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'Project Almanac' and its shaky cam are visually exhausting
Sam Lerner (left) is Quinn Goldberg, Jonny Weston is David Raskin, Allen Evangelista is Adam Le and Virginia Gardner is Christina Raskin in Project Almanac. - photo by Doug Wright
'Project Almanac' (rated PG-13), 2 stars

When a gaggle of teens figures out how to actually fire up the plans for a time machine that was conceived by the father of one of the kids, well, lets just say it might be a bit much for their adolescent sophistication.

It was the late father of David Raskin, played by Jonny Weston, who had the original vision for the time machine. But David is somewhat of a brainiac himself and puts the finishing touches on the goodie. He proves it works by transporting an inanimate object. His pals, two girls and two guys, encourage him to go for a human transport, and they all volunteer. Even after he, in the spirit of full disclosure, tells them they all might explode, they go for it. And guess what? It works.

In the euphoria after the first jump, the teens decide they must absolutely keep this a secret. No tweets, no Facebook, nothing. They also pledge to always jump together, never alone or in smaller groups.

The question now is what to do with this marvel? I did mention were talking adolescents here, right?

First, one of the kids wants to do a little repair work on his school performance. One girl wants payback for some bullying she experienced. But the real test for the time machine comes when a little spark starts to develop between David and Jessie, played by Sofia Black DElia. Jessie talks about the limitations of the machine and how shed hoped for dinosaurs or at least Woodstock. David gets the idea to do the next best thing transport the group back to a local music festival. All goes well until David realizes he blew it with Jessie when he didnt respond properly when they had a moment. What to do?

This is where young love takes the entire time travel adventure to dark places.

Hey, didnt these guys ever watch Back to the Future and note Docs warnings about the time, space continuum?"

Project Almanac is visually exhausting. The shaky cam is liberally utilized in this movie as the time travelers document things with their Go Pro. But even the younger moviegoers were complaining about this on the way out of the theater.

There are elements in the story line that are interesting, but the overall predictability and attempt at a startling ending all contribute to a lackluster experience.

If you decide to see Project Almanac, pop a motion sickness pill as you are buying your popcorn and drink.
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