Project X

2012year_worst

Years from now, cinema fanatics will probably look back at 2012 fondly, remembering that this year brought us new films from Spielberg, Bigelow, Anderson (P.T.), Haneke, Affleck, Anderson (Wes), Van Sant, Arnold, Tarantino, Johnson, and many, many more. But amidst all the good stuff (and, rest assured, there was plenty of good stuff to go around), there were plenty of rotten, silly, messy, sloppy, boring, and insulting films to fill our theaters and empty our heads. The worst, if you will. Just the worst. Settle in, gird your loins, and prepare yourself for The 12 Worst Films of 2012, as determined by your faithful Rejects. Oh, 2012, you really packed some doozies.

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Just as the fears of global cataclysm at the end of the last century fueled films like Deep Impact and Armageddon, the ticking clock to December 21, 2012 has led to more end-of-the-world movies that rely on something larger than a zombie outbreak or a deadly contagion (although those have been recently popular as well). The latest entry into Hollywood’s obsession with the Earth’s last days is the apocalyptic rom-com Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, and if the Mayans were right, that might very well be the last one made. Film School Rejects responds to your concerns about the end of the world, as evidenced by the Apocalypse Soon feature currently running on this site. While you’re catching up on these films to see before the end of the world, we wondered who would be the best people to spend that time with. Steve Carell’s character gets to spend the end of the world with Keira Knightley, and here are some cinematic characters with whom we’d like to spend our last days.

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD! It seems the long national nightmare is over, as through no small part of our own, This Week In Blu-ray has been found alive and well after 76 grueling days. It was just two weeks ago that we made a plea for the safe return of Neil Miller’s column, and now we’ve gotten just that. Give it a read, and don’t let the fact that he’s wrong about A Bag of Hammers turn you away. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Sarah Silverman Program: The Complete Series Sarah Silverman brings her particular brand of crass, crazy and oddly sexy humor to Comedy Central with this series that follows her daily adventures alongside her sister Laura, her big, orange, gay neighbors Brian and Steve, her dog Doug, and an affable officer of the law named Officer Jay. Sarah the character is foul mouthed, selfish and liable to piss off just about everyone as she goes about her day to day life, and Sarah the comedienne makes her very, very convincing with comedy that wavers between smart commentary, edgy observations and poop jokes. Her antics and voice are definitely not for everyone, but if you like your laughs in the form of attractive, crude and attractively crude women you really can’t go wrong with this very funny lady.

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This Week in Blu-ray

This Week in Blu-ray we take a trip to Louie’s house for a season worth of awkward moments, we get our Beat Beat moon boots on for some warfare in The FP and we run around with Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston before joining a commune that worships the gun work of Paz Vega. It’s another busy week, so bring your wallets. Louie: The Complete Second Season The Pitch: Louis C.K. returns to stand-up, awkward dates and fending off a nervous breakdown. Even though it lost a bit of momentum toward the end of its second season, Louie continues to be one of the simple pleasures that cable television has to offer. In his own Seinfeldian way, C.K. reminds us at every turn that being a divorced 41-year old man is not easy, even if you are a famous comedian with a steady gig. The show is best ingested, if you don’t watch it on FX, in a single marathon of episodes, making the Blu-ray release the preferred delivery method. It’s one of those shows that you’ll just want to keep watching until it’s over. And with only 314 minutes of show in its second season, it’s good for an entire afternoon. Repeat once a week until you’re appropriately satisfied with your own life. It should take only one or two viewings. Extras Highlight: Several episodes of commentary is more than enough, as commentary from Louis C.K. is almost like watching a completely new episode in itself.

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Boiling Point

In doing a quick bit of research for this article, I came across an article from none other than our own publisher, Neil Miller. Now, I didn’t bother to read the entire article, because I got what I needed and wouldn’t want to be swayed by facts or reason or anything, but his opening felt perfect for this topic, so I’m going to use it here: “Expectations are a funny thing. For a critic, they are the worst thing to have. Going into a film with any kind of expectations, good or bad, can color one’s ultimate perception of a film and sway a review one way or another.” I hope that now Neil feels good knowing that I think he has a really good point there, because in a minute, I’m going to use him as an example of what the fuck is wrong with this world. His point is relevant though, because expectations definitely influence how we view movies. If you go into a movie with super high expectations, you may feel let down. If you go in with low expectations, you can be pleasantly surprised. The best thing to do would be to go in with no expectations and just feel the movie slip inside you, deep and raw. But the modern world doesn’t allow this. Everyone is vying for the top spot when it comes to the final word on a film. To be noticed, we shout out the following words: amazing, funniest, greatest, best, of […]

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Though he went to great lengths to become cool in Project X, it looks like actor Thomas Mann is right back to being a dork. But that’s okay, because unlike Project X, his new endeavor, King Dork, actually sounds like it has a chance to be funny and entertaining. According to a report from Variety, King Dork was the first project that Gary Sanchez Productions bought when it was formed by Adam McKay and Will Ferrell back in 2006. Adapted from a Frank Portman novel of the same name, D.V. DeVincentis’ (High Fidelity) script tells the story of a couple of late 80s-era outsiders who bond over a love of classic rock and form a friendship that helps get them through high school. Mann is in talks to play the lead kid, and It’s Kind of a Funny Story star Keir Gilchrist his friend. Parks and Recreations’ Nick Offerman is in negotiations to play the Mann character’s stepdad; and if everybody ends up signing on they will all be directed by Gary Sanchez vet Matt Piedmont (Casa de mi Padre).

