Project X [Blu-Ray] Nima Nourizadeh

Project X [Blu-Ray] Nima Nourizadeh
When word got out in the summer of 2010 that Todd Phillips was involved with a secret film being referred to as Project X, audiences assumed it could only be one thing. Following Phillips's unprecedented success the previous summer with The Hangover, it was widely assumed that "Project X" was a half-hearted cover for the inevitable sequel. Project X never regained the momentum that its initial notoriety gave it and Philips would go on to film the actual Hangover sequel a few months later, while this film would eventually receive a theatrical release in March 2012. The codename title remains intact, as if the film is clinging to its gossipy beginnings, but it only serves as a reminder of what the expectations for it were like and how quickly they were forgotten. Essentially Superbad redone with an "x-treme" sensibility ― the kind of obnoxious yet underwhelming attitude that seems native to the world of Mountain Dew commercials ― the set-up has the parents of Thomas (Thomas Mann) going away for the weekend and his friend, Costa (Oliver Cooper), orchestrating an epic party to get them both laid. Costa, in particular, seems written as the poor man's Jonah Hill, before the real Jonah Hill made the brilliant career move to get the hell away from roles like these. Once the party starts, without a narrative hitch, the film becomes a seemingly endless series of montages. Young, uniformly attractive people smoke and drink, while the ultimate party doesn't look much different than a Vice Magazine photo spread. But for all of the declarations of how awesome this is supposed to be (by the characters and marketing alike), nothing actually happens. Ken Jeong jumping naked out of the trunk of a car in The Hangover raises questions, which begets a story that earns audience interest. In this film, a generic teenager character jumps off the roof of a house into an inflatable castle because he can, and so that's just something that happens. With one toe in the water of the found-footage genre, Project X is neither dramatic enough as fiction nor believable enough as a pseudo-documentary. The contradictory nature of the film should have been evident from the opening disclaimers, which both hype its perceived epic grandeur while also humbly thanking those who supposedly contributed footage. The young audience this film is aimed towards is too tech-savvy and cynical to believe that every camcorder, smart phone and other devices could plausibly create such consistently crisp, high-definition video. Teenagers have never seemed so anti-septic. The Blu-Ray release includes an "#XTENDED CUT" (hashtag!) running four minutes longer than the theatrical version and some scant promotional interviews. (Warner)