Rant: Is Summit Screwing Over Alex Proyas' Knowing?

March 10, 2009


Let me preface this by saying that the last time I wrote an article about something like this (Fox and Taken), I ending up being wrong, so this could all just be another erroneous prediction, but it's on my mind, so why not write about it. Dark City director Alex Proyas' next film Knowing opens in theaters on March 20th, in just a few more weeks. The only problem is that the buzz it currently has is all negative. And I think it's going to kill it because Summit isn't doing anything about it. On one hand, they're trying to keep the ending a secret and prevent negative reviews from hitting, but on the other, they're not giving it a chance.

A few hours ago, a story hit the front page of Digg titled "I fixed your movie for you, Mr. Cage." The photo it links to shows the poster for Knowing with the title at the bottom changed to "Annual Terrible Movie." What I'm wondering is why Knowing is getting this kind of unsubstantiated hatred before even hitting theaters. I know that it's spring, and we usually only get one good movie during this time anyway (which was already Watchmen). And I also know that Nic Cage has been staring in nothing but pure crap recently, but come on, really?! Out of all the movies opening in March, is Knowing really the worst one we'll see?

I'd like to be able to tell you right now, right here, that I've seen Knowing and that it's actually really good. But I can't. I'm not here to complain about how I should have been invited to a screening because I'm a critic and so on, I'm complaining about Summit's decisions to control who and when they show Knowing to. In fact, they haven't even really had a screening yet, so I can't legitimately complain about not being invited. Well, technically they had their press junket in New York City last weekend, but even that was a fairly quiet event. I feel like keeping Knowing hidden from press is just hurting them more than helping.

This actually happens in Hollywood a lot. The same thing happened with Watchmen, except vice versa, where critics in New York weren't shown the movie at the same time as those in Los Angeles. I don't think that really hurt Watchmen in the end and here's the key reason why. They showed it, in advance, to all of the fanboys and all of the people who they knew were strong supporters. Sure, a few of them walked out disappointed, but most of them walked out quite amazed. And thus, some early positive buzz started to build, all because Warner Brothers trusted the Watchmen fanboys and supporters of Zack Snyder.

Summit, however, does not trust anyone. To make things more confusing, Ain't It Cool News ran a review from a reader who has seen Knowing (in New York, I presume) who said that it "way exceeded my expectations." He goes on to say that it borders on being a "brilliant thriller" and is "an intense experience." Now I'm wondering if Knowing is actually a damn good movie and Summit is just afraid to show it and therefore it's getting more negative buzz the longer they wait. Why don't they just show it to us and get it over with? If it's as good as some are saying, then let us see it, because I might end up liking it!

Of course, I could be completely wrong, and Knowing could be a big pile of Nic Cage crap. But I don't know if that's the case or not. And if I keep believing all of what I'm hearing and seeing, like that poster on Digg, then it's not even going to have a chance to be appreciated. Director Alex Proyas has his supporters. He has a cult following due to The Crow and Dark City. And although not everyone liked I, Robot that much, he still hasn't made a terrible movie. I've got faith in him, and I want to see Knowing because I have hope that it could be great. But until Summit shows it to us, it's just going to keep getting trashed by audiences.

