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Overall Rating
3.34

Awesome: 21.54%
Worth A Look: 16.92%
Average41.54%
Pretty Bad: 13.85%
Total Crap: 6.15%

6 reviews, 29 user ratings


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Black Hole, The (1979)
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by Peter Sobczynski

"The Movie That Changed My Life"
3 stars

This is not a real review of "The Black Hole" by any stretch of the imagination. This is a reprint of something that I wrote for The Site That Shall Not Be Named when it was released on DVD a couple of years ago. However, a request has gone out to post as many reviews of it as possible and this is the best way to do so without putting in any actual effort.

Twenty-five years after its release, "The Black Hole", Walt Disney Studios big-budget effort to jump on the sci-fi bandwagon created by the successes of "Star Wars" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", pretty much has the same reputation that it had when it first premiered in 1979-that of a boring bust with some elaborate special effects (mostly beautiful reminders of the days before computer imagery took over the special-effects industry), too many cutesy robots, a plot that was nothing more than a refried version of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and a finale so perplexingly odd that even David Lynch might have taken issue with it. It still isnít a very good movie but I have to admit that I have a soft spot in my heart for it for a couple of reasons. The first is that finale-which is still crazy after all these years. The other reason is more personal-this, more than any other film, is the movie that helped me, at the tender age of 9, realize that I wanted to become a film critic when I grew up.

I was invited to a birthday party at the house of a kid (for the life of me, I cannot remember who) whose parents had just purchased a VCR.-at the time, a relative rarity as they were only just becoming widely available on the commercial market. As part of the festivities, they had rented "The Black Hole" to watch. Unlike most of my peers, I had already seen the film and even at that young age, I recognized that it was nothing more than a boring rip-off of far better films. Being a polite young lad, I didnít say anything and watched the film with everyone else.

After it came to its merciful end, the mother asked us if we liked the film and everyone responded affirmatively-except, of course, for myself. When she asked why I didnít like it, I said that it was boring, it was the exact same thing as "20,000 Leagues" (which I had seen and loved at the time) and that the black hole itself looked like a doughnut in a toilet. At that point, the infinitely patient and kind-hearted woman informed me that the people who made that film spent a lot of time and money to make it and I should like it for that reason alone. Even at that age, I might have argued that point, but it was about time for the cake to be served and if there is one thing that can cause a young boy to drop his carefully chosen beliefs, it is the promise of sheet cake. I agreed and the party continued.

And yet, I knew that what she said didnít make a lot of sense and that a movie shouldnít be given a free pass just because people worked on it-if a movie was bad and I could understand why it was bad, I should be able to say so.

From that moment on, I knew what I wanted to do and that is how "The Black Hole" changed my life. Maybe it will change yours as well.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2593&reviewer=389
originally posted: 02/11/07 15:53:58
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User Comments

1/24/15 Giv Most remember this as a bad film; it's much better than that and rather affecting too. 4 stars
2/02/14 PAUL SHORTT ELEGANT, ENJOYABLE SCI-FI, WITH SUPERB SPECIAL EFFECTS 3 stars
5/12/13 Perl Po8 This film is so adorable in how seriously it takes itself. I miss when Disney took chances 4 stars
9/11/12 cloudy There should be Alien vs. Maximillian and the goon bots 5 stars
4/24/08 David Cohen Okay, so it's not "Star Wars" at least it's not "The Phantom Menace" 3 stars
3/31/08 Aaron Weird yes, believeable no. This is a classic gothic tale in space, folks! 4 stars
12/27/07 Trey Did we watch the same movie?! Juvinile crap! 20000 Leagues in Space, my ass... 1 stars
11/19/07 Jeff Anderson A visually stunning masterpiece from Disney & lots of fun. John Barry's score is fantastic! 5 stars
11/14/07 Tom Servo Ahh my old uncle B.O.B.- god rest him. Maximillian STILL kicks ass! 4 stars
10/29/07 LouBob The ending is fantastic. The ultimate ending!! 5 stars
6/13/07 Alan Flawed, but visually stunning. Loved it as a kid, and I still love it now! 4 stars
4/24/07 David Pollastrini Great fx for it's time! 4 stars
3/23/07 Centurion Draco Visually stunning, with shocks and laughs! Great flying Robots. Maximillian is STILL scary! 5 stars
2/21/07 RKM Weak but lots of chessy fun, and so goofy. So Disney. 4 stars
2/12/07 Eric The first Disney movie where a human dies. 4 stars
10/27/06 Indrid Cold Possibly the most bizarre major studio release ever, certainly from Disney. 2 stars
6/12/05 Gecko Fanfoot A huge black hole of suck. 1 stars
6/27/04 Dr. Lecter Humans breathe in the vacuum of space! 2 stars
6/22/03 Anneca Loved it at age 13 & I see no reason to change my mind now. Nit-picking can ruin ANY movie. 5 stars
4/19/03 Marisa Monroe You will LOVE this movie! 5 stars
2/11/03 Ubu the Ripper Anyone who had anything to do with this movie should be euthanized. 1 stars
1/26/03 Jack Sommersby Atypically creepy flick from Disney. Flawed but mesmerizing. 4 stars
1/13/03 Vince Decent movie, but the end needs more explanation. 3 stars
12/05/02 Roddy fangirl My hero Roddy as a very sassy robot, what can be cooler?? 5 stars
10/26/02 Charles Tatum Cool effects 4 stars
1/18/02 David A. Lots of special effects but no story. Robot racism just doesn't do it for me. 2 stars
12/06/01 LP Quagmire On par with 2001. 5 stars
7/14/00 Japtalian Piece of Disney shit!! 1 stars
3/07/00 J. AlŠn Blankenship A strangely interesting film...I'd like to see a remake. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  21-Dec-1979 (PG)
  DVD: 03-Aug-2004

UK
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