Friday, January 30, 2015

Project Almanac
Releases January 30th, 2015
1 hr 46 mins
Rated PG-13
Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Thriller


Dean Israelite

Jonny Weston as David Raskin
Sofia Black D'Elia as Jessie
Sam Lerner as Quinn Goldberg
Allen Evangelista as Adam
Virginia Gardner as Christina
Amy Landecker as Kathy
Michelle DeFraites as Sarah Nathan
Patrick Johnson as Todd
Gary Grubbs as Dr. Lu
Katie Garfield as Liv

Review by Stephen M.

Time paradoxes aside, Project Almanac is a surprisingly enjoyable film in the mode of The Butterfly Effect with the lightheartedness of 21 and Over.  Well acted by the relatively young cast, with a touching love story as is mandatory with these young adult films.  Jonny Weston plays David Raskin who is a M.I.T. hopeful, son of a departed inventor who conveniently leaves a half built time machine with blueprints to complete it hidden in their home.

Filmed in the found footage style as David's sister Christina (Virginia Gardner) records her brother's David's admission video to M.I.T. and later the group of friend's time traveling adventures.  This style actually works well for the film with less motion sickness scenes than most film filmed this manner.  The humor between the friends are hilarious especially with the "groundhog" moments of which actor Sam Lerner kills.  The wall scene between David and Jessie (Sofia Black D'Elia) at Lollapalooza will move you.

As with most time travel films you always run into trouble areas regarding the science of it.  Trying not to give too much away, one example is how can there still be two video cameras given the actions of the character towards the end?  As well, how believable is it for the young adults to experiment on themselves given what happened to the red toy car?  And just how do they determine where the vortex would be or are they just lucky each time?  As smart as these kids are, or at least David, some of the choices they make as well as the filmmakers will have you scratching your head.

Overall I would recommend the film.  From the camaraderie between friends as they set on an adventure of a lifetime to the chemistry of David and Jessie's character, there is just a lot to like.  The humor up until the end is light and fun.  I would only wish the end was not as frantic and short but expanded upon.  But it's understandable given David's state of mind.  What did you think of the film?


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