About a month ago I was going to blog about how much I think Disney's The Black Hole sucks shaved monkey balls but I got sidetracked.
I never owned a copy of the movie but I've always had some good memories of it from back in the day. I remember HBO ran it every day for what must have been months and I watched it mainly out of sheer boredom (in 1979 cable TV had not yet gone full tilt and my options were limited.)
In any event, so about a month ago I picked up a DVD copy at Giant Eagle for like $3.99. I figured "Hell, it's certainly worth four bucks." As it turns out, sure, The Black Hole is worth four bucks. But just barely.
After watching the film again for the first time in literally decades -- not as a punk-ass teenager with the attention span of a chicken, but as an adult -- I came to the conclusion that yes indeed, despite some high points here and there, The Black Hole is a turd. In my mind the name of the film should be... well I'll tell you at the end. It really is pretty hard to sit through from beginning to end, even for a sci-fi loving geek such as myself. Why do I think it's terrible? I'll get to that in a minute.
Okay so here we are, it's 2009, and Disney has already gone into production with TRON Legacy. The preliminary reports on that one seem promising so yes I'm down with a new TRON, no problem. See, TRON was another piece of filmmaking that did not live up to its full potential. Yeah the effects work at the time blew some minds -- and yeah the arcade game was fun -- but really at the end of the day with its awful dialog and lackluster plot, TRON sucked. Just like The Black Hole sucked. They sucked in different ways but they both sucked. In sharp contrast to remaking a great movie like Total Recall, I think the suck factor of TRON and The Black Hole makes re-imagining both of them 100% justifiable.
Heat Vision Blog recently reported Disney was starting up a re-imagining of The Black Hole. It looks like they're really going to go through with it. I think that idea is dope. The concept was never fully realized (yeah, yeah, I know... Event Horizon... whatever... it's not the same thing) and in the right hands doing it using current technology would just knock people out. I hope it goes through and we get a kick-ass Black Hole film.
So okay now, why do I think Disney's The Black Hole sucks? I am assuming if you have to ask that question, you are either someone who A) has never seen the movie B) saw the movie but can't remember anything about it, or C) is mentally retarded. Just kidding with that last one. Honestly where do I start? First let me tell you what I think they got right. The overall vibe is pretty sweet; it really has an eerie, isolated atmosphere, one which few sci-fi films can attest to having delivered. Some of the direction was nice, the cinematographer did some really nice panoramic camera work inside the ship and outside during the space sequences.
The Black Hole also has an awesomely kick-ass giant red robot named Maximilian. He has whirling blades of death. Yay, whirling blades of death!
The music is also really exceptional. If you've never heard it before, you should give it a listen (watch the clips below). Finally, the set design... holy f#*k! The backdrops, the architecture, the spacial properties throughout the movie... they are god-damned fantastic in my opinion.
WARNING... RANT BEGINS HERE.
WARNING... RANT BEGINS HERE.
Now we get to the shitty part. The pacing is terrible. As I watched it recently I felt as if I had been sent to the belly of Sarlac, where I experienced a new definition of the words pain and suffering. The story has so many holes no wonder the f#*king movie has the word "Hole" in it. Alright maybe we can give it a pass to some degree, I mean the concept of gigantic robots from space that breakdance seems to sit well with the general public so who cares about little things like a spaceship being too close to a black hole for most of the movie without being sucked in, am I right? In its blinded pursuit of the Star Wars gravy train, Disney did not know whether to make this movie for kids or adults and the resulting mix shows... it is a dark film yet at times sillier than Woody Woodpecker. More than anything though, most people who have seen The Black Hole would agree that nothing can save it once they have heard what I can only describe as some of the worst, most shitty, abysmal dialog I have ever heard in my life... delivered in a 100% wooden, robotronic manner. You have Anthony Perkins, a guy who was supposed to be damn good, and here he is sucking hard. You have freaking "heavy hitter" and disaster movie legend Earnest Borgnine sucking even harder. The only one who seemed to be able to deliver his lines in a consistent manner with any sense of realism or dignity is the evil dude played by Maximillian Schnell, not to be confused with the kick-ass giant red robot Maximilian. To top it off the actors all have terrible Disney haircuts from 1963. Jesus give me a break! I was 14 years-old when I saw this in the theater and I swear to god I remember thinking to myself, "WTF is going on with these gay haircuts?!" And the little robots... V.I.N.cent, the shiny new one and B.O.B., the beaten-up trash can looking one. V.I.N.cent comes up with horrible cheesy advice such as "A penny earned..." every five minutes, so annoying. B.O.B. on the other hand, yeah B.O.B., the terrible stupid hillbilly f#*king robot... omg please. SLIM PICKENS IS A F#*KING ROBOT!!! DO I NEED TO SAY ANYTHING ELSE TO CONVINCE YOU THAT THIS MOVIE SHOULD HAVE BEEN CALLED "THE ASS HOLE: A JOURNEY THAT BEGINS WHEN YOU WALK OUT OF THE THEATER," AS IN WHEN I EAT TACO BELL AT 3:00 IN THE MORNING, THE JOURNEY OF TACOS BEGINS IN MY MOUTH AND ENDS WHEN THEY COME OUT OF MY ASS HOLE AND GO INTO THE TOILET! NO, HOW 'BOUT THIS ONE, "THE ASS HOLE: A JOURNEY THAT ENDS WHEN I F#*KING GET UP AND TURN THIS SHIT OFF!" THAT'S THE JOURNEY, RIGHT THERE!!!
END OF RANT
Take care and ttys!
Two shitty robots and one really cool one
The only dude in the film who could act
Mego's line of The Black Hole action figures.
As a 14 year-old who refused to give up on toys,
I actually bought two of these with my allowance...
a V.I.N.cent and a Robot Sentry
(for some inexplicable reason... I must have
thought they would look cool battling my Star Wars guys)
Maximilian and his whirling blades of death
The opening six minutes and twenty-six
seconds of the movie. If you listen, you'll
hear a few notes blatantly borrowed from Star Wars.
Overall though, a great soundtrack.
* Which is better, I suppose, than a Dirty Sanchez.