Thursday, 19 July 2012

Revenge of the Electric Car

Revenge Of The Electric Car chronicles the greatest shift in technology in automobile history and rolls onto DVD and VOD on 6 August 2012, following its theatrical release on 20 July 2012, courtesy of Dogwoof.   

 In 2006 major car companies destroyed thousands of electric cars that they had created, now they believe, it is time for the second coming.  Director Chris Paine (Who Killed The Electric Car? (2008)), takes us behind the scenes of the companies that are in the race for the resurgence of the electric car. We go behind the closed doors of major car manufacturers Nissan, GM, and Tesla Motors, as well as independent car converters, following the development from concept through to working vehicle, the financial problems, successes and failures to see who will launch the first and best electric car that will win over the public.

Whilst the documentary is politically charged in this austerity age - making drivers aware of financial pitfalls whilst the manufactureres struggle to compete with foreign carmakers.  Although Paine has been granted exclusive insider access of the Big 3; you get the sense that the privilege of this behind-the-scenes footage has somewhat softened his approach and message he wanted to convey.

Instead of attacking an executive who chases the techie touch in all his car, you get a sense of blandness that goes into creating a living and breathing technical marvel.  However some characters do attempt to punch out, such as Tesla founder, Elon Musk a fresh faced millionaire from his other company PayPal, and French Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn.

Narrated by Tim Robbins and with appearances from Danny DeVito and Jon Favreau, this fascinating film follows the drama and excitement to find out who will win the race to create the ultimate electric car.

Revenge of the Electric Car is out from Dogwoof on Friday 20th July on limited release.

In Praise of...Ledley King

So it is July 19th 2012 which is the day Ledley King finally gave in to the constant injuries that befell his 14 year career.  It could have been July 19th last year, or the same day next year.  But all in all it must be believed that Ledley has finally done the right thing.  For Ledley, his career will be more a case of what might have been, rather than what it was.

In his 14 year career he accumulated only 260 league appearances, 313 in all competititons.  That is an average of 18.5 games per season.  Where most professionals are expected to play 45-50 games a season, so really he should be quitting after having played 630 games.  He only played about 40% of the games he should have throughout his career.

However, sometimes it is what you do when you are around that makes people remember you with such fondness.  King came through the ranks of the Spurs Academy and was granted a debut in an end of season clash against Liverpool at Anfield in May 1999; however it was a performance against the same opposition at White Hart Lane over a year later in November 2000 that set him apart from the crowd.  King played in central midfield, a position out of his comfort zone yet he did a job for a team that resulted in a home win for Tottenham.  His maturity and control of his play made him look to be something special.

Soon he got to play at his preferred central defence and again he grew into the role as model professional and expert player.  After Sol Campbell left Tottenham for the hated North London rivals, Arsenal in July 2001 it was time to turn to Ledley as the beacon of hope and leader of the team, soon he was made team captain.

During that spell of transition he scored a rare goal away at Bradford, rare yes but it remains the fastest goal ever to be scored in the Premier League, King found the back of the net after 9.7seconds.

From 2006 though, King's career became one of stop start as the knee injury sustained in pre-season training of that year would define his legacy.  King's injury was not like normal knee injuries where cartilage and ligaments could be repaired; in King's case it was no cartilage at all. It meant his bones were touching each other and so the injury had to be managed with care meaning no training and not playing every game of the season, for instance if he played Saturday he could not play until the following weekend.

Whilst King did manage to find some great performances and a huge level of consistency in his play, especially during Spurs' charge for the Champions League in 2009/10 culminating in the victory at Manchester City.  That run of form allowed him to be selected for England's disastrous World Cup campaign in South Africa that summer, although a groin injury sustained in the first half of the first game versus America meant his tournament was over.

Another sad indictment is that during a 14 year career where he was heralded as one of the finest English defenders of his era, he only garnered 21 full caps and two goals.  In contrast to his Senrab clubmate from his youth, John Terry, who is closer to 100 hundred than 50 and has captained his country.

The argument can continue that King was and is a better defender than Terry; as a chorus of a White Hart Lane song can attest to.  King even had a last laugh in 2008 when he beat Terry's all conquering Chelsea in the Carling Cup final at Wembley, and was able to lift the trophy (and then proceed to attempt to drink Faces nightclub in Ilford dry that same evening)

Personally, I was at that game and was amazed at how two eternally crocked players like King and Jonathan Woodgate totally outplayed the dominant Chelsea attack of Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda et al.  They did not so much keep them at bay, as not give them a sniff.  For me it remains the most dominant defensive display I have had the privilege to see.

