The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Knowledge: The Key to the Story


Cover of "Knowing [Blu-ray]"
Cover of Knowing [Blu-ray]

The films that I'll be listing in my April postings will not necessarily be films that I'd call my favorite films, but they will be favorites in the genres I'll be naming.   The A to Z genres are very specific micro genres as opposed to the broader genres like action, romance, or comedy.

         The genre for the letter "K" is perhaps the most esoteric of all of the film categories I'll be presenting.  K represents Knowledge as in something special a character already knows or knowledge that has to be obtained or deciphered within the story framework.   This can be arguably the case for nearly all stories, but in the films I will name here the knowledge is in a structural wholeness of mind and that knowledge is the key element of the story.  Confusing I suppose, but this is the best I've come up with for now to describe this type of film.

        I'll toss out these titles and then you can tell me what you think and perhaps name some of your choices:

The Mothman Prophecies (2002)-- Richard Gere plays the role of a writer who begins to receive cryptic knowledge and realizes the messages are prophecies of disastrous events to come.  As he seeks the meaning of the visionary knowledge he becomes involved in a disaster he has foreseen.

The Celestine Prophecy (2006) --Based on the mega-best selling book, this movie generally gets terrible reviews, but as one not swayed by reviews I liked it because of the philosophical content.  The story concerns a man who is drawn to Peru to investigate a system of religious related thought and philosophy.  I enjoyed the film for the story and images portrayed.  I thought it was an interesting diversion.

What Dreams May Come (1998) --   Based on a book by the great writer Richard Matheson, who has had many of his stories given the big screen treatment, this film has a mixed following.  The effects are beautiful and the story is thought-provoking.  The film features the oft-annoying Robin Williams in one of his more tolerable roles and Cuba Gooding Jr as a guardian angel.  Though I might not agree with all of the theology of this movie, the film presents some interesting ideas.

The Believers (2007) -- This very unknown low budget straight-to-DVD film is one that I rather enjoyed.  Two paramedics answer an emergency call in a remote area and are abducted by what appears to be an extreme religious cult that claims to have knowledge of a forthcoming destruction of the world.  The acting is good, the story is interesting, and the ending is very strong.   In fact this film has one of my favorite endings in that I thought it was very well done.

Knowing (2009)-- Nicolas Cage (one of my favorites) stars as a widowed father who obtains some very specific knowledge about the end of the world.   Now that he has that knowledge what will he do with it and will anyone believe him?   I loved this film especially for the special effects.

The Matrix (1999) and sequels -- This film series is all about knowledge and mind-bending thought concepts.  If you haven't seen these you really should.

       Do you think this micro-genre makes sense?    Which of these films have you seen?    What films about knowledge might you add?


  Ran across an interesting blog yesterday.  Check out 

I...Reach!   This blogger is taking my daily theme and 

doing the Indian regional version.  I'm flattered, Srividya!
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49 comments:

  1. Alas Lee I have no knowledge of these films, but I expect in time they will come on the TV.

    Yvonne.

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  2. Think The Matrix tops My list. Sorry, the ending of Knowing ruined it for me.

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  3. Like Alex, The Matrix is at the top of my list, too. Knowing is second.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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  4. Knowing was entertaining, but I think the ending was a little farcical. "What Dreams may Come" is one of my favourites, I thought Annabella Sciorra was mesmerising. The Matrix is addictive, I've watched those movies many times.
    Limitless is another knowledge type film that I enjoyed.

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  5. Ah, someone mentioned 'Limitless'. I liked that one.

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  6. Knowing and The Matrix are the ones I've seen. Are there really people who haven't seen them yet?? Agree with you that it's time they did if they haven't already.

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  7. Saw the Matrix but none of the others. I too will wait for them to appear on TV.

    JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

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  8. I remember the Mothman Prophecies. That urban legend saw a surge back then, as I think even the X-Files covered it.

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  9. Matrix followed by Knowing and The Celestine Prophecy make the top of my list. I don't know the others.

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  10. Matrix is one of my favorite movies because the concept makes me think! In line with this, I also love Paycheck, Inception and Limitless. I think these three movies also fall under your "knowledge" sub genre.

