Tune to The 2 Guys Named Chris Show every Monday to get the scoop on the latest new films and releases to DVD from a Canadian point of view. Julie Crawford, Film Critic for The Vancouver Courier, gives her two cents worth every Monday morning on Rock 92.
March 4, 2012
by Biggie Josh Ellinger,posted Mar 9 2012 9:07AM
Project X is an offensive piece of filmmaking, and here’s why. Firstly, they’ve stripped the film of most of the plot, which consists of three teen boys hoping to shake their anonymous status at school by throwing a party at Thomas’s house when his parents go out of town. Now, dorks trying to up their profile with a cool party and some naked girls is nothing new, but this is not Superbad: we don’t get to know the characters enough to care what’s going on (except for one of them, Costa, who is a total pig). And because filmmakers are going for a found-footage, cinema verite thing – making the film seem like one long, youtube video – it comes across as a little more real and a lot more dangerous than a conventional teenage party movie. So when you see that random, topless teenage girl passed out in a corner, there’s nothing funny about it. The point of this film is not to teach kids a lesson, by a long shot, but the film just screams date rape, alcohol poisoning and trips to the hospital, with no such consequences in the film. Thomas gets the girl, is cool at school, and his dad is finally proud of him, even though the neighborhood burns to the ground. It looks like fun in the trailer, but the filmmakers’ approach backfires here.
Based on the Dr. Seuss story about a world in which everything is plastic and all the trees have been cut down in the name of industry and consumerism. One boy (voiced by Zac Efron) goes out beyond his city’s high walls to find someone who can tell him what happened to the trees and the animals, and to the Lorax (Danny Devito) who was supposed to “speak for the trees”. But while the environmental message does come across loud and clear, The Lorax feels more like a TV special than a feature film, and ends too abruptly to satisfy. Unless you’re a huge Dr. Seuss fan, wait for the DVD.
This remake of the 1984 film that made Kevin Bacon a household name has been sexed-up from the original, and stars professional dancers Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough (Dancing With The Stars). Big-city boy Ren MacCormack (Wormald) moves to a small town where dancing, among other teenage pursuits, has been banned. The town is still hurting from the deaths of five high school seniors including the son of the church preacher (played by Dennis Quaid). The preacher’s daughter Ariel, meanwhile, is running wild, trying to get daddy’s attention. Ren makes it his mission to overturn the city ordinance on dancing, with the help of Ariel and his cowpoke buddy Willard (Miles Teller). Filmmakers are smart to stick almost scene by scene to the original film, but Hough’s acting definitely won’t win any awards. Some great extras on the choreography, remaking the original, music videos and more.
Like Crazy is a love story about two people who are meant to be together, but torn apart by an unforgiving immigration system. Anna (Felicity Jones) is a British college student studying in the U.S. and Jacob (Anton Yelchin, Star Trek) is her classmate. The two fall madly in love, but then face the pressure and uncertainty of spending long periods apart. It takes years for them to get to be together: and the question by that time is: is it too late? There’s commentary by the director, editor and cinematographer on the standard disc where we learn that a lot of the material was improvised, which adds to the characters’ credibility. A nice, quiet, little love story.
It’s a few thousand years B.C., and bloodthirsty King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) is after an ancient bow lost in a battle between the immortals. Theseus (Henry Cavill) is the mortal chosen by the gods as the most likely to defeat the evil king. There’s a virgin oracle (Freida Pinto), a mute priest, and all sorts of gory Greek torture and death. On the negative side is Rourke, who grumbles his way through the role, but on the plus side is Cavill as Theseus: he makes for a convincing hero even when the plot meanders wildly (he’s also going to be the new Superman, with Zack Snyder). Very gory, very dark, but Greek mythology is back in fashion, so if that’s your thing, you’ll enjoy Immortals.