The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner - 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 88/94 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. English/Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper, Jonathan Daniel Brown, Kirby Bliss Blanton
Directed by: Nima Nourizadeh
Written by: Matt Drake & Michael Bacall
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 19, 2012
“Project X” follows three seemingly anonymous high school seniors as they attempt to finally make a name for themselves. Their idea is innocent enough: let’s throw a party that no one will forget… but nothing could prepare them for this party. Word spreads quickly as dreams are ruined, records are blemished and legends are born. “Project X” is a warning to parents and police everywhere.
My teenage son told me he wanted to check out Project X should I receive it for review. He said it looked good but other than that my only knowledge of it came only from the glimpses I had seen from the trailer (which didn’t inspire confidence). Project X is a teen comedy that revolves around three dorky high school seniors looking to make a name/rep for themselves by throwing a shindig. The three main characters are essentially derived from the typical teen archetypes associated with comedies of this sort. There is Thomas, the party host, a likeable easily manipulated kid who longs for popularity status. Costa, the party facilitator, a rather obnoxious, overly confident tool, that routinely manipulates Thomas in furtherance of his own agenda. JB, the slightly overweight Costa minion who aptly serves in the sidekick role in the hopes of getting any possible female attention that could result from the purported potential in Costa’s actions.
It’s Thomas’ birthday and his parents are heading out of town for their wedding anniversary celebration. He is given the keys to their old minivan as a gift along with permission to have a “few” friends over for pizza to celebrate. Needless to say Costa has other ideas and concocts a plan for the party to end all parties in the hopes of scoring with the ladies and cementing his status among the popular crowd. Thomas has reservations about who/how many should be invited but acquiesces once assured by Costa that it would be no more than fifty people. The night of the party arrives and starts out slowly. Unfortunately for and unbeknownst to Thomas Costa turned to the internet for promotion of the party which results in a turnout that not only far exceeds their planning/expectations but places his home and neighborhood under siege by a multitude of partygoers that care little for propriety. Things quickly unravel leaving Thomas, Costa and JB holding a rather large bag of crap with ramifications well beyond their wildest imaginations.
Wow. This “film” reminds me more of reality TV/teen “Jackass” set to the found footage genre that has become popular of late. I knew where things were headed when the film opened with a disclaimer regarding the acts/stunts featured being performed by qualified personnel/actors etc. There isn’t much call for acting on the part of the principles as the goal is clearly obvious, get to the night of the party and unleash as much teen crazed party mayhem as possible. This includes the depiction of overtly reckless acts that are perfect for stimulating thoughts of emulation from teen audiences with nothing better to do. Other than maybe Thomas and his female BFF Kirby I didn’t find anything redeeming in the characters or the storyline. The dialogue is coarse and serves only to fuel the outlandish situations that follow. The humor is predominantly of the shock type that elicits an initial reaction followed by astonishment at just how far things are spiraling. By the end the escalation of events was so excessive that it stretched well beyond reasonableness which left me numb and disinterested. Conceptually speaking there is nothing new here however some creative writing could have resulted in a better film. As it stands Project X is an underwhelming, unrefined and capitalizing film that doesn’t even qualify as passable mindless entertainment. Both the theatrical version and an extended cut (which adds six minutes) are included in this Xtended Blu-ray combo pack.
The rating is for crude sexual content throughput, nudity, drugs, drinking, pervasive language, reckless behavior and mayhem – All involving teens.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Project X comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2 Mbps.
Shot digitally this presentation utilizes an intentionally stylized look intended to convey the looking through the lens perspective associated with the found footage genre. This includes periods of shaky camera work and varying chromatic ranges that occasionally impart images with a flatter less dynamic appearance. Blacks are fairly strong and detail in dark areas and shadowy backgrounds is excellent. Resolution is good overall however due to the nature of the photography definitive sharpness and fine detail perception ebbs and flows. These instances don’t completely inhibit the ability to visually delineate physical features and the structure of objects within the frame but does slightly diminish it. In terms of how this presentation holds up compared to other found footage films on Blu-ray I would say that it is in the middle of the pack.
The lossless audio presentation renders the source elements with enriching clarity and punchy dynamics. Dialogue and front channel audio is delivered with clear vocal presence and discerning imaging. The surrounds aren’t active at all times but support the front oriented presentation where appropriate and adds extension to the film’s music and atmospherics. The extended party sequences are underscored by thumping techno rhythms that contain robust bass extension that occasionally dips into deep low frequency ranges. Otherwise there is little about this surround mix that makes it remarkable.
- Theatrical & Extended Cut of Project X
- (HD) Project X: Declassified – 5 minute featurette
- (HD) Project X: Pasadena three – 5 minute featurette
- (HD) Project Xpensive: Tallying up the damage – 3 minutes
- Bonus DVD – Project X
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
Project X stretches the limits of acceptability and is a poor excuse for a teen comedy. I have a fairly high tolerance for offbeat filmmaking but found this to be an underwhelming, unrefined and capitalizing movie that doesn’t even qualify as passable mindless entertainment. It makes its debut on Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video featuring satisfying high definition audio/video quality and a middling supplemental offering that adds little. Fans of the film will appreciate the inclusion of both the theatrical and extended versions of the film. For me Project X is a swing and a miss. It is clearly not a film for everyone but if you’re curious a rental will more than suffice.
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