|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
(Alex Proyas, 2009)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Summit Entertainment
Video: Summit Entertainment
Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 41,225,907,166 bytes
Feature Size: 33,912,950,784 bytes
Video Bitrate: 30.46 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: July 7th, 2009
Aspect ratio: 2.4:1
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3793 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3793 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
English (SDH), French, none
• Audio Commentary by Director Alex Proyas
• 'Knowing' All: The Making of a Futuristic Thriller (12:35 in HD!)
• Visions of the Apocalypse (17:15 in HD!)
• BD-LIVE capable
Description: A single father and chairman of his town's historical society is summoned when a time capsule buried behind an elementary school in 1958 is prematurely unearthed because of a water-main break. The man, whose son attends the school, sifts through the contents and finds drawings of what 1958 tykes predicted the modern world would be like. It's all flying cars and fantasy stuff, with the exception of one chilling entry. One child predicted some of the most horrible events in recent history, and there's one that hasn't yet occurred, which the man attempts to prevent.
"Knowing" is among the best science-fiction films I've seen -- frightening, suspenseful, intelligent and, when it needs to be, rather awesome. In its very different way, it is comparable to the great "Dark City," by the same director, Alex Proyas. That film was about the hidden nature of the world men think they inhabit, and so is this one.
The plot involves the most fundamental of all philosophical debates: Is the universe deterministic or random? Is everything in some way preordained or does it happen by chance? If that questions sounds too abstract, wait until you see this film, which poses it in stark terms: What if we could know in advance when the Earth will end?Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE
Knowing looks extremely impressive on Blu-ray. Credit for the exceptional appearance should also go to the cinematography and realistic special effects. The image show incredible detail with many instances of strong depth. The feature takes up almost 34 Gig on the dual-layered disc with a video bitrate over 30 Mbps. Colors seem true with a pastel leaning and contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels. The effects can be mesmerizing and this Blu-ray really has no flaws that I could identify. It's not glossy and the image supports a very fine, subtle texture. It wouldn't surprise me that this Blu-ray probably looks just like the film Knowing and I'll wager that it handily advances far beyond the simultaneous DVD edition.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD Master 5.1 audio at 3793 kbps is as strong as the image - and that is saying a handful. Bass response in some of the more destructive-laden scenes is window-rattling. I actually found it a shade overly aggressive a it tended to advance beyond the normal range of dialogue volumes. Explosions sounded as if they were tearing my speakers apart. The infrequent music as well in Knowing, like Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, was so clean and crisp it generates a warm encompassing mood distant from the film. This audio mix is quite exceptional - one of the most advanced that I've heard in a long while. There are optional English and Spanish subtitles and my Momitsu tells me this disc is Region 'A'-locked.
Supplements include a decent audio commentary by director Alex Proyas. He covers a lot of production ground and we can easily accept the enormity of such a project with all the minute details that are exposed. He paces it well and has a lot to say - it's certainly worth listening to. There are 2 HD featurettes. 'Knowing' All: The Making of a Futuristic Thriller runs 12.5 minutes and is standard fare with input from the filmmakers while the 17-minute Visions of the Apocalypse has a few high-brows contemplating some 'end-of-world' prophecies - it's quite interesting and educational. I enjoyed it. The disc is also BD-LIVE capable.
June 25th, 2009
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be
it, but film will always be my first love and I list my
favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible
Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Gary W. Tooze