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PCR #469 (Vol. 10, No. 12). This edition is for the week of March 16--22, 2009.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

"Knowing"  by Mike Smith
Gasparilla Film Festival 2009: Bill Grefe  by ED Tucker
Book Review:  by Lisa Scherer Ciurro
Cutler Wants Out .... World Baseball Classic .... A-rod Caught Kissing……a-rod .... Stallworth In Trouble .... Joey Galloway Joins Patriots .... .... ....  by Chris Munger
Rondo Voting Ends Midnite 3/21 .... .... ....  by Matt Drinnenberg
Passing On .... Captain Crunch Or Honeycomb? .... The End Of Newsprint? .... .... .... .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2...  by Mike Smith
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Summit Entertainment     
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Chandler Canterbury and Rose Byrne
Directed by: Alex Proyas
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 2 hours 2 mins

1959. The young children of a newly-dedicated elementary school have decided to put their ideas of the future on construction paper and seal them up in a time capsule, which will be opened up in fifty years. While many of the students make colorful drawings of robots and flying cars, young Lucinda (Lara Robinson) is busying herself writing rows and rows of numbers on a sheet of paper. Her teacher, disappointed about the little girls’ work, takes the paper from her, ignoring Lucinda’s plea that she “wasn’t finished yet.” 50 years later we join in the fun as Caleb (Canterbury) and his father, John, (Cage) attend a ceremony to open the capsule. Sure enough, Caleb gets Lucinda’s paper. Curious like his dad, he thinks the note is a code. John scolds him but later his eyes are drawn to a series of numbers: 0911012996. A quick computer check announces this is the date of the World Trade Center tragedy, with the 2996 indicating the number of people killed. Though other numbers don’t seem to make sense, John discovers clues to most of the major tragedies over the past 50 years, including the tragic hotel fire that claimed his wife. What intrigues John more is a series of numbers that seem to predict events that will happen in the near future. If you had this information, what would you do?

A decent thriller that asks the audience to suspend reality, “Knowing” was probably a great idea in the planning stage. However, as the plot becomes more and more muddled, what tension the film started with begins to become quiet calm, especially a final clue revealed towards the end of the film that I whispered to my seat mate twenty five minutes into the movie. Which is really disappointing because the talent involved is A list. Director Proyas has such films as “The Crow” and “Dark City” under his belt, as well as the Will Smith hit, “I, Robot.” His normal eye for wringing suspense out of a scene seems to have been covered with a patch here. With the exception of a few spectacular “disasters,” the action on screen is pretty tame, though the cast isn’t too blame. Cage is strong as John, a minister’s son who has lost his faith due to the tragic loss of his wife. He’s like Mel Gibson in “Signs,” only his visitors know how to open doors. Byrne, best known as Glenn Close's protégé’ on television's “Damages,” is equally strong as Lucinda's adult daughter, Diana, who now has a daughter of her own to protect. The problem here is the script, co-written by Ryne Douglas Pearson and Juliet Snowden. Pearson is the author of the novel “Simple Simon,” which was made into the film “Mercury Rising.” “Mercury Rising” told the story of a man protecting a child who CAN READ CODES, especially numbers. Sound familiar? Snowden is best known for writing “Boogeyman” and the scheduled remake of “Poltergeist.” I can only imagine the pitch for this film was “supernatural thriller.” However, glaring plot holes emerge with each “discovery.” When John mentions October 19th is one of the days tragedy is due, Diana replies “my mother always told me I’d die on October 19th.” Really? You’re thirty years old. Did you spend each October 19th hiding under the bed in terror? Too bad mom didn’t have the decency to give you the year. Instead of cowering in the dark you could have been celebrating birthdays with Virl Osmond, Robert Reed or John Edward, who would have at least let you talk to your dead mom and ask her when? I wish I had asked him if “Knowing” was worth seeing…I could have stayed home and watched “Idol.”

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give “Knowing” a very generous

This week's movie review of "Knowing" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2009, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova.