PG-13 | 2014 | 106m
Project Almanac is a 2014, Found Footage, Sci-Fi, Thriller from MTV Pictures. It's about a group of friends that stumble across one of their father's plans to build a time machine, 10 years after he dies. Not a bad concept for good Sci-Fi. After all, time traveling teens has been around since the 80's with Bill, Ted and Marty.
However, those teens didn't build the machine between classes and video tape the whole thing. That being said, I can appreciate a good found footage story. It does have to be a bit more organic though. The camera they are using, for the most part, is the one they find right before discovering the time machine. So, it is at least 10 years old. The image quality, aside from the added post glitches, looks like it's shot on today's best digital movie cameras. Which it is. Blair Witch actually shot on the camera's seen in the movie, which made it more authentic. No one is going to leave this movie thinking it actually happened, so why even bother with the style choice?
The story is actually intriguing. David Raskin (Jonny Weston), a bright young man is accepted into M.I.T. but his mother can't afford to send him, since she is the family's only source of income, and is out of work at the moment. Bummed, David starts rooting through stuff in the attic left behind by his dead father (Why would anyone video this?) and comes across a video camera. He and his sister Christina (Virginia Gardner) watch the tape inside to find the last footage of their father, at David's 7th birthday party. They are shocked to discovery modern day David in a reflection however.
They investigate further and decide to look in the basement. There they find that their father had a lab. (How is it that after 10 years, no one looked down there before?) In the lab they find the plans for the Time Machine which will eventually send David back to the day on the tape.
You would think the plan would be to go back and save his father. No, after creating chaos in the timeline, David goes back to destroy the plans before he can discover them. (So why travel back 10 years to that day, and risk being seen? The room sat dormant for a decade.)
Due to the misuse of the found footage style and the lack of common sense the characters have for geniuses I have to say, "Skip It." Instead, do like one of the teens in this movie, and watch "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" on your lap top, now streaming on Netflix.