Monday, March 2, 2009

The Black Hole (1979)

The Black Hole (1979)

Director: Gary Nelson

Starring: Maximilian Schell, Anthony Perkins, Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Yvette Mimieux, Ernest Borgnine, Roddy McDowall, Slim Pickens!!!

More Info: IMDB

Tagline: A journey that begins where everything ends!

Plot: A research vessel finds a missing ship, commanded by a mysterious scientist, on the edge of a black hole.

My Rating: 8/10

Would I watch it again? Could this movie easily been about Oprah's minge? Yup.

I love this movie. I hate the stupid kiddie robot shit with the shooting contest and all and some of the stupid jokes that Bottoms spits out but outside of all of that, it's great. I love the ship design of the U.S.S. Cygnus. The interior of the bridge is gorgeous. The space scape with the black hole (yeah, I know black holes can't be seen but it's still beautiful) is amazing.

And then there's John Barry's dizzying score. I love this man's style. If you're not familiar with his name then look him up on IMDB. He's the Bond composer among a zillion other films you've seen. His score for THE BLACK HOLE is superb. It fits the film perfectly. The main theme in 6/8 (you can hear it, can't you? 12345&6, 12345&6) captures the spinning of the black hole giving it a vertigo-like feeling. Perfect. Love it. I'll never tire listening to it. TBH has the rare treat (for the 70s at least) of opening with an overture. That practice was usually used for a number of epic films of the late 50s and 60s and had largely died out by 1970.

The cast is great. Schell, Perkins, Forster, Borgnine (is a hoot) and McDowell. Everyone kicks ass except for Bottoms and that's only because he's got some lame-ass dialogue. It's not his fault...but still.

The robot designs are pretty cool, especially for the evil robot, Maximilian. Max is easily one of the most badass robots EVER. This guy needs his own sitcom. The good robots, V.I.N.C.E.N.T. (voiced by McDowall) and B.O.B. (voiced by Slim "MUTHAFUCKIN'" Pickens!!!, one of THE greatest character actors of...all...time!) are a lot more kid friendly; kind of like floating cartoony R2D2s.

For a film made back in '79, the special effects are fantastic and still hold up. According to IMDB it contains over 550 visual effects shots, including over 150 matte paintings!!! Disney wanted to use an effects camera system from George Luca$'s ILM but the terms and price were unacceptable so Disney came up with their own version which proved far superior. Suck it, George!

Yeah, there's some lame-ass, cornball dialogue and some shitty Disney-fied garbage for the kiddies but then, HEY, it's Disney. I swear that one day I'm going to put this film through some editing software and cut out all of the stupid shit that brings this movie down.

The ending is part great, part WTF? and part "You have GOT to be kidding me". My cut won't have a happy ending for anyone. There's just no way you're going through a black hole and coming out the other side. I call shenanigans!

Despite the bad parts, there's a lot to like. The score, again, is outstanding and highly effective, and I'm a huge fan of many of the actors so it's a little easier for me to forgive some aspects. It's been far too long since I saw this last and it still holds up. I would kill to see this in the theater once more. Until then I'll just have to dream of that perfect edit I will someday make.

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