Project X (2012) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

Project X (2012)

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Project X made me feel dirty.  I haven’t felt this bad about a film since I watched a pregnant woman get stalked from the shadows by a sweaty bug-eyed film buff and forced to give birth out of fear.  Yes, the fanciful discretion's of high school youth are about on par with the violent murder of an innocent mother-to-be.  It stems partly from the fact that Project X regards women on what is essentially the same level, and also because hand-held cameras sometimes catch all the wrong images.

Here’s a litmus test to see how much I was able to grasp from the content versus the presentation.  For the content:  high schooler throws party.  Now for the presentation: a floating voyeuristic camera catches not moments of exploration between adolescents but the creepy post-teen fantasy of someone still clearly holding a grudge against the folks who got some in high school.

This film is like the guy with the lettered jacket and bad mustache who strays a little too close to the school football field on Friday night.  He’s simultaneously pathetic and arouses our defensive instincts, something that Project X managed to do without flinching.  That the film is able to elicit a cameo from said pedophilic creeper without directly commenting on exactly how much statutory rape he was able to cram into one night is a sure sign of a wrong head on this film’s shoulders.

Warning signs explode onto screen without as much as a title card.  Costa (Oliver Cooper) is a student whose presence is an irritation beyond my lenient tolerance.  He seems to have learned all of his seduction techniques from the lads on Jersey Shore and engages in a questionable amount of inappropriately utilized slang delivered with such energy it begins to feel like and Andy Kaufman-esque joke on how much you can endure.  The short version – he’s a strong front-runner for the most obnoxious character ever written.

Almost as a rebuke, or testament, to his ability to crowd the screen with casual misogyny and idiotic behavior are his two friends.  Thomas (Thomas Mann) would cease to exist if it weren’t for the fact that he is desired randomly for no real discernible reason by the film’s Madonna, Kirby (Kirby Bliss Blanton), and Whore, Alexis (Alexis Knapp).  J.B. (Jonathan Daniel Brown) has two roles in the film, to have curly hair and to be a bit husky.  Barely anything is said about the mysterious cameraman (Dax Flame), but my only real comment is filmmakers do not yet have a reason to cast roles based on Youtube video blogs.

Those descriptions and the party are the whole plot.  It is excruciating.   I watched these kids party for over an hour.  It’s like a single, nearly unbroken take of your fuzziest nightmare about the next generation.  There is nothing, only sex, booze, and drugs.  Does anything of consequence come of this?  Not in the slightest.  Just grinding, snorting, and puking.

Then the high school girls start taking their tops off and I became uncomfortable to such a degree I had to shield my eyes for a bit.  See, there’s this thing about how the aesthetics of a film play directly to how you respond to it.  That’s kind of how cinema works.  In this case, it’s presented as an actual documentary of the night as filmed by the theater guy who will probably use this tape as an embarrassing bargaining chip the next time he needs a favor.  As I typed it, I realized I may have given away a potential sequel, and by Welles' mighty beard this had never happen.

As the audience we are watching as someone else’s eyes go up and down the girls bodies when they detop and hit the pool.  The movie sidesteps confronting this by having the party be crashed by an untold number of college girls.  So, as I’m reading the film, it suddenly occurs to me it's totally cool to ogle the bodies of minors so long as you can justify that they may be of college age.  Once you’ve made that leap the next logical step is to sit back and enjoy the sight of the having sex.   Ah, the days when we could watch our kids have sex and feel unashamed.

According to the reception this film received, young boys loved the hell out of this film.  The next time you watch a news program and wonder why our legal system is still voting down women’s rights, remember that this film is teaching an important message to our growing male youth.

It’s ok to have sex with the drunk girl because she’s totally begging for that release.  You will be forgiven for all actions if all you do is say, “Sorry, things got out of hand.”  What about that girl who seems tougher than all of them?  She secretly wants you more than anything else in the world.

I can’t poke fun at this anymore.  It made me feel horrible.  If you want to know how hatred against women starts, find someone who enjoyed Project X.

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Project X (2012)

Directed by Nima Nourizadeh.
Screenplay by Matt Drake and Michael Bacall.
Starring Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper, and Jonathan Daniel Brown.

Posted by Andrew

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  1. I never did a review on this, but I did see it a month later and it was just terrible. Really, I didn’t laugh once and it bothered me even more that every kid I knew who saw this, said it was hilarious and the best party movie ever. I hated to say it, but I strongly disagreed with them. Good review Andrew.

    • Thank you Dan, and I agree with you entirely. Project X has become short-hand for how I can tell someone behaves, or at least how they react to things in life. Given the film, that’s not a good thing.

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