This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
Murder has a sound all of its own!
Jack Terry is a master sound recordist who works on grade-B horror movies. Late one evening, he is recording sounds for use in his movies when he hears something unexpected through his sound equipment and records it. Curiosity gets the better of him when the media become involved, and he begins to unravel the pieces of a nefarious conspiracy. As he struggles to survive against his shadowy enemies and expose the truth, he does not know whom he can trust.
The works of Brian De Palma are cinema's comfort food, and Blow Out is the tastiest of all. Plus, it has John Travolta, and an ending for the ages.
I'm lowering the rating on this from my last viewing, but not because I enjoyed in any less. On the contrary: if anything I enjoyed it more with the benefit of hindsight and the ability to focus on particular elements of the film. Rather, I'm giving it a lower rating this time around because I can see where other audiences might not love it the way I do.
There are several aspects of the film which are pulpy or cheesy or even slightly thin or superficial. In particular, Nancy Allen's ditz of a character, John Lithgow's cartoonishly evil villain, and Pino Donaggio's lavishly bombastic soundtrack all feel like something out of a trashy slasher film. But for me, that's part…
I haven't written anything about Brian De Palma and that's surprising. Ten years ago I was obsessed with his films. I studied every one with complete fascination. I had most of them memorized. I bought every book about him that I could get my hands on and took extensive notes from them, as if I were his biographer. I compiled my own De Palma scrapbook with interviews, film reviews, concept art, and storyboards. De Palma is the reason I'm not just a fan of film. He's the reason I'm consumed by them.
Blow Out is an astonishing film. It is sophisticated and focused. It's also incredibly eloquent, indicative of a director in his prime. It's a film of technical virtuosity.…
"now that's a scream"
the eternal search for truth (through images & sound) obscured by a corrupt nation, built & celebrated on top of the dead
No one wants to know about conspiracy any more!
Oh, I beg to differ...
Actually, I was never a big fan of conspiracy films. I mean I like them, but it's not a sub-genre I was ever quick to hunt down.
I was never a big Travolta fan.
I was never a big De Palma fan.
Who knew that by putting them all together would make an instant favorite? I sure as hell didn't.
First, I gotta say, I'm with Quentin Tarantino on this one...why the hell did directors never use John Travolta to his full potential after this one? I mean, shit man. He's just incredible. Every one else is great too, but Travolta completely owns this show and…
Well written, well delivered characters. Loved the spinning shots in the sound room and the fireworks scene.
Just an all round well done, wonderful thriller.
A movie where the audio guy is the hero.
As such I have to give this five stars out of principle.
Excellent film, with lots of great suspenseful sequences and cinematography. The premise is also really cool.
Unfortunately, a lot of the film hinges on a romance that doesn't really work 100% of the time.
Still a very well made film, and certainly worth watching.
On par with the Parallax View, the Manchurian Candidate, and other political-paranoia thrillers. I've always given Brian de Palma short shrift because of his later work, but this movie was beautifully shot and brilliantly directed. What happened, Brian? What happened?
WOW WOW WOW WOW WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWowo
Even De Palma at his best leaves a somewhat sour taste in my mouth. Perhaps it has something to do with the juxtaposition of his impeccable technical craft, his transparent love for cinema and his misognistic predilections as a storyteller. Every woman in Blow Out is a helpless, incapable streetwalker with daddy issues, driven by greed and often characterized as dumb. Were it just this movie, perhaps it could be overlooked, but this description is one that could be applied to most of De Palma's filmography.
A disappointment, though the good outweighes the bad in this particular case.
De Palma, you get me.
I realized while watching this that I actually hadn't seen it before like I thought. "Blow Out" is a classic political mystery / serial killer thriller that owes a lot to Hitchcock and Italian giallo films, but still does its own thing. I appreciate but have never been a huge fan of De Palma's gangster films that people worship, but his thrillers like "Body Double" and "Dressed to Kill" always hit home with me. John Lithgow is chilling as the psycho killer. It's obvious how he ended up cast as a villain in "Cliffhanger," "Dexter" and several others after this movie. Even Travolta is good in this role. I know it's cliche, but they really, truly don't make them like this any more.
WOW!! I was so worried Brian De Palma would take this movie too seriously but, even if he did, it works so well. I love the 80s city feel. Is Blow Out considered film noir?? It sure felt like one.
Like others have mentioned, this one had a vibe along the lines of "The Conversation", only more frenetic and a great deal more colorful, both visually and regarding the characters themselves. This one also really plays with its wide-screen format and perspective, while the film's premise itself (one of covert observation and being overheard) enhances the audio/visual experience -- I felt hyper-alert while watching this.
Someone somewhere said that Hollywood's favorite subject is itself. I couldn't shake that line as I'm watching the loving way in which the mechanics and tools of backroom editing were framed, or the obsessive/possessive excitement Travolta's character shows over the all-important reels. It points to constructing the very thing we're watching, and if that's destroyed....…