Saturday, February 8, 2014

1979 - THE BLACK HOLE, good looking science fiction film

Disney's attempt to grab some of the Star Wars money came up short.  The Black Hole has impressive special effects and production design like Star Wars.  It also had some of the worst aspects of that series, comical robots and lots of laser blasts.

Disney also kind of blew it with their cast.  There was nothing particularly wrong with hiring Anthony Perkins, Ernest Borgnine, Yvette Mimieux, Robert Forrester, Timothy Bottoms and Maximilian Schell as a retread Captain Nemo character. However casting a bunch of middle aged actors wasn't going to seem very hip and cool to the targeted teenage audience.

The story was also very derivative as well.  The original Star Wars film may have borrowed from about every film that George Lucas could think of (Triumph of the Will, The Searchers etc) but at least he was able to steal and reuse ideas from those films in sort of clever ways.  The Black Hole's problem was that it was stealing ideas from Star Wars, so you had a situation where a film was stealing ideas from a film that had stolen ideas from other films.

Still the film looks good and has enough action and special effects to pass the time.  The robot battles are pretty lame with some very stiff robots shooting it out with our space heroes.  The comical robot V.I.N.C.E.N.T. gets all the good lines in the film and was voiced by Roddy McDowell who for some reason didn't receive any screen credit.  The voice of the robot B.O.B. was Slim Pickens in probably the only real clever joke in the film.

98 minutes

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