Knowing appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Expect a top-notch transfer here.
At all times, sharpness remained excellent. Not a smidgen of softness reared its ugly head through this tight, precise presentation. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering appeared, and edge enhancement was absent. The movie also lacked any source flaws.
In terms of palette, Knowing tended to go with the chilly side of natural. Colors usually appeared reasonably accurate, though they were a little desaturated. Within the movie’s stylistic confines, the tones looked quite good. Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows showed fairly solid delineation. A few shots seemed slightly dense, but overall, those elements displayed nice definition. This was a consistently excellent image.
Knowing also gave us a fine DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. While pretty subdued most of the time, the mix of disaster sequences added real impact. Various crashes and explosions kicked into high gear and offered demo-quality material. The different elements filled out the room well and created accurate, powerful audio. Music also showed good stereo imaging, and during quieter moments, the movie still showed nice breadth.
Audio quality was always strong. Speech sounded concise and distinctive, without edginess or other issues. Music seemed lively and dynamic, and effects offered similar qualities. Those elements were powerful and dynamic; bass response was terrific and packed a strong punch. Even without a consistently high level of auditory involvement, this track had enough strengths to deserve an “A-“.
As we head to the disc’s extras, we open with an audio commentary from director Alex Proyas. Accompanied by a facilitator identified only as “Mark”, Proyas offers a running, screen-specific look at story and characters, themes, tone and interpretation, cast and performances, stunts and effects, production design, and a few other areas.
If you want a lot of nuts and bolts filmmaking details, you’ll probably not be particularly happy with this track. However, if you want an introspective, thoughtful take on the movie, the commentary works well. Proyas’ insights add a lot to our understanding of the tale and its various elements. We do get some movie-making basics as well, so Proyas doesn’t totally ignore that side of things. He makes this an engaging and enjoyable chat.
Next we find two featurettes. Knowing All: The Making of a Futuristic Thriller goes for 12 minutes, 35 seconds as it includes notes from Proyas, producer Jason Blumenthal, executive producers Stephen Jones and Topher Dow, hair and makeup designer Lesley Vanderwalt, production designer Steven Jones-Evans, senior visual effects producer Camille Cellucci, visual effects supervisor Andrew Jackson, and actors Rose Byrne, Chandler Canterbury, and Lara Robinson. “Futuristic” looks at the script and story, Proyas’ approach to the material, cast and performances, stunts and various effects, shooting in Australia, and the movie’s themes.
While not a terrific piece, “Futuristic” at least surpasses the standard promotional program. We learn a reasonable amount about the flick’s creation and the show moves at a good clip. Nothing here really excels, but the piece fares well most of the time.
Visions of the Apocalypse runs 17 minutes, 15 seconds and features Arguing the Apocalypse author Stephen O’Leary, clinical psychologist Selina Matthews, Cal State Northridge professor of anthropology Sabina Magliocco, Loyola Marymount assistant professor of theological studies David A. Sanchez, UCLA Center for the Study of Religion’s Jean Rosenfeld, Chapman University Associate Professor of Sociology Paul Apodaca, USC Department of Physics and Astronomy professor/chair Werner Dappen, and UCLA Professor of Physics and Astronomy Mark R. Morris. “Visions” looks at various cultural thoughts about the end of the world as well as some of the science in Knowing. “Visions” creates a superficial overview, of course, but it proves to be both informative and entertaining as it fleshes out our understanding of apocalyptic concepts.
A few ads open the disc. We get clips for Push, Astro Boy, and The Brothers Bloom. No trailer for Knowing appears here.
Knowing takes a compelling plot and delivers decent entertainment. It falters more than a few times – especially when it goes over the top in terms of violence – but it offers enough intrigue to keep us involved across its two hours. The Blu-ray offers excellent picture quality as well as often terrific audio and a fairly good collection of extras. I can’t say that Knowing ever becomes a true winner, but it gives us enough kick to earn my moderate recommendation.