Alas, in what was now his last season, 2011/12 King was becoming more prone to mistakes letting attackers muscle him off the ball (Grant Holt of Norwich for one) and being clearly outpaced by younger legs; at least Younes Kaboul and Brad Friedel were able to account for any errors in a season that saw Tottenham finish 4th in the Premier League.

However, for all the way his season finished and for what his injury history will overshadow part of his career, for a man who it seemed was around forever, to retire at the young age of 31 is still sad news.  It should not be discounted that he is a rare breed - a one club man of distinction and class which in this day and age of mercenaries should be applauded.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Nostalgia for the Light

Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzman returns with another documentary this time that is at times both deeply personal and yet extremely political.

Nostalgia for the Light is set about the Atacama desert in Chile; where the inhospitable climate and high altitude made it ideal for the building of an observatory which was opened in 1977.  The message of bringing the universe closer to home shows an aspirational tone of the South American nation.

Yet in the same vicinity there is a dark undertone, during the General Pinochet dictatorship used the desert for the Chacabuco Mine prisons were people opposed to the regime would be taken to concentration camps and ultimately killed.  Later bodies were left in mass graves in the Atacama.  Now widows and families scavenge the harsh terrain for any trace of loved ones that may remain; this tone of desperation is in stark contrast to the aspiration and hope for attainment of the universe.

Guzman is an intelligent filmmaker and is keen to mark the distinction between the sky and the ground; giving both stories an equal platform.  Guzman's interview with one widow, Violeta Barrios, is particularly wrenching in its honesty.

Clearly the notion and metaphor of astronomy is a clever one; many of those interviewed state how Chile needs a telescope to look into the ground of the desert to find its past; whereas the telescope itself is something looking towards the future.

Guzman shoots with a good eye when he looks upward, showing scenes of great mystery and magic in the stars whilst giving a look of another world on the Chilean landscape.

A film that although the notion of a documentary may not appeal, it is certainly a film that values the time and commitment.

Nostalgia for the Light is out on Friday 13th July on limited release and is distributed by New Wave Films

Thursday, 12 July 2012

El Alma de las Moscas

Or The Soul of Flies to give El Alma de las Moscas its English title, is a film written and directed by Jonathan Cenzual Burley and centres on the journey by two brothers who have never met before, who must journey together to the funeral of a father they never knew.

The brothers meet at a train station, where to their surprise the train has not gone by in years.  It is the beginning of a journey through barren landscapes punctuated by chance encounters with offbeat and weird characters that inhabit these wastelands.

Eventually, the brothers learn more about themselves and each other through these interactions with these odd ball people.

That is the general gist of the film, and the film does have the appeal of magical realism that typically Latin generic eccentricity and yet the production is a victim of its techncial accomplishments.  Shot on high definition with just one camera, a microphone and a tripod with a production crew of 7 who muscled all together - the film is imprisoned by these technical restraints.

The actors seem to wander aimlessly throughout in a state of purgatory; some harsh critics have said the film is banal - such a word makes the film seem unwatchable.  The only problem for a film that is Spanish is that it is not thrilling or have any Latin exhilaration coursing through its veins.  Even the beauty of the La Armuna in Salamanca is not used to great effect; with no great photography utilised you get a sense that this is anywhere in Spain not identifying as a region would have been of benefit.

Recently, I have watched American independent films revolve around the same discourse of troubled brothers working together for a common goal.  This film has the right idea, perhaps the message has just been lost in translation which is unfortunate considering the initial one is a good, waiting to be let loose on a larger scale model.

El Alma de Las Moscas is out on limited release on Friday 13th July


The Olympic Games provides memories and images that remain embedded in our consciousness.  Moments of magic and wonder enshrined in time.  From Muhammed Ali lighting the Olympic flame in 1996 to heir apparent Cathy Freeman doing likewise in 2000.  From drug cheat Ben Johnson crossing the line in 1st place in Seoul, with Carl Lewis looking helplessly over asking how? to Steve Redgrave asking himself to be shot if he sets foot in a boot again, only to return four years later for his fifth and final Gold medal.

