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I don't care what anyone says, The Black Hole is a cinematic MASTERPIECE.


This guy still scares me.

Then, of course there's Anthony Perkins! Maximilian Schell! Roddy McDowall! Ernest Borgnine! Robert Forster! Joseph Bottoms! Yvette Mimieux! Slim Pickens! (OK, the less said about B.O.B. the better...)

And let us not forget the wonderful, dramatic score:

Finally, the ending? PRICELESS. Heaven, hell, fire, angels, eternal damnation, divine salvation, AND deep space exploration. And this is Disney? LOVE IT.

Just a joy to watch again, and I really need to get a spruced up version on DVD if it exists.

I liked this review, although I liked it much better than he did. This part made me laugh, though:

"Watching Dr. Reinhardt set Maximilian on frappé and send him to juice Tony Perkins deeply fucked with me as a kid and still does. The fact that Perkins tries to defend himself using a book full of scientific notes as a shield was lost on me as a wee one. Watching Reinhardt crushed under the weight of his own monstrosity (the ship itself, not his robot) and gasp out 'more light!' is impressive as hell. Who at Disney thought it was a good idea to have Maximilian Schell quoting Goethe in the same movie as a Slim Pickens-bot? It's managerial insanity of the highest order.



( 29 comments — Comment )
Apr. 7th, 2009 12:20 am (UTC)
I _loved_ that movie when I was a kid. The less-than-scientific moments have bothered me more as I've grown up, but I'd still like to see it again sometime. Also, WTF was up with that ending? :)

Unfortunately, my understanding is that there isn't a good DVD release of it at this time. I'd be happy to be wrong though; heck, I'd be happy just to have the score!
Apr. 7th, 2009 12:22 am (UTC)
The ending was made of AWESOME.
Apr. 7th, 2009 12:27 pm (UTC)
I never understood what the hell was going in the end.
Apr. 7th, 2009 02:03 pm (UTC)
It was Disney's ham-fisted heaven and hell allegory, but it's open to interpretation, plus it's neat. :)
Apr. 7th, 2009 02:06 pm (UTC)
Don't get me wrong, I liked the movie...but the ending felt like they just didn't know what the hell to do at that point, so the writters smoked a whole bunch of crack and plotsed down a bunch of surrealist dante-esque imagery that had nothing to do with anything.
Apr. 7th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
Disney gets metaphysical - whodathunkit? :)
Apr. 7th, 2009 02:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, also, I realize it's a Disney movie, but...how the hell were those people breathing and not dying horribly when they were walking around ontop of the ship to the escape vehicle in spitting distance of the event horizon, that irked the hell out of me even when I was six.
Apr. 7th, 2009 02:55 pm (UTC)
According to Wikipedia those questions came up when the movie was released as well, and apparently their half-assed reply was that since the black hole was sucking in planetary atmospheres along with everything else, the Cygnus' anti-gravity technology was able to grab hold of some of it and maintain a slight atmosphere so people could survive for longer than usual. Or something. (It was disregarded then as well, and everyone just chalked it up to Hollywood Science.)
Apr. 7th, 2009 02:57 pm (UTC)
Apr. 8th, 2009 05:56 am (UTC)
I always had assumed that it was the ship's leaked atmosphere clinging on to the outside as a result of its coming apart. I don't understand why it's common to assume in sci-fi that artificial gravity stops magically at the ship's hull. :P
Apr. 8th, 2009 05:47 am (UTC)
As I mentioned in comments, I have been thinking about the answer to your question for 28 years. Here are my guesses:

1. IF a singularity is actually a wormhole, then the crew passed through and either emerged in another part of the universe (in which case they are royally screwed as they would have absolutely no way of getting back home), or they wound up in another universe entirely, but in the same three dimensional location as the universe they departed from, but near a white hole instead of a black hole.

2. IF a singularity is not a wormhole, then the crew never actually passed through, and they are still in the event horizon. To the outside observer, they would have fallen quite rapidly (speed of light, in fact) into the heart of the singularity, which would be a super dense and VERY heavy piece of compressed matter. Relative to the crew, however, time would get much slower as they approached the heart, and continue to get slower and slower. Eternities would pass by to the crew, but still they would not experience falling in. It is during this "relative time" that weird "metaphysical" things may occur, as the laws of conventional quantum physics may not necessarily apply anymore. They may encounter whole star systems, either imaginary or real, while they are all mutually falling toward the heart of the singularity. They may land on a planet, settle down, live life, grow old, and die, and still they would not fall in.

