Thursday, March 1, 2012

What is Hollywood Thinking - 'Project X'?

(Center l-r) OLIVER COOPER as Costa, THOMAS MANN as Thomas, 
and JONATHAN DANIEL BROWN as JB in Warner Bros. Pictures' comedy 
"PROJECT X," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Beth Dubber

The following is going to make me sound like an old man, but I think the questions I have are still valid. Why did Warner Bros., the same studio who entertains our children with The Cartoon Network, think that green-lighting the new teen film “Project X” was a good idea?  

In the press release for the new movie, it is described this way: "Project X" follows three seemingly anonymous high school seniors as they attempt to finally make a name for themselves. Their idea is innocent enough: let's throw a party that no one will forget, and have a camera there, to document history in the making… but nothing could prepare them for this party. Word spreads quickly as dreams are ruined, records are blemished and legends are born. "Project X" is a warning to parents and police everywhere.” Doesn’t sound so bad. Anyone remember “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?” The press release also states, “The film has been rated R by the MPAA for crude and sexual content throughout, nudity, drugs, drinking, pervasive language, reckless behavior and mayhem—all involving teens.”

“Project X” is Director Nima Nourizadeh’s feature film debut, follows the long-tired “lost footage” format and doesn’t boast any star power. Early reviews of the film have been dismal.

While making raunchy teen comedies is nothing new and the world will go on as we know it, I still wonder why a studio as big as Warner Bros. wouldn’t try to be a little more responsible in its programming. Due to increased knowledge of how harmful cigarette smoking is, smoking is rarely seen in movies today. So, why would a studio produce a movie aimed at teens and encourage underage drinking and drugs?

How is it that Warner Bros., who put out the squeaky clean “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” just a few weeks ago, be so dumb? Personally, I thought the film was “so-so” but my teenage sons loved it. As of last weekend, it was still in third place in the top ten movies sales, proving that a movie doesn’t have to be anti-family values to be profitable. Would Disney ever make that same mistake?

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