Project Almanac

Not rated yet!
Director
Dean Israelite
Runtime
1 h 46 min
Release Date
29 January 2015
Genres
Science Fiction, Thriller
Overview
A group of teens discover secret plans of a time machine, and construct one. However, things start to get out of control.
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John Hanlon2
John Hanlon Reviews



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Project Almanac
    Project Almanac is a new movie undermined by its tiresome style. It was only a few years ago that the “found footage” concept soared in its usage in The Blair Witch Project. Since then, viagra 100mg some features have thrived using the concept...
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    (Review Source)
  • The Movies of 2015
    (”Project Almanac” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The end of 2016 is quickly approaching. With that in mind, patient I went back and created a list of all of the films that I reviewed this year and the different ratings I gave them. Of course, story this isn’t a complete list of all of the films I saw this year....
    ...
    (Review Source)

Crosswalk1
Cross Walk



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Teen Time Travel Tale Project Almanac Struggles to Take Off
    Movies DVD Release Date: June 9, 2015Theatrical Release Date: January 30, 2015Rating: PG-13 (for some language and sexual content)Genre: Science FictionRun Time: 106 min.Director: Dean IsraeliteCast: Jonny Weston, Sophia Black-D’Elia, Sam Lerner, Alan Evangelista, Amy Landecker, Gary Weeks, Virginia Gardner Time-travel movies are among the most time-tested (no pun intended) of movie genres, and the characters in Project Almanac are among its biggest fans. As the group discovers and experiments with its own form of what they call "temporal relocation," they name-check the films that have done the concept proud: Looper, the Terminator series, even Timecop. All are modern classics (okay, maybe not Timecop or Terminator Salvation) and most are better than Project Almanac. That doesn't mean Project Almanac is completely pleasure-free, but one hopes that if the filmmakers were given the chance to go back in time for a do-over, they'd ditch what doesn't work and spend more time streamlining a story that bogs down at crucial moments and lays on the exposition at others. David (Jonny Weston, Chasing Mavericks) is an aspiring MIT student who spends his days with his good friends Quinn (Sam Lerner) and Adam (Allen Evangelista), as well as sister Chris (Virginia Gardner), who totes a video camera everywhere the boys go. That's the first inexplicable element of this story, which plays as "found footage" from Chris's incessant recording. The conceit never feels justified, and the boys' encouragement to "tape everything from now on" serves only to draw attention to the most glaring problem with Project Almanac. Time travel enters the story when the teenage David, while watching an old video of his seventh birthday party, sees the teen version of himself in the background of the footage. It's a similar setup to last year's doppelganger drama Enemy (itself a problematic film, yet one with many more moments of eerie effectiveness), but Project Almanac is nowhere near as dark in its examination of the human condition.SEE ALSO: About Time Not Bad, but Nothing Special googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); The revelation of the birthday video leads to the discovery of a secret stash in the family basement, with time-travel instructions left by David's father, who died right after David's seventh birthday party. Soon David and his friends are jumping through time—first for an hour or two, then days, weeks and longer. Along for the ride is high-school heartbreaker Jessie (Sophia Black-D’Elia), who finds herself drawn to David’s boundless sense of wonder and desire to experience things he missed earlier in life. Project Almanac starts as more playful than serious, toying with the notion that we might use time travel for personal pleasures like seeing live music acts or attending the Star Wars premiere in 1977 rather than righting history's great wrongs. But it's precisely in fulfilling one of the teens' mild fantasies that the film—already on shaky footing from its rapid-fire explanation about time travel and its repetitious special effects of spinning, floating objects—falls apart. The key sequence involves a concert during which David misses a moment to declare his love for Jessie, then returns later to that same event to win Jessie's love with a perfectly timed expression of affection. But in doing so, he violate the group's rule to never time-travel on his own. When the ripple effects from David's solo trips back in time keep complicating things in the present—including a plane crash that kills hundreds of people (yes, Project Almanac goes there)—David's friends shun him, things start to go further awry, and David's increasingly desperate attempts to fix things backfire so badly that the police end up hunting him down. A moment of family reunion late in the film should provide an emotional payoff, but it doesn't gel, leaving an ending with no emotional punch. Project Almanac isn't terrible, but there's nothing to distinguish it from other found-footage or time-travel films, other than it being below average in both departments. The handheld camerawork's amateur-video aesthetic quickly grows wearisome, as do the film's ideas about how changing the past can have unforeseen ramifications down the road.SEE ALSO: In Time Ultimately Isn't Worth Yours Let Project Almanac be a lesson to future filmmakers looking to past time-travel films for inspiration: skip this derivative movie in favor of the better genre films its characters reference. And if you can't justify the found-footage conceit, skip it. Its time has come and gone. The future belongs to more creative approaches to storytelling. CAUTIONS (may contain spoilers): googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); Language/Profanity: Lord’s name taken in vain; the “f” word; numerous uses of foul language; “what a douche”; David makes sexually suggestive comments about a friend’s mother; a girl says a student will be “screwing” another boy soon; jokes about having sex with numerous girls Drinking/Smoking/Drugs: None Sex/Nudity: Kissing; flirtatious comments and ogling of teen girls by teen boys; a reference to masturbation;  David and Jessie have sex, and we see them in bed afterward (no nudity); a girl removes her top and has a bra on; Jessie gets out of a shower, wrapped in a towel, and shows herself to David, although the camera sees only her towel; cleavage and sensual dancing; a girl asks a boy if he's picturing her naked Violence/Crime: Explosions; a boy is hit by a car and injured; a plane crash and descriptions of deaths; David breaks into a school; a bloody hand; police officers point guns at David Marriage: David’s mom is a widow, and David wonders about the circumstances surrounding his father’s death when David was a child Religion/Morality: David says he won't "play God" by going back in time again to fix a problem; the kids use their time travel advantage to win the lottery, earn better grades at school, and get even with snobbish peers Publication date: January 29, 2015 SEE ALSO: Disturbing Realism Recorded in Chronicle ]]>
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    (Review Source)

