Project X (Blu-ray) Criticize This! Pick of the Week - I’m of two minds when it comes to Project X, a found footage film about an out-of-control birthday party for a 17-year-old. As a parent, the movie scares the hell out of me and I feel it’s only there to egg teens on to top the party depicted in the movie (it is produced by Todd Phillips, director of The Hangover films, so you know all good taste has been thrown out the window). On the other hand, it’s a pretty funny and crazy movie that used the shaky cam style just as well as Chronicle did. If I was 16 I’d be watching this over and over again with my buddies the way I watched Dazed and Confused over and over when I was 16. Needless to say though, if you’re over 30 and have no interest in reliving your youth, avoid it at all cost as it will just make you angry. If you’re currently in high school or college and like to party, however, you’ll love it. Although the film uses an array of cameras and shaky footage, the Blu-ray has a surprisingly decent image and sound mix. Special features include an extended cut of the film, making-of featurettes, and more. A regular DVD and digital copy are included as well. Film *** Blu-ray *** (out of 5 stars).
Dawn Rider – I knew I was in trouble when the menu for the Dawn Rider DVD appeared to have been made in Macromedia Director, circa 1999. The movie that followed was now only one of the worst westerns I have ever had the displeasure of sitting through, but one of the worst movies I’ve ever sat through. And it’s based on a 1935 John Wayne film! It’s boring, looks like it was shot on the backlot of a backlot, and sports some of the worst acting from Christian Slater, Donald Sutherland, and Jill Hennessy. Director Terry Miles is not known for his talent, but he can spin a fine action-packed film as he proved with last year’s Recoil, starring former wrestler Steve Austin. Dawn Rider is just a waste of space in this universe and is sure to fill a landfill or two over time. The only special feature on the DVD is a making-of featurette. Film * DVD * (out of 5 stars).
Also out this week to Watch @ Home is the Paul Rudd-Jennifer Aniston comedy Wanderlust, the family-friendly true story Big Miracle, starring Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski, and the Duplass Bros.’ Jeff, Who Lives at Home, starring Jason Segel and Ed Helms.
Top image: A scene form Project X. Courtesy Warner Home Entertainment.