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Project Almanac

Coming Soon

The concept of time travel has always been a fascinating topic in film. Very few of these however, end up decent enough to leave an enduring impression. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Terminator franchise, Groundhog’s Day and Back to the Future are a few that have excelled. Since time is the “topic du jour” this year, is this latest sci-fi thriller worth investing or will you wish you had your time back?

Several high school teenagers are faced with some tough decisions, as well as a lot of responsibility, once one of them, David (Jonny Weston), stumbles upon a project, dubbed “Project Almanac,” that his father worked on many years prior. What served as inspiration for earning a scholarship at M.I.T., David turns into so much more. With the help of his friends, they finish what David’s father had started. They construct a time machine. As with anything of this nature, curiosity gets the best of them, leading to a roller coaster of highs and lows and eventually with life or death decisions hanging in the balance.

Project Almanac is told through the “shaky cam” perspective. This technique is far from original and in more cases than not it takes away from the potential enjoyment of the movie as it’s more of a hindrance than a helper. In this case however the effects were not overbearing therefore the cinematography was acceptable. It didn’t really add to the value or overall enjoyment but more importantly, it did not detract from it either. One would assume the reason to go this route would be to attempt a subversive experience although others might argue it’s to keep production costs down. Whatever the motivation was, it wasn’t a complete fail.

The acting is about what you would expect from this caliber of movie. Project Almanac isn’t trying to win an award for acting. Everyone was believable within their respective roles, and any awkwardness would appear to be by design. The effects were decent enough for them to not stand out one way or another. Often that’s a good thing because it keeps focus on the plot. Which brings me to the part where the interest level excelled and also failed at the same time. This movie is far from original in many of its concepts, however, it does keep on track, albeit a tad bit long winded.

Project Almanac is by no means a great movie, some will argue that it isn’t even a good movie. If time travel and teen shenanigans are your thing, you’ll probably come away mildly entertained. If your hopes are to see a serious, suspenseful, more mature type of science fiction movie, you’ll probably want to stay away.

Project Almanac is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Carl Wheeler

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