Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Afternoon Movie Review: Project X

Project X is not only one of the best movies ever made, but may be THE best movie to stumble upon on a weekend afternoon when paging through your Optimum Online Channel Guide (or what-have-you). For the uninitiated, Project X is a 1987 film starring Matthew Broderick fresh of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Helen Hunt fresh off of Girls Just Want to Have Fun (If they ever get together for lunch with SJP, can some pap PLEASE photograph it? I want to hang it on my wall). Not only does it star these fine actors, it as stars the greatest monkey cast ever assembled.

I have many favorite parts of this movie, which centers around monkeys in an Air Force experiment who are being taught to fly airplanes by a cigarette-smoking Broderick, but the part that really means a lot to me personally is when MB throws his bomber jacket over a barbed wire fence to make it more safe for the monkeys, who are escaping the compound, to jump over. It was this very scene that gave me the confidence to drunkenly throw a jean jacket and a sweater over the coils of barbed wire on top of the fence behind my apartment when I was breaking in at 3 in the morning last fall.

Because this was filmed in the days before you could just CGI a smile onto a monkey, all of the delicate emotions of the chimps had to be achieved with brilliant camerawork (i.e., the slow zoom-in) and a little “African-themed” music in the background (by none other than Oscar-winning composer James Horner). The movie has at least 10 monkeys in it, and they all have separate personalities, like the monkey who blows raspberries and the monkey who makes monkey faces.

It’s worth it to try to catch this movie from the beginning, in which you will be treated not only to some of its most heart-warming moments like Helen Hunt teaching Virgil the Monkey sign language, but also to a bit part by 24’s Jean Smart. When she has to break the news to Helen that the monkey she’s been dressing in polo shirts for the past 3 years (condensed into 15 min in the movie) has to be given away, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t tear up a little bit.

And when those monkeys fly away in the plane at the end, I challenge you not to do the same.

P.S. I would like to thank the Fox Movie Channel for not only airing this movie without commercial interruption, but airing it unedited. It had been years since I’d heard the controversial line that brings Jimmy and Teri together: “Your ass is nailed to the wall!”

1 comment:

Rodrigo said...

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