KNOWING:

The best thing about a mediocre movie where the world ends is that there won’t be a sequel. That’s precious little comfort for anyone who has to sit through this pretentious, unintentionally funny work about an agnostic MIT professor (Nicolas Cage) who discovers a mysterious sequence of numbers that accurately predicts dates of man-made and natural disasters. It’s the sort of premise that appeals to fanatical numerologists and religious fundamentalists nourished on THE LATE, GREAT PLANET EARTH or the LEFT BEHIND books, who are convinced that every global conflict is a sign of the end times. As a movie, though, the only thing distinctive about KNOWING is some nifty visual effects from Eric Durst and Andrew Jackson, depicting an airplane crash and a catastrophic subway derailment whose impact is diminished since both scenes were prominently featured in the pre-release trailers. That wasn’t the case with the utterly goofy subplot about some creepy “whisper people” who turn out to be semi-angelic figures (Men with wings, you say?) who ultimately transport a pair of children (Chandler Canterbury, Lara Peterson) and their rabbits (???) heavenward in a rapture-like effect that resembles an alien abduction. Ridiculous as this was to me, I know that there are those who will be taken in by the determinism vs. randomness debate and the underlying “spiritual” tone of the movie. To them I can only say that you’ve been played for a sucker because you don’t know your Bible like you think you do. I’m no theological expect either, but I do remember that part about the apocalypse arriving “like a thief in the night” and from that I get the impression that God isn’t giving out any clues. There, I said it!

EXCELLENT MOVIES TO WATCH DURING THE EASTER WEEKEND/PASSOVER: BARABBAS (1961), BEN-HUR (1959), EASTER PARADE (1948), THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW (1966), JESUS OF MONTREAL (1989), KING OF KINGS (1961), THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST (2004), THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956)