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Capone says the teen party comedy PROJECT X isn't nearly as wild and crazy as it thinks it is!!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.

This will be short. I fucking loathed this movie, and it has nothing to do a "these kids today" morality suddenly taking root in my old soul. No, it has to do with the fact that PROJECT X isn't nearly as wild and crazy as it thinks it is or any of the people in it think it is. It's 90 minutes of underage drinking, followed by bits of nudity, a flame thrower, and constant, unapologetic yelling about how awesome what we're watching is supposed to be.

Let me explain something very simple to Todd Philips (THE HANGOVER director who produced PROJECT X) and the folks he convened to make this shit movie: if you have to constantly remind us how cool your party is, it probably isn't that cool. It's like that person you meet that keeps telling you what a weird sense of humor they have, when in fact they have no sense of humor. If you feel the need to push a sign in someone's face that says "FUN!" maybe you're doing something wrong. The bigger problem with PROJECT X is that it's really boring watching other people have fun. When I go to a movie and watch people ride a kick-ass roller coaster, I couldn't care less because it's not me. So watching a kid jump off the roof of a house into a pool, not so interesting.

It doesn't help that I hated the three main characters (Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper and Jonathan Daniel Brown, who were discovered in a nationwide "talent" search). It's also a found-footage-style movie, which is one of the most believable parts of it, since at this party, there are hundreds of cell phone cameras, flips cams, etc., recording each act of debauchery. But boy does that style of filmmaking get old in this kind of movie, with a non-stop string of cutaway shots of people (you got it) screaming, drinking, injuring themselves doing a drunken stunt... oh the possibilities are endless.

PROJECT X made me restless, bored, and really eager to leave the theater and enjoy life. Instead I had to sit a watch a story of a bunch of outcasts throw a blow-out so they could be popular and get laid. Well these three aren't popular with me, so there's no way I'm giving up the ass to them. Sorry, fellas. Better luck next time. If you have a modicum of self-respect, don't give these guys, Tood Phillips or anybody connected with this movie your ass or money either. I'm already sick of talking about this ass-wart of a movie.

-- Steve Prokopy
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Readers Talkback
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  • March 3, 2012, 11:47 p.m. CST


    by Goodbye_America

    In other news, no one on earth gives a shit that I'm first.

  • March 3, 2012, 11:49 p.m. CST

    I'm sure it will still make money,

    by Goodbye_America

    considering its budget was so low. goal: achieved. That doesn't make it anything but a pile of shit, though.

  • In some ways, we've had it since the 80's and 90's. ALIENS -- with the marine helmet cameras being viewed back at the APC by Gorman, Burke, and Ripley. JFK -- Oliver Stone mixed all different types of film stocks and formats together, as well as using real footage like the Zapruder Film. Blair Witch -- was about as found footage as you can get. This was over a decade ago folks. Also, The Ring in a way uses a found footage angle with its phantom VHS cassette. What about The Office? What about that episode of Battlestar Galactica where Commander Adama and Pres. Roslin had that reporter make a documentary about the day to day life and operations of the Galactica crew? I am sick of the whole found footage thing being traced back to only a couple years ago with Paranormal Activity like it was some trend that came out of nowhere and we are supposed to be awed by it now. IMO, these new found footage films are often too slick and don't really resemble actual footage shot on lower grade digital video and cell phone cameras.

  • March 4, 2012, 12:10 a.m. CST

    Good review

    by Raptor Jesus

    Best signal to noise ratio of any AICN review, ever. In other words, I KNEW IMMEDIATELY WHAT THE WRITER MEANT.

  • don't you spell check your own headlines? Christ.

