Tuesday, August 3, 2010

#42 - Knowing - 2009

Knowing was my 7th and final movie I watched for Mystery week and it was quite an interesting flick. This movie came out in 2009 and was easily the newest movie I saw all week and one of the newest ones I've seen for awhile. I remember wanting to see it when it originally came out but I never did and after watching it last week I really wish I would have. This movie had a lot going for it. Below is my detailed review.

Lets get right into it and just state this. Nicolas Cage starred as John Koestler and he is basically the sole big name actor in this film and I mean the only one. That alone is remarkable considering how good this movie was. Rarely do we see great films like this have only one major hollywood actor in it but then again with it being an action movie it is not as far fetched and rare as others. If you've seen this movie you can see how it can get away with having only one main actor in it, the script allows for it because it is special effects heavy not character heavy. With that being said lets get into those special effects!!

Ok wait before I get ahead of myself lets do a quick recap about what this film is about. It starts in 1959 with a brand new school opening on the east coast and all the students got to draw a picture and place it in a time capsule to be put into the ground in front of the school and it was not to be opened until the year 2009, fifty years later! There was a small girl named Lucinda who looked very different from the others, skeletal if you ask me. It was evident there was something different about here. Check out here pic below. Basically instead of a picture she wrote numbers on a piece of paper, a bunch of numbers, over and over and over on both sides. That is what she placed in the letter that went into the time capsule. After the celebration had taken place her teacher could not find her and a search was underway. They eventually found her near the gym locked in a closet scratching the door to the point where her fingers were bleeding.

Fast forward to 2009. Nicolas Cage attends his son's Time Capsule celebration at school and yes you guessed it, his son gets handed Lucinda's letter and after opening it he looks into the distance and see a strange man staring at him. This man wore all black and had blonde hair and within seconds he was gone. At home Cage's character John notices that in his sons (Caleb) backpack is the letter Lucinda wrote with all the numbers. He told Caleb that it belonged to the school but after Caleb went to bed he started looking at some numbers and started noticing stuff. There were patterns and the numbers were a key. He was up all night investigating these numbers and he found a sequence and order to them. They were all numbers that matched up to events that took place in history around the world that were global disasters.

This obviously led him to search to try and prevent future disasters and although he could not change the events themselves he attempted to and found out after some investigative work what was taking place. After locating Lucinda's daughter and granddaughter they combined forces to try and find out more information and see what was going on. Lucinda's daughter, Diana had always felt her mom Lucinda was crazy as did everybody else but after sifting through her trailer deep in the woods they learned more information and the date of 10/19/09 was to be the last day on earth. In a frantic effort to try and save themselves from imminent death they did the best they could to protect themselves and save their children's lives. It was quite a rollercoaster of a ride that's for sure!

Ok so that was the brief version of this story but let me reflect on what I felt were standout scenes in this film. They were the scenes that included spectacular special effects. Yes I'm talking about the plane crash and subway crash scene. Lets start with the plane crash. This scene was so realistic it blew my mind. I had always though the wreckage scene in the War of the Worlds was cool looking and done exceptionally well but for an actual plane crash sequence this tops them all. I felt the plane crash in Castaway was amazing as well but this one was crazy realistic. That could have been due to the fact that it was a low landing crash but that made it all more dramatic since John tried to run and save people who survived the actual crash but were completely on fire running for their lives. It was an amazing scene to watch and one that I thought was done remarkably well.

The subway scene was another one that was great as well and I cant say enough about the special effects in this film. Although it was not quite as realistic as the place crash scene for me the subway crash scene was still realistic enough to make you actually think it could look just like that if it happened for real. These two scenes were easily the best special effect scenes throughout the film with the final earth burning scene coming in third. The setting for this movie was done on the east coast and where John lived was obviously out somewhere in the woods or wilderness hence the pine tree's and pine cones that were visible in shots outside his house. This made for a more suspenseful and dark environment where the strange looking guys came to visit his son Caleb. In easily the creepiest scene of the film these guys appear out of nowhere outside of Lucinda's old trailer while John and Diana are investigating inside. They come out of the woods, whispering and start to surround the car. The music and the suspense in this scene was awesome and the whispering presence of these individuals made for a very eerie scene.

Almost just as eerier was the writings John and Diana found inside Lucinda's trailer in her bedroom. Under her bed she had written the words "everybody else" over and over and over and it was in reference to the 33 number that was on the letter that they quickly figured out were really backwards e's indicating everyone else. They quickly realized the danger they were. The film comes near its ending point after Diana is killed in a car crash and John arrives at Lucinda's trailer where his son and Abbey (Diana's daughter) were taken by the whispering men. A large UFO type ship arrives and his son and Abbey are holding white bunnies and it turns out that they were "chosen" by these men who actually turned out to be aliens to start fresh in the new world. When John attempts to board the ship he is stopped by one of the aliens and his sons tells him he is not one of the ones chosen. The film ends with John saying goodbye to his son and then going home to spend time with his family before a huge fireball wipes away New York but while driving through the riot filled streets of New York on his way home classical music played as he went to his parents place. This is another example of how cool it is when movies mix either old or classical music into dramatic action or suspense scenes in film. I love how they do that and it makes it much more interesting to me.

Overall I felt this movie was very very good and much better than I anticipated. I mean you do have to throw out all reality and believability when watching a film like this and although I love alien stuff and believe aliens actually do exist I didn't think they were a good choice as being the "saviors" per say in this film. I understand the thinking of it and it didn't ruin the film for me but I thought it was a very odd ending. One scene I forgot to mention was Caleb's dream where he looked out his bedroom window and saw the forest on fire with moose and birds running out of the woods while on fire which was obviously a vision of what was to come. It was these special effect sequences throughout the film that really impressed me. I felt these scenes were done extremely well and this is one film that would have looked extremely wonderful on bluray. All in all I really liked this film and thought it was really good. I would easily give this one an A-!

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