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Movie Night! “Knowing” (repost)

Published September 24, 2011 - 0 Comments
[Originally posted Apr 17, 2009]


My friend and I went to a movie on Tuesday night.  I know… I’m still in shock too.  Not that I have friends, but that we actually went out to a movie.  With all the latest technology at our finger tips, it’s amazing that anyone goes to a movie theatre anymore.  I was broke, so he offered to pay.  That pretty much sealed the deal at that point.  He wanted to see the new Nicholas Cage movie, Knowing.  Sounded OK to me.  I remember seeing an ad on TV for it.  I thought that I had a pretty good grasp of the plot. Good ole Nick somehow has the ability to forecast disasters, and spends the next 2 hours trying to figure out a way to prevent them from happening. Simple enough.

Our adventure started with purchasing the tickets and concessions through the advanced machine at the door.

“What do you want to eat?” my friend asked me.

“It’s up to you.  You’re paying.  But I haven’t eaten today, so no pressure…”   Oh yeah.. I was gonna milk this for all it was worth.  Which turned out to be about $20 each.  Remind me again why people still flock to movie theatres?

Then we stood in what might have been considered some form of line, to receive our popcorn.  It was more of a blob of people.  And even though the ratio of people standing behind the counter was almost 1:1 with the people standing on my side of the counter, Empire Theatres excels at providing some of the worst customer service ever. I have never seen such a slow, lethargic gathering of workers.  I think that it’s probably because Empire Theatres does not employ adults.  Anywhere.  I’m sure that their board of directors is run by 15-17 year olds.  It’s pretty sad when McDonalds has a better work ethic behind the counter than this place.  And it’s always like that.  It’s just a bunch of teenagers running their own show, and it’s frustrating as hell.  Look around sometime.  I dare you to find someone wearing any sort of company insignia over the age of 20.

So we waited, somewhat impatiently, to make our selection.  Popcorn.  Coke.  Oh… our choice of these 4 chocolate bars?  But what if I don’t want a Kit Katt bar?  Why can’t I get one of these?  No?  Only from this selection?  But these are the same price in the stores.  Fine.  I’ll take a Kit Katt.  Go back to your skate park.

Then we sauntered off to find our theatre.  Hannah Montana Movie?  Man-Date (ironic, all things considered)?  Ahh.. there we are…  Knowing!

We were the second “couple” to sit down.  I’m sure that the other couple was disappointed that they weren’t going to have the theatre to themselves. I joked that we should go and sit directly in front of them.  That’ll piss them off.  I know, because it’s happened to me.  Who decides to sit directly beside someone they don’t know when there are plenty of other free seats available?  Apparently the guy who ruined my last movie experience.  But that’s another story.

We discovered something interesting while waiting for the previews to start.  Apparently the pre-previews play from a DVD player!  When there was a pause in those stupid “Did you know…?”  and “Quick Facts”  the DVD screensaver kicked in.  We watched a ball bounce randomly around the screen for 10 mins.  It was somewhat pathetic.

Then the movie started?  Hahah… no.. then the commercials started.   Zoom! Zoom!  Mazda3.   Professional Driver.  Closed Course.  Do Not Attempt This at Home. Like driving through the countryside is that much of a big deal.  THEN the previews started.  Saw the one for the new Star Trek movie.  Looks good.  I’m not completely sold yet on the new Kirk, but the guy who plays Spock LOOKS like Spock.  I’m crossing my fingers.

And then the movie started…  (18 mins of commercials and previews, according to my friend)

I won’t go into the whole thing.  Needless to say.. it was not quite the movie that I thought it was going to be.  There were parts in it that were a little too spooky for me.  Aliens talking to kids in the middle of the night.  A few jumpy parts.  And then there were the disasters.  The people who did this movie put a lot of thought into the disasters.  Maybe too much thought.  The first was a plane crash.  Good ole Nick is standing on a road when suddenly a large passenger plane comes out of nowhere (there’s a bad storm) and crashes in a field close to him.  I turned to my friend said “That was neat!  I’d like to see that again!”   It looked very real.  Unfortunately the scene carried on with people burning to death in jet fuel.  And THAT looked a little too real.  I was quite uncomfortable with how real it looked and sounded.  Not a pleasant scene.

That was the first of 3 disasters that Nick’s character would try to prevent.  We knew that he couldn’t stop them all.  That would make for a boring movie.  Then onto the next one.  It was a subway crash.  I didn’t think that the crash component was as well done as the plane, but it was still effective.  People got ground to mush under the wreckage but at least it was quick and painless this time.

The final disaster was actually the end of the world.  Throughout the movie people had been complaining that the weather was quite hot.  Well, it appears that a large super solar flare was coming from the sun (where else would a solar flare come from?) and would hit the earth and probably wipe everyone from the planet’s surface.  Even moving underground would prove ineffective, as the radiation would penetrate the surface and you’d fry there too.  Great.  Well, that’s ok.. Nicholas Cage is on the case.  We’re going to be saved, right?  Hell no!  The movie ends with him reuniting with his father who he had not talked to since his wife died… and the solar flare hitting the earth and burning everything and everyone…  great cities erupted into flames and then dust.. people vaporized…    it was like formatting your hard drive..  all gone.

Thankfully, the reason the aliens had been talking to the children was that they were choosing a few to save, so that Earth could be repopulated when the time was right.  That meant that Nick’s son was one of the chosen few.  After the earth is wiped clean, the final scene of the movie is the little boy running through a field with his little girl friend toward what looks like a Tree of Life…

The movie ended.  The lights came on.  People began to filter out.  My friend and I sat there and read through all the credits.

“Well, that was depressing”


I’m not letting him pick out movies any more.  The last one we saw was Zach and Miri Make a Porno, which I picked (surprise surprise)… easily one of the greatest movies ever to grace the big screen.  Should have been nominated for an Oscar.

OK, maybe not.. but at least we didn’t feel deep despair when we left the theatre!