  • March 4, 2012, 12:15 a.m. CST

    Also, how is it that these found footage films are so cheap?

    by lv_426

    Sure something like Blair Witch or Paranormal Activity are easier to do, but Chronicle and Project X seem to need a lot more $$$ to be made. Maybe less than some conventional feature films would cost, and if there are no big giant movie stars that demand huge paychecks, but then is that saying the found footage angle is the star of the film? If that is the case, what happens when people tire of this trend? Or what if they don't tire of it? Will we eventually be left with every film being done in a found footage style? Back to the budget concerns... what happens when these found footage films start to run out of ghost stories and have to do bigger things using more epic concepts and stories? Say, for example, someone tries to make the found footage equivalent to War of the Worlds, or the found footage version of Star Trek. Eventually they will hit a point where they are spending so much on FX, they might as well have made a conventional movie. Also, I heard a lot of people thought Chronicle would have been better if it had just been shot like a traditional film. What about Chronicle makes it need to be a found footage film? What about Project X? Would it have been better as a traditionally shot film? It seems to me it is like any film, the director needs to ask' *why does this film need to be done found footage style?* If the answer is just cause it is cheaper or because the kids think it is cooler, then that to me is a horrible reason. Remember bullet time (although, some films like the Resident Evil series seem to think that they need to keep using that effect) right after The Matrix, or CGI morphing after T2? I kind of feel like found footage is going to feel like that by the end of this decade. Either that, or maybe found footage is the logical evolution from the past decade's obsession with shaky-cam hand held shooting styles? I can't imagine what will be next then. The real horror though, is when they start to take classics and remake them not as normal films, but as found footage movies. Sort of like how Cloverfield was an American found footage take on Godzilla, but instead of that we may be facing a reality soon where the official Godzilla remake is just another found footage film.

  • March 4, 2012, 12:16 a.m. CST

    No Kid N' Play no party.

    by Shpadoinkle

    You should probably sort out the spelling in the headline Capone. I already like a movie called Project X from the 80's, don't need to see a feature length party unless someone releases some velociraptors.

  • March 4, 2012, 12:16 a.m. CST

    Found footage movies are usually retarded

    by Mugato5150

    I understand the appeal. They cost nothing to make and they appeal to everyone's love of "reality" tv. But they make no sense from a filmmaking standpoint. But whatever. This movie apparently doesn't have any aliens or demons or dinosaurs, so WTF? Whatever. It's just another fad in movies that will hopefully fade away.

  • March 4, 2012, 2:51 a.m. CST

    Sorry, he's wrong.

    by JayEssTee

    This movie is exactly as fun as the trailer promises. I'm seeing it again tomorrow.

  • March 4, 2012, 3:13 a.m. CST

    New Project X Guarantee!

    by Michael Bay

    Every movie theater will have free Red Bull and Trojan Condom to the first 50 hipsters in line for every showing!!!

  • March 4, 2012, 5:07 a.m. CST

    I was on the fence, but...

    by RRL

    Thanks to Shillster McPlant- I'm SO seeing this movie! Free Stuff! Thanks for another insightful review, Capone. (I want to heap more praise on you, but the typo in the headline means I can't. It's against the rules, sir.)

  • March 4, 2012, 5:10 a.m. CST

    Cannibal Holocaust (1980) started the "found footage fad"

    by godoffireinhell

    and if you're reading this site without knowing that or having seen Deodato's film you should be ashamed of yourself and promtly do your homework.

  • Is that a sentence?

  • March 4, 2012, 7:51 a.m. CST

    First negative review I've seen on this site.

    by TheMachinist

    Stand your ground, Capone. Stand your ground.

  • March 4, 2012, 8:47 a.m. CST

    my fave part was when matthew broderick and helen hunt got shitfaced


    and he recorded her fucking a chimp.

  • March 4, 2012, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Capone must type all his articles on an iPhone while wearing mittens

    by Garbageman33

    Seriously, dude, would it kill you to just do a quick read-through of your articles before you post them? I don't think you've ever posted a typo-free review. Not once. Consider this a challenge.

