Review of PROJECT ALMANAC

by Simon on February 17, 2015 · 0 comments

Get out the ginger pills and those little wrist bracelets with the magnets in them, for this is one of those nausea-inducing ‘found-footage’ genre films shot with a hand-held camera that moves around so much it kicks in vestibular disorder of the inner ear. Like the dozens of low-budget Blair Witch Project inspired films before it, the premise is that the film one is watching has been shot by a single camcorder that has captured the narrative that unfolds, often depicting a group of people whose ultimate fate is guessed at with the implication that the footage has been left behind in some way.

Project-Almanac ScreenwizeDavid (Jonny Weston) is a high school science geek whose life is documented by sister Christina (Ginny Gardner), always with a video camera to her eye. Her camera captures the mundanities and brighter movements of David’s life, including hanging out with pals Adam (Allen Evangelista) and Quinn (Sam Lerner), getting in to his dream university, and his awkward efforts at chatting up his crush Jessie (Sofia Black-D’Elia). David and his friends uncover the plans for a time travel device left behind by David’s missing scientist father, and actually get it to work, though their presence in the past creates issues they have to continue to return to the past to fix. Notwithstanding the annoying spatial amnesia all time travel movies enjoy (if the universe is constantly moving and you time travel but don’t account for the spatial movement of the Earth in the intervening period you ought to end up frozen in deep space, not dancing with your mother at the Sock Hop al la Marty McFly), the premise set up by writers Andrew Deutschman and Jason Pagan is appealing, if increasingly convoluted and poorly explained. Never trust a film that languishes unreleased for more than a year as this one has, which often implies the team that have to market the film have no idea what to do with it, but have spent too much money to ignore it completely.

The performances from the young cast are fine, there a small amount of CGI involved and it is done well, but director Dean Israelite is certainly going for the youth market with all that shaky camera and dark set dressing. Also Michael Bay produced this film, which ought to help you make your mind up if it’s your kind of film or not.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

CK

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