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The Reject Report - Large

A lone film hits on a multitude of screens this weekend. The playing field is all for its amusement, and this one film appears to be holding every card in the deck. It’s not a matter of if The Hungers Games will be a success. The real question is how many records will it be breaking this weekend. The incredibly popular book series finally makes its cinematic debut, and, like the Twilight series before it, The Hunger Games is sure to take its core audience by storm. It’ll be sure to bring in audiences who aren’t familiar with the book series, as well, ensuring its place in box office history, or, at the very least, offer a strong enough debut to warrant the inevitable sequel. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? The franchise. Let’s take a look at how this lone wolf stacks up against all these familiar cubs.

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Aural Fixation - Large

Who wouldn’t love to have their own personal soundtrack playing wherever they went? An epic theme song that announced your arrival when you walked into a room or a electric guitar riff whenever you might need an extra rush of adrenaline – these touches would make every move you made seem movie worthy. And sure, you can throw in your iPod ear buds as you walk around town or crank up your car stereo as you hit the gas to get a similar effect, but without having someone follow you around with a boom box, having a personal soundtrack is not very likely because (unfortunately) that is not how things work in real life. In normal, everyday life music isn’t always playing, underscoring our more emotional moments and highlighting the intense ones. With the emergence of found footage films bringing a new style of filmmaking to the industry (with mixed results and reactions), the idea that these films are made up of footage anyone could capture if they were to pick up a camera and hit record leaves these films (as is the case in life) without much music. Real life is full of ambient noises, awkward pauses and people accidentally talking over one another so a film capturing these moments would break that unedited feeling if it had perfectly scored music fleshing out scenes because that is simply not true to reality.

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The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Michael Bacall, co-screenwriter for Project X, has been hired to create a treatment for a possible sequel. Both producer Todd Phillips and Warners will get to decide whether they want to move forward with it, but only a money allergy (or some sort of artistic integrity) would keep them from doing so. With films like this, we’re all entering a new era where studios have gotten wise to the pitfalls of shelling out $400m for a budget and advertising on one movie. It’s no surprise then that movies made for $10m-$20m that provide steady returns are looking a bit shinier, and Project X2 would certainly fit that bill while piggybacking on sequel success. This is all about as unsurprising as Rush Limbaugh saying something offensive about women on air, but the real question is whether or not a movie like Project X will inevitably succumb to the don’t-wash-don’t-rinse-but-repeat story problems of The Hangover 2. With Phillips’s name attached, it’s an easy comparison, but it’s also easy because with movies that are exercises in one-upmanship, it seems natural that the sequel can do little but repeat and continue that challenge. Is there enough meat to the movie to transfer its characters over into a second helping? It doesn’t seem likely, but maybe Bacall has a trick up his sleeve. Or maybe it’ll just be another outrageous party…this time in college!

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Maybe it was the message. Maybe there are so many people out there just dying to hear how trees save us all, how we have to take a stand for what we believe, how it’s our Earth, too. Maybe people just can’t wait for the summer movie season to become a year-round period, but we’ll get to that in the weekend analysis below. Or maybe they just thought the Lorax was cute. Whatever the reasoning behind it, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax took top honors at the box office this weekend, and it did so with a fury. There’s a healthy dose of shock that comes with learning the film topped the opening weekends for How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Jim Carrey, not Boris Karloff – The Cat in the Hat – that one’s not so much a shock as it is appropriate – and Horton Hears a Who! It easily becomes the biggest opening for a Dr. Seuss adaptation, which means Green Eggs and Ham starring Justin Bieber and Zach Galifianakis can’t be far behind.

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Barnabas Collins by Tim Burton

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly collection of movie news, stories, articles, happenings and thingamajigs that is not interested in your excuses, just your unwavering loyalty. We begin tonight with a new look at Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows, courtesy of Hollywood Elsewhere’s ability to scan a page of the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair. It’s quite retro, somewhat chic, a lot emo and… oh, those bangs. Depp truly does have a bit of a Nosferatu thing going on, which is refreshing. At least he doesn’t sparkle.

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A character in Project X touts the onscreen house party as the most epic one of all time. There’s no doubting that. Filmmaker Nima Nourizadeh and screenwriters Michael Bacall and Matt Drake have conceived the most monumental scenes of suburban destruction that you’ll see outside of a Michael Bay film. The debauchery in this Todd Phillips-produced project, which was kept weirdly secretive under production and cast with mostly unknowns, reaches staggering heights. So in that sense the movie, shot as a faux-documentary, achieves what appears to be its only goal.