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  • Tom
    Summit isn't screwing it over, Nic Cage is.
  • I automatically don't want to see a movie and have to be talked into it if Nicolas Cage is in it. You've convinced me pretty well on Kickass, but I don't think I'm sold on this at all, seeing the trailer and such. In fact, I just rewatched it. Nic Cage really is the only really big thing wrong with it. His lines are boring and uninteresting as is his acting style and the only reason they picked him is cause he played the dude who figured shit out in National Treasure and now gets to figure shit out again. The Nic Cage acting experience: *look of bewilderment* *emphatic nod or gesturing in realizing quest for knowledge* *angry at bad guys* *hugs for the good guys* Yea, to be honest, it's a decent sci-fi premise, though I think it'll probably be predictable (steal the ending for Wanted, bad guys help move the predictions along hmm?), though not the best. CG looks mediocre. Like, it's bright and flashy, but clearly all CG and doesn't look like real destruction at all (plane wreck, city burning, stones floating). These things are smaller, though, and lots of films and trailers fall victim to the same shit, so I'm putting the entire hate for this film on Cage. He needs to stop trying for lead roles, and just give some complimentary acting since everyone's tired of watching him be the same, boring truth-seeker he's been for his past how many movies. BTW Proyas is posting on /Film, you could prob ask them over there wtf is going on with the film.
  • Dan
    I will say that the image above scares the crap out of me.
  • Nick
    So you're pimping a movie you haven't seen, and one that looks absolutely terrible at that? Dark City was a LONG time ago. I, Robot is a not a good movie. Add Nic Cage and you have instant garbage. I'm still waiting for the "good movie of the Spring" because Watchmen was a truly awful movie.
  • ?????
    I have been waiting for this movie ever since I first saw the trailers. I will be seeing this movie.
  • SAif
    Fix Nic cage's hair please!!!!
  • Adrian
    I'm not going nuts for this but I'll probably go see it. Nic Cage has enough good will from me to get me to go. He's done enough substantial work to merit a few stinkers, but he isn't just making bad movies. He's done The Weather Man and Lord of War very recently and they were good. Everyone's allowed a few bad films, I can see him pulling a Travolta in a few years and coming back in a big way.
  • whowouldnt?
    If i see a trailer to a movie and it peaks my interest even the slightest i'll go watch it. I personally never let any negative opinions affect my attitude towards seeing a movie, everyone has their own opinion and to be honest i think most are over critical, as if they themselves could write and direct and better one. Nic Cage has had some questionable choices for movies but that doesnt mean he is a bad actor it means he's made poor choices cuz i remember such work as face/off, the rock, lord of war andf some others i think he did exceptional in. Basically marketing and press wont decide for me to spend my $10~ actually i try to stay away from too much exposure because i hate when i go to see a movie and feel like i pretty much saw the whole thing from commercials alone..
  • Dan W
    They don't want to reveal that it is actually a prequel to Bangkok Dangerous
  • dom
    Yes Nic Cage has definitely seen better days and needs some great script that has been purposely taylored for him if he wants any kinda come back... that said the film does look like fun, a dvd rental kinda fun. Distributors and producers can be so stupid sometimes... like when they hold back the release of a movie in one territory only to see it go online before it even hits theatres. Smart move!!
  • SlashBeast
    Quick Nic Cage, save the world from math!
  • Most of these comments have confirmed that Knowing is doomed unless Summit does something about, which they're not... Everyone thinks Nic Cage sucks and the only way to change that notion is if they show it, people start to like it, and critics say that Cage has finally delivered another good film... Goodness!
  • Darrin
    imagine if 12 rounds was the march hit movie. that would be weird
  • Tim "CLoverfield"
    There is no way the Worst "Actor" in the World can save ANYTHING. Alex we don't think Nic Cage sucks, WE KNOW HE DOES!
  • triangleofhorror
    I cringe everytime the trailer for this film comes on at the Cinerma, or TV. As Cage is one of the 3 of the "Triangle of Horror" . THis may have had a chance if the casting did not include this awful, horrible hack that is Cage. Oh, the Horror!
