Imagine for a second that you found a way to send yourself back in time. What would you do? Where would you go? Would you change anything? Do you think anything bad would happen if you changed something? Project Almanac gives an exciting glimpse into time travel and the implications – good and bad – of what would happen when you did go back in time. How is the world different when you come back to the point you started from?
Project Almanac is the story of David Raskin (Jonny Weston), an aspiring MIT hopeful. His father was killed tragically in an accident when David was a boy. He shares his father’s love of science and invention. David is accepted but doesn’t receive a scholarship large enough to allow him to attend the prestigious school. In an attempt to get one last scholarship, David goes searching through the notes of his late father looking for an experiment to propose and stumbles onto a video camera. On the camera is a video of David, as his adult self, holding a mysterious key chain.
David recruits his friends Quinn (Sam Lerner), Adam (Allen Evangelista) and his younger sister Christina (Virginia Gardiner) to help him figure out why he is on the video. After working together searching for answers, they discover a hidden box in the basement. Inside the box is a prototype time machine. It is not complete and they need to build the rest of the machine. After some trial and error they figure out a way to get the time machine to work but are discovered by a girl named Jessie (Sofia Black-D’Elia) who insists on joining them. The group discover that the keychain David was holding in the video is Jessie’s.
Project Almanac is an inventive and interesting examination of time travel. The fun, the upsides, the risk, the reward and of course the downsides and dangers of messing with time itself. Messing with the space-time continuum is a big deal, whether it is something small or something big. Changing one day can change the world. This movie is a good look at what this type of power would be like in the hands of an average person.
Project Almanac is filmed from the first person perspective so as to make the viewer feel as if they are one of the group running the experiments. The first person perspective is interesting for the film but gets to be distracting and shaky as the movie goes on. The movie does a good job at showing just how much fun you could have if you could really redo the past, however it is hard to get past the first person mode, which ultimately takes away from the story.
The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack comes with great special features, including an alternate opening, deleted scenes and two alternate endings. Some of the deleted scenes provide you with a bit more perspective on the plot that may have left some people wondering what happened – but you can also see why some parts were cut out as well. You can make a case that the alternate endings are better than the one they ultimately chose – however, you can also make a case for all three.
Project Almanac comes out on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD today. ~ Greg Chisholm