Thursday, January 22, 2015

Coming Soon: Project Almanac

Release Date: January 30, 2015
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: Dean Israelite
Produced by: Michael Bay
Written by: Jason Harry Pagan, Andrew Deutschman
Starring: Jonny Weston, Sophia Black D'Elia, Amy Landecker
Running time: 106 minutes

A young group of disgruntled high school students are shocked to discover that one of them appears to have visited their seventh birthday party as his teenage self. They do a little digging and realize that the technology allowing time travel is not only possible, but that it's being developed in one of their parents' basements. Being impulsive teenagers, they immediately decide to use the device to improve each of their lives. However, the game is taken too far when world-changing paradoxes and ripples begin to emerge from their tampering, and they must determine a way to set things right before everything is changed forever.

Seeing that this film was produced by Michael Bay will either be a turn-off or a sign of credibility, depending on the person. However, his involvement in a project like this (which seems to be fairly hands-off) appears to be just enough to guarantee a decent production budget from the studio heads who are still rolling in Transformers money from last year. There's no doubt that this film's premise is intriguing, combining the found-footage style of Chronicle and Cloverfield and combining it with a slightly more serious take on Back to the Future.

Not a lot of people may have heard of this film, but it's sure to make a decent amount of box office dollars in the barron wasteland that is the cinemas during January. Having a cast made up of relative unknowns is also a smart way to go for the studio, as the lower budget can be focused more on the special effects that are crucial in a story such as this.

However, this production wasn't without it's hiccups, as the release date for Project Almanac kept being pushed further and further back, filming in 2013 and moving from early 2014 now to January of 2015. During a recent interview, I asked the cast members how they were impacted by the constant uncertainty that accompanies such a fluid release schedule for a film they all worked so hard to produce. "(After the delay) we went back and we did reshoots," Jonny Weston explained, "and the movie became a lot better and a lot more complex than they had originally thought." Sofia Black D'Elia added, "I think we're all just so excited that this movie is coming out at all. We're really proud of it, and we can't wait for people to see it."

When asked about the comparisons to Chronicle that will inevitably come, Sofia responded, "I think it's quite different than Chronicle. Obviously they're both found-footage, so you could just say that they're similar in that way. But Chronicle is a much darker film than ours." She went on to say, "Project Almanac is kind of a fun ride for the most part. And it's a great group of friends... I think we all wanted to make a very realistic look at teenage love... and friendship."  

The trailers have already swayed many of the skeptical (myself included) into giving this film a try, and many are predicting this to be a surprise hit of the early year. With interesting ideas being presented and a more entertaining and fun application for the technology involved, it's easy to see why this film has garnered the excitement that it has. Project Almanac is coming to theatres everywhere on January 30th, so make sure to click one of the theatre links on the left to reserve your tickets!

** Are you excited for Project Almanac? Let me know in the comments section, and don't forget to like the Facebook page! **