Blow Out

Blow Out

DVD - 2011
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Jack is a movie sound-effects man who believes he has accidentally recorded a political assassination. He enlists the help of Sally, a possible eyewitness to the crime who may be in danger herself, to uncover the truth. With its jolting stylistic flourishes, intricate plot, profoundly felt characterizations, and gritty evocation of early-1980s Philadelphia, this is an American paranoia thriller unlike any other, as well as a devilish reflection on the act of movie making.
Publisher: [Irvington, N.Y.] :, Criterion Collection,, [2011]
Edition: Director-approved two-DVD special edition
Branch Call Number: DVD DRAMA BLO
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (108 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
digital,optical,rda
DVD,NTSC,rda
video file,DVD video,region 1,rda
Alternative Title: Murder à la mod

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l
loella
Feb 24, 2020

This two-disc set makes, on its second disc, full of supplements, the case for both the feature and the director. They're reasonably persuasive, caliing attention to de Palma's technical resourcefulness and his fitting of style to subject matter. They also point up the fine points of John Travolta's and Nancy Allen's acting. Moving on to the film proper, however, while it doesn't contradict the assessments of the two principals' work, shows up the weakness of the overall conception. Blow Out is really just a variation on Antonioni's Blow Up and Francis Ford Coppola's previous variation on the same film, The Conversation, that may match Coppola's precedent but seems quite inferior to Blow Up. So much inferior--not in execution but in conception--that Blow Out becomes, for me, too tedious to stay with much beyond an hour. Yesterday's thrillers rarely keep their punch, and Blow Out is one such. It's too bad, then, that so talented a filmmaker as de Palma has concentrated on thrillers throughout his career. --Ray Olson

s
SAPL454
Apr 23, 2019

This is a gory movie but it is full of action scenes.

c
Calvacade
Mar 15, 2017

Brian De Palma's masterly movie conflates Antonioni's " Blow-Up " and Coppola's " The Conversation " to produce a potent brew of conspiracy theory and cinematic virtuosity that is all his own. There are echoes of the Kennedy assassination, the drowning of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick and the Watergate cover-up in the story of an obsessive sound effects expert (John Travolta) who stumbles into an elaborate conspiracy while spending the night recording material for a low-budget horror flick in the woods outside Philadelphia (De Palma's home town).

t
thornhill_boy
Mar 11, 2017

Surprisingly brilliant. Since it is not from era, I started watching with with look warm interest but was soon blown away by its plot, build-up, technical excellence and cinematography. Acting is fairly average but the suspense makes up for it.

Marinetti Feb 28, 2017

In the enthralling Blow Out, brilliantly crafted by Brian De Palma (Sisters, Carrie, Scarface), John Travolta (Saturday Night Fever, Pulp Fiction) gives one of his greatest performances, as Jack, a movie sound-effects man who believes he has accidentally recorded a political assassination. He enlists the help of Sally (played by Carrie’s Nancy Allen), a possible eyewitness to the crime who may be in danger herself, to uncover the truth. With its jolting stylistic flourishes, intricate plot, profoundly felt characterizations, and gritty evocation of early-1980s Philadelphia, Blow Out is an American paranoia thriller unlike any other, as well as a devilish reflection on the act of moviemaking.

n
Nursebob
Dec 29, 2016

Brian De Palma makes murder sexy in this stylish thriller even though time has given it something of a kitschy edge. An obvious allusion to Ted Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick misadventure is tempered by nods to Antonioni’s "Blow-Up" and just about every cinematic trick Hitchcock has ever pulled from his sleeve including towering crane shots and breathless chase sequences. Oscar-winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond even has a few tricks of his own with ceiling cams skewing our perception (Jack’s cluttered workroom is reduced to a doll’s house as the camera zooms upwards), 360˚ pans, split screens, and a brilliant low angle shot of a life and death struggle played out against a sky full of exploding fireworks. Laced with paranoia and a sense of the macabre—a restroom strangulation is a study in fetishized suspense—De Palma takes a rather facile plot and drenches it in so much panache that you hardly even notice the plot holes right up to that horribly ironic final segment. A great late night popcorn flick.

v
voisjoe1_0
Oct 20, 2015

An incredible suspense film, which is inspired by the film The Blowup (which is inspired by a Spanish-American short story). Whereas the older Blowup film tells the story of a photographer who investigates a possible murder, the Blowout is the story of a film soundman who stumbles across an apparent auto accident and he uses his sound technology and film footage to uncover a murder conspiracy.

y
YeahOkayWhatever
Oct 19, 2015

It starts off as a nudge and a wink to trashy exploitation/horror then it goes full Hitchcock as Brian De Palma knows how to do best. Criterion did a great job releasing this and as a bonus we get De Palma's earlier, weirder film "Murder a la Mod" as a bonus, too!

l
lukasevansherman
Oct 10, 2015

Quite possible De Palma's best film and one of John Travolta's most understated performances. The title is a take off of Antonioni's "Blow Up."

m
martyrofevil
Sep 17, 2013

An above average thriller that, despite some questionable acting, really delivers in the end. Technically this movie is fantastic. Loads of beautiful shots.

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