Devin King | Staff Reporter
January 30, 2015; 1:09 p.m.
As I left the press screening for Paramount’s “Project Almanac,” I could hear a gentlemen exiting next to me yelling, “Oh, hell no!” over and over again, almost as if he was reading my thoughts of the movie out loud.
“Project Almanac” is a found footage-style time travel story about David Raskin (Jonny Weston) a high school student who discovers blueprints for a time machine in his basement, left by his late father. David and his friends decide to finish building the machine to do things for their own personal benefit, such as winning the lottery and attending Lollapalooza. After several time jumps, tragic events start to occur as a result of their history altering activities.
As you can probably tell, the plot is predictable to an almost painful level. Lazy writing and a massive incoherent presence between scenes plagues the film at every corner. The mature themes, scientific terminology and overall dark tone clash with the awful dialog and dumbed-down design.
The film abuses its found footage aspect rather than using it to its advantage. It reuses set pieces and lacks special effects due to “camcorder errors,” resulting in a cheap feel of the film. Not to mention, most of the camera angles lack logic to them, especially in a found footage movie. There are also constant pauses in the film where characters tediously and frustratingly explain simple plot points.
Despite having Dean Israelite as the film’s director (this is his feature film debut), producer Michael Bay has clearly had a large impact on the structure of the movie. Crude shots of underage females, one-dimensional personas and shameless product placement can be found throughout.
“Project Almanac” may have decent performances from its up-and-coming cast, but various problems with its script prove terminal.