Yet no image can be as politically charged and polarising as that of two black Americans standing upon a podium with black leather gloved fists high above their heads in a black power salute as the American national anthem was being played in Mexico 1968.

Salute tells the story of all three men on that podium; Tommie Smith the 200m Gold medallist who had set a new World record; John Carlos his compatriot and team-mate who had been pushed into bronze and Peter Norman, an Australian who had taken half a second off his personal best during the heats and final to claim a well deserved, unheralded silver in 20 seconds flat.  A time that could win him a medal still thirty years later.

Personally, when you see the image the focus has always been on the two black men.  The name of the silver medallist had always escaped my attention, due to the volatile nature of the statement made by the two black men in protest of the ongoing American civil rights campaign and the death of Martin Luther King Jr. earlier that year.

This film is made by an Australian company and more importantly directed by Matt Norman, Peter's nephew, who focuses on the story of the unknown Antipodean and how his part in the protest albeit small - he wore a badge supporting the Olympic Group Protest, that he borrowed from another American competitior - and raises him above the position of the white guy in the black power salute photo.

The film uses documentary footage of all three competitors as they went through trials to qualify, and even focuses on the semi-final when Norman nearly beat Carlos elevating him to the Great White Hope.  Norman states that as he neared the line he shouted over to Carlos saying he was still here, which Carlos dismissed with a wave of the hand.  The camaraderie and the respect the three had for each other makes for a wonderful story of Olympian spirit and belief.

Flash forward to a Q&A Norman is doing some 35 years later, and he says how America whose black athletes had threatened to boycott Mexico City had run riot on the track and field events culminating in Hines 100m world record and Bob Beamon's legendary long jump leap into the annals.  Norman drily says, 'I was getting sick of your anthem. Da Da da daa da!' which draws howls of laughter from the audience.

What comes across and is learnt in the documentary is that Norman was not asked to join in the protest, he chose to of his own volition.  This led to huge respect from Smith and Carlos, who suffered the indignity of being met by quizzical and bemused IOC officials who found the salute to be disgusting; and had to be banished from the Games for the remainder of the event.

Smith was an Olympic Gold medallist and holder of 11 different world records yet he returned to a America only able to garner a job washing cars.  This is a travesty of abnormal proportions, Smith could have been as good as Usain Bolt or Carl Lewis in Olympic folklore, yet his own country banned him from the Olympics for the rest of his career.

Norman also had to suffer a lack of support from his Australian governing body, he also never competed in another Olympics, yet he stayed friends with Smith and Carlos for many years.  He spoke at the unveiling of a statue that honoured the moment from St.Jose University; and the two Americans were pallbearers at Norman's funeral in 2006.

Yet as one talking head states, it is a shame that no-one ever talks about the race itself as it was one of the fastest ever, they only focus on post-race podium antics.

However, the black power salute remains a focal point of the Olympic history, an important moment to combat civil rights.  And if the IOC thought three men were bad, they had a whole heap of trouble coming in Munich four years later when the terrorist atrocities took hold and threatened to finish the Games early.

Salute is out from Arrow Films on Friday 13th July at selected cinemas nationwide.
Salute is also available on DVD from Monday 30th July.
Twitter: @SaluteFilm

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Endurance DVD review

Haile Gebrsellasie is heralded as one of the greatest athletes of all time.  Holder of 27 different world records, and hailed as the greatest long distance runner ever.  Haile hails from Ethiopia, one of the smaller African nations.

In contrast to the powerhouse of Kenyan running, with its amazing ability to have up to 8 different runners vying for just three places at major championships. Haile for a time seemed to be out on his own, one man racing for his nation against the might of another (Not too dissimilar to the race Mo Farah will face at the Olympics this summer).

Born as one of ten children, Haile had to run 10km to school every morning like most children in African countries to garner the better education.  Haile came to prominence with Gold at the 1993 World Championships in Stuttgart, he subsequently retained that title in the next 3 world championships coupled with his first Gold medal at the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996.

Haile was blessed by being born in a great era of long distance running; helped by great rivals such as Moses Kiptanui (Kenya) and Paul Tergat (Kenya) who he narrowly beat in Sydney to retain his 10,000m title - only the third man to do so.

Haile was blessed with having the ability to consistently run sub 60 second laps whilst also having an amazing kick in the last 200m which could overtake rivals or leave them for dust.

