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Avg. Rating: 3.5
Nicolas Cage stars in this science fiction movie with an interesting plot that begins in 1959, when a school teacher asks her pupils to draw pictures of how they imagine the world will be fifty years after, to be put away in a time capsule which will be opened in 2009.
Instead of drawing, one of the girl pupils, which seems to be possessed at the moment, begins to write numbers on a sheet of paper, without any particular relation with what she was asked to do.
Not understanding what has happened, her teacher takes away the girl's paper, and put it inside an envelope, which is after put away in the time capsule, where it stays until fifty years later.
In 2009, Nicolas Cage's character is a proffesor at the M.I.T. in Massachusets, who, having recently lost his wife, is feeling depressed, and tries to give his only son all the love he lost when his mother passed away.
The boy, who is now a pupil at the school where the time capsule experiment was held, receives the envelope where the girl's paper with numbers was put away; and his father discovers that those numbers indicate dates when different disasters were going to happen from 1959 until the present time, as well as the quantity of casualties that each one of those events would cause...
Not flawless, but a highly satisfying thriller
Nicolas Cage hasn't had much luck in the land of the mainstream in recent years, and frothy duds along the lines of Next and Ghost Rider certainly haven't done much to alter this pattern. Enter Knowing, a sci-fi flick that took a very similar marketing approach to Cloverfield, releasing mysterious, subject-veiling trailers which left the viewers wondering exactly what sort of movie it was they were previewing. It is, in theory, a dangerously hit-or-miss approach to advertising, but it may be appropriate in this case. Knowing's opening scene occurs in the mid-50's, with an elementary school teacher explaining to her students that they must draw a picture of what they believe the future will be like and then place the drawings in a time capsule, which will be opened several years from then. A seemingly disturbed little girl has other plans. Rather than drawing a picture of the future, she furiously jots down a series of numbers, and we are given an indication that she is hearing voices telling her to do so. At the actual burying of the time capsule, the girl vanishes, only to be discovered in a hallway closet by her teacher as she continues to scribble the numbers onto the closet door with her fingernails; she then tearfully asks her teacher to `make it stop.' Fast-forward several years later, and we are of course at the reopening of this time capsule, and of course our protagonist-or, more accurately, the protagonist's son-obtains the mysterious little girl's list of numbers. Cage's character, the recently widowed astrophysicist John, doesn't believe there's any significance to the scribbled number sequence, but of course the wild series of events that follows proves otherwise. One fateful night, John happens to notice a pattern to the numbers-that they align with the dates of nearly every major global disaster and tragedy since the date it was written-plus a handful that haven't happened yet. John then goes through the by-the-numbers sequence of trying to get everyone else to believe him, which of course throughout the majority of the movie no one does. But when the first disaster that the number sequence predicts actually happens, John gains a deeper understanding of what he's come across. All the while, Caleb continuously comes across a pale-faced, trenchcoated man who seems to be the source behind mysterious voices ringing in his head and a series of horrifying visions of chaos and destruction. Knowing does an excellent job of keeping the audience's attention, and most shreds of plot predictability are drowned out by the sheer mystery and suspense that pulses throughout the entirety of the film. Knowing is an action-thriller (with more thrill than action), but it also succeeds at maintaining strong undertones of eeriness and dread, and in that light it nearly comes off as a high-class pseudo-horror film; it's the subtle, slow burn type of horror moviegoers don't see much of nowadays. M. Night Shyamalan should be taking notes. One of Knowing's strongest assets is the one thing it has that most movies of its kind don't: genuine shock value. Knowing is shocking until its very end (which is particularly shocking, not in exactly what happens, but what happens to the story's characters), and although the movie's `big picture' might head in the general direction of what viewers might predict, it's unlikely that the final outcome of the characters will be expected. Nicolas Cage is the star, but he may be the film's weakest link. Cage's occasionally awkward, cheeseball approach to acting is at times an ill fit for this particular role, and it leaves one to wonder what the movie could've been in different, more capable hands. Regardless, the film works in nearly every other aspect, and it keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, guessing what'll happen next, like any good horror/action/thriller flick should. Knowing is a movie about tragedy, so it's only natural that many of its events are indeed tragic, but it does a much better job of maintaining a sense of hope in the wake of tragedy than wholly miserable movies like Premonition and 28 Weeks Later did. In the murk of today's teenybop horror and torture porn, Knowing actually does what the likes of The Happening set out to do, and it does it in a much more tasteful and much less melodramatically morbid manner. It's a rarity in the 00's: an end-of-the-world movie that actually works.