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To Misters Matt Drake and Michael Bacall, I attended a screening of Project X this past week, a film for whose script you two are inescapably responsible, and wanted to congratulate you on crafting one of the single most vile, reprehensible, and culturally detrimental films in recent memory. And I’ve seen Good Burger, twice. Every critic worth his salt, or even his Splenda, knows that when you write a negative review, even one for a movie as heinous as your recent blight on multiplexes around the country, vitriol must be confined to the events unfolding on the screen. In other words, it’s been well-established that personal attacks against a filmmaker are the antithesis of proper criticism. Therefore, despite the fact that, given the events on the screen, your tenuous grasp on propriety and overall morality is reminiscent of that dastardly Manson family, I shall nevertheless do my very best to restrain myself and tear down your festering dung heap of a film based on its own absent virtues.

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr grabs his camcorder and tries to find the biggest all-night party in Pasadena, filled with slutty, dancing high school girls who looks amazingly like they’re in their early twenties. Of course, he never finds that because this sort of 15-year-old wet dream fantasy doesn’t exist. So he sets his sights on finding something far more realistic than any of the events that take place in Project X: the short, hairy peanut with a mustache and Danny DeVito’s voice known as The Lorax.

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The Reject Report - Large

Moviegoers will see it with a group. Movigoers will see it while they eat popcorn. Moviesgoers will see it with their 3-D glasses. Moviegoers will see it while they sit on their theater seats. What did you think I was gonna say? However people see it, there are sure to be millions of eyes on the latest Dr. Seuss adaptation, The Lorax, this weekend. Enough, in fact, that it’s all but guaranteed the #1 spot on the chart. Unless there’s some Danny DeVito backlash that we’re not privy to, it seems a foregone conclusion. Sure, there’s an R-rated, high school, found footage comedy hitting theaters, as well, so the little tree hugger won’t be making all the scratch, but a majority of it? Yes. The weekend box office is upon us, and one of these movies is bound to be a hit. If you don’t like what we’re saying, you can go right ahead and email us about it. Hey, that one actually rhymed!

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Mad Max Cars

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s difficult to explain, really. We do know what it isn’t: boring. We begin this evening with one of two images from the scene of the crime where George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road could very well be shooting. We know this because some wicked Mad Max-esque vehicles have been spotted near where the production is said to begin shooting in April. It’s got Tom Hardy, it’s George Miller back in the saddle, and it’s okay by me.

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Movie studios have been using testimonials to market their films for years. Most frequently, they rely on professional film critics to supply pull quotes for use in advertising. While some of these quotes are genuine, some are simply generated on demand by media hounds who just want to see his or her name on a movie poster or in a TV spot. In the industry, we disrespectfully refer to these folks as “quote whores.” Quote whoring is big business to some, giving them attention from the studios with perks and junkets. Being in the inner circle of quote whores is kind of like being in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. There’s lots of benefits and little responsibility. However, there’s a disturbing recent trend in Hollywood that jeopardizes the institutionalized quote whore’s well being, and it comes in the form of social media.

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Have you noticed that songs about getting completely, vomitously, blacked out drunk are getting popular now? From Taio Cruz talking about his hangover and drinking until he throws up, to Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night” and Far East Movement and whatever Ke$ha is, it’s a sobering trend. The generation that’s in high school and college right now is trying to get on dialysis as fast as possible. It’s a noble goal, but it’s still no excuse for buying Natty Light. Meanwhile, at least one film is celebrating the act of celebrating. Project X‘s first trailer was manic and hurried, but this second trailer (via Coming Soon) effectively gives as much backstory as the movie can muster: three high school kids want to make an impact after floating through unknown by their classmates. A party ensues, and then the party goes viral. Check out the party for yourself:

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What is Movie News After Dark? Like Lexus, it’s relentless in its pursuit of perfection. Unlike Lexus, it’s a movie news column. It also won’t cost you anything. Take that, Lexus. Pop quiz, hot shot. How many Clash of the Titans movies does this modern world need? One? No. Two? Not even close. How about three Clash of the Titans movies, ah-ha-ha. Yes, Warner Bros. is already prepping a third Clash of the Titans film, which will most likely come complete with a terribly muted, dark and blurry 3D post-conversion. You know, for the kids.

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In our wondrous world of too much information, Todd Phillips has said zero words about Project X (except for a few that sounded like he was mocking people for being so hungry for news). Now, the trailer is out and so is the word. The story Phillips has produced with first-time feature director Nima Nourizadeh focuses on three high school boys who throw a house party in order to turn their reputations around, and as word of the party spreads, it grows to impossible proportions. So, yes, Phillips has kept word from spreading about a movie that’s plot is based on word spreading. The trailer is a fun, disastrous sizzle reel that looks like a rave promoter’s favorite footage, but there’s no hint to what the meat of the movie will be. There’s no personality here. On the other hand, there are a ton of bikini-clad ladies-who-are-far-too-attractive-to-actually-be-in-high-school and enough explosions to insinuate that the party gets attacked by the Cloverfield monster at some point.

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published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C
published: 04.18.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
A

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