Name That Genre (A Film Comparison Game Show)

It’s that time again, ladies and gentlemen. Time to play social media’s newest and hottest Blog Based Game Show. That’s right folks, it’s time for…

Name! That! Genre!!!

This is the game where you try to guess the movie genre based on cliché dialogue quotes alone. Are the contestants ready to name that genre?

Name That Genre Contestants

I’m gonna take your silence as a yes.

Here’s your hint: This movie genre gets on a lot of viewers nerves.

Can you name that genre in three quotes? two? or just one?

Here’s your first quote: Amazed “Are you getting this?”

Name that genre.

Here’s your second quote: Desperate “Tell me you got that!”

Name that genre.

Okay. For those of you who haven’t figured it out yet

Here’s your last quote: Annoyed “Why are you always filming everything?”

Name that genre.

Ding. Ding. Ding! Time’s up. I’m gonna need your answer.

You’re absolutely right. It’s Found Footage.

All Hell Breaks Loose

All Hell Breaks Loose

Found Footage. Fucking Found Footage Films. The low-budget film-making technique that will not die (Damn you Blair Witch Project [1999]). I watched two of them last night back to back; Project Almanac (2015) and Chronicle (2012). Two nearly identical Science Fiction Fantasy Features with Found Footage and neither of them deserved its own post

So here’s my comparison.

 

Project Almanac vs. Chronicle

1) Science Fiction Elements:

Project AlmanacTime Travel

ChronicleSuper Powers

Winner: Chronicle (2012)

Chronicle

Flying in Chronicle

In Chronicle three teens develop super powers after coming into contact with an alien artifact. Their telekinetic powers develop from being able to move objects with their minds to being able to fly and soar like jets.

Loser: Project Almanac (2015)

The Time Machine in Project Almanac

The Time Machine in Project Almanac

In Project Almanac four teens build a time machine from blueprints found hidden in the basement. They then proceed to break all the rules of time travel. Even going back again and again to the same place & time without ever seeing themselves from their previous trips. Sloppy. You can’t help paradoxes in time travel stories but this one is awful.

 

2) Found Footage Technique:

Project AlmanacOne Camera for the entire movie

ChronicleTwo Cameras (several for the climax)

Winner: Chronicle (2012)

Chronicle

Camera Tricks in Chronicle

This is no contest. Because of their telekinetic powers the cameras in Chronicle fly around the characters with movement and grace, creating gorgeous shots. And during the climactic sequence, grabbing from many cameras – cell phones and traffic cams etc. to facilitate the quick cuts and big action of the climax.

Loser: Project Almanac (2015)

Done with Mirrors in Project Almanac

Done with Mirrors in Project Almanac

They pretty much stick to the one handheld camera in Project Almanac, handing it back and forth among the characters. Sometimes putting it down for a static shot. In one scene there’s camera movement when the camera gets caught in a magnetic anomaly and floats in the air. (Except that every other object spins wildly and the camera stays pointed at the characters… lucky us)

 

3) Casting & Characters:

Project AlmanacFive friends: One hot nerd guy (main character), Two classic nerds (one Asian and one dweeb), and two hot girls (main characters hot little sister, who spends most of the movie behind the camera and the main’s love interest)

ChronicleThree male friends: Scary loner main character & videographer, his hot stoner cousin, and the most popular black guy in school.

Loser: Chronicle (2012)

Starring Dane DeHaanAlex RussellMichael B. JordanMichael Kelly & Ashley Hinshaw

The Cast of Chronicle

The Cast of Chronicle

The acting in these teen movies is usually atrocious but Chronicle reaches a new low. There is no chemistry between the leads. There is a feeble attempt to add a love interest for the cousin (Hey! She’s filming everything for her blog as well. Lucky us). She is a useless character and does absolutely nothing to advance the plot. She just provides another camera angle. Horrible.

Winner: Project Almanac (2015)

Starring Jonny WestonSofia Black D’EliaSam LernerAllen EvangelistaVirginia Gardner & Amy Landecker

The Cast in Project Almanac

The Cast of Project Almanac

I’m not gonna lie to you, the acting isn’t that much better in Project Almanac, but the welcome addition of two necessary (and hot) female characters helps a lot. One of them, a love interest that actually advances the plot.

Project Almanac

Hot Chicks in Project Almanac

This and characters that have chemistry and (relative) depth are the best things about Project Almanac. While their absence is the worst thing about Chronicle.

 

4) Writing & Directing:

Let me start by saying that both of these movies would be better without the Found Footage crap (Chronicle less so because the Found Footage is handled so well)…

Project AlmanacBad story, Good Dialogue, Fun characters, Boring camera work, Strong climax, Horrible ending.

ChronicleGreat story, Horrible dialogue, Awful characters, Really good camera work, Strong climax, Very weak ending.

It’s a tie:

Project Almanac (Paramount Pictures)

Project Almanac Poster

Directed by Dean Israelite
Written by Jason Harry Pagan & Andrew Deutschman

Project Almanac is a teen sci-fi adventure with a bad, paradox riddled, time travel story but with fun, likable and good-looking characters.

Chronicle (20th Century Fox)

chronicle-movie-poster

Directed by Josh Trank
Written by Max Landis and Josh Trank

Chronicle is a teen sci-fi adventure with a good alien super mind powers story but with boring one-dimensional and wholly unlikable characters.

It’s a toss-up.

 

5) Verdict: Both of these movies sucked.

Chronicle Project

I watched Project Almanac right after watching Chronicle and while I liked Chronicle more, Project Almanac was more fun to watch. What I should have done was watch both movies at the same time. Put them up on two screens and watched them together. They’re about the same running time and the two movies compliment each other greatly.

Project Almanac with Superpowers

Project Chronicle with Superpowers AND Time Travel

So what I actually want is for the five friends from Almanac to gain the super powers from Chronicle that eventually develop into an ability to Time Travel. They fly around in the past screwing things up and causing mayhem. Resulting in two simultaneous climaxes involving a battle royal between two of the super-powered teens.

Battle in Chronicle

The Battle in Project Chronicle

While the other three attempt to fix the past and save the girl. Every single one of them is floating several cameras at all times, so there is massive coverage and camera angles and in the end… (the endings of both movies were crappy) so in the end… (I don’t know).

Project Almanac The Hero Gets the Girl

The Hero Gets the Girl in Project Chronicle

I guess in the end the hero gets the girl and it turns out that Bruce Willis was dead the whole time (spoiler alert).

Yeah. That’ll work.

– Mel

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9 thoughts on “Name That Genre (A Film Comparison Game Show)

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is a genre that must die! I never liked any of these films and thought at best a cheap gimmick to make up for lack of money, talent and knowledge on how to use a damn camera. At worst a cheap gimmick to fool it’s audience on the fact that the filmmakers have no money, talent or knowledge on how to use a damn camera. I hated Blair Witch, I hated Cloverfield and really must of hated a few others because I blocked them out of my memory.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah it’s a low-budget gimmick. It also serves to convince hacks, that couldn’t tell a visual story if their life depended on it, that anyone can be a film-maker. All they need is a camera and a story. These things should go directly to YouTube.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Spared or Spoiled Reviews: American Ultra | Mel Rook & The 7 Deadly Sins

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