Project Almanac

Starring: Jonny Weston, Sofia Black-D’Elia, Sam Lerner, Allen Evangelista, Virginia Gardner
Directed By: Dean Israelite

A cool premise doesn’t make good with underdeveloped characters and a muted delivery.

I no longer give films props just for reinventing the “found footage” genre. Unlike other found footage films, this one makes absolutely no connection to why your cameraman is also a character. There’s no “discovery of footage” or anything like that. It’s just an odd choice for the film, since they don’t actually do anything with the found footage. This is a little spoilery, but your main cast doesn’t die… so there’s no need for found footage. Sorry.

So, then, why are we subjected to shaky handycam footage the entire film? I DON’T KNOW. It literally doesn’t make a damn bit of sense, since this film could have just as easily been told through traditional filmmaking and been fine. And, it might have actually given a screenwriter the opportunity to flesh out the characters a bit more so we don’t just have Jonny Weston and then four other people following him around. I had so many questions about his sister, like what grade she was in, why people hated her, why she was gorgeous and getting bullied, and none of my questions were answered because she spent most of the movie holding the camera.

Yes, super cool premise. Teens discover time travel. First of all, if that shit was in my basement for 10 years, I would have looked around down there by now. I don’t care what mom says, you’re a budding inventor and you’re really not gonna look through dad’s stuff for 10 years even though he was clearly doing shit right up your alley? I don’t buy that at all. They go back in time, sure, but to do what? Go to a concert? Pass a test? Get the girl? And then, oh yeah, MASSIVE BUTTERFLY EFFECT. The kids talk about going back in time and trying to do cool shit like kill Hitler, but instead they just go back in time and catch an Imagine Dragons concert. I suppose that’s cool for the MTV crowd, but the MTV crowd isn’t even really watching MTV anymore so who cares. Make a better movie, and people will watch it, then you can slap an MTV label on that. Imagine if MTV made cool shit like Inside Out. Everyone would love MTV. Instead, we get this. A found footage movie that has no business being found footage.

Congratulations on using a gimmick you didn’t need to use.

FINAL GRADE: C

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