  • March 4, 2012, 9:28 a.m. CST

    It's really boring watching people have fun.

    by Cobb05

    I haven't seen this movie. I agree it looks stupid though. I don't hate the idea. I mean I'm all for a good high school party movie. I don't get how watching people have fun is boring though. While the movie could be boring due to crappy acting or characters with nothing to offer or no real plot to a movie, watching people have fun isn't boring. Bachelor Party is a pretty fun movie to watch, about guys having fun and a big party. I'm not a fan of Todd Phillips. The Hangover is the only one of his movies I like. Road Trip, Old School and the rest of them just aren't great movies. He tries too hard to be "edgy" and I've just never liked his movies. He's more of a straight to DVD director who just happened to make studio movies. He could easily have been making Nation Lampoon's (insert title here) or one of the American Pie spin off movies. But saying it's boring to watch people have fun is a dumb statement. You go to movies to watch people have fun or do things we can't or wouldn't do.

  • March 4, 2012, 10:02 a.m. CST

    It's been said elsewhere but I'm going to steal it

    by Arteska

    The main problem with The Hangover and now Project X is that some people (too many) basically consider them aspirational or worse, affirmative, lifestyle manuals.

  • March 4, 2012, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Re: fun

    by Goodbye_America

    When the fun in the movie is done right, it's great. When it isn't done right, and seems forced and lame, we'll get this movie.

  • March 4, 2012, 10:33 a.m. CST

    LV 426...

    by Johnny Wrong seriously think Blair Witch was the first "found footage" movie? Try Cannibal Holocaust, kid.

  • Then I see Helen Hunt snort coke and jump out a window in hard bodies and start laughing my ass off. Possibly the most inadvertent laugh ever derived from a movie i'll never see.

  • I had no real desire to see this movie, but one of my dudes here hooked it up with passes to an early screening courtesy of Warner Bros. You know what? This movie was actually fun to watch. Sure--watching a party isn't as fun as going to one--but I felt like I was part of the goings on. Afterwards, we all wanted nothing more than to get into some trouble of our own! I dont know, I was just shocked to eat my words--while this isn't some epic masterpiece, it was totally a fun movie for the day. I don't think by design it was supposed to be some serious dissection of the party-culture or anything like that--it was supposed to be 90 minutes of boobs inducing you to hit a rail after the theater. SUCCESS!

  • March 4, 2012, 11:14 a.m. CST

    I want a rail. Gimme!

    by UltraTron

  • March 4, 2012, 11:16 a.m. CST

    When I see the ads for this movie

    by jim

    I wonder "how come none of the neighbours called the cops?". Unless the party is in a rather remote location, I don't see this kind of blowout being allowed to go on. In my experience, house parties are fine, but once the guests start whooping it up outdoors the neighbours get nervous (and pissed off) and call the police.

  • March 4, 2012, 11:20 a.m. CST

    typo in the headline.

    by phifty2

  • March 4, 2012, 12:05 p.m. CST

    throw a blow-out so they could be popular and get laid.

    by Jason

    Popular and get laid? Never been a problem I've had!

  • March 4, 2012, 2:13 p.m. CST


    by bcom77

    I had a fear that once a few good 'found footage' movies got noticed that, like every other movie making novelty, it would get milked to death. The 3 movies that I feel have use it best are The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield and the first Paranormal Activity. These movies took a well used movie genre and turned it into something else, and did it effectively (although, I missed out on seeing Chronicle so don't know if that was good or not). It now seems like movie executives are going "lets do a found footage movie thingy" and then deciding what to base it on afterwards. Like 3D, it's now becoming cheap and over used. I'm surprised George Lucas hasn't jumped on the bandwagon and remade all 6 Star Wars films in the found footage style. Actually, it wouldn't surprise me if he eventually did.

