21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic De Palma receives poor DVD
Blow out is a classic example of the cinema of Brian De Palma and features a career best perfomance from John Travolta
The film follows John Travolta film sound recordist who records a car crash that kills a presdential candidate. He becomes convinced that the car crash was no accident and starts to investigate it with help of a woman who was in the car at the...
Published on 12 Nov 2003 by Neil.J.Mckenzie
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but dated
I loved this film when it first came out. It's a reinvention of the Antonioni film 'Blow Up'. In the original a photographer takes a shot of something he shouldn't have. In this version, John Travolta is a sound engineer for a small-time film company whose microphones 'hear' a sound at the scene of an 'accident'. John Travolta is pretty good in the role and it's an...
Published 8 months ago by Stephen Myers
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic De Palma receives poor DVD,
This review is from: Blow Out [DVD] (DVD)Blow out is a classic example of the cinema of Brian De Palma and features a career best perfomance from John Travolta
The film follows John Travolta film sound recordist who records a car crash that kills a presdential candidate. He becomes convinced that the car crash was no accident and starts to investigate it with help of a woman who was in the car at the time of the crash.
De Palma cleverly uses different techniques like split screens and deep focus photography to make us emphasis with Travolta's character as he despartely tries to convince people that an assaination has taken place.
The film features many classic sequences in which De Palma uses every technique in the book to create tension and suspense for the audience. Your are left on the edge of your seat to the final tragic ending.
While the DVD is thankfully in 2:35:1 widescreen format rather than the awful pan and scan version that has previously been available on video. The transfer is not as good as it might have been which is a pity as it lessens the impact of some of the shots. There are also no extras apart from a trailer on this DVD, which is a pity as it would have been interesting to hear De Palma discuss this classic film.
The DVD is still worth owning if you are a De Palma fan its just a shame that MGM could have not taken a bit more care with its presentation.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but dated,
This review is from: Blow Out [DVD] (DVD)I loved this film when it first came out. It's a reinvention of the Antonioni film 'Blow Up'. In the original a photographer takes a shot of something he shouldn't have. In this version, John Travolta is a sound engineer for a small-time film company whose microphones 'hear' a sound at the scene of an 'accident'. John Travolta is pretty good in the role and it's an mystery. Nancy Allen doesn't really do it for me, but then she was married to the director (and excelled in some other films). John Lithgow and Dennis Franz are as dependable as ever.
The story is clever and the connection between the beginning and surprise ending very well executed.
A creepy little film, typical Brian de Palma, and it doesn't follow the normal pattern. It is dated, though, which is why I've only given it a 3 star.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Thriller,
This review is from: Blow Out [DVD] (DVD)John Travolta plays a low end (horror) film sound engineer and is out late one night recording effects when he witnesses a car crashing into the river and rushes into help. On the face of it it seems a straight accident however Travolta's recollection of the sounds and subsequent study of the recording makes him suspicious and he sets off to try and find the truth. Being asked a favour on behalf of the man in the car also raises our suspicions.
It's a film that has the confidence to not be rushed and lets you sink into his position and wonder what on earth he's going to do next. Its a bit nerdy with all the sound/films clips but weaves a good web that has plenty going on and only a couple of minor weak points in the plot.
Wasn't really expecting much from this having found an old recording of it but I found this 1981 film engrossing. I guess it's easiest to compare this to, apparently, the sound engineers favorite The Conversation and whilst I liked that too I felt this had a more engaging story and was less dry, if still hard hitting. There are a few sound things going on in this as with The Conversation but not having a clue about sound I've no idea how they two films compare on that level.
Finally I have to say I've never really assessed Travolta's performances before but in this he is excellent.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Scream!,
This review is from: Blow Out [DVD] (DVD)Blow Out is one of Brian De Palmas best movies. The film has a similar style with some of his other top films such as Body Double and Raising Cain. The film also stars De Palma regular Nancy Allen, reteaming her with Carrie co-star John Travolta. Both actors are great but it's John Lithgow playing the crazed killer that steals the show. Lithgow plays an Assasin who really seems to enjoy his work. The movie also reminded me of two other classics, Blow Up and The Conversation.
