H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Knowing [Blu-ray]

 

(Alex Proyas, 2009)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Summit Entertainment

Video: Summit Entertainment

 

Disc:

Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:01:29.282

Disc Size: 41,225,907,166 bytes

Feature Size: 33,912,950,784 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.46 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July 7th, 2009

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.4:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

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

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), French,  none

 

Extras:

• 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

 

Bitrate:

 

 

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.

 

 

The Film:

"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

 

 


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.
 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

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.

 

 

 

Extras :

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.

 

0

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I think this is a very good film although some may find it bites off a bit more than it can chew. It can be classified as science-fiction but relies a lot on some horror conventions - and they are done very well. Certainly this Blu-ray is filled with demonstration quality scenes - especially the destruction sequences with hypnotic video and floor-rumbling audio. This is a keeper and we give a strong recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

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 HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

Gary W. Tooze

 

HD-DVD STORE         HIGH DEFINITION DVD STORE

 

ALL OUR NEW FORMAT DVD REVIEWS

 

 





 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

Mail cheques, money orders, cash to:    or CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!