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Tue March 24, 2009
Numbers of wasted minutes
By John DeSando, WCBE's "It's Movie Time"
No special meaning attached to that number, just the number of minutes I wasted watching Knowing, knowing that Nicholas Cage will usually take any job that comes along in rarely a quality film (Adaptation  was the last good one, I believe). John Koestler (Cage), an astrophysicist from MIT, discovers meaning in a random list of numbers pulled from a fifty year old time capsule.
It doesn't take him long to figure out the numbers predict disasters since 1959; what he never figures out is what a disaster the film is, a compendium of sci-fi clich?s from creepy mute Aryans to a clueless MIT professor, who continues to put him and his motherless son in harm's way through stupidity hardly becoming an intellectual.
That Koestler lost his wife last year seems a staple now of the genre; that he meets an attractive single mom crucial to solving the mystery is another common element. That no meaningful thematic or character development issues color the bland here is painfully obvious after that grueling 122 minutes.
The last line of the film is, "This is not the end." I certainly hope it is; a sequel would leave the free ticket-holder preview audience as burned as the blazing sun in summer at the equator.
Let this be the end, please.
John DeSando teaches film at Franklin University and co-hosts WCBE 90.5's It's Movie Time and Cinema Classics shows, which can be heard streaming at http://publicbroadcasting.net/wcbe/ppr/index.shtml and on demand anytime at http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wcbe/arts.artsmain
Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.RR.com