REVIEWED
6/6/03

STORY



LOOK

Blow Out
Director: Brian De Palma
Year: 1981
TRT: 1:48


A decent enough thriller, if not a bit overplayed script-wise. Travolta does an adequate job (aka doesn't seem like the total Joey from Welcome Back Kotter or big-time disco player). It has an alright storyline and if nothing else, is a good look at the unsung hero of sound recordist, even if it is for cheaply-produced horror films (and, as we all know, there's certainly nothing wrong with that). Besides the voyeuristic, horror-like opening of the film, this is a pretty straight-forward conspiracy kind of thriller, with a horribly great (greatly horrible?) ending.

An audio technician who pieces together the background sounds for cheap horror films ends up recording what he growingly believes to be an assassination of a presidential hopeful. Having no-one else to trust but the dazed woman he pulls from a sinking car, he begins wondering how far the implications of his audio tape will reach.

Apparently De Palma had use of a di-optic lens (or whatever the hell it's called) for a week of shooting. This basically allows for a subject really close to the lens and something really far away to be in focus, as long as there's a space between them to compensate (a physical impossibility with normal lenses, no problem with modern editing techniques). It's pulled off well, just a bit over-used in the first half of the film. Also, despite being a movie that focuses more on the audio side of films, the score is a bit too much at times as well. Sure, I know the music is gonna sound a bit dated, but the score tends to be emphasized a little too much at times. And for what it's worth, it's fairly apparent where Sam Raimi "borrowed" some of his interesting shots from. Definitely some great camera work here when it's not too distracting.

Great Scene: Though a bit lacking in traffic at first, a decent car sequence.

DVD Notes: Basic DVD put out by MGM that includes the double-sided duo of Standard & Widescreen, with the theatrical trailer.