Yet another year with yet another update.
2012 version can be found here.
2013 version can be found here.
A soundman accidentally records the evidence that proves a car "accident" was murder, and consequently finds himself in danger.
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.
"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…
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…
Everything I wanted but didn't know. From the very first frame I was hooked. The film has the look and feel of something made in the 70's and I guess it's close enough.
I loved everything about it. The music is still playing in my head. It hits all the notes one could want. Dramatic, chilling, fun and beautiful when the scene calls for it. It really sells the deeper moments between Travolta and Allen - not that the actors don't do a good enough job selling it on their own. In fact, this is probably Travolta's finest performance. I'm with the guy all the way. And Nancy Allen is so sweet and endearing in this role. Normally her type…
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…
Brian De Palma is one of the great visual storytellers. His films arguably tilt towards having more style than substance but that is not the case here. Great performances with a very tight script. The ending to this film is remarkable.
Yes, yes and yes. This is how a thriller should be made! Everything works organically towards the tension. The environments and the acting and the directing are all top-notch.
This is on par with Carlitos Way as being Brian DePalmas best!
A second viewing really allowed me to pay close attention to the formal choices De Palma made, here, and I have to say this is his masterpiece.
And unless I'm forgetting something, this has to be Travolta's best performance.
This was huge: today I saw Blow Out, one of my favourite films, one the big screen for the very first time.
Great thriller of the 80s! I recently watched Dressed to Kill, but I love this movie much more. It's more realistic and better acted in my opinion. I really liked John Travolta in this movie and the ending is amazing. I enjoyed "Blow Out" and would recommend it to anyone wanting to watch a bit older thriller/mystery movie.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
"It's a good scream..."
Blow Out is the truth. It is pure cinema, plain and simple. This is a story that could only be told using the merger of pictures and sound. Sure, it loosely takes its premise from Blow Up, but in comparison, Blow Up does not hold a candle to Blow Out. Much of this has to do with the fact that Blow Up is about still pictures, and that is it. The main element of Blow Out is that the sound of the car crash exists, and film of the car crash exists, but only when the two are merged is the evidence clearly there. The film itself is about how vital the combination of sound and film is, and that is why it is the truth.
I can't even begin to describe how wonderful this film is. I think this might be DePalma's masterpiece.
It is a tribute to cinema as much as all of his films, but this one just... I don't know. It metaphorizes the very way cinema came to be.
I just finished watching it for the first time, and I'm still too amazed to find words to express what I'm feeling right now. But it's a great feeling.
Brian De Palma seems to leverage all of his stylistic idiosyncrasies in BLOW OUT. The result is a brand of melodrama you cannot imagine coming from anyone else, or at least you can't imagine anyone doing it as well.
BLOW OUT begins a thriller shared between two charming and attractive leads, and by the end it's so deliciously pitch black and nihilistic about love and morality and vocation and everything else, too. I like how the entire story revolves around a criminal political conspiracy without us ever seeing much of the hows and whys behind it. That central injustice is never explored or resolved, it only dooms the main characters. No one wins, everyone loses.
The movie also features some…
Slick noirish paranoia thriller, with signature De Palma tracking shots. Really great.
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 183/760 (24%)