Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Nicolas Cage, Rose Byrne, Chandler Canterbury
Director: Alex Proyas
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
A college professor (Nicolas Cage) opens a time capsule that has been dug up at his son s elementary school. In it are some chilling accurate predictions of disasters... when, where, and how many will die. Most of these ev... more »
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Warning!!! READ THIS REVIEW BEFORE YOU READ ANY OTHERS!!!
lee jackson | pico rivera, ca United States | 07/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Why read this first? Because hopefully there are no spoilers here. In so many of the reviews for this movie, as well as others on Amazon, people seemed compelled to give a total synopsis of the movie all the way up to the end -- especially if they didn't like the movie. It's like if they didn't care for it, then nobody else needs to see it. Well, I'm glad that I didn't read any of the reviews here before watching KNOWING because I enjoyed not knowing and being able to decide for myself. And my opinion is that KNOWING is a very fine movie.
The previews tell you what you need to know: A time capsule which contains school children's drawings about what they think things will be like in 50 years is opened in the present day. An astrophysicist (Nicholas Cage)gets hold of one submission which is a lengthy series of numbers. He discovers that the numbers predict future disasters, most which have happened, but a few that are still to come. His mission becomes to avert the disasters. There-- that's all you need to know about the story, now sit back and enjoy the movie.
Here's what I am knowing:
1) If you hate Nicholas Cage you will hate the movie.
2) If you are a total science fiction geek you may not like this film as for me it was more spiritual than scifi.
3) If you don't like spiritual things, don't like God or the Bible, or don't want to be thinking about anything like this then you should stay away from the movie.
4) If major disasters are something you don't want to watch a movie about then this one is not for you.
5) If you prefer mindless comedy or romance, Knowing probably won't be at the top of your list.
6) This was my kind of movie-- I was thrilled, entertained, and uplifted in the end. I rented it, but I will probably want to add this to my collection."
Strictly By the Numbers
Chris Pandolfi | Los Angeles, CA | 03/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Knowing" achieves a level of greatness so few science fiction films ever achieve. It's not merely an engaging mystery--it's a deeply thought-provoking fable that's just as frightening as it is intelligent, and it ultimately makes a statement so profound that I was left completely awestruck. I don't often have an experience like that at the movies, and for that, I'm indebted to director Alex Proyas and writers Ryne Douglas Pearson, Juliet Snowden, Stiles White, and Stewart Hazeldine. They've successfully crafted one of the year's most stimulating films, taking the audience on a suspenseful, emotional, and ultimately (albeit unconventionally) redemptive journey that poses interesting questions on the nature of things. A movie like this could have easily placed technical achievement over character development, and thankfully, that didn't happen; we care just as much about the people as we do about the spectacular special effects.
The story begins in 1959, when an elementary school class is asked to draw pictures of what the world will look like fifty years later. What they draw will be put into a time capsule, which will be reopened in the year 2009. Rather than draw a picture, the quiet, disturbed Lucinda Embry (Lara Robinson) writes out a series of numbers on both the front and the back of a piece of paper.
Flash forward to the present day. We meet an MIT astrophysics professor named John Koestler (Nicholas Cage), who teaches his students that two theories on the nature of the universe have been proposed. On the one side, we have the determinist view, which states that everything happens as the result of a predetermined--and more importantly, a predictable--sequence of events. How, for example, could the Earth be located at just the correct distance from the sun to sustain life? On the other side, we have the random view, which states that absolutely nothing can be predicted, that life, the universe, and everything happened as the result of cosmic coincidences. What exactly does Koestler believe? Here are some clues: His wife died some years earlier, and he's openly stated that the existence of Heaven can't be proven.
As it so happens, John's young son, Caleb (Chandler Canterbury), goes to the same school that Lucinda Embry attended fifty years earlier. The day comes when the time capsule is unearthed and opened, and lo and behold, Caleb gets the envelope containing the numbers Lucinda wrote. He then takes it home, thinking the numbers might mean something. John initially thinks nothing of it ... until he places his wet glass of hard liquor on it and leaves a ring. Was it a predetermined act or a random act that led to a ring being formed around very specific numbers (the significance of which I won't reveal)? More important, was it a predetermined act or a random act that landed Caleb with the page of numbers in the first place? While I won't say what the numbers refer to (and this is in spite of the many ads that give plenty of hints), I will say that what John discovers changes him forever, forcing to consider ideas he never thought he would be able to consider.
To describe more of the plot would do you and the film a great disservice. Much of the story thrives on an engrossing mystery that only gets more unsettling with every passing scene. Visual motifs, such as shiny black pebbles, burning landscapes, and silhouetted figures emerging from the forest add great psychological weight. The same can be said for a house so old and ramshackle that, under different circumstances, it would be mistaken as being haunted. It ties in wonderfully with the psychological states of the characters inhabiting it. John is a solemn, broken man, estranged from his father, often detached from his son, occasionally dependent on a bottle of alcohol to drown his sorrows. Caleb is expectedly precocious but surprisingly fragile, always yearning for that which has been lost somewhere along the way. For the first time in a great while, we have a story that can actually support such characters; were it not for the awesome nature of the final fifteen minutes, John and Caleb would be nothing more than melodramatic clichés.
