Movie: ** 1/2 out of 5
Video: **** 1/2
Audio: *** 1/2
Article first published as Blu-ray Review: ‘Time Lapse’ Starring Danielle Panabaker on Blogcritics.
Time travel is far from new in film — The Time Machine, Back to the Future, Looper, Primer, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Donnie Darko, About Time, Hot Tub Time Machine
— it manages to span every genre and, if done well, stays true to its
own. Once in a while, something novel may come along. Then there are the
haphazard entries that make you yearn for something better. I’m sure no
one was clamoring for a time travel film crossed with Danny Boyle’s Shallow Grave,
but alas, Bradley King has turned his feature film debut into exactly
that. Only problem is, King and co-writer BP Cooper don’t have the cast,
or characters, to invest any kind of payoff, making Time Lapse just another blip on the direct-to-video market. Even the MTV-funded Almanac Project was far more interesting.
(Matt O’Leary) is an apartment complex manager, suffering from a
creative block as a painter. He lives with his best friend Jasper
(George Finn) and girlfriend Callie (Danielle Panabaker) in an awkward
pseudo-love-triangle of sorts. After “Mr. B” seems to be missing — he’s
behind on rent, has a stack of newspapers at his front door, and a
collection of parking tickets on his car — the trio decide to
investigate, only to find out that Mr. B has built a homemade camera
that can take pictures 24 hours into the future, always at 8:00 p.m.
Soon enough, they find Mr. B’s charred remains in a storage room in the
basement, Jasper starts using the camera to quench his gambling habit,
and they quickly learn that they must not mess with time and have to
make sure they recreate the daily photos in fear of putting a stop to
Time Lapse is presented on a 25GB disc in a 1.78:1 aspect
ratio. Considering the film’s low budget roots, this is one exceptional
transfer. Colors are natural and pop while never bleeding. Blacks are
inky with no crush to swallow up shadow details. Alisasing never appears
and there may have been some blink and you’ll miss them instances of
banding on a few objects such as painted doors and walls. Fine detail is
usually razor sharp, with only a handful of shots appearing
purposefully soft. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track offers up plenty of
bass, and the surrounds are saved to give the score some breadth, but
overall, this is a very front-heavy mix. Bass makes for some effective
creepiness and subtitles are available in English for the deaf and hard
overwhelming assortment of special features winds up being overkill, if
only because of redundancy. Two commentaries kick things off featuring
King and Cooper. The first is more of a behind-the-scenes look at the
production and story process, while the second is called a “Filmmaking
101 Commentary” sporting more of a technical “nuts and bolts” commentary
living up to its title. A “Behind-the-Scenes” (22:52) offers up a
visual look at the production, with two deleted scenes showing at least
one of them (“Callie in the Kitchen” 1:38) was wisely excised. The “Mr.
B. Flashback” (2:22) gives us a chance to see John Rhys-Davies on screen
which is always welcome, no matter how small the role. The film’s
theatrical trailer (2:01) is also included.
King chose a very odd story line considering he and Cooper were strongly influenced by the “Time Lapse” episode of The Twilight Zone.
The film gets far too violent considering we never care for any of the
characters, and the big surprise ending is intended to encourage viewers
to rewatch the film — something I doubt anyone will do. The only one
worth rooting for most of the runtime is Panabaker, but once you realize
even she may have ulterior motives, there’s only so far we’re willing
to follow her. O’Leary is a complete bore making you wonder why Callie
would ever want to be with him in the first place and Finn is never
likeable, but does get to let loose a little as his character starts to
unwind. While the technical aspects of the disc will at least make
watching the film easy on the eyes, the film itself makes it hard. Time Lapse only makes you wish you could see your own future to warn yourself you’re better off skipping it.