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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - July, 2012

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"Project X" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Tyler Stripko

movie-july-2012-project-x210

Synopsis

What do three high school students do when they wish to step out from anonymity?  Answer: throw the biggest, craziest bash in history.  Social pariahs Thomas (Thomas Mann), Costa (Oliver Cooper), and JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown) decide to host the ultimate party in honor of Thomas’ 17th birthday.  With Thomas’ parents heading out of town for an anniversary getaway, the stage is set for one hell of a birthday bash.  Alas, teenagers fueled by alcohol, drugs, and lust can quickly get out of hand . . .

Specifications

  • Warner Bros.
  • 2012, Color, R, 88 Minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD MasterAudio
  • Starring: Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper, Jonathan Daniel Brown
  • Directed by: Nima Nourizadeh
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Moderate
  • Sex: Yup, and some nudity
  • Language: Pretty bad

Commentary

Maybe I’m getting old, but I felt that this movie was an epic failure.  First of all, the “warnings” at the beginning of the film (do not attempt any of the events depicted, etc) were just a joke.  Then there was the whole “documentary-style” filming, which just didn’t work in my mind.  The characters had little personality, and Costa’s character was just plain obnoxious.   The attempts at humor fell flat, despite using every crude or crass reference in the book.   The biggest issue I had with this film was believability – there is just no way that a party of this size could ever occur in a residential neighborhood.  There were hundreds of cars and over 1,000 raucous teenagers in attendance, plus a professional DJ, all OUTSIDE!  A party of this magnitude would have been shut down by the police within 15 minutes, no exceptions.  As a fraternity boy from a large “party” college I know of what I speak.   Add to this the ridiculous ending, and the limits of reality are even further ignored.  The only good thing is that the boys actually face some real consequences when the night is over.

Technical

For a movie supposedly shot on a home video camera and other portable devices, the picture sure looks pretty good.  When not subject to the shaky, hand-held shooting style, the picture is relatively sharp, with good color and saturation.  Contrast is solid, though blacks looked a little bit crushed to my eyes.  The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack fits the fill well, with high volume and deep bass, particularly out of the music blaring from the DJ’s system.  Surrounds are used for aggressive fill, though there is not much subtlety to this soundtrack.

Extras

Included on this disc are two featurettes; one on adding up the bill for all the damage done at the party and the other a short behind-the-scenes on the making of the movie and some of the more dangerous scenes.   The theatrical and extended cuts of the film are included on the Blu-ray disc.  There is also a DVD copy of the film as well as a code to download a copy via UltraViolet.