Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

This is a great time to be alive people, particularly if you’ve ever wanted to be a filmmaker.   Thirty years ago, if you up and decided you wanted to make a movie, you’d have to go out and get yourself some kind of 16mm film camera, a few reels of expensive film stock, a BUNCH of money to have that film stock processed and developed, beg somebody to let you use their Moviola or Steenback Flatbed to edit the damn thing on, and then beg that same production house to let you their Nagra so that you can process the sound.  After that’s all done then good luck getting the thing shown somewhere.

But it’s a new day today folks.  Got a video camera?  Got an off the shelf PC?  You could run out and spend a few thousand bucks on an Avid or Adobe editing software suite, but Windows and Macs comes with some basic stuff built in.  And who’s going distribute this little work of art you’ve just created using a video camera with the built-in mic and Windows Movie Maker?  I don’t know, Sony Pictures perhaps?  Lionsgate?  You name it, there is somebody out there who is more than willing to distribute your film no matter how good, or phenomenally bad it may be.

This little pep talk is not to indict the makers of the small independent film ‘Always Will’, which is reasonably entertaining despite its meager beginnings, just let all of you people out there who think you don’t have the means to make a movie to go out there and do the damn thing! 

In this film, Andrew Baglini plays young Will, a small, put upon high school senior who has struggled through these difficult years as a picked on nobody.  He had two

really good friends in Danny (John Schmidt) and Jacob (Mark Schroeder) but something happened between Danny and he, so they don’t speak anymore and Jacob has totally withdrawn from everyone.  Some years ago when Will, Danny and Jacob where still tight in the fifth grade, they dug up the time capsule that his class had buried and decided to hold on to it as a testament to their friendship.  Years go by, things happen and friendships dissolve, and one day Will, being banished to clean up the basement by his asshole step dad, stumbles upon the time capsule and this is when things start to get strange for the boy.  He is able to relive certain events from his childhood, and amazingly, he can alter those events with the results of those changes showing up in present day.  How cool is that huh?  Well by the time Will is through mucking stuff up, he’s made the prettiest girl in school his woman, he’s become a football star, and he’s the most popular kid on like the entire planet.

Of course with great power comes great responsibility and Will shows demonstrates no responsibility as for each one thing he fixes, two more things go wrong.  But hey, he still has the girl.  As tend to happen in these situations, things get unmanageably out of control and Will has some serious decisions to make which could either jeopardize his new found and much enjoyed popularity, or all of his valued friendships.  What is a young man to do?

As you can probably tell from the description, ‘Always Will’ does have some similarities to the ‘Butterfly Effect’ from a couple years ago, and though it’s not as slick or as entertaining as that film, at least it’s miles better than the godawful sequel that followed it.  Director Michael Sammaciccia uses almost an all amateur cast from a local high school in his film and it does show some rough spots as far as the acting goes, but at least he doesn’t have a bunch of thirty year olds playing sixteen year olds.  The young actors in his film do perform their respective roles with a lot of energy though, and are fun to watch in the totally charming little film.  Lead Andrew Baglini sure is tiny though.  Just watching the little dude run around with a helmet and shoulder pads is amusing as it looks as if one square shot would cripple the boy.

Sammaciccia does a good job of keeping things moving and keeping the story interesting with a positive message which gives ‘Always Will’ a lot of heart.  I will certainly be looking forward to future projects from this young and promising film director.

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