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Knowing Review

Knowing imageKnowing” is a compelling film that walks the line between horror and science fiction – a genre blend right up the alley of director Alex Proyas, who probably gained the biggest notoriety from the cult fave Dark City. Unlike Dark City, Knowing takes place in the very real world – Melbourne, Australia doubling amazingly as Massachusetts and NYC – and its story drums up a question that’s come to all our minds at some point: does Earthly life have a purpose, or does “sh*t just happen?”…[ScreenJunkies] Knowing photo At this point, the film starts referencing 9/11 pretty heavily. Remember when it was considered a huge taboo for movies to touch on 9/11? Watching parts of this movie, I felt nostalgic for those days. The first disaster that Koestler identifies on the sheet of numbers is 9/11. And then he gets caught up in a plane crash that’s somewhat reminiscent of UA 93. Then Koestler figures out that another disaster is due to take place in Manhattan, and meanwhile the terror rating has been raised. So John tries to notify Homeland Security about his prediction, to no avail. He goes to New York, and spots a shifty-looking Arab man, whom he chases through the subway. The Arab turns out to be a guy who stole some DVDs, and then the subway train crashes due to driver error. Cage and the other survivors climb out of the ruined subway, in a cloud of smoke and ash, and they’re all covered with white ash, so that they look like postapocalyptic mimes. And then we see shots of heroic firefighters. Other movies I’ve seen recently which touched on 9/11 have felt interesting, or cathartic, or tasteful, but this just felt a bit gratuitous for some reason…[IO9] Cage stars as John Koestler, a professor of astrophysics at MIT. A widower, his son Caleb (Chandler Canterbury) and he share similar mental issues when it comes to the death of their mother. As they handle it, Caleb’s middle school is about to celebrate a momentous occasion. A time capsule, buried for 50 years, has been pulled out of the ground and Caleb gets a most interesting piece. Instead of pictures detailing what children in 1958 thought their future would look like, he gets a sheet of paper filled with what are seemingly random numbers. When his father decodes a pattern to it, seeing all the world’s major tragedies predicted decades in advance, it leads him to a stupefying conclusion that ends in a most depressing manner…[Popcorn Junkies] “Knowing” offers plenty of evidence of Proyas’ (“I, Robot,” “Dark City”) filmmaking talents. Scenes with John seeking answers regarding Lucinda’s numbers from the now elderly schoolteacher boost the mystery. Creepy moments revolve around mystery men dressed in black who follow Caleb and Abby and whisper mutterings only they can hear…[Movie Jungle] Just a couple of years ago, Nicolas Cage starred in Next as a magician who could see into the future and had to prevent a nuclear attack. Now he’s at it again as an MIT professor who also has clues to future catastrophes and also is out to prevent the inevitable. And of course, in the National Treasure films, he latched on to maps that had contained similarly dark, deeply held secrets. Nic clearly likes “knowing” stuff before the rest of us, and he’s quite believable even if some of the circumstances in his latest sci-fi adventure are really out there — literally. Cage somehow makes you buy into this stuff, which is key to the ultimate success of the flick. As the key kids, Chandler Canterbury, as Caleb, and Lara Robinson, as Lucinda, (and later Abby, Lucinda’s granddaughter) are properly eerie and haunted-looking. Rose Byrne is also along for the ride as Lucinda’s grown daughter, who is able to provide goosebump-inducing information that the numbers alone can’t. There’s also some dead-on creepy emoting from D.G. Maloney as a quietly foreboding stranger who seems to be following Caleb…[] Nicolas Cage at “Knowing” Premiere with Brad Blanks:
“Knowing” is a difficult film to talk about because any mention of the events that take place after the above summary would be considered major spoiler territory. Oddly enough, it’s also the main reason why you’ll either love the film or find it terribly mediocre. Anyone that’s intrigued by numerical code will probably fall into the latter group, because by the end of the movie, you’ll realize that the numbers don’t really mean anything at all. They are merely a device of moving the story along, and what’s so maddening about this is that when the film’s real endgame is revealed, the audience isn’t given any answers as to why it’s happening. Granted, that’s kind of the point (the secret is all in the film’s title), but that doesn’t mean people will be happy about it…[Bullz Eye] Because, it seems, Knowing isn’t really a disaster movie, or at least wants to pretend it isn’t. The numbers conspiracy theory gives way to end-of-days prophecies and some creepy blonds that Caleb dubs “the Whisper People,” and if I told you what ending that all led to, you wouldn’t believe me anyway. As Knowing gets increasingly preposterous, and Cage’s stony deadpan acting seems even sillier in context, a kind of slack-jawed joy may overtake you. How on earth did this movie get made? How did anyone involved think they had a story worth telling? And, as always, what is Nicolas Cage thinking?…[Cinema Blend] Knowing – Behind the Scenes
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