Plugged In2
Focus on the Family



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Project Almanac
    DramaSci-Fi/FantasyRomance We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewTime travel is a little like a Red Ryder BB Gun: It's only fun 'til somebody loses an eye. You might think that when I say eye, I mean the fabric of space and time. And I do mean that. But those real-life optical noggin balls are in serious jeopardy from time travel too—certainly from the time machine David and Christina Raskin find in their basement. Their father designed the thing before he died, but given that it was 2004, he lacked an adequate power source to run it. (Most of the ancient world's power back then was, as you already know, supplied through boiling steam and thinking happy thoughts.) He hid its main component in a secret compartment, perhaps because he understood that time machines would not be ideal playthings for his kids. But that was a decade ago, and David's now a bright, ambitious 17-year-old with hopes of getting a scholarship to MIT. He lives in a more technologically advanced age wherein smartphones practically rain from the sky. He has all the tools necessary to complete his father's device. It's hard work, still, building a time machine. Anyone who has ever built one can tell you that. Every time they turn it on, the only thing it seems to do is cause every sharp, metallic instrument in the basement to rise and float and spin, creating all manner of, yes, eye-damaging threats. But do David and his friends stop? Do they even bother to pack up all those sharp, metallic instruments and move them to a safer locale? Of course not! They're foolhardy teens, the class of humanoid that invented car surfing! And not just any foolhardy teens, but foolhardy teens starring in a movie produced by MTV! Safety, shmafety! Then one day David has an epiphany. A battery from a DeLorean—er, I mean, a Toyota Prius—might be just the ticket to give the machine the juice it needs to throw someone back in time. And who owns a Prius? Jessie, David's longtime, unreachable crush, that's who. Bonus: She has pretty optical noggin balls that haven't yet been peppered with BBs.Positive ElementsAs these teens irresponsibly mess up the space-time continuum ever more seriously—leading to injury and heartbreak and even death—some realize that time travel is a lot more complex than they thought it was. They try to correct their mistakes and save people by doing more time-hopping, and that's nice. [Spoiler Warning] What's better, though, is David eventually coming to understand that it was a mistake to turn the thing on in the first place. He makes the hard but right decision to time travel one more time so he can destroy it. So David ends and begins things with noble motives. Because the whole things started with him wanting to talk with his father again—and, if he can, save him from the car accident that claimed his life.Spiritual ContentDavid tells his friends they shouldn't "play God" with the time machine.Sexual ContentDavid goes back in time to coax Jessie into being his girlfriend by kissing her at a critical moment. When he returns to the present, she has rewarded him by being in his bedroom wrapped in a towel. He finds that she plans to sleep over (after lying to her dad), and when he asks her whether they had sex, she says yes. David asks her to open the towel so he can see her naked, and she obliges. The two hop in bed together, kissing and making out. (It's implied that they have sex again.) Quinn jokingly tells David that he plans to have sex with multiple women. There's a reference to masturbation. Sexual quips are made at the expense of teens' mothers. There's talk of high school infidelity, and there's a hint of lesbian attraction. Women and girls are shown in revealing outfits, including bikinis and short, tight shorts. Sometimes the clothes are wet, adding to the intended sensuality. David ogles Jessie's rear and legs. Quinn and Adam also can't get enough of the female form. The camera eyes Christina's cleavage. David shows off his shirtless torso.Recommended ResourceA Chicken's Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About SexKevin LemanEven the bravest parents feel timid about discussing sex with their 8- to 14-year-olds! This resource offers reassuring, humorous, real-life anecdotes along with reliable information to help you with this challenging task.Buy NowViolent ContentAs mentioned, David's dad dies in a car crash. Another guy gets hit by a car, forcing him to walk around on crutches which, of course, leads to a fatal airline disaster. We see someone in a coma. On the run from police, Adam badly cuts his hand. There's talk that the time machine, which is already causing inanimate objects to spin, fly around and break, might start blowing people up. And as it is, seeing yourself while visiting the past leads to complete obliteration. One traveler is zapped out of existence in this way, while another has a close call.Crude or Profane LanguageOne f-word. Ten or more f-word stand-ins (like "freaking" and "frickin'"). We hear at least 60 s-words and a bevy of other profanities ("a--," "b--ch," "d--n," "h---"). God's name is misused more than 40 times (once with "dang"), and Jesus' name is abused four or five times.Drug and Alcohol ContentThe time travelers sometimes sit around and sip from brown bottles. (They could be bottles of beer or bottles of root beer, a distinction the movie's makers presumably wanted to keep ambiguous.)Other Negative ElementsAfter first sending a toy car back in time for a whole minute—and seeing it materialize halfway through the basement wall—the next logical, rational thing for these guys to do would be, of course, try the thing out on themselves. Let's not worry about the plastic car sticking out of the basement wall, or that they're taking guidance from an almost-complete stranger (Jessie) who knows nothing about science, or that practically every time-travel story ever—up to and including that one episode on The Simpsons—has ended in unmitigated disaster. When you've got a time machine, you might as well use it, right? There are tests to cheat on! Concerts to go to! And it's gotta be way safer than car surfing. Where are their parents? Almost completely out of the picture. David's mother is the only living parent we actually see, and it's telling that she's only filmed at a distance. She has no clue as to how her children are spending their time, and while David and Christina seem to care for her, she's as critical to their day-to-day lives as a dusty conversation piece. More tangibly, at least from a content perspective, David and his pals break into school and steal scads of hydrogen. Quinn shows disrespect to his teachers and does indeed use the machine to cheat on a test. To get back at a bully, Christina goes back in time to spill two massive sodas on her enemy. The five of them manipulate time to win the lottery.ConclusionMost movies about time travel are pretty convoluted. That's part of the point: Time is complex, and many such movies want to illustrate the crazy ways in which our lives intersect. Most want us to learn the sci-fi life lesson that even with the best of time-traveling intentions, such meddling can blow up in your face. But rarely has that salient point been made in such an irresponsible manner as it is in Project Almanac. Watching the action through the lens of an always-running video camera (an annoying and overused conceit that's particularly ludicrous here) Project Almanac is superficial, problematic and lame. While the story eventually twists itself to end in a reasonably good place, its pretzel-like contortions take us to some really inadvisable places. The movie posits that physical attraction is the real basis for a good romantic relationship, with sex being its natural (and beautiful) culmination. It sees stealing school property—locked up for a good reason—as just good fun. And even as Adam says that something like a time machine should be used to help people, not to "party," the movie's vibe seems to disagree. I'm a bit happy that Project Almanac has such a clunky name. That alone might make some moviegoers spend their time elsewhere.Pro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
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    (Review Source)

