In the film Time Lapse a different kind of Sci-fi time travel takes center stage delivering a cool ride into danger. On target and compelling the filmmakers do more on a modest budget than some large production companies. The movie has some fine acting, directing and cinematography, but the story deals have a very tricky premise that can be puzzling. In my review I attempt to make the premise clear, so read on. Time Lapse entertains right up to the last twisted minute.
Starving artist Finn (Matt O’Leary) has had a tough time coming up with ideas on his next canvas while serving as on site manager at the Sycamore Apartments. His live-in girlfriend Callie (Danielle Panabaker) has been supporting the two of them with her waitress job. Bunking in another room of the two bedroom apartment is Finn’s best friend Jasper (George Finn) who unfortunately has a very bad gambling addiction. He’s not in debt to his bookie Ivan (Jason Spisak), but hasn’t been able to pay his share of the rent and food bill.
One day after plunging a toilet for one of the tenants Callie informs Finn that Mr. Bezzerides (John Rhys-Davies) is behind in his rent, has parking tickets on his car and newspapers are piling up on his doorstep. Finn, Callie and Jasper pay Bezzerides a visit and when he doesn’t answer the door they enter his apartment. Inside they find a wall covered with Polaroid photos and a huge camera pointed at their apartment. When they realize that the camera is taking pictures of their future, the three decide to make a profit from the discovery.
The film moves along nicely with director and co-writer Bradley King developing his plot that involves gambling, hanky-panky and murder. He does a terrific job of guiding his characters throughout the film, keeping them fascinating and captivating. His plot however tends to be erratic at times and bit improbable, and that’s where it takes a slight down turn. But stick with the film because there’s nothing like a woman scorned, especially if the circumstances offer a chance to get even.
I like Danielle Panabaker’s performance as the endearing live-in love interest that really tries to come to terms with her boyfriend’s best buddy. She shows all sides to Callie, smart, cautious, strong and yet easily controlled by the two men. When Callie tries to change the order of things involving their future, she realizes it’s too late. Known for her characters of Caitlin Snow in TV’s “The Flash” and Penny in “Justified”, Panabaker is on the right track to becoming a breakout actress.
“If you could choose what you see in the next photo, what would you choose to see?” It’s this premise that takes the film into a gambling mode when Jasper (George Finn) discovers the key to winning. It’s here that George takes the lead as the antagonist. He’s a good character builder from the start, acting out the role as an intruder in his buddy’s space, then offering his roommates the chance for a better future. As his character arcs however, he changes into a money mad instigator that leads to the final twisted ending.
The DVD has some very good extras, especially for budding filmmakers and students of film.
“Commentary by Bradley King and BP Cooper” turn this on after you have seen the film and the two writers will tell you about their experiences in making the film.
“Filmmaking 101 commentary by Bradley King and BP Cooper” for aspiring filmmakers this commentary takes you through the nitty-gritty of low to mid-range movie budgets. Perfect for students, they talk about use of Cameras, importance of good Lighting, Getting the right location at reasonable cost, casting, how they acquired the XBOX footage using product placement, etc. All are covered during the commentary. (This is probably the most valuable tool I’ve found on an extra for low to medium budget projects)
“Deleted Scenes” the two scenes that were deleted look like they would have given the twist away a little too early.
Time Lapse has not been rated by the MPAA but contains sexual situations, language, violence and drug use. The violence gets quite gory and the sexual situations are mere window dressing. However, be cautious when deciding to allow immature children see the film as it does have some scenes that are inappropriate for adolescents.
FINAL ANALYSIS: The film has a good premise and gets gripping as it moves along. (B)
Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Danielle Panabaker, Matt O’Leary, George Finn, John Rhys-Davies, Amin Joseph, Jason Spisak
Director and co-writer: Bradley King
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Science Fiction,
Running Time: 1 hr. 44 min.
Original Theatrical Release Date: May 15, 2015
Video Release Date: June 16, 2015
Reviewed Format: DVD
Audio: Blu-ray/DVD Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Aspect Ratio 1.75:1 16×9 Televisions
Number of Discs: 1 Disc
Distributed by: XLrator Films