Close Encounters Of The Biblical Kind
KNOWING is an odd but interesting film. While it is not what you expect it to be, it certainly holds your attention to the end. Spooky and creepy, yet surprisingly and strangely uplifting at the end, KNOWING is a unique and unusual movie that comes at you from a lot of different directions.
KNOWING is many things, many genres all woven together. It starts off almost as a horror film, with a young girl, Lucinda (Lara Robinson), haunted by "whispered" voices that only she can hear. The voices compel her to write down a series of numbers and to seal them in the school's time capsule. Lucinda then disappears and is later found locked in the school's basement with bloodied fingers and terror-filled eyes. Now fast forward 50 years to 2009, and the opening of the time capsule. MIT astrophysics professor John Koestler (Nicholas Cage) and his young son Caleb (Chandler Canterbury) are present at the opening. Caleb receives Lucinda's envelop, the one containing the series of numbers. When this happens, we realize that Caleb, too, can hear "the Whisperers," and this is no coincidence. As John begins to unravel the shocking mystery of the numbers, the Whisperers step up their contact with Caleb, sending John into a fury of protective, parental rage. At this point the movie has become a mystery/disaster film: do these numbers really predict what they seem to predict, can the predictions be changed, how is his son involved, and what does it all mean? John needs empirical evidence to believe anything, and in this case, he is getting that scientific evidence in spades. As KNOWING reaches its bombshell conclusion, the genre switches again. With an end that is both sad and hopeful as well as filled with Christian symbolism and references, this film melds sci-fi and religion in an extraordinary and thought-provoking way. While you may be taken aback by the ultimate conclusion, it certainly is a "revelation" that will make you question what you believe. Free will or predestination? You will have to draw your own conclusions.
The plot of KNOWING is fresh, bizarre, and intense. I was riveted to the screen from the beginning. Very few book or movie plots surprise me anymore, but this one kept me on the edge of my seat and kept me guessing until the very end. I always enjoy Nicholas Cage, and his performance of man who has seen and experienced way too much is excellent. His gut-wrenching decision at the end is the right one (IMHO), but as a parent I can certainly understand the devastation of that decision. The special effects in KNOWING are out of this world, especially the disasters that John witnesses - they are outstanding; I was literally gasping for breath and cowering in my seat. The underscore of KNOWING is a perfect accompaniment to this film. It kept my heart racing, my pulse pounding, and the air filled with tension. Wow.
It is actually very hard to write a review about KNOWING. It is certainly NOT a feel good movie. But it is provocative and mind blowing. Whether you believing free will or determinism, religion or science, or you can blend it all together in your own belief system, KNOWING will make you reconsider what you believe and why you believe it. RECOMMENDED, especially for those who want more than a light, fluffy film.
I rather knock my teeth out with a frying pan.
Obviously, the long winded reviews must be from the studio releasing the movie. I would appreciate the section named "Customer Review" to be by people who paid to watch the movie, not people who get paid to watch and review favorably the movie. I won't delve into the reasons behind why such a typecast "actor" (I use the term loosely) keeps getting work from Hollywood. The movie grossed 38 million at the box office so for some reason people continue to watch his movies. If a movie script comes out that has a major conflict that needs to be solved, no one seems to be on the same page as the character in peril, and time is running out, Cage's agent is the first call out.
Moving on, the movie has taken 2 hours from my life, so I will take the time to save others from the same mistake I made by choosing to watch this movie (mostly because I had a free ticket for the movie). The CGI is not very good. Just about every scene that has a tragedy someone is being burned to death. I got that the director was showing hell on earth, literally, for just about every carnage depicted throughout the movie (minus the derailing of the subway which killed 81 people in its path and yet managed to spare the lives of Cage and a pregnant women he felt the need to save who were in front of the subway which took out another subway, 6 concrete pillars, 45 feet of concrete siding of the subway tunnel and dozens of people who tried to outrun a subway gone mad). Actually, the entire movie can be summarized in that scene. A complete and utter train wreck which is unbelievable, a complete mess, and takes too long to end.
The acting from the children to the adults in the movie was at best laughable. The story had more holes than Cage's hair plugged head. The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. Unfortunately, I felt as if a monkey wrote this script but wasn't given a typewriter. Instead the primate only had 2 hours,its feces and a whiteboard to work with.
Do yourself a favor and avoid this movie. Mow the lawn, play with your dog, or just read "customer" reviews instead.
Should have been called "The Rapture" or "Yo, Jesus!" I want my two hours back. Seriously, not too cool of the studio to masquerade this "make good with the christian god" movie as some sort of scifi/mystery/thriller :(
The only things I can't figure out: how did Kirk Cameron hide his involvement, and which 'left behind' movie was this supposed to be?
Review this book