Tag Archives: Movie

‘Spring Breakers’ shows social norms

A fantasy smeared in neon, “Spring Breakers” brilliantly depicts an ugly American cultural narrative. I stayed away from Harmony Korine’s film for as long as possible, then spring break happened and boredom struck. Contrary to belief, I’m still in awe as to how unexpected it turned out to be. “Spring Breakers” has to be the most relevant depictions of our times and the sad thing about it is that so many people are reluctant to see it, hated it, or underrated it.

An amoral plot carried by explicit shots, hedonism and saturated colors paints the fantasy story of Cotty, Candy, Brit and Faith, four college friends looking to make the most of their spring break. The quartet is played by Rachel Korine, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Selena Gomez.

Using fake water guns disguised in ski masks, the friends, excluding Faith, rob a diner to fund the spring break they’re anticipating.  They make their way to the beaches of Florida looking for a spring break to remember.  After a crazy party, they find themselves in jail and that’s when Alien comes into the picture and bails them out.

Arguably in one of his most memorable role, James Franco is hardly recognizable with cornrows and a mouth full of metal, portraying Alien, south beach rapper with an obsession for guns, money and ‘hustling.’ Cotty, Candy, Faith and Brit decide to let Alien show them a good time and a hardly sexual relationship is built; which gives credit to the writer because what seemingly looked creepy and weird was actually pretty mutual. The bikini wearing antiheroes team up with Alien to rob “spring breakers” on vacation and find debauched pleasures in being bad. After the same hedonisms it is apparent why Alien sees these women as his “soul mates.”

This idea is reflective in the entire film. The movie appears creepy with the ingrained notion that it’s not ideal for young women to be going about as they did. The film carries this vibe as if something bad is expected to happen to these four friend, from the beginning straight to end,  but nothing does making this movie unusual and scary for other reasons.

There is a direct jab at the values placed into spring break in popular culture. Spring break rituals have been ingrained in the minds of youth seen popularly on MTV and media outlets of the same criteria for far too long.  Spring break promotes youth debauchery and the idea of living fearless of consequences of a moral behavior, and we get a week to live it up sort of idea.  But who really is doing this? That’s a question that media should shine a little more light on.

Admirably Korine puts a mirror in front of the eyes of his audience with subversive material that critiques American cultural values, spring break rituals and youthful hedonism. “Spring Breakers” is one of the most underrated films I’ve seen in a while that is deserving of praise for its anti- glamorization of spring break and its quality cinematic uniqueness.

Special Lovincey

Columnist

Special          Lovincey      can                 be                   reached        at
linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.

 

Woody Allen defies gender roles in film

“Blue Jasmine” sets up the perfect platform for contrasting appreciation. In this Woody Allen film, and arguably in some of his other films, there is a veil of chauvinism making it hard to separate the artist from his work.

In this story, Jasmine, a New Yorker socialite, clashes with the reality of working-class. Played by Cate Blanchett, Jasmine loses everything due to some incidents her husband Hal (Alec Baldwin), a womanizer and financial fraud, was involved in.

With no money in the bank nor income, Jasmine has no option but to leave New York for San Francisco to stay with her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins). Jasmine’s pathological obsession with status and affluence is challenged when she has no choice but to adapt to her new reality.

As a viewer, the severity of help Jasmine needs is clear and her episodes of panic, compulsive lying and anxiety can all be linked to her frequently talking to herself.

On the surface Ginger is aware of what her sister is going through. However, Ginger also has her own worries that seemed to have only heightened since Jasmine moved in. As a result, Jasmine doesn’t receive the right type of attention she needs.

Allen has written all the female characters disapprovingly and perhaps this is where his personal prejudice comes into play for “Blue Jasmine.”

Ginger is a victim of female stereotypes and her rendezvous with the seemingly sweet man she meets, who failed to mention he was married, doesn’t give her a reassuring sense when decides to go back to her ex-boyfriend who is also very flawed.

Ginger’s boyfriend may be seen as funny, lovable and relatable; he also is an unpredictable, hotheaded alcoholic, of which Jasmine is very disapproving, though probably for some of the wrong reasons. The strong contrasting characterization of good and bad is distasteful; Jasmine, being a judgmental, shallow and disapproving sister versus the irrational yet, charismatic and charming boyfriend.

Furthermore, Baldwin’s character is also problematic. Though he may just be there to support the plot, we see only his success and praise and then everything that falls on him is because of Jasmine, Allen’s villain.

Though she had no part of the fraudulent financial binges of her husband, and often times had a “Habit of looking the other way when she [knew] something,” as such of his cheating tendencies, Jasmine is the emotion-driven, anguished female antihero.

Now that being said, Blanchett does astounding work making up for her character through her acting by taking a villainy female role and making her sympathetic, absorbing and well worth watching.

All in all, the delusions of every character are exposed and that is what makes this film about reality. Though it is in an obvious misogynistic perspective, there is still much to appreciate at the same time.

Special Lovincey / Columnist

Special          Lovincey      can                 be                   reached        at
linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.

 

Disney’s ‘Frozen’ thaws the cold hearted

The club of Disney royalty gained two new members at the end of 2013: Queen Elsa and Princess Ana of Ardendale. These heroines are the central characters of ‘Frozen,’ which was the feature film shown last weekend in Ice Auditorium.

Disney’s “Frozen” is about Queen Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) who was born with a curse that gives her the power over cold weather, meaning she can control ice, snow, and basically anything frozen. As a child, she is taught to conceal herself and her powers in order to protect both herself and her younger sister Ana (Kristen Bell), who has no idea about Elsa’s gift.

