Project Almanac Spoiler Warning Dean Israelite directs a refreshingly different found footage movie. While he must push through the regular tropes of the genre, he does so quickly, and with every cast main member eventually wearing a GoPro, he can justify just any camera angle, high quality shots and the audience is not stuck in one frame. What makes this movie work is that the characters are believable. They succeed in a believable fashion, everything progressing in logical stages. The director avoids the slew of lucky co-incidences to keep the story going, characters shrugging off <more>
near-fatal wounds and the inevitable cast turning on each other. The ending is more satisfying than I expected but I still wanted a little more. Minor Spoiler Warning David, Jessie, Quinn, Adam and Kathy are typical high school students that might have been plucked straight out of the Archie comics until they get their hands on time travel. They do pretty much what any normal person would do, and set out fixing the minor problems with their lives and then win the lottery. It's slow and it takes a long time but the ramifications of what they are doing start rolling in and their problems escalate quickly. Respecting the audience enough not to spoon feed them, Israelite includes classical scenes where the police are arriving but does not waste time explaining why or how they knew to be there. In a movie this complicated, it simply wouldn't matter anyway.A combination of nerds vs. jocks movie, guy gets the girl, found footage, party movie and time travel, this movie deserves an Oscar for simply avoiding the pages to cliché's and pit falls common to each of these genres. Just some examples, in order; No one grabs a main cast member by the shirt and shoves them up against a locker. The girl isn't oblivious to her love interest and only interested in the quarterback. No one is addicted to filming everything because they are afraid of the "real" world. No one throws up on someone. And time travel I'll get back to.If you can tolerate a little shaky cam action, this movie is a must see, and even that vanishes for long periods. The cast just seems so human that it's hard to remember that these people are acting. No one does anything that is clearly just to advance the plot, while at the same time the tension builds and builds as things drift slowly and then finally spiral completely out of control before the final. It reaches a point where you want to demand the other shoe drop and you realize that you've been watching them undo the laces the whole time. Complete Spoiler Warning I can not talk about the time travel in this movie without ruining the ending. Please consider yourself warned!Project Almanac does something unusual. It reveals early on that the past can be altered without incredibly negative consequences. The characters meet themselves and one draws on the back of the neck of his sleeping self and it appears on his own neck at the same time. The time space continuum is not destroyed and the world does not end. Even as things get worse and worse, the net impact of their travels are relatively minor in the grand scheme of things cumulating in a plane crash. That's it. One plane crashed. And you know what? The main characters feel guilty, as they should.THE RULESThe movie establishes ground rules and sticks with them throughout, which is fantastic; Time can be re-written. The results of these changes are instantaneous, regardless of when you are. If you caused the changes, you keep your old memories. Changing history has a ripple effect which can cause other events to change in unpredictable ways. These are very logical rules. We are even given little hints about the ripple effect as early as the first time travel!I would label this Instantaneous Flexible Paradox Time and include a note about the memory retention. I wrote a book about time travel: Chronomancer: Time Travel for Everyone. These rules are great, unfortunately they break them. They mixed Determinism and Free Will. Either going back in time can't change the present because that's what always happened Determinism or going back in time can change the present Free Will . Most of the review was cut because of the 1000 word limit. Sigh. Mark Charke
I loved this movie, but I'll tell you now that if you don't like movies that appear to be filmed by the characters then you probably won't like this one. If you were looking for a time- travel movie where they go back to stop wars or cure disease then you probably won't like this one. If you were looking for a sci-fy movie that will inspire you and change your life, movies like Armageddon another one of my favorites or Interstellar one of my least favorites , you probably won't like this one. This movie was fantastic, but only if you weren't expecting a movie with <more>
awesome action scenes or inspirational lines or characters that change the world and become heroes. I would say this movie is more of a teen/young adult movie, and while most of the science isn't commonly understandable, you don't need to understand it to understand the movie. Over half the characters don't understand the science that went into building and using the time machine. In fact, only two did. That's one of the things I loved about the movie, they didn't make it seem overly unrealistic as to how in the world a few teenagers could figure out how to build a time machine. Lucky for them, they were left instructions. So really, they only constructed a time machine, they didn't invent one. Which seems far more likely, even if the main character did get into MIT. Another thing I loved about this movie was that they didn't become heroes. They didn't go back to kill Hitler though it was discussed , or stop the assassination of Lincoln or JFK or MLKJ, or prevent the Stock Market crash, or any moral, heroic act that most of us fool ourselves into believing we'd do with a time machine. They did what any teenager would do if they had a time machine, re-do a failed test multiple times , payback a bully "I'm everywhere b****," one of my favorite lines in the film , win the lottery, attend a music festival, get the girl. Normal teenage stuff that I saw many adults gave bad reviews for because "they wasted a time machine on stupid childish things." Well they're teens, what did you expect? This movie was hilarious and relatable and never boring. I loved every minute of it.