    From the A-Z neighborhood,
    D(ee) is for Deecoded

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  11. I get what you mean actually Lee, whenever I really think about it, certain films are based on either gaining knowledge and intelligence and how they use it or a quest to gain it on a specific subject, would you say that means that the Da Vinci Code fits the genre too?

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  12. I'm not a moviegoer but your blog is so interesting, I keep coming back... :)

    I've read The Celestine Prophesy and loved it. I've not seen the movie. I really enjoyed The Matrix series and when I do have a deja vu moment, I always think of it being a glitch in the matrix - silly but testament to the power of the movie.

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  13. Thanks for the comments so far. I'll agree that the ending of Knowing was a bit out there and strange, but the destruction scenes and the story that led up to the ending were pretty good in my book.

    Some more good recommendations from you and I appreciate it. And yes, Yeamie, I'd include The Da Vince Code in this genre.

    Lee

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  14. Thanks Lee, Looks like a good set of movies with an interesting focus. I am especially drawn to the selection and the topic you have chosen today and you have listed several movies I have not heard of. Thanks for the synopsis and the intro to the Indian version of of movie takes. I will check it out. God bless, Maria from Hi Vicki, I am involved in the A to Z challenge this month and have spent most of my blogging time visiting fellow A to Zers. Going through older posts in my blog to remove some of the anonymous comments so they wouldn't multiply, I came across your comment. I don't know how I missed it. When possible I like to return the visit. I am so glad I did today. Perception and understanding that others see things differently and so being willing to see through another's eyes is so a part of our growth and our relationships. We all have episodes like this, most which we never know about. Your example is an excellent one to help us be sensitive within our misunderstandings and forgiving of ourselves also for our mistakes along this journey of life. Praise God for the grace which washes over us. I hope you will be sharing something else again soon. God bless, Maria from Delight Directed Living

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  15. Y'know I'm a fan of KNOWING, even if my wife isn't ;-).

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  16. We picked the same word. Hoping to see more with different posts.

    KaTy Did at: Life's Ride As I See It

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  17. I really liked Knowing.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  18. What Dreams May Come is one of my favorite movies! I loved all of The Matrix movies, of course. Knowing... it had such promise, but I HATED the ending. I was really looking forward to it, but THE ENDING.... Gah. I don't know if The Lakehouse falls into this category, but I would put it there. I really loved that movie.

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  19. The only one I;ve seen is Knowing, but I thought the second half was a little weird, to be honest.

    Thanks again for setting up the A-Z Challenge, Lee. I really enjoy taking part.


    Visiting from the A-Z Challenge Paula Martin - Romance Author

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  20. Both Knowing and Nicholas Cage have their fans and their haters. I'm glad to hear from so many fans. And happy to hear from everyone else as well. Thank you all for taking the time to read and leave comments.

    Lee

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  21. I'm more familiar with the books/films where the MC is clueless until pretty much the end; think anything by M. Night Shyamalan

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  22. I will have to have a netflix night to watch these you've listed because I haven't seen any of them except for the Matrix. I think your micro-genre makes perfect sense and I wonder if the film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close would fit in this category??

    Chontali Kirk
    chontalikirk.blogspot.com

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  23. I have to say I'm not that big a fan of Nicolas Cage, don't know what it is about him. Love the first Matrix movie, the second one was fine, the third was an embarrassment.

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  24. I only saw the Matrix. I never ever thought of these movies like this. Very interesting.

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  25. Knowing and Matrix are major on knowledge.

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  26. I have watched the Matrix films and like the first one best. I'm going to check netflix for a few of the others.

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  27. I loved the 1st Matrix film! Great premise - so creative!

    And I like your micro genres!

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  28. The Matrix is the only one of these films that I've seen, but it's an interesting sub-genre and makes perfect sense to me.

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  29. The Mothman Prophecies was a really underrated film! Really loved it! :)

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  30. I love most of these movies but I never saw the Matrix.

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  31. Appreciate all of the comments.
    Extremely Loud... might fit as a candidate here--I forget the total premise, but there was a knowledge involved.
    I see I'm getting a lot of agreement on the first Matrix movie at least. If you haven't seen this film it's worth checking out. I did like the entire series though the last one was kind of out there in distant thought and knowledge land.

