Down in the basement, David (Jonny Weston) finds the time-machine gizmo his late dad had been working on, so he and a couple of his smart friends get it up and running. They make a pact to always time-travel together (oh, kids!) and set about satisfying some pretty low-ball goals: passing an exam, having a snappy comeback to a bully, going backstage at the embarrassingly sparsely attended Lollapalooza show. But you know how it goes — once you start messing with the past, there goes the future. Dean Israelite's sci-fi thriller unspools it for the uneducated, even giving shout-outs to other films that have previously covered this problem. But this familiarity is a weakness of Project Almanac, along with its lame title, mind-numbing romance and about 30 minutes of padding. I used the extra time to get in my own mind-looping: Say you went back in time to 2004 and prevented the awesome time-travel film Primer from being made, then this Primer rip-off you're watching wouldn't exist!