Saturday, September 19, 2009

Not Knowing


I watched the Nic Cage movie KNOWING last night. I was really, really excited to see it too, knowing (he, he) that it was supposed to be bad. But sometimes, bad movies are great. Bad comedies can be hilarious. Bad Horror films can be... hilarious. Bad sci-fi? It really depends. A bad sci-fi can either be horrific and embarrassing to watch or downright entertaining. When it comes to crazy scenarios, the basic 2 sentence catch of a sci-fi film can be enough to make it entertaning, wrapping an alternate environment blanket around our brains for a couple hours.

On top of all that, I've been sadly following this movie for many years. Back in the day when I first saw Donnie Darko, I was hooked on it. Got the DVD and watched it many times until I soon realized it was just an art student's wet dream and it had all the ingredients to cater to such a person (I was in art school at the time, still developing my artistic and film sense). Don't get me wrong, it's a good movie, but too many people along with myself took the interest too far. After years of having not seen the movie, I rented the director's cut. It was terrible. Absolutely, a horrific, terrible movie. I know my taste and intelligence in film evolved in the last seven years, but this was ridiculous. Turns out, it wasn't my taste - it WAS the cut of the movie. Everyone who has expressed their interest in the film hates the director's cut. For me, it made the movie boring and lost it's sense of believability, making it an embarrassment to watch.

Back to Knowing. So in my Donnie Darko hayday, I read that the director (Richard Kelly - the filmmaker, not the kiddie porno guy), was making a film: "a time capsule is discovered with numbers and dates. The numbers and dates list worldwide catastrophies and the specific fatalities. Some of the dates haven't happened yet." Wow - that sets the line for a very entertaining movie - regardless how good or bad it may be. And if Mr. Kelly is making it, it's GOT to be worthwhile.

Turns out Mr. Kelly did not make the movie and it was eventually put together by other people. When it hit the theaters, I was excited to see it, but with the extreme panning by critics, I decided to wait for video.

So with everything invested in the movie, along with my low expectations for it being good, my excitment level was high. How did it do? Quite poor. Worth watching? Sadly, no. Why? Well, my main complaint, which is 100% valid, is that the movie HAS NO PURPOSE. What does this mean? The last 10 minutes of the movie had no relevance. The first 90% of the movie tells the tale of Nic and his number sheet, trying to figure it out, then in the last 10 minutes, something else happens that has no bearing at all toward Nic Cage or anything. We could have watched EMPIRE for 8 hours and spliced the last 10 minutes of Knowing to the end - and it would be as logical of a movie. It's like if you watched a Law and Order episode and after 55 minutes of interrogations and adventure, some random dude who we haven't seen yet and has no connections to anything in the episode, walks into the police station and admits to the murder. His DNA matches and he is definately the guy. Seriously? What the hell is this movie supposed to be about!?

I could spout the many inconsistencies and poor filmmaking decisions about KNOWING but I'll hold off - this was supposed to be entertaining and not an epic, so all silly moments and numerous cliches can be described elsewhere.

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