What To Watch Thursday: The Place Beyond the Pines and Spring Breakers

What To Watch Thursday: The Place Beyond the Pines and Spring Breakers

Apr 25, 2013 |  by  |  Art, Event
About the author
Born and raised in this amazing city, Steven (25) remembers quite vividly the first film that as a young boy got him addicted to cinema: The Neverending Story. And it really is a never-ending story, his grand film study has gone on ever since. Since then his taste has extended beyond such a fantasy coming-of-age film and will now guide you to what to see and what to skip.

What To Watch Thursday is Overdose’s weekly film concept: every Thursday – which traditionally is Premiere-night in the cinemas across Amsterdam – we will review at least two films that are definitely worth your while. Our main goal is to shield you from horrible films and wasting your precious time. In the process we will try and give you as much in-depth background, without spoiling anything!

The Place Beyond the Pines

Anticipation: Director Derek Cianfrance made a mark for himself two years ago with his promising, but slightly flawed début Blue Valentine. Now, he’s back and so is his long-time friend and man of the hour Ryan Gosling, who also starred in Blue Valentine. For Ryan there’s less screen time in this film though, since it has a true stellar cast (Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper, Ray Liotta). Gosling’s stunt rider and shiny armour act in Drive was memorable to say the least. He now returns to a similar part as Luke, a motorcycle stunt rider who turns bank robber in order to provide for his little boy. Luke has had a lifetime of bad choices, and maverick prison tattoos to show for it. Eventually he finds himself going head to head with another loving father: ambitious rookie police officer Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper) representing the other side of the law in this equation.

Appreciation: After the amazing opening shot you’ll be inclined to see this as a Drive 2.0, but there’s way more to Gianfrance’s second feature, particularly wonderful directing and fantastic performances. Unfortunately this film’s narrative – despite being laden with cool ideas – seems to suffer from Gianfrance’s hyper-ambition. In the end this film is powerful enough to make it worth your while, but with its 140 minutes and various story lines it just doesn’t add up to the sum of its parts. It made me wonder what we can expect from this promising director. His next film sounds even more ambitious, so lets hope for the best!

Length: 140 min.

Verdict: 3/5 – Very ambitious and enthralling, but you can’t help but feel that Gianfrance got a little over excited.

Where to see: Watch this film in Cineville’s Kriterion and The Movies.

Spring Breakers

Anticipation: Enfant terrible Harmony Korine, best known for writing the scenario to Larry Clark’s controversial Kids and his own, highly underrated, Gummo, returns with something a little different. Korine tells the gun-crazy story of four sexy college girls (Disney sweethearts Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and the misses Rachel Korine) who desperately want to leave for Spring Break. In order to fund their ultimate midterm vacation they decide to hit a fast food place and head for R-rated trouble. Obviously, trouble finds them and after being locked up it’s drug dealer and rapper Alien (James Franco) who bails them out. From the frying pan into the fire…

Appreciation: Spring Breakers has been out for some time, and it doesn’t fail to divide audiences. But man, it’s awesome! It has the feel of a hyper-fluorescent Terence Malick film with a hint of Gaspar Noé fucked-up-ness. In fact it’s Benoît Debie, a collaborator with Noé on some films, who’s behind the camera here. If you suffer from epilepsy you should probably stay away from this one. With dubstep producer Skrillex teaming up with Cliff Martinez, this soundtrack is on point but outrageously in your face. As is this film all together, but expect to be mind-fucked and mind-blown. If only by James Franco already legendary performance. I’ve heard people say that this film had a terrible plot, but to them I can only say you’ve hopelessly missed the point here: Spring Break forever, y’all!

Length: 94 min.

Verdict: 4/5 – Korine’s most commercial yet: an instant cult classic.

Where to see: Watch this film in Cineville’s Eye and Kriterion.

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