One of the best found footage films of all time! (by mattdkieffer)
If you do not like found footage or time travel then this movie is not for you. This is a found footage suspense movie. It honestly has the perfect amount of everything. Romance, action, suspense... it even gets a little scary at times. The character development is really good, the actors did a really good job, and overall this is just a well put together time travel movie. If you like The Butterfly Effect, or Source Code where the theme is fixing events within a time sequence then this NEEDS to be added to your watch list. Why this movie got bad reviews: People generally don't like <more>
found footage films; people also overthink the time line. No time travel movie can make perfect sense look at The Terminator .If you have an open mind, this movie will be entertaining, interesting, funny, and suspenseful.
High School students discover the secret of Time Travel (by david-sarkies)
A part of me likes some of these 'found footage' films though they can be a bit hit or miss. However they have certainly come a long way since the days of the Blair Witch Project which I really didn't like all that much . Some of them, such as Chronicle, can be quite disturbing, but one thing that I must say is that they can be very difficult to do well, and Project Almanac is certainly one that has been done really, really well though it is certainly not one of those low budget films that appear every so often, such as Paranormal Activity .So, the story is about an engineering <more>
genius who is trying to get into university and while he comes up with an impressive project, the university decide that it is not good enough for a full scholarship, so rather than have his mother sell the house, he goes searching through the attic to see if there is anything that his Dad left behind that he could work on – which is when they discover a camera containing footage that shows his contemporary self in the mirror at his 7th Birthday party. Attempting to uncover the mystery they stumble upon his father's plans for a time machine.The idea about this film is that you cannot go back in time without changing the present. In a way that is a no brainer. However it is interesting how a lot of these movies suggest that when the past is changed we in effect 'lose' memory, that is that while we may have changed something we do not see the events that occur between when we changed the past and the point in time to which we return. In many cases we are blind to the true effects of what we have done. It is also interesting to suggest that such interference is addictive. When David realises that he has made a mistake, he goes back in time, for purely selfish reasons, to change that mistake. However that one change results in other changes and in the end he finds himself trying a plug a dyke that is leaking from many areas with only one hand.Look, as with every time travel movie, there are inconsistencies – that is always going to happen. Firstly time travel is very speculative so we really do not know what meddling in the past would do if we could do it. Also, in many cases, the plot is king, meaning that we have to suspend out disbelief and ignore the inconsistencies if we are going to have a movie that works. This is why you have them go back multiple times to get one of the guys to pass his chemistry exam without running into the others.I also felt that the movie did end quite well, and does leave that big question in the air. However I won't go into too many details here because I don't want to spoil the movie too much. I guess, in the end, it is still a 'found footage' movie, and while the plot was great, I do realise that a lot of people suffer from motion sickness in these films.