Breitbart Staff1
Big Hollywood



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • ‘Project Almanac’ Review: Found-Footage Film Meets Time Travel Story
    First-time feature filmmaker Dean Israelite pairs found-footage with time travel and what we get is a story about a lot of dumb teenagers that's not completely original in its first half but does pick up the pace in the last 30 minutes or so.
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    (Review Source)

Debbie Schlussel1
The New York Post



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Wknd Box Office: A Most Violent Year (a/k/a “All the Bad Guys Are Jews”), Project Almanac, Black Sea, Black or White, Cake, The Loft
    Blog Posts Movie Reviews Cake“: Jennifer Aniston is getting rave reviews for her starring role in this depressing art house movie, mostly–I think–because she’s very de-glammed and very average looking without much makeup in this film. It wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. But it was kind of pointless, in my view. I felt like I’ve seen this kind of movie a million times before and didn’t need more of this kind of self-absorbed cinematic misery. Aniston plays a Los-Angeles-area woman who is part of a pain-management support group (is there anything they don’t have a support group for in our ever-softer, wimpy country?). We don’t know why she’s in the group or what happened to her, and we aren’t told until about three-fourths into the movie (though there are strong hints to that point and you can kind of figure it out). We just know that something bad or tragic happened to her. Aniston is kicked out of the group because she’s rude, sullen, obnoxious, and everyone hates her. She is also wealthy, has a full-time Mexican housekeeper, and doesn’t seem to do anything for a living. She also pops a lot of pills, does drugs, and sleeps with the help. Soon, Aniston becomes obsessed with a woman who was in the support group but committed suicide. Aniston goes to where the woman committed suicide and imagines herself re-enacting it. She also stalks the woman’s widower and visits his home. But they become friends. Still, throughout all of this, we know something is terribly wrong with Aniston and she has failed to face it, grieve, and move on with her life. It finally becomes obvious what that is when it all comes to a a head. I could have done without the slowness and then sudden onslaught of melodrama that is this movie. It was boring and then way too much. I wouldn’t spent ten bucks-plus to see this. I want to go to the movies to escape or learn something or be entertained and come out happy. This did none of those things. But maybe it will help someone who has faced a tragic loss (in how NOT to face grief). Or maybe not. Either way, it qualifies as great torture material for the few remaining Gitmo detainees. TWO MARXES ]]>
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    (Review Source)

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