Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Berlin Review: Could 'War on Everyone' Be the Best Bad Cop Comedy Ever? Berlin Review: Could 'War on Everyone' Be the Best Bad Cop Comedy Ever? Berlin Review: With 'Midnight Special,' Jeff Nichols Offers Up a Very Special Sci-Fi Thriller Berlin Review: With 'Midnight Special,' Jeff Nichols Offers Up a Very Special Sci-Fi Thriller How They Designed the Characters and Sounds for the Oscar-Nominated 'Mad Max: Fury Road' How They Designed the Characters and Sounds for the Oscar-Nominated 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Meryl Streep to Fund The Writers Lab, Supporting Women Screenwriters Over 40 (EXCLUSIVE) Meryl Streep to Fund The Writers Lab, Supporting Women Screenwriters Over 40 (EXCLUSIVE) Oscar Predictions 2016 Oscar Predictions 2016 Roger Deakins on Shooting Hollywood From the Inside Out in 'Hail, Caesar!' (Video) Roger Deakins on Shooting Hollywood From the Inside Out in 'Hail, Caesar!' (Video) A Letter to Michael B. Jordan A Letter to Michael B. Jordan Bona Fide Acquires Movie Rights to Knausgaard New York Times Series 'My Saga' for Alexander Payne (EXCLUSIVE) Bona Fide Acquires Movie Rights to Knausgaard New York Times Series 'My Saga' for Alexander Payne (EXCLUSIVE) WATCH: 9 Oscar-Nominated Screenwriters on How They Got Their Start, Their Writing Process, and Much More WATCH: 9 Oscar-Nominated Screenwriters on How They Got Their Start, Their Writing Process, and Much More Inside the Oscar Nominees Lunch Inside the Oscar Nominees Lunch How John Ridley and Company Create the Emotional Resonance of 'American Crime' How John Ridley and Company Create the Emotional Resonance of 'American Crime' Top 10 Takeaways:  'Hail, Caesar!' Leads Three New Releases—Which Barely Total $20 Million Top 10 Takeaways: 'Hail, Caesar!' Leads Three New Releases—Which Barely Total $20 Million 'Deadpool' Review & Roundup: Ryan Reynolds Finds a Franchise Worthy of His Talents 'Deadpool' Review & Roundup: Ryan Reynolds Finds a Franchise Worthy of His Talents Arthouse Audit: 'The Club' and 'Rams' Reveal Weakness in Subtitled Film Market Arthouse Audit: 'The Club' and 'Rams' Reveal Weakness in Subtitled Film Market Inside the Directors Guild Awards Inside the Directors Guild Awards Joel & Ethan Coen Crack Each Other Up, And Me, Talking About 'Hail, Caesar!' Joel & Ethan Coen Crack Each Other Up, And Me, Talking About 'Hail, Caesar!' Why George Miller Should Win DGA Award and Directing Oscar for 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Why George Miller Should Win DGA Award and Directing Oscar for 'Mad Max: Fury Road' WATCH: Oscar Nominee Tom Hardy Explains Why Shooting 'The Revenant' Was So Bloody Hard (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) WATCH: Oscar Nominee Tom Hardy Explains Why Shooting 'The Revenant' Was So Bloody Hard (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) How They Created the Bear VFX for the Mauling of Leonardo DiCaprio in 'The Revenant' How They Created the Bear VFX for the Mauling of Leonardo DiCaprio in 'The Revenant' What Happened to Scorsese's $70-Million Short 'The Audition' Starring DiCaprio, De Niro and Pitt? What Happened to Scorsese's $70-Million Short 'The Audition' Starring DiCaprio, De Niro and Pitt?

Knowing: Proyas/Cage Thriller Will Wow Audiences

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 19, 2009 at 7:27AM

Knowing is an intense, smart sci-fi thriller that stops just short of being great. Australian director Alex Proyas, the mind behind The Crow, Dark City and I, Robot , makes several questionable choices--among them ominous Jim Jarmusch lookalike lurkers and and a derivative ending-- but they don't derail the movie. If anything they might enhance its mainstream playability.
0

Knowing is an intense, smart sci-fi thriller that stops just short of being great. Australian director Alex Proyas, the mind behind The Crow, Dark City and I, Robot , makes several questionable choices--among them ominous Jim Jarmusch lookalike lurkers and and a derivative ending-- but they don't derail the movie. If anything they might enhance its mainstream playability.

Producer Jason Blumenthal developed the project for ten years, and Proyas was on board for six; distrib Summit should make a mint on this smart sci-fi doomsday thriller with elements of Roland Emmerich's The Day After Tomorrow, Steven Spielberg's The War of the Worlds and Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Danny Boyle's Sunshine. Shot with the new Red digital camera, the movie looks swell, changing its pallette as it moves from the saturated 1959 Boston-area prologue, when a Boston-area school places pictures and one little girl's series of numbers in a time capsule to be opened 50 years later, through the aftermath of what happens when the son of an MIT professor (Nic Cage) brings the same piece of paper home in 2009. The astrophysicist discerns an alarming pattern in the numbers sequences.

The numbers predict disasters that occurred over the 50 years and two more that Cage witnesses with horror, as a jet crashes right next to a local freeway, killing 81--as predicted-- and in New York, a subway derails with horrific consequences. Both sequences are masterfully executed (VFX were mainly handled by Weta Digital and Animal Logic). Cage wanders through the wreckage of the plane in a single take--there wasn't time to do another.

At Wednesday night's Australians in Film screening, Rose Byrne confessed that it was a challenge to return home to Melbourne, where much of the film was shot, and still have to muster an American accent. "I was surrounded by Aussies," said the actress, who during her Damages hiatus squeezed in the role of a woman whose mother and daughter hear whispers telling them what to do. Cage was also happy to be back in Australia, where Ghost Rider was filmed, Byrne said. Proyas and his d.p. Simon Duggan took a trip to Wellywood to get advice from Peter Jackson on how to get the most out of the digital cameras. The results should encourage other filmmakers to follow Jackson, Proyas and Steven Soderbergh's lead.

Here's my interview with Proyas at Comic-Con, Todd McCarthy's review, and the trailer:


originally posted on Variety.com

This article is related to: Genres, Reviews, Sci-fi


E-Mail Updates






Festivals on TOH



Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.