I have to say: I loved this movie! Time travel is always tricky in films, because it has always lacked an element of logical consistency. It has also been done and redone: so what can this film really add?Firstly: we have a group of high school students which are fairly relatable to the target audience, and there is an element of sympathy for them and their hopes, and challenges. Getting into university, paying for school, getting people to like you etc. Thus it's easy to feel drawn to care about these kids. What starts as a premise for filming a school project is slightly awkward. In <more>
fact the opening scenes seem a little silly. Perhaps with a little brevity we can become comfortable with ourselves, for once we suspend our disbelief it starts to become increasingly natural. Yes; the shaky cam can be a jarring format, but rather than being a weakness the film turns this into a strength! What we are fed gradually becomes a life line; much like the protagonist spends time obsessing over video recordings; the audience is also drawn into watching the screen carefully. There is a feeling that what we are watching is important.The film builds upon a growing sense of unease and tension, as we are forced to question ourselves: what would we do if something so amazing were to fall into our laps? There is something morally objectionable about the notion of time travel; and as we are teased with this feeling throughout. We also notice that there is something askew with the events that are unfolding. The camera perspective certainly builds upon this feeling that there is something larger occurring offscreen and out of frame. From the outset we know that at least one trip must occur, yet the specifics are elusive and vague. The feeling of control is always slipping. A somewhat unlikely group of 5 friends embark to use their new found power for personal gain, and I think we can sympathize with their choices. It is fantasy fulfillment at it's best! Yet as the movie unfolds it illustrates how time travel would unhinge us terribly... and seeing it on screen through a lens makes it feel especially frightening! The nervous tension, the fear and anxiety is palpable, and delightful! The characters fulfill their promise nicely, and I think it presents an interesting challenge regarding the malleability of our reality. Is there such a thing as destiny? do we control our own fate, our own choices, or our lives? and what would happen if we had the capacity to pull at those threads? Could anyone be trusted with such a power, and could we even trust ourselves?In the end it is intriguing to think that time machines might ultimately be self destructive... and it poses a possibility for how it might have ended up discarded in a suburban basement in the first place. Perhaps there are no accidents! Rather than leaving a feeling of plot holes, the film seeks to outfox itself and I think it succeeds at escaping the trap! It is, at least, a satisfying ending. I would say this film is quite intentionally brilliant! Quite refreshing and instantly memorable.
Don't quite agree with negative comment above (by hadi_assasin)
i've read all the review posted by other and im not fully agree with what all of you criticized about almanac .i think project almanac is simply the best time-travel movie i've ever watched. the handling of the camera. effects. plot and storyline that i cant guess from the start. unlike other movies such as marvel and others, we can predict the ending. but almanac, even the ending has been shown in the beginning of the movie , the way almanac driven me into the movie making me forget about it. i couldn't believe that time travel movie can be incredibly magnificent. i just wanna <more>
say that this movie is awesome. AWESOME.... keep up the good workp/s: if i have a chance to meet Jessie and Chris i wanna hug them.
Good film ruined by disastrous camera work. (by cken29)
I'm not going to include any spoilers. I enjoyed the story and found the cast appealing. It was an interesting idea with some good special effects. There were a couple of plot holes but there were also some funny nods to movies such as Back to the Future which I enjoyed. You remember the scene where Doc Brown is trying to get two electric cables to connect?It reminded me a lot of the superb low-budget 'Primer' which covers some of the same ground. In that movie, some geekie guys accidentally discover time-travel and have to decide what to do with it. Also, Almanac had some good <more>
jokes, which many movies seem to leave out.Seriously, did you see any jokes in Man of Steel? Sadly the shocking camera work ruined the whole experience.All the jumping about, whirling, juddering and flicking etc. It just made me feel ill.
Found footage movies are often pretty predictable and sketchy, but project almanac isn't. Unlike other movies of this genre, the pace is kinda slow, which is appropriate for the story. When you build a time travel machine, it is normal that it takes multiple attempts before it works. Even though sometimes you may wonder why the characters are still filming their journey, it's not disturbing enough to prevent you from focusing on the plot, which is a good thing. There's also a good love story and some funny moments, in addition to a breath taking last act. I'd compare it to the <more>
Canadian movie Chronicles. Overall you'll have a great time watching this movie, even more if you are familiar with this genre.
i had doubts going in but i ended up liking it (by Zielke9)
I just finished watching Project Almanac and if you haven't seen it yet, you might want to check it out. I was pleasantly surprised being that I had low hopes going in. it's another found footage movie, so if you are sick of them you might not enjoy it very much. Also if you're already not into time travel or science in general you might leave the theater with a bad taste in your mouth. I ended up enjoying it quite a bit and if I had to compare it to another movie I would say it has a strong feel of Project X and Chronical mixed together with the bases of it being more scientific <more>
then social Project X or supernatural Chronical . You'll spend more time than usual feeling happy for the characters as they're having fun rather than the usual dose of drama every five minutes to keep people chewing their finger nails wondering what's going to happen next if Marie finds out Tony was talking to Marisa behind the bleaches and all that teen nonsense. it had a few mistakes but it's a movie so get over it. If I had to say one bad thing about it, I couldn't. I love science, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and for me it was an easy line drive down the middle of the plate knocked right out of the park. Personally I would give it a solid 8 out of 10 but if you're not a science buff you might be looking more at a 6-6.5 out of 10.