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Nima Nourizadeh
Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper, Jonathan Daniel Brown, Dax Flame, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Brady Hender, Nick Nervies, Alexis Knapp
Writing Credits:
Matt Drake, Michael Bacall (and story)

Witness it.

Project X is an out-of-control comedy that follows a group of buds who set out to throw the most epic 17th birthday party ever. The film documents a high school party that gets completely out of control, shot from the perspective of the digital cameras that the kids have with them.

Box Office:
$12 million.
Opening Weekend
$21.051 million on 3055 screens.
Domestic Gross
$94.731 million.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Version Only)
Latin Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Version Only)
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Version Only)
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:
Latin Spanish

Runtime: 88 min. (Theatrical Version) / 93 min. (Extended Version)
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 6/19/2012

• Both Theatrical and Extended Versions of the Film
• “Project X: Declassifed” Featurette
• “Project X: Pasadena Three” Featurette
• “Project Xpensive: Tallying Up the Damage” Featurette
• Previews
• Bonus DVD


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Project X [Blu-Ray] (2011)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 13, 2012)

In the annals of “misleading film titles”, I think 2012’s Project X deserves mention. With a name like that, one might expect a Cloverfield-style monster movie or some sort of action-thriller.

Nope. Instead, the flick offers essentially a teen-oriented take on The Hangover. On Thomas’s (Thomas Mann) 17th birthday, his parents head out of town for the weekend. Thomas isn’t terribly popular, so his pal Costa (Oliver Cooper) wants to create an enormous event to escalate their standing at high school. Thomas resists this notion, but Costa and friend JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown) wear him down and he agrees.

Costa recruits classmate Dax (Dax Flame) to document the day, so we get video footage along the way. We see the guys promote the bash, prepare for it – and watch it spiral totally out of control.

Here’s the day’s debate: at 45, am I officially too old to enjoy something aimed at teens – or is Project X just a really lousy movie? While I don’t deny the possible truth of the former, I’m going to say it’s not the problem here. The main issue comes from the absolute crappiness of the film I witnessed.

I get the feeling someone thought it’d be a great idea to take the “drunk and stoned shenigans” elements from Hangover and stretch them to nearly 90 minutes. That’s essentially what we get here: one long collection of party montage shots. Every once in a while, these halt to allow for a smidgen of story development, and then we go right back to more party party party.

Maybe this is the future of movies. Maybe attention spans will become so minimal that only films that resemble a collection of random Youtube videos will succeed. Maybe.

But today, this equals lazy, lousy filmmaking. Precious little that could pass for entertainment occurs here. We just get a wide variety of random shots of partiers most of the time – it’s like someone passed a camera around and collected the results. Which is what the film’s supposed to be, in essence, but that doesn’t make it interesting.

It doesn’t help that Project X wears its influences on its sleeve. In addition to Hangover, we find obvious allusions to other flicks like Superbad and Risky Business - but without niceties like story/character development and actual comedy.

Did I laugh during Project X? I did not – I never even cracked a smile, as the movie presented profanity and crudeness as a substitute for jokes/cleverness. Did I care about the characters – or take even vague interest in them? I did not – they started one-dimensional and never grew from there. This is supposed to be a “coming of age” tale, but it’s just 80-something minutes of stupidity and depravity.

Costa deserves special attention, though, as he may well be the most annoying character in movie history. He’s like an unholy combination of Jonah Hill – the annoying one from Superbad - and “The Situation” from Jersey Shore. He’s a constant irritant and actively dislikable from start to finish.

Every once in a while, Project X offers a vague attempt at the usual “coming of age” stuff, mainly via the progression between Thomas and his longtime female friend Kirby (Kirby Bliss Blanton). Not only are these scenes insanely predictable, but also they’re inane. They exist just so the filmmakers can feel like they offered something of substance.

Yuck. We also get a ridiculously convenient ending that takes the theme of Risky Business without earning it; we’re supposed to root for these characters and feel happy with their end point, but we don’t. If anything, we dislike them more than ever, as they seem like selfish shmucks who succeed despite their idiocy.

Project X ends up as cheap, lazy, lowest common denominator “comedy”. It fails to present even the most vague sense of entertainment.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B/ Bonus D+

Project X appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. With a variety of photographic sources on display, we got an erratic image.

Though not a bad one, as Project X often looked quite good. Most of the film used solid hi-def video cameras, and these presented positive clarity and accuracy. However, more than occasional shots emanated from lower-res sources, and those tended to present iffier definition. Most of the film lacked jaggies or shimmering, but those uglier shots could feature some blockiness. I saw no signs of edge haloes, and print flaws remained absent.

In terms of colors, the source camera affected those as well. When we went with the good footage, the hues were fairly natural and full, but other shots tended to be murkier and messier. The same went for blacks, which varied from dense/dark to inky, and shadows, which ran a similar gamut. Since the majority of the flick looked good, I thought it deserved a “B-“, but expect a lot of variation here.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it emphasized music. The flick’s many songs used the five channels to emphasize the wildness of the party, and we also got occasional instances of effects. The most interesting cropped up during the climax, as the out of control nature of the party delivered solid information from the various speakers. Much of the movie lacked bold effects, but they contributed enough life at times to add to the experience.

Audio quality was fine. Music presented the most prominent element; the songs and score boasted strong clarity and range, with a lot of deep, taut low-end on display. Effects seemed accurate and concise, while speech was mostly natural and distinctive; some lines got a bit buried, but those were the exception. All of this seemed worthy of a “B”.

We get a skimpy set of extras here. The main attraction comes from the inclusion of both the theatrical version (1:27:52) and the extended version (1:32:58) of the film. What do you get for that additional five minutes? I have no idea – I only watched the extended cut, and that was my introduction to the movie. Nonetheless, I wanted to mention the presence of both versions.

Three featurettes follow. We find Project X: Declassifed (5:27), Project X: Pasadena Three (5:39) and Project Xpensive: Tallying Up the Damage (3:01). Across these, we hear from executive producers Joel Silver and Scott Budnick, producer Todd Phillips, director Nima Nourizadeh, stuntperson Tree O’Toole, stunt coordinator Allan Graf, and actors Jonathan Daniel Brown, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Oliver Cooper, Alexis Knapp, and Thomas Mann. We learn about stunts and effects, characters and cast, and the cost of various elements that got trashed during the shoot. We get a few minor notes here – and I like the glimpses of audition footage – but these are mostly superficial and forgettable clips.

The disc opens with ads for The Dark Knight Rises, Wrath of the Titans, Superman vs. the Elite and the Lollipop Chainsaw video game. No trailer for X appears here.

Finally, a separate platter offers a DVD Copy of Project X. This provides a standard retail disc, so it has moderate value.

I’ve enjoyed many an “R”-rated teen-oriented comedy, but Project X doesn’t do it for me. The movie substitutes stupidity and crassness for entertainment and delivers a wholly unlikable effort. The Blu-ray comes with fairly good picture and audio but skimps on supplements. Project X fails in every way imaginable.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.8333 Stars Number of Votes: 6
0 3:
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