Matthew Lickona 2:02 p.m., Sept. 23
Casting the great and powerful Oz (James Franco, making quick reparations for his colorless work on The Wiz prequel) as a tin-grinned hustler opposite a pair of former Disney cuties (Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez) in what amounts to a Girls Gone Wild video with a better DP, will forever stand as a monumental bras d'honneur to the House the Mouse Built. But has enfant terrible Harmony Korine abandoned all pretense of formal experimentation in favor of allowing exploitation to motivate what little story there is? (Four hot, bored teens who need to raise quick cash to blow on a spring break getaway fall in with bad company.) Apart from a riff on Gun Crazy’s stylish one-take robbery filmed from inside the getaway car, there’s not much to look at beyond pierced navels, beer bongs, burning blunts, and bikini babes fellating popsicles, and not much to listen to beyond captivating dialog like, “Seeing all this money makes my pussy wet.” Not that I’m complaining, mind you. 2013.
- "Life imitates art, cheesecake edition" • March 13, 2014