Either way, the villain, in my opinion, never cleared the event horizon, and so most probably created what he conceived is his own personal hell, since as I mentioned the laws of conventional quantum physics may not apply entirely, and the metaphysical could become very real.

But, I guess we'll never know until someone actually goes through and tries to report back using Hawking radiation, Neutrino, or Tachyon communication frequencies.

There, aren't ya glad you asked? :)
Apr. 8th, 2009 01:43 pm (UTC)
Dude, you've thought about this waaaaay too much. I'm impressed. :)
Apr. 7th, 2009 12:24 am (UTC)
I have an unholy love of that movie.
Apr. 7th, 2009 12:32 am (UTC)
I have the DVD. It's okay. They certainly didn't put any work into cleaning it up for the DVD release; there's some film grain, contrast problems, and I think some of the film degraded a bit. If you're going for the music and the story, the DVD is fine. If you're looking for an archival print of the thing, and plenty of extras, well, this won't satisfy.
Apr. 7th, 2009 12:41 am (UTC)
I credit this movie with getting me interested in Sci-Fi and astronomy when I was a kid. To this day, I'm still trying to answer the question of what happened when the crew went through the black hole.

And whether the villain really did find hell on the other side for his misdeeds.
Apr. 7th, 2009 02:15 am (UTC)
Maximilian was one of my first "crushes" i guess you could say. i loved him so much. i would get so happy when he came on the screen. i used to cock my arm at the elbow and walk at people with my hand rotating back and forth as fast as i could like his blades. he is still awesome
Apr. 7th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
That movie scared the bejeezers out of me when I saw it for the first time as a kid. It might have been my first "scary sci-fi" movie.
Apr. 7th, 2009 03:18 am (UTC)
Mine was "Alien." I didn't see a horror film for 10 years after that.
Apr. 7th, 2009 03:29 am (UTC)
It's on my netflix queue, but I'm not sure I'm going to be able to watch it, both because the red robot scared the hell out of me as a kid and because Maximillian Schnell likewise scared the hell out of me.
Apr. 7th, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC)
The reviewer I quoted said that as a kid he didn't realize Schell was acting - he thought they went out and casted an actual crazy person. :)
Apr. 7th, 2009 01:15 pm (UTC)
Many polls have concluded that Maximillian is one of the top 5 scariest robots/AIs in SF. I would lump it with Hal and the original Terminator.
Apr. 7th, 2009 02:02 pm (UTC)
And yet, honestly, he didn't do much except act menacing. Well, and puncture Tony Perkins...
Apr. 7th, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC)
I just bought the DVD right before I left for Las Vegas and watched part of it on the plane. It was fun to see the person next to me lean over and eventhough they couldn't hear it, watch it with me. LOL
Apr. 7th, 2009 06:37 pm (UTC)
What did you think of the DVD?
Apr. 7th, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC)
Its as well as the original movie. I didn't see anything new on it. It does need some touchup work done to it though.
Apr. 8th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)
The movie would be enough for me, although cleaned up would be nice.
Apr. 9th, 2009 12:39 am (UTC)
I loved that movie as a kid.

Weird. I was just thinking about it for the first time in years about a day before you made that post :)
Apr. 9th, 2009 03:37 am (UTC)
I caught it on TV and remembered how much I enjoyed it. Schell was just brilliant, and oh so very, very mad. :)
Apr. 28th, 2009 04:21 pm (UTC)
Maximillian definitely is bad-ass
I'm glad I found this page, because apparently, all those reviewers at MSNBC and wahtever didn't think Maximillian was cool enough to include them in their Robot lists. I was almost insulted. Here is a robot that's imposing, has that "universal-look-of-evil-eyes", he kilss people (or lets them die) and has a mindof his own! On top that he's RED! like HELL! I guess those reviewers never even saw the movie. Scared me when I saw it. I still can't believe Disney thought of this, and much less released it... It's just, too... evil. Well then end. I'd say after that, it's a tie between the Borg and the T-800 terminator. I guess anything that has a skeletal look scares humans.
( 29 comments — Comment )

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