WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
In the late '50s a group of elementary students put futuristic drawings in a time capsule that is then buried on school grounds. One overly obsessed kid Lucinda goes her own way by writing hundreds of mysterious seemingly non-sensical numbers on her entry. Fifty years later it’s dug up and comes into the possession of Caleb the young son of John Koestler a recent widower and astro-physics professor who becomes obsessed with the papers Caleb has brought home from class. He soon discovers the random digits are actually not-so-thinly disguised dates (including 91101 of course) for “future” disasters and there are clearly three of those dates yet to come. Although nobody believes his ramblings about this code for impending doom a nearby plane crash proves he is on to something so ominous the fate of the world could be in jeopardy. With all hell about to break loose the prof takes matters into his own hands.
WHO’S IN IT?
Just a couple of years ago Nicolas Cage starred in Next as a magician who could see into the future and had to prevent a nuclear attack. Now he’s at it again as an MIT professor who also has clues to future catastrophes and also is out to prevent the inevitable. And of course in the National Treasure films he latched on to maps that had contained similarly dark deeply held secrets. Nic clearly likes “knowing” stuff before the rest of us and he’s quite believable even if some of the circumstances in his latest sci-fi adventure are really out there -- literally. Cage somehow makes you buy into this stuff which is key to the ultimate success of the flick. As the key kids Chandler Canterbury as Caleb and Lara Robinson as Lucinda (and later Abby Lucinda’s granddaughter) are properly eerie and haunted-looking. Rose Byrne is also along for the ride as Lucinda’s grown daughter who is able to provide goosebump-inducing information that the numbers alone can’t. There’s also some dead-on creepy emoting from D.G. Maloney as a quietly foreboding stranger who seems to be following Caleb.
Unlike some recent movies of this type with nothing on the agenda but pure mayhem “Knowing” delves into the bigger issues of why we are all here providing something other than just big explosions to talk about on the way home from the multiplex. Director Alex Proyas (I Robot Dark City The Crow) certainly knows how to pull off complex action set-pieces but he and his screenwriters also seem to be genuinely interested in exploring the meaning behind the madness.
Some of the more pedantic dialogue Cage is given can be groan-inducing but since he plays John as a total believer we can forgive it. Also the film falls victim to a final act that veers into typical disaster movie territory and isn’t as compelling as the first two thirds which try to keep the premise at least marginally credible. At two hours it probably could have been tightened anyway.
The rain-soaked plane crash sequence with its gritty hand-held photography is riveting to watch and one of the most frightening depictions of a jetliner disaster put on film yet.
GO OUT AND GET POPCORN WHEN ...
If you are really squeamish it might be worth "knowing" that you should take breaks in the big disaster sequences as the CGI effects can get pretty violent and graphic particularly for a PG-13 movie.
Top Story: Osbourne Gets Caught in Cat Fight
Sharon Osbourne was allegedly involved in a minor fracas at a Los Angeles restaurant Thursday evening. The Associated Press reports that police were called in when Osbourne, who was dining with rocker husband Ozzy and son Jack, apparently had a squabble with agent Renee Tab and allegedly "started spitting on [Tab] and calling her names," Tab's attorney, Nejila Brent, told AP. Osbourne's spokeswoman, however, claims Sharon had been "viciously assaulted" and treated at a hospital for injuries, although she couldn't comment on what those injuries were, AP reports. Tab, who works for the talent agency ICM, has been at odds with MTV's The Osbournes' matriarch since January when the agent attended an Osbourne party allegedly uninvited and ultimately won a hefty door prize--a $15,000 necklace.
Penn's Car Found Minus Guns
Police told Reuters that they found Sean Penn's stolen black 1987 Buick Grand National on Friday. The two guns that were inside the car when it was taken, however, are reportedly still missing. Penn had permits for the guns.
Crowe Honeymoons Australian-Style
Russell Crowe and his new bride, Danielle Spencer, currently on a "self-drive honeymoon" around Australia, were spotted in the city of Rockhampton on Australia's east coast, Brisbane's Courier-Mail newspaper reported. After dining at local restaurant, Crowe signed some autographs. "I'm a local but if I was a movie star or a singer, Rockhampton is the last place I'd come for a honeymoon," one fan told AP.
Wannabe Rapper Murders for "Gangsta" Image
A wrongful death lawsuit filed against aspiring rapper Antron Singleton (aka "Big Lurch"), Death Row Records, Stress Free records and two employees claims Singleton murdered the plaintiff's daughter, his roommate Tynisha Ysais, and ate part of her lung as part of a Death Row Records plan to cultivate a "gangsta" image for the rapper, Reuters reports. Ysais' mother, Carolyn Stinson, claims in her suit that Death Row Records, headed by Marion "Suge" Knight, provided Singleton with drugs "to encourage [him] to act out in an extreme violent manner so as to make him more marketable as a 'Gansta Rap' artist," Reuters reports. Police found Singleton staggering naked and covered in blood in a Los Angeles street April 10, 2002. He has been charged with the murder and is awaiting trial.
British Prime Minister Goes "D'oh!"
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has decided to play himself in animated form for an upcoming episode to the hit show The Simpsons. Reuters reports Blair recorded the few lines of dialogue Friday, mostly promoting Britain's tourist industry, for a segment featuring the Simpsons on vacation in England.
Role Call, Part I: Knight Rider Hits Big Screen; Scary Movie 4 on the Way
Revolution Studios will make a feature film based on the hit '80s NBC TV show Knight Rider, which revolved around crimefighters Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff) and his talking car K.I.T.T. (Knight Industries Two Thousand), a sleek black Pontiac Trans Am. … If you're looking for more Scary fun, Dimension Films has greenlit a fourth installment of the Scary Movie franchise with a handful of the cast reprising roles, Variety reports. Scary Movie 3 is being released in October.
Role Call, Part II: McConaughey Is Parched in Sahara; Olsen Twins Go New York
Matthew McConaughey is in final negotiations to star in the feature film adaptation of Clive Cussler's 1992 novel Sahara. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film will focus on the first installment of Cussler's best-selling Dirk Pitt series where the intrepid adventurer and explorer (McConaughey) searches the African desert for a toxin that is killing marine life (if that makes any sense) … On the lighter side, those cute Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, will join director Dennie Gordon (What a Girl Wants) for New York Minute, an action-adventure comedy described as a cross between Charlie's Angels and After Hours. Think those two will ever go solo? Just wondering.