So another work location means plenty of new cinemas to test-drive, right? Sweet. After spending the last couple of months checking out films I have anxiously been waiting to see I thought it would be fun to see something I hadn’t heard a great deal about, something I didn’t have circled in the diary, a film I haven’t even seen the trailer for – pretty crazy eh? Clearly I am a maverick who doesn’t play by the rules. OK, OK, truth be told I have heard a couple of things about ecological disaster mystery ‘Knowing‘ and whilst the reviews were hardly glowing I was intrigued by the apparent unconventional and unexpected final act to the picture which tickled my curiosity bone, I was also in the mood for some big bombastic American nonsense after wading through most of this superb but intellectually challenging documentary over last weekend. Hell, it’s just fun to see stuff getting blown up sometimes…
In an idyllic, Autumn hued Boston suburb a class of school kids including recently widowed John Koestler’s (Nick Cage) son Caleb excavate a fifty year old time-capsule which was buried by their fellow alumni back in 1959. One letter, conveniently selected by Caleb contains a sequence of seemingly random numbers which is interpreted by Koeslter as a secret code that tallys with the dates of many of of the globes most terrible disasters that have occurred during the intervening fifty years, a sequence that is further proved as accurate by corresponding with a duo of terrible accidents that Koeslter finds himself witnessing during his grief stricken investigations. As the code unravels a further, final cataclysmic prophecy emerges that signals the end of the world itself, can Professor Koestler prevent the possible Armageddon or has his grief clouded his intellectual judgement to embrace conspiracy theories?
This is a silly film. This is a very, very silly film with absurd plot faults that could be easily overlooked had the ‘Twilight Zone‘ clone plot not deteriorated into utterly predictable and convenient convulsions. Look, I like, in fact I love ‘The Twilight Zone‘ as much as the next man, this has been on a wish list of mine for quite a few years but a film like this which adheres to such predictable developments can be a real chore, even the trumpeted the final revelation is utterly predictable. ‘Knowing’ is yet another one of those post millennium anxiety films which seem to search for meaning in a anarchic and uncertain world, finding answers in conspiracy theory influenced doctrine which I loathe. I’m not a squeamish sort, I think we’ve established that during some recent posts but I frankly found the presentation of the terrible accidents as almost pornographic in their delivery, the loud cacophony of a plane crash and resulting presentation of gasoline engulfed victims screaming at the screen and a truly revolting subway crash rendering hapless commuters into fine red mists was pretty hard to stomach. To be fair the final few scenes are impressively presented and the kid isn’t as irritating as they usually are in these movies but these elements cannot salvage this uninspired mess. Lesson learned? Maybe, I wanted to see this which I may try to catch tomorrow but it’s only playing in Leicester Square on I’m sure the smallest screen for £15 a pop, perhaps a visit to some of the finer torrent sites is in order….
Anyway yeah, yeah I know – a Nicholas Cage movie, I need my head examined right? Well, while I’ll admit that the man has been in absolute, unmitigated drivel over the past five years or so he has managed to deliver the odd brilliant performance during his career, I’m particularly fond of his Oscar winning performance in ‘Leaving Las Vegas‘ for example and he was ideally cast and superb in ‘Adaptation‘, I’ll also remind readers of his engaging turns in both this and this, maybe he has got another great couple of film in him, maybe not. Director Alex Proyas was once a name to watch with his early movies ‘The Crow‘ (although that film never worked for me but I’ll concur that it struck a chord with a certain breed of viewer) and the Ebert championed epileptic ‘Dark City‘, it’s a shame he’s forged such a pedestrian career after such intriguing and promising early efforts. In any case, this is a wonderful opportunity to present the best moments of ‘The Wicker Man‘ remake, one of the finest worst films of recent history, at least that managed to be entertainingly bad.
Speaking of foolish things to do I swung through the City on the way home to get a feel for this weeks protest proceedings, wearing a suit and tie and everything. It was of course quite subdued by the time I got there, Bank had been completely sealed off so I got off at Moorgate and walked around the perimeter of the Police cordon and up to Tower Bridge to pick up the DLR home. I was a bit surprised to see some scuffles still occurring on the news when I got home, I saw nothing but wary commuters wandering the backstreets, seeking alternative routes home – but there was an unusual atmosphere in the air. Had I not secured a new assignment then I would have popped along , I was proud to have attended the Iraq War march back in 2003 (for all the good that popular uprising did eh?) and without boring you with my political views (although this makes me seethe) I support the protest movement 100%. In this glorious 21st century it’s charming to know I could have actually been arrested for taking the photos of the police above yet they are empowered to not only stop people from leaving areas with physical force but insist on releasing attendees only once they had agreed to be photographed and identified or they would be thrown back into the controlled area. There’s something very, very wrong there. Anyway, I’m experimenting with Twitter (you can follow me as ‘Mintyblonde‘ cool kids) at the moment hence the new sidebar on the blog, I’ll try to put up some haiku style reviews of what I’m watching but I suspect I’ll get bored of it very soon and suspend the endeavour, we shall see. As per my first ‘tweets’ I’m afraid ‘My Name is Bruce‘ was another terrible movie, again I wasn’t expecting ‘Citizen Kane’ or anything but there’s not even one single solitary gag in the damn thing, the hour long making of documentary was fairly entertaining so not a total loss.