Well it looks like the might of MTV has finally jumped on the Found Footage wagon with a reasonably big budget effort. Project Almanac is a time travel footage offering that seems to have done pretty well in the box office ( so far! ).
If I’m honest I wasn’t exactly that hyped about seeing the film – MTV movies sort of have a ‘plastic’ quality to them. I was worried about it being a little too E! Entertainment for my liking.
Still it was Found Footage and it had managed to create a rather large stir before it’s release…
Was it any good?
Yeah I suppose ‘surprising’ is the best fit for this film really – I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would.
It was a pretty long film, especially in Found Footage circles, but for the most part it managed to keep me engrossed and entertained.
Maybe I’d been a little too hasty in jumping on the hate wagon when I heard it was an MTV production.
The film follows a group of teenage friends made up of David ( Jonny Weston ), Goldberg ( Sam Lerner ) and Adam ( Allen Evangelista ). The three are followed around by David’s sister Chris ( Virginia Gardner ) who’s job it is to film the three’s exploits.
David has just been accepted into a rather impressive University ( don’t ask me which one! ) due to the fact he is a gifted geek. Unfortunately he comes from a single parent family with little spare cash – he has no funding to attend this school.
The university offers a scholarship for extremely gifted pupils that come up with extremely impressive experiments. David sees this as a chance to fund his further education and goes about creating something special.
Well he’s in luck! His deceased father just so happened to work for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. His father also had a lab built up in the basement of the family home.
David and the gang search through the lab and come across blueprints for a rather dubious looking machine. The technical side of things seem to indicate that this machine can manipulate time in some sort of way.
Was David’s father in the process of building a time machine when he died…
The majority of the film managed to stay away from those teenage ‘popcorn moments’ that MTV films breed. I’d go as far as saying they made a concerted effort to keep the film serious and intelligent.
Unfortunately there was a 20 – 30 minute period in the middle of the film that screamed MTV. You’ll know the period when you watch it – it’s hard to miss really!
It involved some sort of music concert and it had a real ‘American high school’ feel to it. I was a little disappointed by these scenes but they do play an important part in the film’s plot ( unfortunately! ).
But that was the only real lull in the movie’s makeup – the rest of the experience was a surprisingly positive one.
Whenever Found Footage films find a bit a decent funding they seem to turn out really well. This film’s construction reminded me a lot of the awesome Chronicle.
It had the same sort of budget level and an equally impressive cast – it was definitely a ‘big screen’ experience.
Time travel seems to one of those subjects that rarely fails in Hollywood – it’s always an interesting platform to build a plot upon.
This movie was very much like a Found Footage version of The Butterfly Effect. It had the same complicated sort of plot with various actions effecting future events.
I’m glad they took their time selecting the actors in the main roles of this film – they helped it become an event with their obvious talent. Each one of the main characters was likable and believable in their own right.
If you’re a geek like me you’ll have no problem enjoying this film. Sure it’s cheesy in parts but these parts are more often than not essential to the plot.
I loved the way the director chose to throw in a few winks towards the classic time travel offerings. We get mentions of Dr. Who, Looper, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and even Time Cop ( Jean-Claude Van Damme ).
If you like the subject of time travel you’ll enjoy this film – if you like Found Footage you’ll probably enjoy this film!
A really pleasant surprise and a worthwhile addition to the genre.