You can sometimes tell if a feature film will be good or not by its trailer. Sometimes you can’t. However, Knowing is definitely one of those cases. The trailer was simple, only showcasing enough to keep the common moviegoer wondering. The trailer makes the film out to be a combo of mystery, sci-fi, and adventure. Which it is, up to a certain point. But the film itself is more like a journey. What kind of journey…well… I guess you’ll have to watch the film to figure it out. And if by some chance you don’t get it, the ah… extras will help you out, for what they’re worth. But that’s for later. I myself was completely amazed at the film when I saw it in theaters, and was completely blown away when I viewed the film yet again on Blu-ray…
The film was directed by Alex Proyas, who uses his creativity to make this intense…I don’t know how to classify it. Perhaps, terror/suspense/drama/sci-fi flick? Proyas manages to add a level of intensity and bone chilling atmosphere. The horrific, catastrophic sequences are magnificently displayed on the screen but they do not slow down the frantic pace of the film. The flick remains at an incredibly fast pace and much of the characters’ tension is effectively transferred to the audience.
The film starts fairly simple. In 1959, a group of students decide to place their visions of the future (in the form of drawings) into a ‘time capsule’. A girl (a creepy girl, if I might add) by the name of Lucinda Embry writes down a series of numbers. Those numbers get placed into the ‘time capsule.’ As weird as that may sound this becomes a big part of the film. We Flash Forward fifty years and we see John Koestler (Nicolas Cage) and his son Caleb receiving the envelope in which Lucinda had placed the numbers. That night, Cage plays with the numbers, and makes a discovery. After an intense plane crash scene, the viewer is, in my opinion just as shocked as Cage’s character. The numbers and the girl are more then what they seem… And what comes next may very well lead to death or salvation. Now I don’t want to give too much away about this film as I’d like for viewers to enjoy it for themselves. There are certain surprises that I will not reveal and I know you are probably wondering “What kind of review is this?” Well, it’s my review.
Moving on – the film couldn’t have made it through without the main star of the film, Nicolas Cage, who manages to do a nice job with the role. He plays the typical character that we are used to seeing him portray. But that character simply seems fitting for the role. There was a surprisingly good performance by Chandler Catenbury. I won’t say an Oscar-worthy performance, but the kid definitely showed good skills.
I don’t have a complaint with the ending. I found it rather refreshing, although a lot of folks might disagree. I know it wasn’t what was expected. The film did seem to be building up to something more. But as always there will be some who are happy with an ending and some who are not. Luckily, I was one of the pleased viewers this time. I will keep the ending to myself, or else where’s the fun in watching the flick right? I am going to leave it up to the viewers to check it out.
I wasn’t very pleased with what I saw in the theater, to put it lightly. It looked very bad and that’s being nice. As I walked out of the theater I said to myself “This might be better when it is out on Blu-ray”, and guess what? I was right! The moment I pushed play on the Blu-ray player I was immediately blown away. The colors were accurate and the picture was crystal-clear. The film captures the eastern fall very nicely and the level of detail is superb. The details of clothing, cars and leaves are breath taking. The colors and atmosphere from the scenes meant to mimic 1959 are done with such precision and are displayed beautifully on the screen. The CGI and real life blend together very well. The film offers a very polished image and features a 2.40:1 aspect ratio and a MPEG/AVC codec.
Summit Entertainment has outdone themselves with this release. The video is simply fantastic. The viewer will be treated to some eye candy, no doubt about it. The amount of perfections outdo the amount of imperfections and that’s an understatement. There simply isn’t much to pick and complain about. Easily 5 out of 5.
We can’t compliment good video quality without good sound, can we? Well, the sound in Knowing is stellar. It has lots of bass throughout the film; from beginning to end the viewer will feel every cataclysmic event. The sound effects are captured perfectly; I can say that in several sequences of the film I felt surrounded by the soundfield. The catastrophe scenes are some of the best sounding scenes. Even with the amount of things happening concurrently, the same effects are captured and clearly output through each speaker. This is easily one of the best 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks.
Let’s see what extras were included in this release.
- Director’s Audio Commentary: With Knowing you can’t help but feel a hint of some religious undertones. I have to agree with the director’s view. The guy leading him just could not take a hint. I found this commentary to be useful but somewhat annoying. The unnamed guy in the commentary, accompanying Proyas, was good at getting the director to talk about his view of the film. Every so often this companion would bring up religion. I found this annoying, but the director kept cool. This is a great audio commentary.
- Visions of the Apocalypse: This feature deals with the mythology and ideas of the film.
- Knowing All: The Making of a Futuristic Thriller: Another feature about the script and ideas taken from the film.
Knowing is a decent film, with perfect visuals and a great sounding audio. However, the film was poised for so much more and the ending result was a bit lackluster. The extras are very weak. With the amount of material available, I find it very difficult that the studio and the director could not come up with more for the viewer. I recommend at least a rent before you buy.
Knowing is available in all retail stores and in Amazon!
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