REVIEW: ‘Project Almanac’
Since the early 2000s, filmmakers everywhere have become overly obsessed with documentary-style filming, where the movie seems to be more of a home video rather than a full-blown Hollywood film. This is called retroscripting, a technique in which has been used professionally in movies like Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity.
After many years and many movies, such filming initially charmed audiences but now has become a nuance to the general public and has potentially turned off future customers from spending their money at the box office. One filmmaker, Steven Spielberg, was at one time the antithesis of such sort of filming. Known for his overuse of CGI and special effects, Spielberg has always kept true to his action-packed overzealous style in order to wow his fans.
However, a few years back, Spielberg shocked crowds when he decided to take on this retroscripting style in his film, Super 8. The film was okay in general but still had that action-packed feel customers yearn for when King Spielberg’s name is plastered on a film.
Stranger things came this weekend when Spielberg took another turn in his style completely. He produced the film Project Almanac, a movie which was released this past Friday.
The story encompasses a group of highschoolers who come across blueprints created by the main character’s father for a time machine and build it together. Along the way, the main character, David Raskin, finds himself falling for the very beautiful and popular Jessie Pierce and thus uses this time machine to win her heart.
Obviously, things go awry, and David Raskin must go back in time in order to fix everything – basically, the same “you don’t get a second chance” moral any time machine movie involves (Ed. note: did we learn nothing from The Butterfly Effect?!) .
There weren’t any massive explosions, alien encounters, and it was filmed using retroscipting…which has left Spielberg fans wondering what the hell happened? Although this famous filmmaker only produced Project Almanac, the Spielberg standards are slowly diminishing.
The movie itself was sub par. The acting was not spectacular, and there were quite a few plot holes. My favorite was when their test of the time machine resulted in disaster – scientific tools fusing together, and miniature cars were slammed through the wall – but regardless of such mishap, Jessie decides it is time to use human subjects next. Not the brightest idea in my book.
In the end, I think maybe the whole time travel scheme has just been over done, similar to the use of the retroscripting technique. Time for a new idea.