release date: 30 January 2015 (Canada)
run time: 106 mins
considered: Sci-Fi, Thriller
director: Dean Israelite
starring: Jonny Weston, Sofia Black-D’Elia, Sam Lerner, Allen Evangelista, Virgina Gardner, Amy Landecker, Gary Weeks, Macsen Lintz, Gary Grubbs, Michelle DeFraites, Curry Stone, Jamila Thompson, Katie Garfield, Hillary Harley, Courtney Bowers
movie summary: Deep in the basement of the Raskin household, David (Jonny Weston) and his sister Christina (Virgina Gardner) will stumble across their father’s unfinished work project. The case contains the blue prints, formulas, and equations to build a functioning time machine. When their best friends Quinn Goldberg (Sam Lerner) and Adam Le (Allen Evangelista) join in on the project, the four of them manage to actually build a time machine. Thanks to the help of the most beautiful girl in school, Jessie Pierce (Sofia Black-D’Elia), these five high school seniors will embark on a wild ride through time to relive some of their mistakes and events they missed.
my thoughts: Anyone who loves movies and follows movie releases knows that January is by far one of the worse months of the year for good movies. This movie barely made the cut off for January by coming out on the second to last day, but really fit the profile of decent looking trailer – really disappointing movie. Writers, producers, and directors think that audiences will flock to the theatre to see another “found footage” film, even though I personally feel Paranormal Activity ran that genre into the ground.
Project Almanac was an interesting concept at first, but Hollywood just gave us a movie called Chronicle. That movie was about a group of friends who fall in a hole and develop super powers. This film felt like that movie with a different cast and set of abilities. David, Christina, Jessie, Quinn, and Adam get the chance of a lifetime to travel back in time to change their lives for the better before turning greedy and ruining everything. Although there are many good times and only a handful of bad times, this movie isn’t all about winning the lottery, going to elite colleges, fancy cars, or wild parties. It is a movie about fixing the wrongs of the past with the intention of making them right for the future.
It felt like time travel was going perfect for this small group of friends. They meet at random places to jump, and go on wild adventures that provides them with experiences of a life time. When a few disasters begin to happen across the globe, David decides to break the first rule of Project Almanac (kinda like Fight Club) and time travel alone. This is where the story turns and begins the downfall to a confusing and anti-climatic ending. His emotions and selfishness will get the best of him, which in turn affects his decisions, which in the end causes ripples even he can’t fix. What starts out as a story about time travel and science actually turns into story about love and how that single emotion can sometimes ruin an amazing thing.
I paid $10 to watch Project Almanac on Tuesday and didn’t feel like I got entertained for my money. All the characters were interchangeable with any other movie about high school kids and no one really stood out to me. David was so busy being a hero he doesn’t realize that he’s not God and can’t fix everything. Jessie is just in the movie for her good looks and the ability to play the girl David shouldn’t be with. Both Quinn and Adam are smart kids who love science and all the things involved with it, but do some pretty stupid things that alter the whole experience. Christina is sadly only in the movie to hold the camera and document everything the gang experience, while tagging along for good times.
There are some really awesome moments and laughs in Project Almanac, but there was nothing there for me to really feel invested in the story or characters. The way the movie ended kinda pissed me off because it felt like what I just saw wasn’t real. It gets a little confusing and then just ends which may or may not lead into a sequel or was simply meant to leave us hanging. When the lights came up the only thing I thought about was what would I do if I could time travel. Unlike these guys, I would be afraid that if I went back to change something in the past that my life wouldn’t be the same today. I personally would rather not risk any of that for 15 minutes of fame.
my final thoughts: Project Almanac is a pretty fun concept when provided with solid writing, casting, and storyline. What appears to be an awesome movie in the trailer is actually a lame attempt to showcase the adventures of time travel. I wouldn’t recommend this movie and for those of you who are really interested in catching it, I’d say for it to come out on demand or Netflix.
my star rating: 3 out 10
imdb: 6.6 out 10
rottentomatoes: 35% out 100%
roger ebert: 2 out 4
richard crouse: 3 out 5