Title – Project Almanac (2014)
Director – Dean Israelite (feature debut)
Cast – Jonny Weston, Sofia Black-D’Elia, Sam Lerner, Virginia Gardner, Allen Evangelista
Plot – When a bunch of high schoolers led by scientific wiz David (Weston) discover the blueprints for a time machine they quickly learn that the laws of time travel are not to be messed with.
“I told you we couldn’t die”
Review by Eddie on 5/10/2015
Handheld found footage has seeped into many a genre of the last decade and while horror has been its main target we can now ad high school time travellers to that ever growing list with Dean Israellite’s potentially great yet un-exciting Project Almanac.
A product of the MTV branch of films, Project Almanac wants to be a hip time travelling jaunt for the Beats By Dr. Dre generation yet what we get is a horribly dull trip into the pitfalls of messing with time and space that starts off with a potentially great idea only to squander it on an uninvolving love plot, trips to concerts that go on far too long and a lot of annoying LOUD yelling from our team of freakishly adept scientific teens that luckily have parents who don’t seem to care about them tinkering away on experiments in the basement.
With a squandered story another man hindrance to Almanac’s chances of successes is its telling centred around the found footage/handheld style of filmmaking. As is well known, for these type of films to work there has to be a reason for people to be filming quite literally all the time and Almanac just becomes a frustration with there being no real reason a lot of the time for filming to be taking place. One can’t help but feel this film could’ve benefited from a more straightforward telling that would’ve allowed for some more involving set pieces and less jarring footage and edits.
The team of brainy high schooler’s we’re asked to spend 100 minutes with aren’t particularly fantastic either and in the end fit squarely in the sadly stereotypical genre tropes of nerds, babes and losers. During the film’s opening stanza there seems to be a chance our lead David played by Jonny Weston could carry the film but as the film progresses more to a tale of love, David quickly becomes a frustration.
For such a brainy group you’d have thought that at least one of the five travellers had seen any number of cautionary tales about the pitfalls of time travel yet low and behold Project Almanac goes down the route that we expected all along and while there are interesting moments in this yarn not enough of them gel to create something that is memorable or even that well made.
1 and a half slowly floating cans of Red Bull out of 5
Mmmmmm Red Bull