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Genetic Mosaicism

Genetic Mosaicism

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'The Unborn ' 1 1/2 stars = BadRatings explainedWhat do you get when you mix college lovers, creepy children and equal parts:� Twin genetics.� Nazi atrocities.� Maternal suicide.� Jewish mysticism.� And demonic exorcism?You get a recipe for disaster, otherwise known as "The Unborn." It's a discombobulated mess that had no business erupting from the "creative" womb of writer/director David.


Goyer.This stinker has just one thing going for it: scares.

There are several jump-out-of-your-skin moments, but none powerful enough to overcome a script that lurches from theme to theme.

There are more plot holes than pot holes on Pittsburgh's streets.Odette Yustman plays Casey Beldon, whose strange dreams lead to a stranger reality.

She develops genetic mosaicism, manifested in an eye that begins to change colors.

Its occurrence is usually related to twins, and Casey discovers she had one -- a brother who died in utero.Soon enough it's clear she is being haunted by a dybbuk, a disembodied spirit possessing a living body.

Her twin perhaps? No need to answer.This concoction is so thickly layered that by the time it starts to cook, you have no appetite.

The only thing of real interest is never explained: What kind of secrets must Goyer possess to have gotten talent the likes of Gary Oldman, Jane Alexander, James Remar and Carla Gugino (who never utters a word!) to sign on the dotted line?It would be nice to say Goyer, who holds a writing credit for "The Dark Knight," deserved a better fate.

But if he's smart, he'll just erase this mistake from his resume and move along.And don't look for salvation in the extras.

You get an unrated version of the film and a few deleted scenes.

That's it.Better "The Unborn" had never been conceived.-- Allan Walton, AME/Multimedia'Knowing' 2 1/2 stars = AverageRatings explainedEven reading the name of one of the DVD extras, a 17-minute "Visions of the Apocalypse," might tip you off about this sci-fi thriller.

So hold off on watching it, or the illuminating 12-minute feature on the making of the movie, until you've seen the actual film."Knowing" stars Nicolas Cage as a widowed astrophysicist father who decides that seemingly random numbers unearthed from a 50-year-old time capsule might be code for catastrophes past, present and possibly to come.In addition to Cage, the movie stars Chandler Canterbury as his son and Rose Byrne and Lara Robinson as the daughter and granddaughter of the Ezekiel-like prophet who dashed off the numbers as a girl.Director Alex Proyas, who provides DVD commentary, considers the movie a "spiritual quest" that asks how far Cage's character will go to protect his son.

The scientist starts off believing the universe is a meaningless place, with randomness and chaos at play, and realizes perhaps there is meaning to his life on Earth.The special effects overpower the story's serious and spiritual themes and its message of hope seems decidedly mixed or perhaps narrow and forward-thinking.

Proyas says it's up to watchers to decide if mysterious visitors are closer to aliens than angels, and he also insists the audience would be "furious" if he failed to dramatize the cataclysmic event that changes life and death as we know it.By the way, although rated PG-13 for disaster sequences, disturbing images and brief strong language, "Knowing" is too intense for anyone under high school age.-- Barbara Vancheri, Post-Gazette movie editorFirst published on July 9, 2009 at 12:00 am
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