TIME LAPSE is a film which focuses on three friends who are roommates. We have Callie and Finn who are a couple, along with their friend Jasper. Finn works as an apartment manager, in the building which they live, Callie a waitress, and Jasper, he is a bit of a slacker who dreams of making it big while betting on dog races. Just as Jasper, they all essentially want to break away from their humdrum lives. Little did they know that soon, their everyday lives would become far more interesting. It all begins when they get a call from the building's landlord to check on a rather reclusive tenant. The tenant is retired Scientist, Mr. Bezzerides. They find that the man has recently died - however, that's not all that they find. They find his last big project as well, which he had stored in the back of his apartment, The machine is at first, unidentifiable to them, however. upon further inspection, and for the fact that there is a wall of Polaroid-like pictures on display, the trio realize that the machine is some sort of camera. With the camera seen conveniently aimed in the direction of their living room(there apartment located directly across from Bezzerides), it doesn't take them long to realize that the Scientist had been taking pictures of them. However, they are not your ordinary snapshots. In fact, the photos seem to display scenes that have not yet occurred - it appears that they are from the next day. From then on, the friends begin to monitor the machine, and come to know that, each night at 8pm, the machine spits out a photo which will display what would be happening 24 hours from that time. With the knowledge of what would happen the next day, the three friends begin to take advantage of this newfound "power". Finn, a natural painter begins to overcome his "artist's block", painting like never before. Callie quits her waitress job, and begins to focus on what she really loves to do which is to write. And Jasper, finally begins to win big, just as he hoped when his bets begin to pay off. For the three roommates, by using their knowledge of what the future will hold, do begin to flourish. It comes easy to them. All they have to do is to make sure that they are able to recreate the scene that was in the photo that they received from the machine the previous day, today. However, they soon lose their focus when they begin to to take what they have for granted, learning that deviating from the photo's plan, even in the slightest can have grave consequences. Eventually greed gets the best of everyone as they come to face things such as Jasper's pissed off Bookie(and his bodyguard), who wants a bigger share of the earnings, as well as each other, as betrayal sets in.
After viewing this thriller from Bradley King, I was sort of questioning myself. I was asking myself how is it, that at first, I had thought about passing on the chance of reviewing this film. Yes it's true, at first, I didn't have much interest in the film. Seeing those key words, "time travel", I actually wrote the film off thinking that it would be just another low budget film that would be far more ambitious than its budget would allow. And besides, i'm just not that into the whole time travel thing. With that in mind, I must admit that it was the film's trailer(and "maybe" Danielle Panabaker's involvement) that really swayed my feelings about seeing this. And now coming away from it, I can truly say that I am glad that I did.
I say this because it left me thinking. It left me a bit confused as well, and that is both a good and a bad thing. It is good, in that it is a smart enough film to challenge the viewer to try and figure it out in the end. The film ends on a note that more or less asks the viewer to interpret things in their own way. But on the other hand, it is the same confusion that will frustrate most. I know that after the film I was pleased with it overall, but at the same time, I was also frustrated when trying to wrap my head around everything that happened in the film. At this point I believe I have a fairly good understanding when it comes to the conclusion of the film, but still i'm a little unsure. However, for the most part, TIME LAPSE is really good film that grabs the attention of the viewer.
It's being said online that the plot of TIME LAPSE sort of mirrors that of a 1960 episode of "THE TWILIGHT ZONE" titled "A Most Unusual Camera". While I have not seen the episode(or many, for that matter), reading the synopsis for it makes it appear to be true. But whether this film was made to purposely mimic the episode, or if it was merely just inspired by its predecessor, TIME LAPSE uses its overall idea to create something which is both fun and engaging. TIME LAPSE is one of those "what if" kind of films. It poses the question, "What if you were given the power to predict the future?" In the film, Finn, Callie and Jasper are faced with such a delima when they discover this one-of-a-kind camera. Suddenly their lives are turned upside down. they can now, to an extent write their own future. They use their knowledge of what will happen on the next day to their advantage, giving them both wealth and happiness, within the photo's proverbial rule. Initially, that is. Finn now has a seemingly endless amount of creativity, as far as his painting is concerned, Jasper has the winners noted before races happen, and Callie is suddenly writing again. All is well and good, until of course, they begin to stray away from what the photo calls for on a particular night. They begin to get a little careless in their actions, and soon things begin to fall apart. And it is at this point that the film becomes truly intriguing. Things begin to pick up as everything goes south for the three roommates. Moving at a rather swift pace, TIME LAPSE's twists and turns essentially begin when they come face to face with Jasper's bookie, Ivan, who's all about the cash. In addition, he also gets wind of the roommates' machine. It's at this time that it becomes unclear where it is exactly that the film is headed. The film builds continuously with the unknown in sight. I was really into it, I must admit. It kept my interest as I wanted to see how it all would end. The film does a great job of building its characters to the point that we are truly invested in them. My only complaint is that out of the three main characters when it comes to their interests, in comparison, Callie ia the least "fleshed-out". Quite a bit of time is spent on Finn and Jasper and their hobbies. However, when it comes to Callie, so is merely just a writer. I felt that the film made little emphasis on the matter, as we rarely see her writing anything. While it is Finn, who paints throughout the film. However despite this, the three main actors in the film Matt O'Leary(Finn), George Finn(Jasper) and Danielle Panabaker(Callie) all work to create a relationship that is both likable and believable. Contrary to what some have said about the acting, personally I found it to be pretty solid.
Although TIME LAPSE was shot on an obviously small budget, the final product simply out weighs that. Despite my initial assumptions, it's a fun film. Yes, it may be yet another time travel film. However unlike most(in my opinion anyway), it isn't boring. In fact, TIME LAPSE only gets better as it progresses. And the fact that a small genre film such as this one can leave the audience thinking in such a way, long before it's over, truly says something.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
No,TIME LAPSE isn't a perfect film. But at a time when original or at least semi-original films are rare, it's a refreshing take on the subject of time travel. It's a fun little downward spiral to partake in, one that leaves a little to be interpreted. It is these types of films that should be on the big screen, and not the same old rehash.