The film Endurance revolves around Gebreselassie upbringing in Ethiopia, what he means to people of the country and his triumph in Atlanta in attaining legendary status.

The film is beautifully shot showing the natural landscapes of Ethiopia as a mix of fairytale and harshness; it shows a young boy following in the footsteps of Gebreselassie on his way to school.  The film then intercuts footage of the legendary athlete in Atlanta as he overtakes rivals on the bend in the American heat; with native countrymen huddling round a television to witness history.

Whilst the film has a story that should be told and shared with future generations, it unfortunately does the mistake of attempting to mythologise Gebreselassie when the legend speaks for itself.

Quick sidenote, a producer is one Terence Malick who must have liked the mixture of nature with a man and how that nature makes the person who he becomes.

Endurance is directed by Leslie Woodhead, and is available from Second Sight Film on DVD from Monday 9th July

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Laini Taylor's well received Daughter of Smoke and Bone, is released in paperback by Hodder & Stoughton on 5th July.  The first in the Elsewhere Trilogy, it tells the story of Karou; a young girl living in present day Prague, Czech Republic who must choose between the safety of her human existence and the dangers of a war-ravaged world.

Taylor's book like most literature is full of influences - Philip Pullman's Northern Lights; Guillermo del Toro's Pan Labyrinth and Stephanie Mayer's Twilight.

Having a strong central young female adult as the primary character is a given in most books that aim for cultural and commerical attention; yet Karou a woman who is strong and self-confident. Karou is a young artist - who has a scrapbook of all the characters she encounters.  The twist being that all these creatures are real, with such names as Issa and Brimstone, her primary employer.  Brimstone is the Wishmaster; and wishes are granted by the giving of teeth.

An early scene shows Karou's reckless side as she uses a wish to grant a model during her life modelling class to get an itch in a private place.  This vindictiveness is something she will have to overcome, and dissuade from herself she is told.

What Karou is not aware of though; is that apart from being an abandoned youth (a la Mr. Potter), she was the child of a kinship between an angel and a devil who fell in love.  Therefore, Karou must walk this narrow path between good and evil whilst learning to get along with her everyday life.

Taylor has a real pace to the story; it zips along apace from set piece to set piece never wavering nor delaying with crucial exposition, it helps to have the lead girl be a smart cookie.  Characters are intelligently rendered and helped by some good dialogue and characterisation.

Yet whilst Karou's need to have blue hair may be a little bit too gimmicky like a cousin of Kate Winslet's Celestine from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Mary Elizabeth Winstead''s Romana Flowers from Scott Pilgrim - it does neverless have one eye on the inevitable motion picture adaptation whose rights have recently being acquired by Universal Pictures.

If this is the first book of a trilogy, then the other two have a lot of promise and expectation to fulfill yet Taylor has firmly built the foundation for another new exciting trilogy.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is out on Paperback from Hodder & Stoughton priced £7.99.
Watch a trailer for the book here.!/smokeandbone

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Serena's Mission

Serena Williams beat defending Wimbledon champion, Petra Kvitova in straight sets on Centre Court today under the closed roof as persistent showers threatened to derail the schedule of the Ladies Quarter-final day.  That coupled with the requirement of Mens's 4th Round matches needed to be completed, meant that the LTA were right to build a roof for days like this and seasons of weather like we have been experiencing in England this year.

For Williams it was a leap back from the unknown.  Still smarting from her defeat to Virginia Razzano in the first round of the French Open a month ago; Serena needed this sort of match and this sort of victory.

Kvitova has had a torrid year, her first at the head table of the women's game.  She has admitted struggles with expectations, and her first round match her was a self-expressed disaster.  Yet she seemed to have turned the corner, as she came from a set down against the feisty Francesca Schivaone yesterday to meet the sixth seed, Serena.

Yet today, the more graceful Kvitova had no answer for the sheer brute force of Williams who won 6-3, 7-5; breaking Kvitova when serving at 5-5 in the 2nd set.  Serena rounded off a fine display by dispatching her trusted weapon of her first serve to easily serve out for the match.

Yet there has to be a case that if Williams was to win her 5th Wimbledon title this year it could be considered a formidable comeback and feel good story.

