Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Knowing (2009)

Number Rolled: 87
Movie Name/Year: Knowing (2009)
Tagline: Knowing is everything…
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller, Mystery
Length: 122 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Summit Entertainment, Escape Artists, Mystery Clock Cinema, Goldcrest Pictures, Kaplan / Perrone Entertainment, Wintergreen Productions
Producer: Todd Black, David J. Bloomfield, Jason Blumenthal, Topher Dow, Norman Golightly, Stephen Jones, Aaron Kaplan, Ryne Douglas Pearson, Sean Perrone, Alex Proyas, Steve Tisch
Director: Alex Proyas
Writer: Ryne Douglas Pearson, Juliet Snowden, Stiles White
Actors: Nicolas Cage, Chandler Canterbury, Rose Byrne, Lara Robinson, D.G. Maloney, Nadia Townsend, Alan Hopgood, Adrienne Pickering, Joshua Long, Danielle Carter, Alethea McGrath, David Lennie, Ben Mendelsohn, Gareth Yuen, Liam Hemsworth
Stunt Doubles: Eddie Yansick

Speech Available: English, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish
Subtitles Available: English, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish

Blurb from Netflix: An MIT astrophysics professor and his son unearth a string of numbers from a time capsule that seem to reveal a cataclysm that will wipe out humanity.

Selina’s Point of View:
I had some knowledge of this film before I saw it. I had seen bits and pieces of the ending, but I saw it out of context so I can’t really say I was spoiled. Never-the-less, it was enough information for me to be able to suss out the ending pretty quickly. I will say that if I hadn’t seen those minor spoilers, I wouldn’t have been able to predict much at all.

Knowing had a really interesting premise, but that wasn’t the part I enjoyed the most. I rather enjoyed the execution of the plot. I mean, plenty of films have the same basic premise, but this one puts a spin on it that I rarely see.

I’m not surprised by the bad reviews that I’ve read about this film, however. The films that take the route Knowing took tend to get pretty rough reviews. It doesn’t matter who’s in the cast, how well they do, who the director is, or anything else; critics hate this kind of film. It’s unfortunate. Because films like this leave you guessing and kind of take the safety of tropes away from the audience. Due to the films being labelled ‘unpredictable’, instead of being judged on their own merits, they’re described as Shymalanesk and shrugged off.

That’s what I saw people say about this film. Quite frankly, I do not believe it felt like an M. Night Shyamalan (The Village, Devil, Lady in the Water) film. There was a twist, yes, but not one that was out of the realm of possibility. It wasn’t from far over in left field, there was ample fore-shadowing. If I had been more interested in guessing what came next than letting myself get engulfed in the film, I probably would have figured it out.

Aside from that, there were a lot of biblical references. None that I can really bring up by name without ruining the film, however. Personally, I liked the film’s basic interpretation of those references. I understood what they were talking about, but didn’t feel slapped in the face by them.

I wasn’t completely impressed with the acting. Most of it was good, but there were parts that left me wanting. I feel like it wasn’t entirely the cast’s fault, though. It’s tough making a grown-up film with kid actors. Sometimes they just don’t fully comprehend the content which makes it difficult for them to figure out what would be realistic acting in that situation.

When it comes down to it, even with the flaws, I enjoyed this film. I’d watch it again.

Cat’s Point of View:
Having already seen Nicholas Cage (The Wicker Man, Trespass, The Trust) in his future-predicting role in Next (2007), I wasn’t sure I was going to encounter anything new in this movie. There were some distinct differences, however, that set this movie apart from the film he worked on 2 years prior.

While the movie was somewhat predictable in places, I have to give it credit for being rather intense. There are some scenes that are just hard to watch. This is definitely not one to share with small children or anyone easily disturbed or distressed by graphic images. (Not the nudity kind.)

There are a handful of geeky Easter Eggs in the movie, though most of them would likely go over the average audience’s head. (I know they went right over mine – but I’m not into high math or astrophysics, either.) After you watch the movie, consider looking them up – looking back, I found them pretty neat.

There’s some shaky-cam in places that felt a bit jarring to me but it wasn’t anything that became a consistent problem.

For all that I thought I had things figured out – it’s possible that this movie could just surprise you like it did me.

I’d more than likely end up watching this again, and would recommend this one to Cage fans for sure. He’s actually pretty serious and not all loony in this one.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 34%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 42%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 2.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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