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Knowing (Blu-ray Review)

23 Jul, 2009 By: John Latchem


Box Office $80 million
$26.99 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for disaster sequences, disturbing images and brief strong language.
Stars Nicolas Cage, Rose Byrne.

is the type of movie that keeps you riveted for two hours — then unravels once serious thought is applied to any of the plot revelations.

The story concerns the growing obsession of MIT astrophysics professor John Koestler (Nicolas Cage) over a page of seemingly random numbers written by a girl in 1959 and buried in a time capsule. Once deciphered, the list seems to predict when the end of the world will occur.

For Koestler, the list represents a crisis of faith. Since the death of his wife, Koestler has shunned the notion of fate, but the list seems to confirm that it exists. The film hopes to spark a debate between determinism and random chance (or, on another level, religion vs. science) but ultimately is not a viable example for either. This, of course, may be the point, as the film’s primary motif deals with how knowledge of the future might affect the choices we make.

Though the script is an exercise in red herrings, Knowing is nonetheless an engaging thriller, carried by a very effective performance by Cage, who proves he can put the memories of Gone in 60 Seconds and Ghost Rider aside long enough to remember he once won an Oscar for his talents as an actor.

This is a beautiful movie to watch, no doubt owing to the skilled direction of Alex Proyas, who has a reputation for visually striking films, having previously helmed Dark City and I, Robot.

Proyas spends most of his commentary attempting to deconstruct the themes of his film but ultimately leaves the final interpretation to the viewer. After all, there wouldn’t be much point in shrouding the film in a cloak of philosophy if he were to provide all the answers.

The disc also includes a couple of brief behind-the-scenes featurettes that are otherwise unremarkable.

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