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One party you can't miss

Adults may despise it, but ‘Project X’ not just teen flick

By Jeremiah Muhammad
On March 20, 2012

  • Prof. Gail Presbey (third from left) spent her break in Guatemala.


Chaos is a naturally bewildering sight.

It brings out a strangely beautiful feeling of freedom.

When order and rules are gone, people just feel like they can finally do the things they've always wanted to.

"Project X" captures this feeling, along with capturing what makes great art truly genius: chaotic order. The party is chaotic (an understatement), the movie is ordered.

The film centers on Thomas (played by Thomas Mann), a meek high school student who plans a party at his house through the coercion of his friends JB and (everyone's new favorite character) Costa. What Thomas thinks is going to be "50 people, absolute max" ends up being thousands. Thus "Project X" is born.

Many movies have been made about big, crazy parties: "Superbad," "American Pie," "Animal House," etc. They involve crazy antics, crude jokes, hot girls and lots of drugs and alcohol.

Adults condemn them and young people love them. Reviews are usually in the middle. The question is this: Does "Project X" bring anything new to the table? The answer: Yes, and in all the best ways.         

For one, this isn't just another teen flick; this is the teen flick to rival them all.

Imagine if Michelangelo had made his masterpiece about a teenage party. This is the Sistine Chapel of wild parties. 

And it's definitely the benchmark for teen films. There's no denying X's accolades in dialogue, acting and overall entertainment. It's an extremely fun movie that stays believable, even when it goes into its craziest moments.

And "Project X" is full of wild, ludicrous moments.

I won't spoil the ridiculously breathtaking wildness of the party. All I'm going to say is that if you watch this and your jaw doesn't drop in awe, then you must be one seriously wild person.

One thing the film does perfectly is match the music to the scene. I haven't witnessed such beautiful music correlation since "The Social Network."

There are tons of party songs, but each one has a point behind it, making it more than just background music.

The characters are also really likeable, plus strikingly realistic.

In what may have been a genius move, the most characters are named after the actor or actress who plays them.

JB is played by Jonathan Daniel Brown; Thomas's best friend, Kirby, is played by Kirby Bliss Blanton; Thomas's crush, Alexis, is played by Alexis Knapp.

This could've been the reason the characters seem so believable and authentic: The actors might've felt like they were playing themselves (or at least a parody of themselves.) - like they were really at this party.

"Project X" is a "found-footage film," in which everything is shown through a camera held by one of the characters.

In this case it's Dax (played by Dax Flame) who is the film's main camera source. Unlike the recent film "Chronicle," which uses the same style, the technique actually makes the movie seem much more realistic, because the camera is not always in the perfect place at the perfect time to record exactly what is happening.

It feels as though someone was really holding the camera and recording only what they could. This, added to the very genuine feel of the characters, makes for an overall lifelike experience.

You'll feel as if you're at this party, and that'll make it all the more awe-inspiring.

Director Nima Nourizadeh does a good job of making "Project X" a fun film for teens to see, and still a powerful film with a message.

 As my brother pointed out: We're in one of the only economies in history where the economic problems are seriously affecting the youth. This party was an opportunity for them to let go; to take out all their frustrations.

And they do so in the best, craziest, most awe-inspiring party ever witnessed on screen.

In the words of Costa, "Project X" "was a game changer."


Grade: A-

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