  • March 4, 2012, 2:27 p.m. CST

    'Star Wars' as found footage:

    by buggerbugger

    All done in the style of Princess Leia's "found footage" hologram message to Obi-Wan. ;)

  • March 4, 2012, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Found footage Star Wars

    by jim

    The helmet cam of the Stormtrooper who stunned Leia, followed the droids to Tatooine, encountered Han & Luke on the Death Star, watched Vader fight Obi Wan, and laughed along with his buddies as they watched the rebels' "futile, suicide mission" attack. Last line of the movie: "What do they expect to do with a couple dozen ships and some torpedoes? Ah, what's it matter, I'm retiring at the end of the week and while you all are stuck here I'll be living it up on.....".

  • Merchant ship comes across flotsam containing a flip-book of detailed images chronicling the search for the White Whale.

  • March 4, 2012, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Sorry you had to watch this movie.

    by Ozman X

    Takes a lot of balls to sit through crap.

  • I may be wrong but I believe it was the first full length found footage. And it is a masterpiece. If you have never seen MAN BITES DOG then I suggest you find it pronto. and your welcome

  • Project X 1987 mathew Broderick...ring any bells? I guess it's ok to come out with a coming of age flick about a dog who loses his way and call it Star Wars?

  • This review was a nightmare.

  • March 4, 2012, 6:11 p.m. CST

    @Smokie... Agreed.

    by Fritzlorrerains

    Man bites Dog is great. No one has come close

  • March 4, 2012, 6:25 p.m. CST


    by Josh

    I thought it was fun, it was a popcorn none thinking movie. It made me laugh me and my friend enjoy it. It won't win any awards who cares. It's better then half the shit they been putting out this year so far. But act of valor still more amazing. But there two diff movies but this and act of valor are all i like so far from this year

  • March 4, 2012, 6:52 p.m. CST

    to me its the sort of movie you watch before going out on the piss

    by celebritydave

  • March 4, 2012, 7:31 p.m. CST

    GUYZ who wants 2 come to my party and get laid?


    I'm so fucking sick of these nerds want to be cool movies written by fucking assholes.

  • March 4, 2012, 7:42 p.m. CST

    NOT to try and put words in Capone's mouth here BUT..

    by mcgillj

    His comment about watching someone do something is not so much fun.. someone brought up this is the whole idea of Bachelor Party.. but you know what? I LIKED the Hanks and Dudikoff characters. If you don't like the characters in the film and aren't going to go with them on their journey, then yeah, its pretty pointless. Add on to the fact that as a found footage film, and I am just speaking in the abstract here (having not seen, or even planning to. This is a trend of filmmaking I have ZERO desire to support) but the whole found footage can logically have gaps in the story and the entire film just be this random action or that. And its just a gimmick for gimmick's sake (which I am guessing this probably is). Bachelor Party following the more linear path actually have to have certain plot points follow along the line, but like I said.. engaing and fun cast. So you can take the leap with them. The same thing applies with The Hangover I found ZERO percent of the film all that original or unique, in fact it felt like a BAD sitcom idea, but the actors were engaing and I went along for the ride. So I understand Capone's feeling on the film. And would rather reward a filmmaker doing something different, not just the next filmmaker joining on what's become the NEW trend. Granted, Blair Witch was the first film to fully explore the found footage idea. But it took Paranormal Activity for that to really sink its teeth in, and now they are prepping a fourth film, and others trying so hard to be me toos, and then you have the other people trying to adapt the film with new ideas. Which is laudable, but as the expression goes. It's like putting lipstick on a pig and just exploiting the same gimmick. I honestly saw Blair Witch thought.. "DAMN those kids are stupid" when it was over.. I grew up in the country, so seeing city kids in the woods made my eyes roll. I got talked into seeing Paranormal Activity 3 and was BORED to death and had more fun scaring the person who brought me. I can't speak on parts 1,2 (never saw them and 3 conviced me I had little interest. This coming from someone who has sat through ALL of the Mission:Impossibles in the theater).

