The greatest films of all time as voted on by the Criterion subreddit using a ranked top 10 methodology from…
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.
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…
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 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.…
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.
"The bang was before the blowout."
A movie sound man stands on a bridge, recording the sounds of the night. He then hears something - a car. The vehicle comes into view as he witnesses it crashing off the road and into the small lake below. He quickly dives into the lake and manages to rescue a female passenger from the backseat. The driver, the governor of Philadelphia and a Presidential nominee, is dead.
The sound man, named Jack (Travolta), plays back his audio recording of the car crash and hears what seems to be a gunshot right before the car takes its plunge into the lake. Jack believes that the gunshot is what caused…
When he stops plagiarising Hitchcock films beat-for-beat, Brian De Palma is capable of making some of the most irresistible exploitation thrillers in cinematic history. Blow-Out is still as indebted to Hitchcock as any of De Palma's other films, but instead it takes the recurrent themes from Hitchcock's films (conspiracy thrillers, the "falsely accused man") and turns them into something irresistible, unique and distinctively De Palma. This might be the most aesthetically perfect exploitation movie ever made- it is a rare occurrence of the director actually turning his love of trash into genuine art.
I thought the first half of this film was a lot better than the second. The intrigue subsides by that point, and John Lithgow's character becomes a larger part of the narrative (which I think is the point at which the film on the whole swan dives into unintentional comedy). Travolta was a lot better than I expected, but the only solidly, consistently good quality about the film is Vilmos Zsigmond's cinematography.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Holy shit. I just watched a masterpiece.
This is the perfect early 80s movie. It combines 70s corruption and cynicism with the impending power of 80s corporate culture. Still, the film is smart enough to narrow its focus, which helps build intensity. (It's very much a movie. There are a few contrivances and whatever, but it's all for a good cause).
That ending is goddamn unbelievable. It was easy to guess that her scream would be the scream that he was looking for the whole time, but I didn't think she would die! I didn't know this was going to be sad! The romance is turned up by the lonely desperation and the sky filled with fireworks (in one of…
I still laugh at that fireworks shot. Not because it's bad, because it's great. It's funny as hell to see WHY de Palma had created such a silly climax- it was ALL for that shot. But it's DOUBLE funny to see that and admit, "yeah, and it was worth it!"
So corny. So great.
It’s great seeing this era’s John Travolta. He was really on the top of his game and none more so that in Blow Out. The film rests on his shoulders and is an edge of the seat ride thanks to his performance. Nancy Allen shows up again and as I mentioned in my review of Dressed to Kill, she was never an actress I gave much thought to, but she does well here in a role very different from that in Dressed to Kill. Here she plays ditzy well and comes across as extremely likable. John Lithgow is great too and is certainly not likable.
The story does start off a little too by chance with a camera and Jack’s…
Another really good de Palma film??
What have ya been eatin', ANIMAL CRACKERS?!?
Sadly, not as much Joey Katz, but it will do...
I'm not at all a fan of Travolta, but he was good in the film, as the performances were strong all the way around. Typical with DePalma films, the visuals were fantastic, but the film was hampered by some of the worst film cues EVER!!!! So many of the cues were pure crap and not fitting with the quality of the project.
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