|*NEW,RARE VERSION* The Black Hole; DVD, 1999, Widescreen/Pan & Scan presentation|
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|The Black Hole (DVD, 1999, Widescreen/Pan & Scan presentation Rare OOP Red Case|
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|THE BLACK HOLE WIDESCREEN FULLSCREEN DISNEY ANCHOR BAY DVD|
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Average review score based on 41 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
The Black Hole was released by Walt Disney in theatres in 1979. It was Disney's big budget extravaganza that was competing with movies like Star Wars, Close Encounters and Battlestar Galactica. With an estimated 20 million dollar budget Disney went all in hiring well known actors like Roddy McDowall, Ernest Borgnine, Maximilian Schell, Robert Forster and Yvette Mimieux.
The movie starts off well with crew introductions and the finding of a long lost seemingly deserted spacecraft, the Cygnus. After boarding the ship they find that the captain, played by Schell, is still alive and studying a black hole. He has developed technology that allows the ship to remain untouched even though it is perched on the event horizon of "the most powerful force in the Universe". After spending time with Schell the crew soon discovers that he has gone at least slightly mad. They are soon at odds and some spectacular laser fights erupt as well as some great special effects sequences. The Cygnus firing her engines and the meteor rolling through the ship compares with the best effects of today's movies. The crew eventually escapes, sort of, and the doomed ship is pulled into the black hole.
The Black Hole is an impressive movie to watch. The backgrounds and special effects are gorgeous and the Cygnus looks like a monster of a spaceship. Parts of the movie, especially in the beginning, are really eerie especially with the zombie like crew shuffling around. The story, finding a derelict spaceship in the outer reaches of space, was initially done well. The musical score was also pretty good. The problems I had with the movie have to do with the dialogue and the robots.
Forgetting that whole "I need air to breathe while floating through outer space concept" there are a ton of issues with the movie but none surpass the ridiculous robots. Vincent, voiced by Roddy McDowall, is possibly the most annoying character ever portrayed on the big screen (yes, Jar Jar Binks was more annoying). Why did they give a robot who quotes Shakespeare big giant cartoon eyes? Why does the big red robot (Max to his friends) have propeller blade attachments? Are they going to a lake or something after they fly through the black hole? Why do some of the robots stagger around like drunks and others march in cadence? Also, if they couldn't hide the guide wires they used to have Vincent "float", then they should have put him on wheels. The wires were really distracting in a 20 million dollar epic. In regards to the dialogue, Maximilian Schell almost sounded like Captain Nemo at times. And that ending? The captain standing on top of a mountain in the robot suit overlooking Hell? The cast flying through Heaven or something with angels? Wow, no wonder 1979 audiences were stunned.
Regardless of the flaws, The Black Hole is still a Disney gem. It's a beautifully made film from an era where everything was done by hand and not by computers. This DVD version has been digitally remastered and sounds great. It also has a featurette, "Through the Black Hole", an extended movie trailer, and some nice commentary. This is a must have film for any science fiction fan's collection.
The Black Hole is either a film you like or don't like. I happen to really enjoy it as a throwback to the science fiction matinee films of the 1950s. It's a testament to a bygone era, and a "last hurrah" to this sort of old fashioned film.
This DisneyDVD is the best release of the film. The picture looks fantastic, and the sound is right on. Everything about the presentation is excellent. The colors appear brighter and the blacks deeper than on the Anchor Bay release, which was slightly softer in overall picture quality. This one looks razor sharp upon my first examination.
Bonus features include a newly shot featurette about the special effects, and the trailer. Not much, but the featurette is well done and worth watching. Still would have been nice to get something more than that.
If you don't like the film, this DVD will not change your opinion of it, but if you do like it, then you should pick up this release.
Keeping the PG rating in mind, this film brings the family wholesomeness, we have come to expect from Disney, home. Original music scores and an adventure through a Black Hole are marred, though, by similarities to Star Wars that are too obvious to ignore. Examples include the lovable swivel headed robot VINCENT who has lasers, a telescoping arm, and who repairs space ships in mid flight. They also include a deranged madman (played by Maximilian Schell), with a loyal enforcer (Maximilian the Robot) who remind us of The Emperor and Darth Vader. There are humans with psychic powers (the force) and robot armies. Holes in the script, such as how humans can survive in the vacuum of outer space, leave me wanting more. The kids that would not make these connections are likely too young, for the PG rating, to watch the film. Despite these failings there is enough original story to have kept me entertained.
This Disney Movie, which came out right after the original Star Wars, has many great moments within my memory and still is fantastic to reminisce with while watching with younger family members. For many of the younger audience, you have to remember that if you spend 10 million dollars making a movie, then that was alot. Now 10 million is nothing. This was one of the most expensive Disney movies made to date.
The Lead Role was the estranged captain of a space ship parked outside of a large black hole. Maximilian Schell, who also named his murderous robot in the movie Maximilian, was perfect for this role. Anthony Perkins (Psycho), Ernest Borgnine (original Poseidon Adventure), Roddy McDowall (orginal Planet of the Apes), all make for a very interesting cast.
The soundtrack for this movie was very notable. I think John Williams did the music and it actually made the movie.
The ending was fantastic with many explosions.
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This is, I believe the Only Disney movie in which actor Anthony Perkins ever starred or appeared. So, If just for that reason alone, it is unique. The rest of the cast is great as well, Ernest Borgnine and Maximillan Schnell for example. While the sci-fi technical issues are a bit "spacey", like how did such a fragile spaceship even make it to the event horizon of the Black Hole and why do robots need cute little, cartoon like eyes? The music, one of the first digital recordings done for a film, some of the concepts and theories, and especially the sets and special effects are interesting and well done. In fact they did get a nomination for their special effects for an Oscar that year in 1979. I have heard the ship alone cost $100,000 just to produce and develope for a quality film look. Overall, it is a fun, sometimes slow, but exciting entry into sci-fi, an area which Disney doesn't often venture. I would recommend it for family viewing with the exception of the younger age groups due to some of the more scary looking robots and violence involved. I often wonder if Anthony Perkins was proud of his work on this one. I guess we'll never know on that one. WFC