  • Even though i love the Cageman sooo much. This will never be worth 10 dollars. Because it does look terrible. Frankly what did it was the clip they showed on Fallon.
  • curiouscaseofredbuttons
    I will never, for the life of me understand your affection for the Worst Actor in the History of the Cinema Buttons. Never ever ever ever!
  • Timothy
    I remain cautiously optimistic. So yeah, it looks like Summit is dooming this (or maybe not, as it very well may be bad) but I'm still interested.
  • Im a Cage fan and will see the film. chuck
  • Just one more point, the CGI does look a bit cheesy in the trailers but I love the premise. chuck
  • I don't think Nic Cage sucks. One of my favorite movies is The Rock. Michael Bay, and Nic Cage, at their finest! "How in Zeus's BUTTHOLE did you get out of your cell!"
  • Stylist Mick
    Smells like warmed over garbage. The trailers stink. The poster is boring. Proyas hasn't done anything worth promoting since Dark City. Go back to super indie and forget the big budget action films because the man can't deliver them.
  • Spider
    I believe this flick will be good. YES, the image posted above is pretty intense. I'm not about to rag on Cage, he's still good (this will bring the sh*t storm).I have the utmost faith in Proyas. Summit in no way, shape, or form will take a page from Fox's marketing book and screw it up. I say we all need to have a little faith! :)
  • midnightlight
    I actually have a little bit of a soft spot for nic cage and many of his movies are "guilty" pleasures of mine. Everyone has a dud now and then, so just let it be. I love the premise of this movie though
  • Shige
    Do not understand how anyone who has seen Vampire's Kiss, Raising Arizona, Wild at Heart, Moonstruck etc can come in here and claim Cage is a bad actor. Seems this site is populated by 12 year old who cant see past The Rock. If this movie fails its because it is a bad movie not because of Cages acting.
  • Bry from Chi
    I'm still going to see it. I will give it a try...even though I tried Next and Bangkok Dangerous and both were awful. I'll still try. I loved The Rock and Face Off...so I just keep holding out hope. But it will definitely be during the matinee. :) But I"m going to try it.
  • Joe Bauers
    The only Cage movie that I would give him kudos for since Raising Arizona is probably 8MM; the film wasn't great but he was good in it. The Rock, Face Off, Ghost Rider, etc... were all pretty shitty. To the guys who liked the Rock and Face Off I recommend watching those films again as an adult, they sucked. Alex Proyas' Dark City was an awesome movie and if any of you guys haven't seen it I highly, highly recommend it. That movie was sci-fi to the core and even if sci-fi isn't your thing, you can watch it to see Jennifer Connelly's humongous tits (she is clothed, but they are larger than normal lol) back when she had decent weight on her. ANYWAYS.... his I, Robot movie was jacked up by FOX and really, how serious of a movie do you think they were gonna make with Will Smith at the helm. Smith needs to be quartered as a result of his acting.
  • Blue Silver
    "The Rock" still kicks ass! I saw "Face/Off" just last week. John Woo is the man. Both films, although not Oscar material, are kick ass. I've seen them as a kid and as an adult they freakin ROCK!!!Many, many others will agree. Nic Cage is a damn good actor. Check out "Leaving Las Vegas", "Adaptation", "8MM", "Wild at Heart"(remember that one???). The former 2 were summer popcorn films. I, too think that Alex Proyas is a great director. He and Cage have pulled off something special, I'm sure. Lighten up man!
  • SS
    Alex, I sympathize with you. I've seen many features of Knowing, and while the movie seems maybe a bit too inspired by Roland Emmerich films, and Nick Cage continues to fire out his patented "IntenseFace", Knowing does in fact look like a well-structured, well-made movie. Perhaps what is just happening is a case of a few people venting some of their hatred at Nick Cage (not unlike what some very few fans did against Casino Royale). Ultimately throwing stuff on the web makes it all seem bigger than it is. To wit, we don't know what Summit plans to do. But this movie has far better potential than Twilight, perhaps they are hoping Word of Mouth will win in the end. If the movie is good. The Audience will go see it. :)
  • Salber on Cinema
    I'm so glad most of the people on this feedback page know so much about how to act on film. I don't see your winey asses in a major motion picture. It couldn't be any worse then that piece of crap "WATCHMEN" movie. I will be looking forward to finding out the secret ending on my own when i see "KNOWING" when it opens in theatres on March 20th. Hey, by the way Clint eastwood gets killed at the end of GRAN TURINO. there. you feel better "KNOWING" the ending of a movie before you see it. sorry to those who haven't seen GRAN TURINO yet. it really was a well made film.
