Knowing – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Knowing - Blu-ray Cover Art

Knowing isn’t necessarily what you call a “feel-good” film. There’s no hero that’ll come around and save us this time. As a result, this isn’t the best film to watch to cheer you up. Then again, this isn’t the best film to watch, period. On paper, Knowing has an interesting concept.

A mystery thriller where each clue is more interesting than the next. The sad part is that the execution isn’t as good as the concept. For one thing, the film is unsure of itself tonally. There are several instances where mysterious beings appear throughout the film. However, the payoff reveals for these beings are so outlandish that it’ll take you out of the grounded feel of the film.

On the other hand, the riddle of the mysterious numbers is gripping enough to capture your attention throughout. The journey to find the history and meaning behind the numbers is, in a way, very reminiscent of National Treasure. Sure, you won’t learn anything like in National Treasure, but you’ll definitely be hooked.

However, the biggest downfall for Knowing is Nicolas Cage. He tones down his usual hammy performance but fails to find a way to breathe life into his character. That is to say, he’s dull and boring through most of the film. Needless to say, that’s not a good thing to say about your lead actor.

Sadly, the same can be said about Rose Byrne too. Byrne seemingly just phones it in throughout her short time on screen. Although this could be due to a lack of stuff for her to do. Her character is integral to the story and yet she is completely useless in the film. Thus, Byrne’s lackluster performance could be due to the lackluster material.

Easily the best performance from the film comes from Ben Mendelsohn. Not only does Mendelsohn look like he’s trying in the film but he’s easily the most likable character. Not bad for someone who doesn’t have a lot of screen time in the film.

Overall, Knowing is an interesting concept that ended up as a generic thriller. There are some thrilling and interesting moments in the film. Yet none of these positives outweigh the big negatives of the film.

Movie Rating: 2.5/5 atoms

Knowing - Nicolas Cage

Knowing hits 4K Ultra HD with a Dolby Vision/HDR10 4K transfer and a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. This may be the first time I’ve encountered where the HDR might be a detriment to the video presentation. The primary reason is that the black levels get crushed. The shadow detail gets lost because of the darkened scenes. Thankfully, the whites don’t bloom but the brightness and contrast look better on the Blu-ray. The colors are significantly better on the Ultra HD Blu-ray though. The film is saturated nicely and the flesh tones are natural looking. The details are so clear here too. Overall, this is a pretty decent video presentation.

Video Rating: 4/5 atoms

Knowing - Nicolas Cage

Knowing hits 4K Ultra HD with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD track. The review will reflect Knowing‘s core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD track. The audio presentation is really good here and really LOUD. The nuanced sound effects provide a lot of atmospheric effects throughout the soundstage. These effects pan through the soundstage seamlessly. Not to mention, the sound effects rumbles through the subwoofer which provides a hefty presence during intense action sequences. So keep in mind to not piss off your downstairs neighbor. Thankfully, you can still hear the dialogue through these loud scenes. The audio is a great presentation overall.

Audio Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Special Features
Knowing - Rose Byrne and Nicolas Cage

Knowing‘s 4K Ultra HD disc has the following special features on the release:

  • Knowing All: The Making of a Futuristic Thriller
  • Visions of the Apocalypse
  • Knowing: Five Things Worth Knowing

With the exception of “The Five Things Worth Knowing,” the rest of the special features are holdovers from the original Blu-ray release. Visions of the Apocalypse” is easily the most interesting special feature on this release. “Visions” deals with the many historical mythologies behind the apocalypse. It’s intriguing to see how other cultures portray the concept of the apocalypse. “Knowing All” is your typical talking heads featurette which isn’t noteworthy at all. The newest special feature isn’t that interesting either. It just lists a few random tidbits from the film in a very Buzzfeed-like way.

Special Features Rating: 3/5 atoms

Overall, Knowing is a decent sci-fi thriller that could’ve been a great one. Sure, there are positives to the film but the negatives heavily outweigh those positives. The video presentation is good but it’s a little subpar for an Ultra HD Blu-ray release. The audio presentation, however, is amazing. The special features are a bit generic but “Visions of the Apocalypse” makes up for it.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Lionsgate Home Entertainment

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