A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
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…
Blow Up and The Conversation as filtered through Brian De Palma is actually a pretty good formula for a film. De Palma is a talented filmmaker who knows how to insert a little fun into his tense thrillers, and while there are moments when he lets his cheezy instincts get the better of him, there are also moments where that really works--see the later scene where John Travolta drives through the Liberty Day parade at full speed, for instance.
This film is full of great shots, but the one that stuck out most is the one where the prostitute is in the subway station bathroom, and the Liberty Bell strangler walks in. It's shot from above, with the prostitute in…
First impression: metaphor for a creative filmmaker trying to make his unique work. Travolta is an artist, as shown when he uses sound equipment and film machinery. He pieces everything together. He is first stifled, told he can't talk. He fights to get the truth out, but no one believes him. His work is tampered with (disks erased). He tries to go out by himself, and finds someone who wants him. He goes crazy (driving scene). In the end, his naïveté is lost (murder). He compromises himself, making a bad picture, putting a piece of himself into it, and sells out, trying to convince himself it's good work.
De Palma revels in the perversity too much; there's always a naked…
Politics really are just a B slasher movie, huh?
Many people much smarter than I have tried to explain the mastery at work in Blow Out, and I've spent quite a bit of time doing so myself. The thrust of this film is best experienced; making note of De Palma's impeccable craft doesn't hold a candle to watching him in action. This has always been, for me, as perfect as movies get.
Anyway, I say that because there's a brief scene in the film that's flat-out bad: the car chase through the Liberty Day parade, where Travolta uses his Jeep to try and catch up to the subway-riding Lithgow and Allen. For those few minutes, it's as if all of De Palma's artistry has drained away; every shot is…
This is much better than I initially gave it credit for, and I even understand those who see it as some kind of masterwork. I think it works better, for me, than De Palma's other Hitchcock riffs for a number of reasons. Firstly, the original text he's working with is decidedly non-Hitchcockian (Antonioni is almost the polar opposite of Hitchcock), so it's much more fascinating to see him apply Hitch's methodology to themes and concepts that never had such an initial treatment. In coming at the work from an entirely different angle, he avoids the feeling that he's trying to one-up the original. Secondly, he's applying those techniques to a narrative of actual import, one where he seems to actually…
No one wants to know about conspiracies any more!
Also, it's perfect for a double-feature with Blow-Up.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Really good thriller, right until Jack crashes his car into the shop window. How was he ever allowed out of the ambulance? Even if he did get away, why was he not subsequently arrested for ever? I'm usually ok with plot holes, I can go along with a lot, but this one really irked me.
Otherwise, good set up and acting, I quite liked the split screen when it was used.
A delicious last gasp of the pessimistic 70s and a visually stunning film to boot. Also, sound equipment is just really cool to look at.
Imagine being someone who thinks Blowup is better than Blow Out.
Stranger Things, or Weird Shit as I like to call it, contains many homages to '80s genre films much to…