I found the DVD quality to be excellent. This is an amazing film, although despite being similar, not quite as much fun as De Palmas Body Double.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lurid thriller which annoys as much as it entertains,
This review is from: Blow Out [DVD] (DVD)While some elements of this film pleased me, generally I found its style a little too overdone, a little too intent on trying to make an impact. The director was very concerned with his visual style setting the tone which was supposed to be disturbing or slightly portentous, so he lifted a lot of techniques from Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorcese, it appeared to me, to create this unsettling atmosphere. Some of his camera shots were absolutely lovely, his use of locations, fantastic, v much in the manner of AH.
The real faults were with the narrative, as he tried so hard to create this psychological atmosphere that it became a little disjointed and started to be confusing. By the end of the film I wasn't sure if I was watching a movie about a crazed serial killer with a hatred for women or a cold contract killer I presumed he was supposed to be. The direction was overdone, too focused on being sleazy and disturbing, and created the wrong atmosphere for the type of killer the screenplay had. And the casting of Lithgo to play this character helped this confusion none! So it didn't work for me as a thriller, but it was very entertaining and good to look at in places. I would have given it another star had it not been for the tasteless and false looking ending (which really should have been resisted) because there was real suspense in the film, but I felt Mr. DePalma just didn't know when to stop.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BLOW OUT,
This review is from: Blow Out [DVD] (DVD)This film was panned by the critics but it is a good film which has an un -Hollywood end and John Lithgow as a real nasty !!
5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent,
This review is from: Blow Out [DVD] (DVD)When I found out that this film had bombed on its release at the box office, I was sickened, but a part of me was glad, because some of the best movies do fail at the cinema, but that takes nothing away from the sheer brilliance of this thrilling masterpiece, which sees Travolta playing a gifted film sound technician who witnesses and accidentally records an assasination.
Nancy Allen is wonderful as the girl who is also nearly sent to her doom at the beginning. So here, she isn't the superbitch like she played in Carrie, she is totally adorable.
John Lithgow's chillingly cold and calculated hitman is enough to make you realise that this film may or may not have a happy ending, and as such, that increases the tension. I have to warn about the ending, but just fasten your seatbelts and be ready because it is a bit of a shocker! It is powerfully put together and in a strange way, romantic. A kind of tragic love story that is almost never allowed to happen, but oddly enough, it makes this excellent thriller even better.
2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The film has aged due to a rather trite subject,
This review is from: Blow Out [DVD] (DVD)This Brian de Palma film is essential in our western cinema. It picks the theme so marvelously exploited by Hitchcock of the voyeur who sees a crime (Room with a view), a murder being committed. But of course he has to develop the theme. Here the voyeur is a sound technician of the cinema industry who one nights sees, hears and records a presidential candidate being assassinated in the shape of a car accident, at the same time as a photographer was filming the same scene for some political and of course immoral and even criminal but politically and professionally correct project. It is when a serial killer of some kind gets into the picture and starts satisfying his desire to kill women, women of a certain type, at the same time as he cleans up the plate of the conspirators and plotters for the political assassination never to come out in the open. He destroys evidence. He tampers with state evidence. He eliminates witnesses and along with them a few more just for his personal fun. The film does not show any real deep meaning that has not been dealt with and developed over and over in the cinema. Politics are rotten. Nothing new under the sun. Politicians are sexual perverts. Nothing new under the sun. Police, media, simple people, everyone are only interested in non-disturbing, non-disquieting facts, even if they are absolutely false. The only positive point of this film, maybe even a new element, is the fact that an essential popular parade is totally disturbed by the main character running after the criminal in order to prevent his killing the direct witness of the murder. And yet the parade goes on as if nothing was happening. When society is celebrating its belly-button nothing can divert it from contemplating that belly button. And that is the power of criminals who use this narcissistic fascination to commit and cover their crimes. Don't worry they are not the only ones. In fact politicians are good too at doing that and what's more they can decide when and where the celebrations can take place to cover up their shortcomings, mistakes or even crimes.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
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Blow Out [DVD] by Brian De Palma (DVD - 2002)