A blog about movies and filmmaking.

This’ll Be Epic | PROJECT X

In comedy on February 29, 2012 at 7:59 am

In the weeks leading up to the release of PROJECT X, I couldn’t help (and a number of other film-nerds on Twitter) but make comments on being excited to see the new remake of the “Matthew Broderick training Chimpanzees to be pilots” movie. That along with assuming this SUPER BAD retread was just going to be a vulgar, idiotic voyage into teenage party fantasies, kept my expectations fairly low. Even with the pedigree of Todd Phillips (THE HANGOVER) being the producer.

That said, I was totally wrong. This movie was epic in all the ways it promotes and actually even manages to leave the audiences saying “aww” at the very end. Project X is the FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH and ANIMAL HOUSE for the YouTube generation. And it should be embraced as such.

The story follows three teenagers over one night, when young Thomas Cub’s parents are leaving for their wedding anniversary, and they plan to throw an epic party at the house. Granted these kids are not the most well-known, or liked, in school. So it’s an up-hill battle. Through the machinations and endless pimping of Costa (Oliver Cooper), people actually wind up showing at the house. After it’s been setup with a DJ booth, a bouncy castle, and the swimming pool has been decorated with signs that say, “Naked Girls Only”… We’re setup for the party to be a dud.

But what fun would that be?

Instead people show up in droves. The entire block is parked in with cars, party buses show up carrying loads of people, and suddenly there’s a zip-line that runs the length of the backyard. It’s mayhem. All throughout, there’s fun little story moments weaved in; the neighbor who wants to end the fun; the girl that Thomas really likes; the tubby friend JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown) who is working on scoring with the hot college chick. Oh and there’s plenty of other insane things that I wouldn’t dream of spoiling here.

The filmmaking here is pretty fantastic. The entire movie is captured (via the found footage genre) by a visible camera in this world. The movie begins with Dax (played by Dax Flame), filming the friends as they head to school. Throughout the movie, it then cuts between other Flip-Cam, and ambiguous cameras and phones in the vicinity. The conceit works here perfectly – as opposed to the recently released CHRONICLE, which used its found footage components well in some parts, but should have felt free to break that restraint from time to time. Here though, part of the fun is having the camera be an entity… Especially when the camera guy decides to jump off the roof of the house. So, a lot of props are given to director Nima Nourizadeh, and writers Michael Bacall (SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD) and Matt Drake.

Overall, there’s something about pitting loud rap music against the image of a group of nerdy white people that really get me going (I believe this probably started with OFFICE SPACE), and this movie – while completely over-the-top – managed to tickle my funny bone, continually! It’s too much to be expressed in one little review, but just go see it!



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