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Here There Be Dragons

I need a new best friend. VERY badly. Are you her? I am going to write a personal ad about it.

Desperately Seeking My New Best Friend. MNBF should be female, live in the greater Atlanta area (Decatur preferred). MNBF has HBO and a strong desire to invite me over once a week to watch Game of Thrones Season 3 with no men in the room because, face it, brilliant and wildly entertaining as it is, that show is borderline pR0n and I can’t sit in a room containing both other people’s husbands and THAT many boobs flippetty-flopping about with such gratuitous abandon.

These are really my only requirements. I don’t care what MNBF thinks, believes, looks like, or even smells like. I don’t care if she practices some weird abhorrent religion where she eats live birds. I DO NOT EVEN CARE IF I AM EXPECTED TO BRING THE SNACKS EVERY WEEK. I will bring the snacks. I WILL BRING LIVE BIRDS FOR SNACKS. Just hook me up with The Imp, Arya Stark, and That BAD-ASS Khaleesi.

Speaking of pR0n: So, my OLD best friends— the suckish ones who either do not have HBO, or do not invite me over properly to watch GoT, or who HAVE HBO and WOULD invite me but cruelly choose to live in other states— will tell you there is no movie so bad I won’t sit through it. The last movie I walked out of was JADE, in 1997, because it committed a high trio of crimes: being SUPER boring, not making sense, and having David Caruso with no sunglasses whipping on and off.

But Lordy, I will sit through anything. I’ve seen every MINUTE of Gigli, Battlefield Earth and I watched Showgirls…twice.

I’m also not a prude. See: Game of Thrones, above. I watched MONSTER’S BALL (actually a great film) but the titular Ball is plural and belongs to Billy Bob Thornton, who shows it to us, along with its friend, and along with really ALL of Halle Berry, and then they DO Things. A lot of things. For a LONG time. I watched this movie with my DAD In the room, and did not leave or die.

Two films on my ALL TIME TOP TEN LIST movies are EASTERN PROMISES and A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, both of which star the dangliest pieces of Vigo Mortenson, pieces that I did not ever ever ever need to see. But I own both those movies and love them and will always see any film Cronenberg makes, no matter how naked and depraved, forever. Not a prude, ‘kay?

I say all this to say, I walked out of Spring Breakers on Friday. We were 45 minutes in. We had heard EACH line of dialog at LEAST TWICE, sometimes three times, repeated over different boring jiggley montages of boobies and spewing-beer-as-metaphor and fake guns as metaphor and Britney Spears songs.

This is not clever social commentary, because clever social commentary requires CLEVERNESS.

This is…a ham fisted presentation of the same BALDLY obvious contrasts and congruences, so OBVIOUS that my CAT gets it THE FIRST TIME and yet we, the people, are asked see them over and over. Yes, I see what you are doing thematically. Yes, already. No, it actually does NOT interest me MORE if you AGAIN show me the thing that failed to be intellectually complicated enough to interest me the first time.

Shall I now repeat a contrast for you? OKAY: I sat through SHOWGIRLS. Twice. Spring Breakers was not intellectually complicated enough to engage me.

And granted, I walked out before James Franco did more than yell four lines while wearing an X-treme Grill, but I thought I could be doing LITERALLY any other thing in that moment, including LOOKING AT A TOILET, I would be more engaged and entertained.

WHY IS THIS MOVIE 69% FRESH ON ROTTEN TOMATOES? Is American Art House film really this…bankrupt?

I never write bad reviews of things — If I like it, I tell you, if I do not like it, I shrug, I move on and try to find a thing I LIKE. But LORD, the critical reception of this film is so INEXPLICABLE. I need you to explick it.

Can anyone defend it?

Also, do any of them die? I walked out with two WILDLY critically acclaimed, accomplished novelists, both also bored and mystified by the positive Tomato Meter for such banal storytelling, but we all three hoped it would at least end in a blood bath. If you want to see this film (you do not), then do not read the comments, because I am FLAT asking for spoilers. Please tell me they all die.

14 comments to Here There Be Dragons

  • I would get HBO if I lived near you, just to help you out, but I am a full state away. I don’t even watch much TV at all. But I do watch movies, however have not seen the movie in question. It looked horrid. What is wrong with Rotten Tomatoes? But while we are talking about horrid movies, and you seem like you are pretty resilient at getting through them, you must try 12/12/12. WORST MOVIE EVER MADE I swear. About a demon baby who kills people. It got a 1.9 on IMDb, and isn’t even rated on RottenTomatoes. I didn’t make it through to the end, so I throw down the gauntlet…

  • I would be a horrible friend candidate. I live far away without HBO so I am just starting Season 2 of Game of Thrones on DVD. I think it has way too much gratutitous boobage but my husband suddenly got very interested in the “story” when he saw me watching. He wasn’t interested at all when he just read the synopsis. Coincidence?

  • We just finished season 2 of GoT on DVD. I am DYING IN MY HEART to see season 3. DYING.

    Yes 97% of the over the top sex stuff is SUPER GRATUITOUS but I still watch… I can’t care because I am so, so. so. so. so. interested. in The Imp. In Arya Stark. In THE KHALEESI.

