Knowing – What Did You Think?

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I just got home from seeing the Alex Proyas-directed sci-fi thriller Knowing. It seems like response to the movie is extremely mixed. Roger Ebert called the film one of “the best science-fiction films” he’s seen. Others reviewers have said that it is among the worst films of the year. I’m not going to write a full review because it could be seen as a conflict of interest since Alex was a guest blogger for the site, and my thoughts are pretty positive.

It’s definitely not perfect. The acting is over-the-top across the board, not just Cage. Some of the dialogue is laughable, and some of the computer generated effects look rushed. I can honestly understand why someone would hate this movie, especially the last third of it. But for me, the film presents some very interesting ideas having to do with fate and chaos, religion and science, symbolic visuals, three kick-ass action set-pieces, and one of the most ambitious endings I’ve ever seen. I really dug the film a lot despite it’s flaws. The film goes to places you would never expect.

And that is why I’m writing this call for reader discussion. I want to know what you thought of the film, or more specifically the film’s ending. If you haven’t seen the film, do not read the comments, because it is bound to be filled with spoilers. I’m not looking for “It sucked” or “loved it” responses. I want to hear what you thought, and why.

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Early box office returns are pointing to a weekend win for Knowing from Summit, but I will put my money on I Love You, Man (Dreamworks/Paramount) to generate more in US ticket sales over the long haul. The Nicolas Cage sci-fi thriller has grabbed an estimated $8.8M to start the weekend, and it will likely finish at $24M or so. That is, unless word-of-mouth catches up to it first.

Reviews for Knowing, written and directed by Alex Proyas, the inventive filmmaker behind the visually striking 1998 film Dark City and the 2004 Will Smith mega-hit I, Robot, has received overwhelmingly negative reviews (25% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), but thanks to Twitter, real-time movie-goer reactions spread like wildfire. Here are some Tweets I just grabbed off the social networking platform.

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Nicolas Cage in Knowing

For the last few weeks, Summit’s Knowing, starring Nicolas Cage, has appeared to be the likely winner of the upcoming box office weekend. But, my sources tell me that I Love You, Man, the new comedy starring Paul Rudd (Role Models) and Jason Segal (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) has surged in the latest pre-release industry tracking.

In the spirit of March Madness, I’m calling for the upset. I Love You, Man may not actually be a Judd Apatow movie, but it sure does look like one in trailers and commercials. The movie reportedly “rocked the house” at the South By South West Festival last week, and the buzz is very positive. I am calling for $21.5M, which would be above industry expectations. Writer/director John Hamburg is at the helm with the likable Rudd and Segal in tow. He previously wrote Meet the Parents (brilliant) and its sequel Meet the Fockers (a lot less brilliant). He also wrote the cult hit Zoolander, which I hated, but has a loyal core of fans.

Meanwhile, tracking suggests that Knowing will open strongly. The reviews are generally negative (21% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), but Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times has published a rave, saying that “Knowing is among the best science-fiction films I’ve seen — frightening, suspenseful, intelligent and, when it needs to be, rather awesome.”
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Anatomy of a Scene: Knowing’s Plane Crash

Editor’s Note: You probably know Alex Proyas as the director of films like The Crow, Dark City, Garage Days, I Robot and Knowing, but for the last few weeks the filmmaker has been guest blogging on /Film. The post below is his last column. Later this week he will answer some of the questions submitted by /Film readers. Also, be sure to click after the jump to see a clip of the completed plane crash sequence.

knowing plane

One of my most challenging scenes in Knowing is the plane crash. I believe it was essential to have one of the predictions come true early on in the story, something so real and so horrible that we could no longer ignore the list of numbers.

I filmed this scene in one shot with a single hand-held camera. A nearly 3 minute continuous take where nearly everything in shot bloews up or catches fire. There was absolutely no room for even the smallest error. I wanted to take the audience right into the depths of that horrible environment with Nic. It took nearly 2 days to set up, and I must say that I’m really happy with the way it turned out.

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proyas_broods

There’s a whole lot of Alex Proyas around the web at the moment, what with the imminent release of Knowing. Of course, Mr. Proyas himself is blogging here on /Film, which gives him a direct route to you, like a syringe to your brain, but he’s also being quoted here, there and everywhere. Some fascinating possibilities are being dug up, as well as the odd BIG RED SIGN of priceless advice for all filmmakers, up and coming or otherwise.

MTV are quoting Proyas on the matter of a Dark City sequel, and Chud have the dirt on why Proyas will never work with Fox again. Jump over the fold for the good stuff.

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Exclusive: 3 New Photos from Alex Proyas’ Knowing

Summit Entertainment has sent us three new exclusive photos from Alex Proyas’ Knowing. Summit will be showing two big action scenes from the film at a panel at the New York Comic Con this weekend (February 7th from 4-5pm). And I’ve been told that one of them will be the full plane crash sequence. Check out two more photos after the jump.

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Knowing Movie Trailer

Summit Entertainment has released the full length movie trailer for Alex Proyas‘ upcoming thriller Knowing. If you’ve seen the previous teaser, than you know that Nicolas Cage comes across a code that predicts every major disaster in the last 50 years, including the upcoming destruction of everything. This new trailer introduces a new (possibly) supernatural element to the story, “the whisper people”, a group of mysterious albino men who stand off in the distance. Yeah, I’m not too sure what role they play quite yet. Watch the full trailer and leave your thoughts in the comments below.

[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/knowing2.flv 470 196]

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Knowing: New Photo; New Trailer in Theaters This Weekend

Summit Entertainment has sent us a new still from Alex Proyas‘ upcoming sci-fi thriller Knowing. A new movie trailer for the film will be in theaters this weekend, presumably attached to The Day The Earth Stood Still.
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