Posts tagged Thomas Mann
Hello readers! Hope everyone had a Happy Valentine’s Day. My “Weekend Movie Preview” column this week features reviews of the Bruce Willis action flick “A Good Day to Die Hard,” and the young-adult romance “Beautiful Creatures.”
Click here to read my thoughts on both movies.
If scientists were locked away in a secret government lab trying to breed the teenage angst of “Superbad” with the debauchery of an MTV reality show, the resulting child would be known as “Project X.” Instead of producing a hybrid life form superior on the comedic and genetic level however, director Nima Nourizadeh’s movie is more akin to Frankenstein’s monster, largely inheriting the worst traits of its parents.
Told with a found footage, pseudo-documentary style of shooting, “Project X” follows three nerdy high school seniors (Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper, Jonathan Daniel Brown) who attempt to increase their popularity, by throwing an epic birthday party. We first meet the gang on the morning before the shenanigans, where we get to know their perverted minds and humorous deprecating insults for one another. From there, we follow them on the wild ride through the preparation, execution, and the aftermath of their decisions.
The shindig starts out incredibly successful with everyone having a blast, but the night quickly spirals out of control once the gathering consumes the entire block. As expected, a number of outrageous and hilarious events happen during the mayhem like a spray painted dog, an angry midget punching people in the testicles, and a luxury car driving into the swimming pool.
Past the purely shocking moments though, “Project X” is sadly lacking in the laugh department. This is because the film contains dialogue laced with teenage sexual frustration, reminiscent of the few cringe-worthy parts in “Superbad.” Their wanna-be ladies man and ringleader Costa fills in for Jonah Hill’s crude character Seth, while Thomas plays the part of the shy Evan, and J.B. is like an overweight Fogel.
It’s also hard to enjoy the movie once the lighthearted atmosphere, strangely disappears in the final act of “Project X.” The patrons at this party turn violent when the cops arrive to disperse everyone. People charge at the police, hurling bottles and even knocking them off their horses. What used to be about having a good time, turns into a full on riot, featuring an angry dude torching the neighborhood with a flamethrower. So not cool.
“Project X” isn’t all bad though, since its director Nima Nourizadeh does a superb job selling us that this is found footage with the illusion of amateur camerawork and editing. His keen visual eye gives a sensual, romantic flair to the party, and really makes you feel like you’re a guest immersed in the action. There’s plenty of t and a, which will excite male viewers, however Nourizadeh shows you enough boobs and butts to desensitize you to their on-screen presence, taking away from the usual taboo enjoyment.
If “Project X” sounds slighltly like “The Hangover,” it should, because its director Todd Philips played a vital role in producing this comedy. The key difference between the two films though is the maturity of their humor. Extreme adult situations in “The Hangover” appealed to a wide range of audiences, whereas the immaturity of the characters and excess nudity in “Project X” mean that if you’re over the age of 18, you’ll probably have a difficult time relating to Thomas, Costa, and J.B. This 25 year old couldn’t identify with them, and his appreciation of Nima Nourizadeh’s daring experiment in crossbreeding suffered because of it.
My Grade: C+