    John Snow is kinda ruined for me because my husband pointed out that when he is anxious/worried/broody (which is ALWAYS) he looks JUST like our littlest dog, Ansley.

    Also? DRAGONS!

  • JulieB

    Well, glad to hear you walked out of Springbreakers. Middle Daughter who is not yet 16 wanted to go with friends. I’d never heard of it and read two reviews, without spoilers, but came to the conclusion and told her, “I do not believe this is the spring break movie you believe it is.”

    I am not a prude either, and I have let her watch some R rated movies. But this one, no. I told her I would preview the DVD and if she wanted, talk about it after letting her see it then, but I was disinclined to spend $10 and 2 hours of my life this week on letting her go. And then driving her back and forth to the theater on top of everything else.

    And, please, spoil away. I don’t care if I’m wrong. But I suspect we’re right.

  • JulieB

    *That should say $10 and 2 hours of my life previewing it to only maybe let her go anyway, and driving back and forth again if I decided it was OK after all. She and her friends had a sleepover last night and have watched School of Rock and are now watching Skyfall. I think they’ll get over it.

  • Therese

    Maybe Spring Breakers is one of those movies better viewed with the sound off while you make up your own dialogue, monologue or play-by-play? Or, can you make up a drinking game — for a movie about the week-long drinking game that is known as spring break??

    Otherwise, I got nothin. Including no HBO and no actual TV. (I watch Netflix, etc. on my computer.) Just as well…I live several time zones west of you. Good luck with the new BFF search, though!

  • Yes, they all die. It turns out that Spring Break is really a terrorist plot to decimate the most fertile segment of the population and Jack is unable to find the override and stop the assassin from…oh, wait, that’s 24.

    Just kidding. I’ve never even heard of it. But thanks for the heads up. I have teenage boys who will for sure try to talk me into it.

  • I nominate myself for JJNBFF because I JUST got HBO AND Seasons 1 and 2 of GoT on DVD, which I am hungrily watching my way through. I am totally up for moving to the greater Atlanta area since I am a die-hard Braves fan and once held hands with a cute band boy there on a college trip.

    With regard to Spring Breakers, I became sterile of all interest-manufacturing hormones the moment I saw the words Selena and Gomez standing together at the top of the poster. Good choice walking out! We all know James Franco is much better without the grill.

  • Whitney

    So… I saw it and didn’t hate it. There was a little too much repetition for me (agree with you on that point) and the satire was definitely heavy-handed. But, fairly early on, my boy leaned over to me and whispered “this is Less Than Zero.” I’ve only read the Ellis novel (I think there’s also a film adaption?), but I could totally see it. Afterwords, we totally went home and tried to dissect the movie.

    … and there are holes, for sure; it’s not a neat package, but I think if you like Less than Zero types of satire, then it’s an okay-ish movie.

  • Brigitte

    Awwww! I have HBO and am a SAHM, so there’s plenty of husband-and-child-free time. And I’m eagerly waiting to be introduced to GoT. And I very indiscriminately view any kind of movie as well. AND I eat live birds!!

    OK, no, I don’t.

    But I live in what is still apparently the Arctic tundra, so I’m out of the running.

  • DebR

    I am useless and totally out of the running to be your NBF – I’m two states away, don’t subscribe to HBO and I’m no help on the movie thing since I’ve never even watched a trailer for it, never mind the whole movie. However, I totally believe Quiltin Jenny’s ending. (Or if I don’t, then I think The Bride showed up on the beach with her samurai sword and wreaked bloody havoc and justice.)

    Oh! But I will offer this in the “watch anything” hall of fame! In order to be truly and completely accepted into my extended family, you have to be able to sit through an entire showing of Eurotrip. You don’t necessarily have to LIKE it or think it’s funny (although BIG bonus points if you do!! Heee!!) but you have to at least be able to tolerate it, since it’s a tradition to watch it at least once on family vacations. Luckily for my husband, he was grandfathered in by virtue of our marriage taking place several years before the movie existed.

  • Chelsey

    I am in LOVE with GOT! My brother lives in Atlanta in Decatur….sadly I do not. Otherwise I would totally be your NBF (and would squeal at being friends with an author I read!)and invite you over for weekly viewings of GOT with my other lady friends. We have weekly viewing parties up here in Ohio with snacks and snarky commentary (we’ve all read the books). If you’re ever up here in the cold Ohio north feel free to drop in. If I visit Atlanta soon, I’ll be sure to hook you up with a marathon of the current season.

  • If you read the series, Jon Snow would be one of your very faves. And Jojen and Meera Reed (who make Bran Stark’s story arc much better), too, but they aren’t on the show yet (they were cast for this season so we’ll see). Me, I don’t have cable, but piratical friends. Also? HBO LET ME GIVE YOU MY MONEY NOW!

  • susanvl

    If you want to drive to Canton, we watch GoT every week, just us girls, in the basement. With wine. When the husband clomps loudly down the stairs we pause the TV and glare at him until he goes away. We just finished watching season 1 again, mostly for the Kal Drogo manly horseback no shirt yumminess.