  • March 4, 2012, 7:58 p.m. CST

    Right on mcgillj

    by Ribbons

    It's seems like there are a couple plants on this Talkback (which is weird since Ain't It Cool News doesn't really seem like the target demographic for this movie), so it's hard to tell whether I'm wasting my time by responding to someone who doesn't even really exist, but there's a pretty big difference between watching Bachelor Party (or Super Troopers, say) and watching some guy riding a roller coaster. In the case of Bachelor Party, part of the "fun" of watching the characters have fun is that you also like the characters. Watching someone you don't know or care anything about do something that you're told makes them happy is a lot less enjoyable. With Project X, the main characters seem to be both unlikable and two-dimensional, so when the whole allure is that these guys are going to throw the funnest party ever and have super amounts of fun, well, who cares? I'm not at that party, I don't like any of the people there and I don't want to be the main characters, so watching them fuck around seems like a waste of time. But since there's a "little guy" in the oven who punches people in the balls, it will probably make its money back in spades (like I said, AICN is not really the target audience for this movie...)

  • March 4, 2012, 8:17 p.m. CST

    And say what you will about Todd Phillips...

    by Ribbons

    ...but at least he had the good sense to not direct this movie, like he was originally supposed to.

  • March 4, 2012, 9:32 p.m. CST

    Forgettable garbage with zero re-watchability.

    by ZodNotGod

    Unless you are insane with no taste.

  • March 4, 2012, 9:37 p.m. CST

    Skip it, please!

    by ZodNotGod

    Bachelor Party is funny because the guys are likable and stupid. We watch because its fun to see it all go horribly wrong. This kind of crap has a detachment, a coldness that will never connect and come off exactly what it is- a gimmick. Again, forgettable and a waste of time. It's about as interesting as an episode of MTV's Road Rules.

  • March 4, 2012, 10:55 p.m. CST

    Looks god awful

    by smudgewhat

    And just dumb. If you made or were in this movie you will disown it in less than 15-20 years.

  • The phrase should read "isn't nearly as wild" rather than "in nearly as wild".<br /> <br /> For the posterity of your archive I humbly request you edit the title, for the sake of maintaining the image of journalistic professionalism.

  • March 5, 2012, 12:54 a.m. CST


    by Rick Webb

    MAN BITES DOG is in my Top Ten. Absolutely brilliant film.

  • March 5, 2012, 3:27 a.m. CST

    @henry fool

    by VinnyDaGinny

    who the fuck cares? they misspelled the title of an article. You care? Why? Get a life, nerd.

  • March 5, 2012, 7:14 a.m. CST

    Drunken "fun" isn't fun.

    by I Hope You Die

    Unless you're drunk.

  • March 5, 2012, 8:19 a.m. CST

    LMAO!! This review was hilarious and probably accurate

    by Wcwlkr

    That's how I felt about this movie once I saw the first trailer. The kids in it just seemed extremely annoying! And I felt like I would be more irritated and annoyed by the movie as opposed to laughing at or enjoying it. This review as great.

  • March 5, 2012, 10:14 a.m. CST

    LOL - Most of Capone

    by CREG

  • Either most films coming out do suck or he's turned into a grumpy old guy. Like if Clint in Grand Torino was a film critic.

  • March 5, 2012, 4:55 p.m. CST

    @creg : If you haven't noticed, most movies DO suck lately

    by AlienFanatic

    It's that time of year when studios dump their crap movies before their A-game stuff comes out. Nothing new.

  • March 8, 2012, 4:47 a.m. CST

    drugs are bad

    by Megaforce

    maybe I'm a kid of the late 80s/early 90s when anti smoking and anti drugs was pushed into every film. Someone should have died painfully in Project X when they all took "E" in the film. This is the kind of party where you pray for someone like Jason Vorhees to enter and cheer him along while he slices these douchebags clean into two

  • March 11, 2012, 6:25 p.m. CST

    This is a terrible review because..

    by DeadStar

    You're talking about not enjoying other people have fun? Not enjoying a rollercoaster ride when it's not you? So... You don't like movies at all then? STFU.