There are two more characters of great importance. One is Lucinda Embry's daughter, Diana Wayland (Rose Byrne), who enters John's life in a way that reaffirms the notion that nothing happens randomly. The other is Diana's daughter, Abby (also played by Lara Robinson), who, like Caleb, has been contacted by the creepy silhouetted figures, eventually called the Whispering People. Watch John and Diana as they search through Lucinda's abandoned home in the middle of the woods--the fear they express is disturbingly convincing.
Like last summer's "The X-Files: I Want to Believe," "Knowing" is one of the best cinematic surprises of recent memory, a meaningful and absorbing allegory made with intention of challenging the audience in matters of spirituality. It's difficult to say whether or not this film takes a religious stance; that would depend on your own view of the nature of the universe. There are, however, a number of religious implications, the least subtle of which is revealed in the final shot. This might account for some early reviews, where words like "overwrought" and "preposterous" came up. From my perspective, those who feel that way have failed to look any deeper than what was presented in the ads, which only scratched the surface. Contrary to what trailers and TV spots have been promising, this is not your average science fiction thriller. Serious time, effort, and thought went into "Knowing," one of the best films I've seen so far this year."
KNOWING...That You Can't Stop The End
Erik North | San Gabriel, CA USA | 03/31/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While it may not really be the most credible science fiction film ever made, or even the best of its own sub-genre, the "End Of The World", KNOWING is a long way away from such incredible tripe as BATTLEFIELD EARTH or the recent (and thoroughly unnecessary) remake of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. Its storyline isn't always credible, but it worked for me just the same.
The premise of KNOWING, in that an MIT professor played by Nicolas Cage, has discovered a parchment hidden in a time capsule at his son's school that was buried there fifty years ago with a random set of numbers that foretold of horrors that would befall us between 1959 and 2009, and the ultimate horror that would eliminate the human race, is a brilliant and even frightening one. It's especially so when he learns what the first sequence of numbers means--911012996, meaning of course the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which killed 2,996 people.
Indeed, this is a film that involves both science and religion, which often seem to bump into one another both in the reel world and the real world. Cage gets involved because one of the disasters told in that parchment was an apartment fire in Phoenix that killed his wife and eighty others a few years back; and when he comes into contact with the daughter (Rose Byrne) of the disturbed schoolgirl who wrote the parchment, he desperately tries to protect himself, her, and their two children (Chandler Canterbury; Lara Robinson). In the end, however, knowing what the numbers on the parchment mean can only lead to the tragic conclusion that the film gets to eventually--that The End can't be stopped.
Despite some occasionally lame dialogue in the screenplay, KNOWING elicits a fair number of scares and plenty of suspense as it goes step by step towards The End. Its blend of science fiction and Biblical prophecy was, for me, rather interesting, because it did not totally dismiss the prophecy aspect out of hand (which so many on the far-right lunatic fringe say Hollywood has done for the longest time), and yet it also avoided the ham-fisted soapbox shouting of the "Left Behind" series. The special effects here, not surprisingly, are quite good, verging on operatic; and the music score by Marco Beltrami interestingly appropriates the ominous Allegretto movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 at a couple of points in the film as a musical prelude to the inevitable.
KNOWING probably won't go down as being among the best science fiction films ever, let alone of the End Of The World variety, but it works well enough, and it has provoked a lot of consideration about the impact of science and religion on the future of humanity."
John Blow | Hollywood, CA | 07/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I noticed early on that "Knowing" had been receiving scathing reviews from cinephiles who called the movie "cliche," "trite," and "derivative." Most of these criticisms were impassioned and seemed to compare the movie to false estimations of what the film should have been. There is nothing wrong with wanting a movie to subvert or defy your expectations; but there is something unfair about not recognizing a film for what it is, especially when the movie succeeds so brilliantly in achieving its end result. "Knowing" starts off like a typical apocalyptic thriller rooted in numerology. But slowly the momentum of the film builds with each carefully crafted scene, so its suspense dissolves into a profound study on loss and letting go. "Knowing" is about knowing your place and role in the universe, and accepting it; and as hard as it may seem, letting go of your loved ones for their betterment -- even if its at odds with your own private longings. The ending could have played out many different ways -- with us not seeing where the children ultimately arrive so that Cage's character is left only "knowing" in his heart -- or having faith. Proyas is a benevolent director, so he allows us to see that the children indeed go on to a better place (whether this scene is the last thought in Cage's head or a scene that takes place outside of Cage's existence could be a subject of debate) because the story is trying to help us understand when it is necessary for our own peace to let go of our philosophical Materialism. I think it's unfair to label this movie as "cliche" -- Proyas and writers simply used the generic conventions of your standard "end of the world" movie to turn the genre on its head and give you something more lasting than special effects. For those of you who loved this movie -- read Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End," a novel which Proyas alludes to in "The Knowing.""