HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
You've Been Trumped Too
Woman in Black, The
Elvis: That's the Way It Is
Man Who Laughs, The
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
   
 
Newest Articles
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
   
 
  Black Hole, The The End Of The Beginning
Year: 1979
Director: Gary Nelson
Stars: Maximilian Schell, Robert Forster, Yvette Mimieux, Anthony Perkins, Ernest Borgnine, Joseph Bottoms, Roddy McDowall, Slim Pickens
Genre: Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: In deep space, the starship Palomino discovers a huge black hole and finds itself being drawn in by its massive gravitational pull. However, sitting on the edge of this unimaginably powerful event, apparently lifeless, is a lost space station called the Cygnus that had disappeared twenty years before. Strugggling to stay near the ship, which appears to have its own immunity to the effects of the gravity, the crew of the Palomino take a closer look, and the station lights up - could there be survivors inside? Considering the repairs they now need, there's only one thing to do and that's dock with it and find out...

This costly fantasy was scripted by Jeb Rosebrook and Gerry Day and was one of the many attempts to cash in on the Star Wars craze, in this case from the Disney studios. It was basically concieved as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in space, and unlike its 1950s predecessor turned out to be a big flop, in spite of its handsome look and pulp sci-fi trappings. Not to mention a budget which was far above most of the George Lucas wannabes trying their luck with the public's appetite for dazzling science fiction and fantasy around this time.

It's not only derivative of Jules Verne, you can watch the film ticking off the influences. There are cutesy robot companions for the Palomino crew - the proverb-quoting V.I.N.C.E.N.T. (voiced by an uncredited Roddy McDowall) is one in a long line of non-human Disney sidekicks, and no less annoying for that. In fact there's a real tension between the tradional, friendly Disney stuff and the sinister accoutrements that the more impressive thrills are dependent on. Take evil genius Dr. Hans Reinhardt (Maximilian Schell), who is more like a Bond villain, the laser gun battles that are a straight lift from Star Wars, and the baffling 2001: A Space Odyssey-style ending that strives for profundity.

The storyline's predictability and the hardboiled to pretentious, but usually clunky, dialogue works against the film ("What caused that cause?" Eh?) but the rather, er, mature cast is made up of distinct screen personalities that goes a little way to making up for their cardboard characters. Schell is actually quite fun as the mad doctor, making the most of his clich├ęs and glowering impressively, and his own robot henchman (called Maximilian, funnily enough) is a nicely threatening presence. Dr Reinhardt also likes cabbages, judging by his vegetable garden.

Peter Ellenshaw's design is excellent, with huge, elaborate sets and atttractive special effects that only occasionally show the strings. This is at its best when dealing with the sheer scale of the situation, as after all black holes are pretty mind-boggling in their own right and to some extent this is captured here. But the only nod to originality, being the religious aspect at the climax, is badly thought out and simply amounts to "good guys go to heaven, bad guys go to hell". Still, as space operas go it's perfectly watchable if you're feeling indulgent, even if you end up wondering why the doctor didn't program his robots to hit their targets properly. And how often do you see a film that strives for the truly cosmic, especially in science fiction, nowadays? Never mind that it was probably works like these which put filmmakers off even attempting such giddy heights of conceptualising for decades afterwards, more's the pity. Repetitive yet rather grand music by John Barry.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 10145 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: