Audio Commentary-Audio Commentary by Director Alex Proyas
Theatrical Trailer-Theatrical Trailer for Push
|Year Of Production||2008|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Alex Proyas|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English dts 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Some silly 1950's shenanigans involving a time capsule and an insane preteen girl preface the modern-day adventures of John Koestler (Nicholas Cage, dreadful), an MIT professor who fluffs the definition for "determinism" then unearths a piece of paper covered in numbers. Happenstance leads him to cracking the cipher revealing these numbers are in fact the dates of disasters and the number of casualties (and sometimes the location coordinates, the film isn't really clear on that) and then puts him in the exact location of various future disasters. Further investigation of the magical A4 leads him to distraught single mum Diana (Rose Byrne, unwatchable) both who come to realise that hopelessness is the order of the day as the end of times approaches.
You know, it takes a special kind of awful to make the gorgeous Rose Byrne look ugly, yet she spends the running time of this tripe looking like a dude. Opposing lead Nicholas Cage ruins his Adaptation and Leaving Las Vegas goodwill delivering a Ghost Rider performance that phones in all of the phenomenally terrible lines (and, to be fair, no one in this thing was really given anything to work with - his character actually needs to Google "9-11-01" to know the significance of those numbers) whilst appearing as shocked as possible (like his eyes are propped open by girders) by the inconceivable events and the inconceivable CG. That CG, of which all the disaster scenes are constructed, is deeply unconvincing and spectacularly insipid - it seems like no one making this film had any idea what they were doing. TV's Lost and 24 both delivered more realistic and intense plane crash scenes (despite a crap Children of Men-cribbed unbroken shot, in which our idiot protagonist runs from victim to victim achieving nothing but drawing attention to how fake this all looks) and a later never-ending subway derailment is actually the highlight of the film because it's so incredibly funny. (There's even a series of shots from the train's point of view as it mows down people - fantastic!)
So the film is stupid, poorly conceived, ineptly written, terribly acted and horribly staged, but it's the aggressive anti-intellectualism that really throttles me. That it all makes zero sense is a no-brainer, with its truly absurd left-field finale that'll leave any intelligent person scratching their head, but the film passionately embraces a "knowledge is useless" creed that leaves no room for hope unless you're, uh, chosen by aliens. To be fair, it goes so far off the deep end that the conclusion is kind of stunning, and certainly not the usual Hollywood route, but it doesn't make up for the prefacing heap of amateurish garbage. So it goes that Knowing is a mess, destined to be forgotten by all but Roger Ebert and inevitable MST3K treatment.
Knowing was one of the first big budget studio films shot on the amazing Red One hidef digital camera, and the image here looks excellent. It'll be no surprise to HD aficionados that there are no artefacts at all, but what is more pleasing is that the unpleasant grain and low level noise that usually comes as part of the HD package is very low, often unnoticeable here. Penultimate scenes in the darkness could very easily pass for film stock - it looks that good. Minor grain does affect early scenes (around the 5:00 mark we see some ugliness outside of John's house) and the whole film is graded in daylight scenes to appear brighter, though this is what was intended.
I'm very impressed with this transfer. There's no interlacing or any other errors that I noticed, and it is excellent.
The English subtitles I sampled were accurate and readable.
Knowing defaults to the Dolby Digital 5.1 for reasons I didn't understand until I tried the DTS - even in the most frenetic and over-the-top sequences I found little difference between the two options except that the DTS was louder. Unfortunately I didn't find a lot of depth in the surround, although everything was audible with few problems (like the poor mixing of various effects and dialogue in some sequences) this seemed very workmanlike. Sadly I may have been influenced by the poor quality of the film itself, but I am only human.
The musical score by Marci Beltram is not notable but sounds fine here. At least it's better than I, Robot.
|Surround Channel Use|
The video transfer is excellent and demonstrates the power of new exceptional HD technology; unfortunately the audio transfers do not share this high quality.
The only extra here is not worthwhile.
|DVD||Sony Playstation 3 (HDMI 1.3) with Upscaling, using Component output|
|Display||Philips 47PFL9732D 47-inch LCD . Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Logitech 5500 THX.|
|Amplification||Logitech 5500 THX|
|Speakers||Logitech 5500 THX|