(Lawrence) I was one of the journalists able to see the pre-screening of Knowing and after reading Mark’s review, I found it necessary to add my two cents. I will put my opinions with (Lawrence) before them. I had a similar experience, but in reverse, after seeing Alexander by director Oliver Stone with one of my journalists. She loved the film and because I hated it, I had to put in my opinion in my own review which you can see here, so you can see I have no problem trashing a film if I think it deserves it and Knowing doesn’t!
(Mark) If you’ve seen the trailer for Knowing then you’ve grasped the storyline and seen the best parts. It’s a film in which the parts are better than the whole and the ending is just a cop out.
(Lawrence) I could not disagree more, I think that you followed the meaning of the film, you would completely get the ending. It is not a cop out. I cannot reveal my conclusions without ruining the film for those who have not yet seen it but after you do, think of the bible, Adam & Eve and the Garden of Eden, and Noah and the Arc, two of each animal etc. This film is full of suspense, mystery, action, and more action but the kind that really affects you not the ho hum kind. I found it easy to follow and just sat back and let it happen.
(Mark) Many recent films have been compared to a rollercoaster. And, as on such rides, you will alternate between gasps and groans. For the less demanding Knowing has some of the best special effects seen on screen…ever! In two sequences you are out right in the heart of the action and chaos. So amazing in their shot construction and believability that I can’t believe that someone didn’t think of making this film a 3D offering.
(Mark) But sequences do not a film make. The plot begins in a clever and intriguing fashion. But almost as if those writers were sacked and new ones brought in, the script proceeds to include clichés and unbelievable coincidences propelling it to loose all it’s earlier cleverness and just run on empty to a dark and unoriginal conclusion. Albeit with magnificent yet unnecessary effects while it kept me in suspense in between groans of unbelievably, a clever ending could have made the whole thing worthwhile.
(Lawrence) I could not disagree more, I think that if you follow the film, you would understand the reason that all the coincidences occur, they make sense in the overall story.
(Mark) A friend of mine believes there are actually two Nick Cages. One who makes class films with award winning acting and another who makes action films by the numbers. It’s of course the latter here. You can interchange Cage in this film with any number of his action opuses. All the other actors are just adequate or less. Rose Byrne goes over the top as she screams to herself (in Octo-mom fashion) while driving. Chandler Canterbury as Cage’s son is competent but Director Alex Pyros just wasn’t, isn’t able to lead him to the warmth for the character that is key. Pyros’ past films such as I Robot and The Crow lack the same quality.
(Lawrence) I agree about Nicolas Cage, I was not impressed with his performance but that really did not affect my overall positive reaction Knowing. I think all the other performances were just fine and enjoyed the directing.
(Mark) The film touches on many genres and Marco Beltrami comes through on all counts with a winning Bernard Herriman-like score that adds to the suspense. Cinematography by Simon Duggan is more a technical marvel than artistic. At times it looks like 70’s drive-in fare.
(Lawrence) I found the score to enhance my positive experience.
(Mark) No doubt kids will have a good time. It may be too scary for those under 10. It’s sad when a film starts on such a high and just progresses downward. The level of your enjoyment may be in doubt but you won’t be bored. In the end I already knew what Knowing teaches and what any kid should know…stay way from men in raincoats!
(Lawrence) I think kids of all ages will have a great time at this true rollercoaster of a film. I completely recommend it.
Academy Award® winner Nicolas Cage ( National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Leaving Las Vegas) stars in Knowing, a gripping action-thriller of global proportions about a professor who stumbles on terrifying predictions about the future and sets out to prevent them from coming true.
Rose Byrne (Troy, “Damages”), Chandler Canterbury (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Repossession Mambo) and Lara Robinson (“Saved”) also star in director Alex Proyas’ (I, Robot) riveting feature about a father’s desperate battle to save his child—and the world.
In 1958, as part of the dedication ceremony for a new elementary school, a group of students is asked to draw pictures of what they think the future will look like. Their drawings will be sealed into a time capsule and stored for 50 years. But one mysterious girl fills her paper with rows of apparently random numbers, which she says are being whispered to her by unseen people.
A half-century later, a new generation of students examines the capsule’s contents and the girl’s cryptic message ends up in the hands of young Caleb Koestler (Chandler Canterbury), but it’s Caleb’s father, astrophysics professor John Koestler (Nicolas Cage), who makes a startling discovery: the encoded message predicts the dates, death tolls and coordinates of every major disaster of the past 50 years with pinpoint accuracy. As he further unravels the document’s secrets, John discovers that it foretells three additional catastrophes—the last of which hints at destruction on a global scale.
John’s efforts to alert the authorities about the impending catastrophes fall on deaf ears and his fears intensify with the realization that Caleb is somehow connected to the mystery. Enlisting the help of Diana Whelan (Rose Byrne) and Abby (Lara Robinson), the daughter and granddaughter of the prophetic message’s author, he embarks on a heart-pounding race against time to prevent the ultimate disaster.
Knowing is produced by Todd Black (The Great Debaters, The Pursuit Of Happyness, The Taking Of Pelham 123), Jason Blumenthal (The Pursuit of Happyness, The Taking Of Pelham 123, Alex & Emma), Steve Tisch (The Pursuit of Happyness, The Taking Of Pelham 123) and Topher Dow (I, Robot). The screenplay is by Alex Proyas, Stuart Hazeldine (“Riverworld”), Ryne Douglas Pearson (Mercury Rising), Juliet Snowden & Stiles White (The Need, Boogeyman) and Richard Kelly (Southland Tales, Donnie Darko). Simon Duggan (Live Free or Die Hard) is director of photography. Richard Learoyd (Fearless) is editor and Steven Jones-Evans (Ned Kelly) is production designer.
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