PROJECT ALMANAC

PROJECT ALMANAC is about a group of teens who discover secret plans created by David Raskin’s dead father. They use the plans to construct a time machine. However, things start to get out of control as they continue to go back in time.

The lead is played by Johnny Weston as David Raskin, a genius who is accepted at MIT but only gets a partial scholarship which will keep him from attending so he goes looking for a project in his father’s workshop to earn more money

David has a crush on Jessie Pierce played by Sophia Black-D’Elia but is too shy to tell her. Allen Evangelista and Sam Lerner play David’s geeky best buddies, Adam and Quinn. Supposedly, David’s sister Chris is filming the entire show with a camera she finds in the attic. The ensemble does an adequate job of acting with the poor script they have to work with.

Too much of the movie is spent on the teens creating the science to time travel. The only problem is that it doesn’t suspend our disbelief. We have seen time travel too often in GROUNDHOG DAY, the BACK TO THE FUTURE series, and SOMEWHERE IN TIME to believe teens can create a time machine with a car battery and an ipad.

The photography is hideous. I was literally nauseated from the photography. They used the shaky cam technique throughout the entire movie. Shaky cam is a cinemagraphic technique where stable-image techniques are purposely dispensed with. The camera is held in the hand, or given the appearance of being hand-held, and in many cases shots are limited to what one photographer could have accomplished with one camera

I ran into one girl who said that she had spent the last hour of the movie in the restroom because the photography literally made her throw up. A warning: anyone who gets car sick, air sick or sea sick will have trouble in this movie.

The screenwriters, Andrew Deutschman and Jason Pagan did a very poor job of developing the characters. Also, they left a lot of unanswered questions, If they had spent less time trying to convince us the teens could develop a time machine and more time tying up loose ends they would have created a better movie.

Do not waste your money on this debacle.

The Telegraph’s contributing movie critic Mary Cox lives in Wood River and is a member of the St. Louis Film Critics Association, who also occasionally writes about film-related topics, studied film at the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked in L.A. with various directors and industry professionals. She can be reached at mlcwriter@charter.net.