The Black Hole
Very minor spoilers for “The Black Hole,” a 36 year old movie ahead.
I made Elly watch “The Black Hole” last night. I’m always curious to get a new viewers take without all the nostalgia like I have for it. She liked it! I think it’s a fairly enjoyable ride. It has a dark, moody, suspenseful sci-fi layer to it (that’s my favorite layer) but also a lot of really bad layers too. Some parts obviously for the kids (it was a Disney movie) and yet the dark layer is strangely at odds with that. Very interesting how it all fits together. There’s certainly some really bad acting, writing and directing, some slapstick, cheesy elements but overall I still enjoy it and see why it held such a special place in my life (aside from just that period in my life and associating it with my cousin). It still feels very grand in a way. The Cygnus is still an impressive, imposing ship. When it first turns all its lights on still feels eye opening. The iconic meteor tearing down the ships vast corridor. A lot of the effects still hold up (mainly the practical one, any CG or lasers look appropriately dated). I love the look, the sets, and especially all the robots. Maximilian, V.I.N.CENT, the sentries, the creepy robed workers.
Then there’s the ending. I won’t write any particular spoilers or anything here, but read no further if you don’t want to read at least general comments about what I think of it.
That ending. 5:40 of pure WTF. The cinematic equivalent of a drug trip. And probably a bad one. It’s as if they didn’t really have an ending and were just like “Do something artsy. Perhaps some heaven/hell imagery. Just some really artsy, visual stuff. It doesn’t need to really make sense or anything. People will just think it’s all artsy and striking and intense.”
All these years later, and that ending still fills me with “WTF did I just see? Was that part of the movie or was I dosed and hallucinating?”
“Maximilian! You shouldn’t have done that!”