Williams has always had confidence, inbred in her by her father/coach Richard from an early age; hence her indominatable spirit and tenacity to always succeed and to rarely give up without a fight.  Yet the cut she sustained on her foot in Munich last year, also led to a blood clot on her lung being found and led to her almost giving up on the game that she has given so much to and given so much to her.

Add that to the Razzano defeat, she has not won a major since her last Wimbledon title of 2010, and with the resurrection of Maria Sharapova, and continued growing of Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska; there were murmurs if the Williams' still had a presence in the game.

Because of Venus' debilitating auto-immune disorder which renders her unable to compete at the highest level anymore; would it be inconceivable for us to consider that Serena wants to win Wimbledon this year as a mark of respect and honour to her sister.  They still are both in the doubles and will aim to compete in that together.

Yet for two women who changed the game so much, making it both enticing and athletic it would be a shame if Venus was lost to a muscle disorder and a shame if Serena could not finish off the job this week.  She has two more matches left, two more matches to Number 14.  A legend just adding to the fact.

God Bless America

Bobcat Goldthwait, returns with the third film in his darker side of America trilogy after Sleeping Dogs (2006) and The World's Greatest Dad (2009)

The first film dealt with the subject of bestiality (a typical taboo subject), the latter film starring Robin Williams had him as a would be author who is having to suffer a job in a high school.  After his son's death, he writes his son's suicide note and the beauty of the words allows him to be the celebrated writer he always wanted to be.  At the conclusion, the writer gets a change of heart and comes clean.  Goldthwait may write dark but at least he has the conscience.

In his new film, he explores the polluting influence of television and celebrity, and how it is destabilising American society.  Goldthwait uses a surrogate in the form of Frank (Joel Murray), a man who has a humdrum office job and spends his evenings watching awful television whilst his child lives with his ex-wife and new husband.  Frank believes in honesty, integrity and good manners in life will get you rewards, in contrast to the mean-spirited individuals who are celebrated for being nothing more than being good to look at - 'Its a type of freak show that appears when a civilisation is collapsing'.

Frank would wish he had the cajones to do something about society and change it for the better, and his initial dream sequences of shooting people he hates in his office are quite entertaining - then he is hit by the news that he has an inoperable brain tumour he decides to go out on a vigilante rampage of revenge against all the social cyphers he despises.

Frank comes into contact with 16 year old Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr) and together they embark on this road trip culminating in the shootout on American Superstars; a Pop Idol/X-Factor show that is the main target.

Part of the problem with the film is the mixture of tone; whilst the start has Frank giving off monologues and dialogue that is quite explicit in his beliefs  - 'I live next door to a couple of neanderthals, who instead of giving birth to a baby gave birth to a nocturnal civil defense air raid siren'.  However, once the violent streak begins with Roxy in tow, the targets become all too easy - Twitter, gossiping, lack of original thoughts - and whilst the targets are mentioned by real name to give a sense of reality, the non-stop violence and obvious buckets of blood are quite unnecessary.

It is quite hypocritical to suggest that Frank hates all the television shows, when he is watching them in the first place, although maybe this is Goldthwait's point; there is nothing but constant crap on television.  This is a shame as at times Murray, clearly a surrogate for Goldthwait in the lead role, is quite believable as the hound dog Frank.

Murray has been appearing on American TV for years most notably Dharma and Greg and Mad Men; yet it is the role of Roxy that is quite disconcerting - a role that is unfortunately too zany for the film and too off the rails in comparison to Frank.  Frank is beyond medical help, Roxy is beyond any perhaps.

The film might have worked better if Frank was a lone crusader, a distant cousin of Michael Douglas' D-Fens in Falling Down (1993), one man who is just simply having a bad time of things and wants to make the world a little bit more polite and gracious.

The problem with tone is a common problem with Goldthwait who never goes all the way with his satire, and has to come round to normality; a shame as some of the ideas Frank speaks for him in the first 20 minutes had laid the foundation for something more memorable.

God Bless America is out from StudioCanal on Wednesday 4th July (Independence Day) and is available on DVD on Monday 9th July

Monday, 2 July 2012

The Brooklyn Brothers Beat The Best

First time director Ryan O'Nan gives us this heartwarming tale of a group rabbled together in the search of winning a battle of the bands contest in California on a roadtrip from New York via Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Mississippi.

