will easily divide audiences who dare to give it a shot. Not because it isn't necessarily what the marketing campaign suggested it to be, but because it is a sensory overload that isn't afraid to make a statement. In the doldrums of the early months of the year moviegoers are serviced with plenty of distractions and sometimes barren and empty spectacle, so when something like Sring Breakers comes along that challenges and has more of a purpose than to purely entertain, but something to say it grabs your attention and if it is a good film, it won't let you go. As I walked out of the theater after seeing the latest from director Harmony Korine (Kids) I was stuck with a sense of what an odd piece of cinema I'd just experienced. It had all the makings of a party flick, one that has been crafted to re-enforce the ritual of college kids driving down to St. Petersburg each year for a week and turning into a cess pool of drugs, alcohol, and sex. It is shot to provoke the bright, summer colors that bounce off the beaches and bikinis that are littered throughout the coastline all washed over with a sense of carelessness and no responsibility. This is no party movie in the vein of recent flicks like Project X or 21 & Over though, no, this is a film specifically designed and meticulously concocted to expose the dark side of what comes when you throw your inhibitions to the wind and give into the mind set that everything will be fine as long as you know when to stop and can return to the real world. That being easier said than done this group of girls find it hard to re-integrate into that world of order and routine and instead disregard everything they've ever learned for that single moment of chaos. B+

Admission is something of a lazy movie. There is no energy about it, no zeal that ever gets you too excited about watching it, but worst of all is the fact that these boring attributes make us not care for the characters in the story. If I'm telling the truth I kind of had that feeling about the film from the beginning. It felt slightly rushed, a small, almost indie, film that simply carried two well-known names that it was impossible to escape the glow of mainstream marketing. Thus is born the only solid reason I can find in getting behind this film: those names. When you have someone as charismatic as Paul Rudd and as appealing as Tina Fey in a movie together, and for the first time no less, it is easy to get excited. They are both actors with great comedic personas and are figures many feel relatively easy to relate to. That small percentage that seem to "get it" and have a quirky way of perfectly putting into words why they are smarter than everyone else while the outside world continues to fall apart despite their observations that always seem perfectly on point. They are almost elitists without coming off as assholes who think they're better than everyone else. Those personas usually suit them well and have made them the bankable names they are today, but all of that charm and wit is nearly absent from this flick as only the rare smile finds its way onto your face when that true comic ability shines through the stilted characters these guys have been burdened with playing. That may all sound a little harsh and as if I'm harping on the actors, but they are the only reason to really see the film unless you are just super interested in the college admissions process. Other than that the script features mommy issues and a forced romantic angle that the movie would have been better without. I liked the film well enough because I like the people involved, but I don't care to ever see it again as doing that would be more effort than it feels they put into making this film.

Let it first be known that I did not go to see The Host because I am a fan of the Twilight series or of the author of the source material for those films, Stephanie Meyer. When the whole Twilight boom went off and everyone was paying a ton of attention to the films and how they might be adapted I was interested in what all the fuss was about. I even tried to begin reading, "Twilight" just to see if it was any good and to prepare myself for the movie that was coming out later that year. I didn't make it through the book. I don't remember much of it now or even why I decided to quit reading it, but I imagine it just wasn't for me and I'm clearly not the target audience so that was fine. I still gave the films a chance though, seeing both Twilight and New Moon, both of which failed to impress me or bring me back for the final three films. I say all of this to bring up the point that I had the biggest of doubts when it came to another film based on a novel by Meyer. Her token idea didn't entice me so why would I be interested in anything else she has put out? Given that I knew nothing about the book, "The Host", which was billed as Meyer's more adult novel and upon seeing the first trailer for this film I wasn't aware it was based on Meyer's book until the trailer told me so; I was intrigued by the story and the concept it seemed to be toying with. I am an avid science fiction fan and when any film even mentions the ideas of life on another planet, space exploration, or grand themes explored through these unknown areas of our universe I am immediately hooked. That it what The Host had on me and that is why I felt I needed to give it a shot. I am clearly in the minority on this, but I rather enjoyed the film and thought it had some interesting things to say if not at least serving as light entertainment. C+

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