  • Jamie
    #4. You say that i, Robot was not a good movie. I will agree as I think it was a great movie. Will Smith has starred in some stinkers (Hancock, I Am Legend, Men In Black II, Wild Wild West) but i, Robot was a real cool film. It had great suspence and action and Will Smith was actually very convincing in the real of Spooner. Alex Proyas has made three great films (The Crow, Dark City, & i, Robot) and I am sure that "Knowing" will join thiose three.
  • TIm "Cloverfield"
    Alas Andy, you seem to forget that when a GREAT Actor has been paired with sub-par talent, then you remember how the GREAT Actor takes over the frame and the sub-par talent is included and is at best....forgettable. Then you realize by the credits the sub-par "actor" was actually in the film. View THE ROCK again and you will understand. Sir Sean kicks Acting Ass while Cage is a drowl and sad excuse for the craft.
  • dokushin
    Nicolas Cage was great in Lord of War, one of my favourite films. I also liked him in "The Weatherman". Sure he has done also some pretty bad movies, but he's not the only actor who did that. About Knowing: A German movie site already reviewed the film (filmstarts.de): http://www.filmstarts.de/kritiken/98886-Knowing.html In their opinion the film needs quite a long time (too long?) to get really going, and has its strongest part therefore in the last third. (With an intense atmosphere and scenes which take on quite a dramatic, apocalyptic scale.) The personal enjoyment here seems to depend (i.t.o.) strongly on the acceptance of the (failed?) solution at the end. (Also, the specific usage of religulous symbols in the film could also create discussions.) The CGI effects do not really seem to be the best. Overall, they give the film 4 out of 10 points Not really that much - well let's see what other reviews will say about the film. (But filmstarts.de is usually not a bad choice for reviews.) (If you find an error: English is not my first language, but I'll try my best...)
  • D-9
    For the Record: Cage was AWFUL in LOW. I guess I will give him Valley Girl.
  • Fisherr
    I agree with Alex that Summit by doing that they are screwing up the movie for the rest of the audience Nic Cage is not of a bad actor although his last couple of movies weren't that good but still he is an amazing actor as well there is still yet to come and we will be seeing him in Kick Ass based on the comic book. Summit should start doing something about the move i believe the movie wont suck it's just an intuition maybe i am just wrong and the movie might go wrong...8 days for release actaully 7 days one week,Next Friday.
  • Anyone besides Sean Boy will look like crap. Everyone and anyone.
  • dokushin
    For the record, not everyone has your opinion D-9... I'd still like to see Leaving Las Vegas or Adaption. And yes, it's surely not an easy task looking good besides Sean Connery... 😉
  • Salber on Cinema
    for your information the movie is called "adapTAtion" not "adaption"
  • dokushin
    Ah yes you are right of course, I had the wrong title in my mind. Thanks for the information.
  • dokushin
    I just see we were both right, because I referred in my statement to the German title of it...
  • JJ
    I am neither a Cage fan or a Cage hater. I'm sort of indifferent to him. So I am like totally unbiased on this. (And I didn't even know who Proyas was before hearing about this movie) From the time I read the premise to the time I saw the trailer, I was psyched to see the movie. It looks like a great movie. I doubt Nic Cage is killing the movie. If anything, lack of press is. I mean I've seen like 4 TV spots period. Wow, that's pushing a movie!(sarcasm) So I am giving it a chance. I am not judging it based on it staring Nic Cage or being done by Proyas. I am judging it based on what I see when I go to see it next weekend. Right now, it's the only movie on my must-see list. I rarely am psyched to see a movie in the theaters. I'm very hard to impress. So far, Knowing has impressed me.
  • dokushin
    Wow, critcs really have different opinions on this film. While Roger Ebert now gives it 4 stars (or 100 percent), other first critcs range from 15 to 80 percent. Now I'm curious how the film will gonna look like - hope to see it in the next days.
  • dokushin
    (Meant 'critics' of course, not critcs...)
  • Mike
    Knowing was fantastic, anyone who disagrees either didn't understand it, or has no soul.




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