O'Nan also wrote the screenplay and stars as Alex, a deadbeat musician who works in a dead-end job as an estate agent yet can not give up on his dream of being a successful singer-songwriter.  After being dumped by his latest partner, Kyle (Jason Ritter - fine cameo) over creative differences; Alex writes songs of feeling and honesty, Kyle writes about sex crazed werewolves which he deems autobiographical.

After hearing one of his sets, Jim (Michael Weston) comes up with a plan for them to work together as a musical duo.  Jim claims himself to be a musical revolutionary, and Alex can write the words for them to sing.

To get to that stage of the plan being hatched by Jim; we firstly though have to navigate a tough first act of meeting Alex.  A depressed individual whose heart has been broken by Erin, a girl we never see but who wrote a letter to Alex explaining why they cannot be together.  This heartbreak causes Alex to act somewhat sociopathically when we first meet him - he dresses as a musical moose playing for mentally handicapped children.  When one child pretends to stab him with a fake knife, Alex punches said kid in the face numerous times.  Then he throws a water dispenser in his estate agent office at a threatening colleague, probably breaking his neck.

This sort of unnerving behaviour is in stark contrast to the heart-tugging music Alex is obviously capable of, and the film could have gone into darker territory.  Luckily the injection of Jim into the storyline, by punching Alex in the face, takes the film out of New York city and onto the highways and byways of America.  

Reluctantly, the two of them proceed with their dual dream of performing winning music; the scene when they compose their first song in the car whilst recording it is one of magic thanks in part to the feeling of spontaneity elicited by the musical performance and the use of Jim's toy instruments (player pianos, toy trumpets, gazoos) mixed with the natural harmonies they create.  This scene changes the film from a piece about a guy who feels sorry for himself into one that is confident in praising the value of sharing your dreams with like-minded people.

Once they get to the first gig, they attract the attention of Cassidy (Arielle Kebbel) a young entrepreneur but inexperienced tour manager who likes their alluring sound ('sounds like something Bowie would do when he was 6'); the connection between Alex and Cassidy is evident from the start and this blows into a romance until she runs off with the guys money.

This prompts the guys to break up and Alex to show up on his brother Brian's (Andrew McCarthy - yes he of Weekend at Bernie's/Mannequin) house looking for a place to stay.  Whilst Brian is over-religious and deflecting onto his genius son Jackson, Alex rekindles his belief in himself as a musician when he composes a song with Jackson at bedtime.

The inevitable final act of reformation and reunion is handled with distinction and not overdone with sentimentality; a victory for sheer belief and resilience.

A film that could have been twee and off the cuff is instead one of freedom and creativity; both funny ('I like your sound like a mix of The Shins meets Sesame Street') and engaging.  It follows in the footsteps of recent American independent road-movie films Easier With Practice (2010) and Passenger Side (2009) that are brilliantly acted, shot well (here by Gavin Kelly) and have kick-ass soundtracks.

The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best is distributed by Signature Entertainment and is in cinemas across the UK on Friday 20th July

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Project X

Nima Nourizadeh directs and Todd Phillips of The Hangover produces this tale of teenage debauchery shot through found-footage coverage of the best party in the history of house parties.

Starring Thomas Mann as Thomas, the loser son who has to look after the house whilst his parents are away celebrating their anniversary.  Influenced heavily by Costa (Oliver Cooper), a kid from Queens who has moved to middle America suburbia and finds himself at the bottom of the high school food chain, the boys decide to throw a party for all time.

What slowly becomes a small event to gain acceptance and cool credits, descends quickly into a flash mob of destruction as the whole school and neighbourhood attend the shin dig.  The boys fail to control the event, attempting to keep it solely in the garden and pool, quickly the party comes inside and the sheer level of damage done to the house is mind-boggling.

Whilst the party holds a purpose for the three lame boys to rise up in the ranks, the party holds no narrative thread and instead is just a basis for a string of skits and gimmicks that would be more at home on youtube clips, where people capture the moment or party tricks are shared with the world.

A nice romantic thread is forgotten about quickly, and the boys punishment for such a horrible display of recklessness and fecklessness is nothing more than a slap on the wrists.  In terms of a narrative thrust with traditional cause and effect, what effect does this party have on the community is forgotten about in the wake of having a good time.

In comparison to Superbad, the better attempt of losers attempting to gain some respect in high school, Project X is as lame as the characters it tries to put on a pedestal.

Project X is out on DVD on Monday 2nd July from Warner Bros