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.
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…
"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…
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…
Second viewing; down from 76. First impression was: suspenseful, masterfully crafted, and kind of silly. Second look confirmed the same impressions, except that the silliness seemed more egregious and less fun this time around. To be sure, it never really goes for the thematic heft of Blow-up, but even on a purely visceral level, it's a tad uneven, since narrative incredulity means that certain moments, particularly the attempts at emotion, come off as mostly risible. Numerous sequences still impress though: the circling camera as Jack searches through his tapes; the outdoor sound recording session; even the opening (which led me to expect a very different film the first time—one of the benefits of going in completely cold); it just doesn't go much further.
Man what an incredible directorial debut!! this movie is fantastic. John Lithgow is so great and the ending is amazing.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
"It's a good scream."
"It's a good scream."
"It's a good scream."
"It's a good scream."
Well, this prolly ain't my favorite film of all time but this is surely one of the greatest films ever made that I've ever seen.
I love De Palma, love his M.O and unique playfulness; his movies work emotionally. I love the candy store aspect of his work.
However, his movies also work emotionally where they don't work in many other ways, it really is just a candy store, so I also think his movies are paridoxically overrated. Take BLOW OUT for instance. It's basically a great opening, great finale, some good scenes in between but mostly just very sketchy dot-joining. Yes, there's a depressing theme about the frailty of idealism and the weight of corruption floating around in there, but it's quite fuzzy.
I have always wished De Palma was more thorough with his stories and his screenplays. I do like the candy, but…
The young John Travolta against America. Is reality what you see or what you believe in...? Excellent old fashioned thriller.
I can't believe I hadn't seen this movie until last year, it's simply stunning and should be taught alongside the greats such as Powell & Pressberger, Lean and Tarkovsky. It's a work of populist cinema but presented like a work of classic art and I love it unreservedly.
When John Lithgow shows up, the movie upgrades a star.
I honestly don't recall this movie being particularly thrilling, and the woman was kinda annoying, but John Travolta is a great protagonist.
Blow Out is quite possibly the closest thing to a Hitchcock film not directed by Hitchcock I've ever seen. It's a little more unsavory than something Alfred would have done, but it's got suspense in all the right places. The plot devices that move this movie forward are brilliant to say the least. It's a take on Antonioni's Blow-Up, using sound instead of photography as it's primary motif, taking the concept to much greater heights. John Travolta and Nancy Allen make this one of the most memorable thrillers of the 80s.
When I first watched Blow-Up, I wasn't all that impressed. The idea is fantastic, ripped from a Julio Cortázar's short story, "Las babas del diablo" or "The Devil's Drool".…
Look at my steadicam! A nice throwback to all the analog technology of the day for sure. Best line was when Lithgow's character asks is the footage is 16 or 35 (millmeter film). Looking forward to seeing Blow Up (1966). Also I really really want that motel wallpaper!
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 196/776 (25%)