Sunday, June 29, 2008

Movies: The Black Hole

"The Black Hole" is a Disney science fiction movie from 1979, and, like a lot of movies from that era, it hasn't aged well. It's not because the special effects are particularly bad; actually, the antigrav systems of the robots in the movie are still fairly convincing. No, it's because when viewed without the dewy-eyed patina of youth, the movie just isn't that great.

There are some odd creative decisions made by director Gary Nelson. In many respects, "The Black Hole" is supposed to be a dark movie, especially by Disney standards. There are brooding, Faust-like characters, a man gets eviscerated, and many of the early moments are downright eerie. But every so often, a moment of levity is mixed in (the V.I.N.CENT design seems made to sell kid's toys), and the effect is jarring.

The cast is largely disposable, including unconvincing turns from Anthony Perkins and even Ernest Borgnine (who overacts his way through the entire movie). There's little in the way of tension, the action scenes are tepid, and the whole thing eventually wears out its welcome about 2/3 of the way through.

The best part of the film, strangely enough, is the ending. It's an obvious imitation of "2001: A Space Odyssey," with a strange twist in store for the main antagonists. Still, it's not enough to redeem the movie from mediocrity.

Rating: 4/10


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