    Lee

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  32. Knowing was a trippy story. I enjoyed it much. The Mothman Prophecies have been on my To Watch list for many years. I really need to rent that one.

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  33. PROFESSOR BOIDMAN ~
    Well, I saw 'The Mothman Prophecies' but only barely remember it. I mostly remember that I liked the book (which still sits in one of my bookcases) better than the movie.

    For a few different reasons, I did not like 'What Dreams May Come' at all.

    It took me "forever" plus one "false start" to see the first 'Matrix' movie (the only one I ever watched). People kept telling me that I should see it because my spiritual worldview, they said, was almost identical to 'The Matrix' storyline.

    So I finally managed to watch the whole thing (overlooking all the typical martial arts crap), and I liked it. More importantly, I learned why all those people had told me for years that my spiritual belief is essentially the same as what's portrayed in 'The Matrix'. (They were right.)

    When I thought of this sort of 'KNOWLEDGE: The Key To The Story' idea, two movies immediately popped into my mind:

    First and foremost, 'JACOB'S LADDER' - one of my all-time Top 25 favorite movies.

    Also, 'DEAD AGAIN', which I felt sure was going to turn Kenneth Branagh into a cinema superstar. I was wrong about that last part, but it's still a really interesting movie that I have seen no less than three times. (By the way, Robin Williams also appears in 'Dead Again' - just a small bit part.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  34. Love, love, love The Matrix. Love Nicholas Cage, too. But, I've never seen Knowing.

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  35. Hi Arlee, I think you just listed all of my favourite films, I am a knowledge junkie, probably why I chose to do Knowledge too

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  36. Thanks for more comments all.

    StMc-- These knowledge type movies are often in a precarious position for enjoying them and I have to really suspend not only my disbelief, but put aside a lot of things that I do believe--certainly the case for What Dreams.... I need to watch Jacob's Ladder again--I have a copy but just need to pull it out again. Have not seen Dead Again.

    Lee

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  37. I love this post! I think this is my favorite topic so far, and I love all of those movies. I guess I'm a big fan of knowledge. :)

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog: kristenhead.blogspot.com

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  38. Hi Lee,

    The first Matrix movie was amazing. The rest of the series, my human thinks is a big disappointment.

    The Celestine Prophecy, my human has not seen, but read the book. He tells me he thinks it's one of the most poorly written books he's ever read.

    Happy alphabeting, human.

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

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  39. Kristen -- I'm a big knowledge fan too and I like films that make me think.

    Gary/Penny --The Matrix series has grown on me over the years. The last one is weird, but I find it interesting.

    Lee

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  40. Watching the Matrix movies still gives me goose bumps!

    I've yet to see "Knowing" though.

    Happy weekend! :)

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  41. I thought of one of my other favourites, it's a different type of knowing, have you seen 'The worlds fastest Indian?"

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  42. Michelle -- The Matrix series is one that is easy for me to revisit because there are some many complexities to the story.

    Ida -- That film has been on my Netflix queue for years and I keep bumping it down. I've heard that it is good.


    Lee

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  43. I wish I was good at giving reviews, instead I will just be bossy and say, don't waste another minute...watch the Worlds fastest Indian now - only the title is a bit off, but it couldn't be better - if you Know what i mean :D

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  44. I've only seen the Matrix movies, though I do know a bit about some of the others. Love the Matrixes anyway.

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  45. I diddn't care for Knowing. I really liked The Matrix (although I was fairly confused by the end of the 3rd and last one!).

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  46. Ida -- World's Fastest.. is gonna stay on my Netflix list unless I see it on TV first. I don't watch as many movies as I'd like and they keep piling up.

    Trisha - The Matrix series is the most popular I guess.

    Stacy -- Knowing is one of those love or hate it type films. I did an Amazon review and was amazed by the response I got on that review--usually don't get many comments on reviews.

    Lee

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  47. See until now I had no idea that a netlix list was like a book list, and less like a bookshelf you could just pull a book off... So sorry for being bossy.

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  48. Ida --No problem. You weren't being all that bossy. Yes, Netflix is like a cool digital bookshelf for DVD's. I have mine in a waiting list and they get sent in the order I keep them. You can also pay to get streaming films on demand, but like I say I only watch one or two movies a week.

    Lee

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