A teacher (Cage) opens a time capsule that has been dug up at his son's elementary school; in it are some chilling predictions -- some that have already occurred and others that are about to -- that lead him to believe his family plays a role in the events that are about to unfold.
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Nicolas Cage is a master at playing roles with mixed emotions. He takes his character and thinks what the two opposite emotional sides they have and then they plays on that on screen. Think of all of his performances, whether it's a successful film or not. He always plays a man who is confused inside and doesn't know what to really feel. He wants to be one thing but what he is in reality is an entirely different thing. And that's his character's conflict.
He has had a very interesting career as he's really this generation's Gene Hackman. Meaning, he doesn't take a break and usually has at least two, usually three movies come out a year. And usually at least 1 of those films is a hit and the other 2 films are not.
There was a POLL on this site asking what people's favorite and least favorite Cage films are. More people answered the least favorite poll and had a whole lot to say about him in the comments section. There are a lot of Nicolas Cage haters out there. Part of that is due to what our society is about these days, where we seem to love to hate on people we don't know because it's easy and perhaps makes us feel better about ourselves. But I don't think there is more of a polarizing movie star out there than Mr. Cage. People just don't like him but no matter how bad some of his films are, they seem to always make their money back as people go to the cinema and eventually rent or buy his films on DVD.
Knowing is a highly interesting movie. It's the type of movie I think what going to the movies is all about. It's that film that you go with your friend friends/date to, buy some popcorn, and be entertained by the familiar genre and shooting style but with a unique twist to it to separate itself from the pack. So we're comfortable while still being at the edge of our seat at the same time. Knowing is a Hollywood film all the way, but it actually answered the questions it asked us in the beginning.
I am seeing a trend these days in movies where there are deep questions asked in the 1st Act but are never answered in its conclusion. I can say the same with popular TV programs too where we get engaged to a certain show and when they finally end the thing, we are left feeling gipped because they cheated the ending by not answering the questions it asked us (and was the reason why we started watching)
And that's what I feel movies are all about. When they are done well, they extend themselves from the watching experience into our world. TV executives like to call these water-cooler shows and movies. We talk about them with our co-workers and it forces others to go see it because they need to know what people are talking about.
Like Nicolas Cage's performances, it's the mixed emotion films that I consider the good films. I am far removed from actually being emotionally involved in whether I feel a film is good or not and I don't think that's what the point is. It's all subjective and they'll never be a film that everyone on earth will like. But what movie stays with us for a while is what's important.
Knowing will definitely stay with you for a while.
In reality, Knowing is just a love story about a father and his son. An important relationship that many of us can relate with. Then they threw that whole Randomness VS Purpose of Life debate at us and they had themselves a two hour film.
I don't think this film will influence any of us either way with that question, but at least they answered it themselves and that's all we audience members ask.
So remember that JJ Abrams, David Chase, David Lynch, Chris Carter, Christopher Nolan and all.......! When you bring up serious questions at the beginning, please answer them at the end. Yes, it's a gray world and life isn't that black and white. But the movies should be. And we'll love you whether we like your ending or not. And we'll hate you if you leave us without one and tell us that there is. Fading to black is a film-making tool, not an ending.
So watch Knowing and see what you think of it.