Danger, illegal party antics in fun ‘Project X’
Thomas Mann, center, stars in “Project X.”
- “Project X”
★★ (out of four)
2012, Dir. Nima Nourizadeh, U.S., R“Project X” is rated R for language, drug use, violence, nudity and sexual situations, all involving teens.
- New films
‘21 Jump Street’
Director: Phil Lord, Chris Miller.
Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum.
The plot: A pair of underachieving cops are sent back to a local high school to blend in and bring down a synthetic drug ring.
Genre: Action, comedy.
‘Casa de mi Padre’
Director: Matt Piedmont.
Starring: Will Ferrell, Gael Garcia Bernall.
The plot: Brothers find themselves in a war with Mexico’s most feared drug lord.
- Film roundup
“THE WOMAN IN BLACK”
★★★ 1/2 (out of four)
For “The Woman in Black,” based on Black’s old-school gothic ghost story published in 1983, is not merely a moderately interesting genre diversion, as I had assumed. It’s a fully formed, carefully crafted horror movie in the classical Hammer Films sense, bursting with style and atmosphere and an unrelenting sense of dread. I’m left to wonder if there has been a more entertaining or frightening ghost story released in the past decade, but for now I’m coming up blank.
★ 1/2 (out of four)
As directed by Daniel Espinosa, marking his U.S. debut, “Safe House” is yet another in a long line of generic action pictures assembled from the Tony Scott model, defined by dark, grainy photography, excessively rapid editing techniques that render action sequences incoherent, and a reliance on useless narrative padding that turns what should have been an 80-minute diversion into a two-hour torture session. I guess there’s not much to say about this approach aside from observing once again that it is terrible and stupid and should be stopped by any means necessary, but it also begs the question: Why? It’s not like Tony Scott movies clean up at the box office, and in fact the countless clones typically do even worse business. So why has this mode of filmmaking, which is constantly lampooned by the public and critics alike and doesn’t even earn its keep by producing reasonable box office results, become so incredibly popular in contemporary Hollywood? This is not rhetorical; I’m actually asking, and hope that someone can shed some light on this. Because I’m stumped.
Posted: Friday, March 9, 2012 8:10 am
Updated: 12:25 pm, Fri Mar 9, 2012.
With awards season now well behind us, it is time to start looking ahead to the pre-summer releases (admittedly there aren’t many, since according to the Hollywood calendar summer starts in about six weeks).
I’ll be doing a short preview of the most promising titles next week along with a look at “Silent House” (the Hollywood debut of Elizabeth Olsen, who stunned audiences some months back with a start-making turn in “Martha Marcy May Marlene”), which is my default choice for the week since the other major-release titles are “Salmon Fishing in Yemen” (?!) and “John Carter” — the moniker Disney settled on after “Harold Thompson” and “Eugene Brown” were deemed too flashy.
Friday, March 9, 2012 8:10 am.
Updated: 12:25 pm.