Knowing 4K Blu-ray Review
By Chris Heinonen on
Nicolas Cage (National Treasure) stars in this edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller as John Koestler, a professor who deciphers a coded message with terrifyingly accurate predictions about every major world disaster. Looking to protect his family and prevent future calamities, he enlists the reluctant help of Diana Wayland (Rose Byrne), daughter of the now-deceased author of the prophecies. His quest to understand the message and his own family’s involvement in them becomes a heart-pounding race against time as he faces the ultimate disaster.
It’s unfortunate that Nicolas Cage has somewhat turned into a parody of himself. When he wants to, he is a fantastic actor and capable of elevating any movie he is in. In Knowing, he does a good job of portraying a father who has recently lost his wife and the mother of his son. The story of Knowing progresses differently than I expected it to, but never fully grabbed me and made me anxious about what was going to happen next. It offers up a movie that did a good job of keeping me entertained with good performances all around, but not much more than that.
Knowing was shot on RED cameras at 4K resolution but finished with a 2K digital intermediate, as you’d expect for a film from 2009. The transfer also features Dolby Vision, which is the version we reviewed. The overall look of the film is not one that is trying to be punchy or in your face as all but instead is very reserved and muted in the palette. It actually takes a while for the impact of HDR to kick in, but when you have a plane crash or a flashlight in the darkness, then it makes a clear impact that benefits the image on-screen. The use of wide color is harder to make out with how reserved the palette is, and the addition of extra detail compared to the Blu-ray is mild at best. But given the look that the director seems to have been after (and it looks to match some of his prior films), and the way it was captured, this disc does a good job of presenting the film in the way they wanted.
The Atmos soundtrack is well done and uses all the channels in your sound system to provide a highly dynamic, engaging experience. From using Atmos to put the whispers in the opening scenes all around you, to taking advantage of the dynamics in an airplane crash, it does this all while keeping vocals easy to understand at all times. It isn’t reference class, but it is very good.
- Audio Commentary with Director Alex Proyas
- “Knowing All: The Making of a Futuristic Thriller” Featurette
- “Visions of the Apocalypse” Featurette
- “5 Things Worth Knowing About Knowing” Featurette
Sony A1E OLED, Sony UBP-X800 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, , KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver, SVS SB-4000 Subwoofer.
Good image with reserved but effective use of HDR, immersive Atmos soundtrack.
The story and acting are good, but it isn't a film I'm likely to watch again.
Knowing is a fine movie and story with good video and audio quality, but it isn't one that is likely to bring me back to watch it again.