On the day of Elsa’s coronation as queen, she is forced to go into public for the first time in over a decade, which frightens her but elates Ana. During the coronation, Ana meets a young and handsome prince, Prince Hans of the Southern Isles (Santino Fantana), and they decide during a single musical number to get married. Upon hearing the news, Elsa becomes upset and accidently reveals her powers and promptly flees the kingdom. Elsa’s powers send Ardendale into a seemingly permanent winter, unless Ana, with the help of an ice-salesman and a talking snowman, can talk to her sister and get her to undo what she has done.

“Frozen” has found itself in a blizzard of praise and has received its fair share of awards, such as the Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. What sets “Frozen” apart from other Disney movies is its focus on the bond between sisters as opposed to Disney’s more popular theme of romantic relationships.

The song “Let It Go,” performed by Idina Menzel and sometimes as an awful cover by Demi Lovato, it the most well-known song from the film. Even if someone has not seen the actual movie or gone out of their way to hear this song, they have heard it at least a dozen times, be it on television or being song constantly by every girl ages 13-20 for the last three and a half months.

Another notable fact is that “Frozen” did what, arguably, no other animated movie has been able to do thus far, and that is create a weird little sidekick, in this case the enchanted snowman Olaf (Josh Gad), and make it not annoying. In contrast to some of Disney’s other attempts, the character of Olaf is equal parts hilarious and perfect.

“Frozen” has turned into something much more than just a children’s movie because it is relatable to almost anyone, be it someone with an older sister they would face the winter for, someone with feelings that they have been concealing, or someone who was raised by singing trolls.

Paige Jurgensen / Columnist

Paige       Jurgensen               can          be            reached   at             linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com

 

Movie exposes men’s struggles with sexism

Special Lovincey / Columnist

We’ve all heard the expression, “boys will be boys,” a saying that is often times used to reinforce and excuse the stereotypical behavior of boys.

Thomas Keith’s, “The Bro Code: How Contemporary Culture Creates Sexist Men,” critically examines the role media plays in shaping sexism in a male dominated society.

Keith narrates and lays out “bro-culture” using four steps seen in contemporary media that perpetuates a constructive male masculinity.

The film opens by showing a reel of different media that embody sexism.

The variety of obscene clips including, “Rebel without a Cause,” to present-day music videos and advertisements, have one thing in common: sexism.

“When I was young, I never thought about it as being anything other than normal. You know, women were here for our sexual enjoyment. Almost every guy I knew thought like that. And really has anything changed today?” Keith says of his experience growing up in bro-culture.

“The Bro Code” breaks down masculinized movie characters that play the womanizer. These are the rich, charming and powerful characters that women want and men want to be.

Characters such as Tony Stark and James Bond, who hold power and privilege but must of all, a sense of entitlement.

“Rule one of the bro code is to build men who feel the need to control and dominate women. Do you know anyone like this?” The film calls to the viewers to question our own sexism and the sexist acts of masculinity all around us.

“The film game me a different perspective… it makes me look at things differently,” sophomore Achmat Jappie said after seeing the film.

“The Bro Code” examines the porn industry and adult films that exemplifies degrading and abusive acts towards women called Gonzo pornography.

Keith argues that porn defines men’s views of women due to the young age that boys are introduced to pornography.

Hence, step two of the bro code is: immerse men in porn.

In addition to pornography, some of the behaviors of college fraternities, rape jokes and “masculinity cops” all encompass sexist acts in men.

Whether in the shape of themed college parties that sexualize women or television shows that marginalize certain groups and degrade women femininity, all of these cultures shape gender norms in men and female.

“The Bro Code” is a very eye opening film that challenges the audience to question their conceptions of masculinity in oppose to reinforcing these gender stereotypes.

Special          Lovincey      can                 be                   reached        at
linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.

Remakes devalue classic movies

There are multiple movies made in history that  have been claimed as classics.

Some movies made in the ‘80s are deemed as the classics that live on for generations.

According to Dictionary.com, the definition of classic is “of the first or highest quality, class or rank: a classic piece of work.”

However, the movies that we claim to be “classics” in the movie industry are constantly being remade.

If a classic is known to be of highest quality, then why are there remakes of them? Movies such as “Fame,” “Footloose,” “King Kong” and “3:10 to Yuma” were remade for the new generation.

To understand and grasp the true meaning why these movies are classics, one should just watch the original version, but if the movie industry keeps remaking them then they will lose their value.

Every year, more and more movies are discussed about being redone.

How can you “redo” a classic? It’s not just the story that makes it this way. It is the cast, crew and everything that happened in the movie during that time period.

Each time a movie is redone, it just makes the other movie less valuable or sends the audience the message that the original is probably as bad as the remake.

For instance, “King Kong” was originally made in 1933, then in 1976 and made again in 2005. This movie was deemed a classic then because of the special effects used.

However, remaking it twice is a bit too much. After the original was redone, there were also sequels to it.

“King Kong” is just one of the examples of what the movie industry has done to a classic in order to make some money.

Now there is discussion of remaking movies such as “Gremlins” and “Dirty Dancing.” It seems that the movie industry is just using these remakes in order to gain revenue in an easier way rather than coming up brand new movie ideas.

There are script writers waiting for companies to pick up their scripts but they probably do not really care what the scripts are about.

____________________________________________________________________________
Ivanna Tucker/Features editor
Ivanna Tucker can be reached at linfieldreviewfeatures@gmail.com