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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Movies as litmus tests
Another film that brings out the moral venality in Amazon "reviewers". I particularly love the one who was "forced" to watch it in a friend's film class & found it a "waist" of time. Let's see...the waist is where things ingested pass through on their way to the digestion process. But I doubt he was being that profound.
Then there...
Published on July 17 2004 by inframan

versus
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blow-Up main audio is sadly very poor quality
The film may look good - but you've got to be able to hear it to enjoy it.
The main audio only comes from the center speaker (the only DVD I own that does this) and is incredibly low in volume. Even when you crank your amp up to near maximum to hear it, you'll find that sole center signal sounds suspiciously like it's meant to be part of at least a 2.1 soundtrack. It...
Published on June 28 2004 by John Frame


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blow-Up main audio is sadly very poor quality, June 28 2004
By 
John Frame "There Is No Substitute For Equality" (Brisbane, Queensland Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blow Up (DVD)
The film may look good - but you've got to be able to hear it to enjoy it.
The main audio only comes from the center speaker (the only DVD I own that does this) and is incredibly low in volume. Even when you crank your amp up to near maximum to hear it, you'll find that sole center signal sounds suspiciously like it's meant to be part of at least a 2.1 soundtrack. It completely lacks bass and the music has no presence.
I've seen Blow-Up on the big screen in recent years, I know it can sound as good as it looks. Someone at Warners has made a big blunder in mastering this DVD. In its present format it's not worth buying or owning.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Movies as litmus tests, July 17 2004
By 
inframan (the lower depths) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Blow Up (DVD)
Another film that brings out the moral venality in Amazon "reviewers". I particularly love the one who was "forced" to watch it in a friend's film class & found it a "waist" of time. Let's see...the waist is where things ingested pass through on their way to the digestion process. But I doubt he was being that profound.
Then there are the ones who find the film dated, London too empty & the main character a horrible nasty. Well folks, it's true there are no friendly wizards, cute goblins or funny ogres in this one, so it may taste like harsh medicine to some. But Blow-Up was a real slice of the 1960s, take it or leave it. Not just the "life-style" (clothes, decor & behavior) which is perfectly rendered (& is probably what dates the film the most) but the sheer fragmentation of time & space, of event & response. This was Antonioni's particular area of expertise: space & emptiness filled with random human collisions supposedly suffused with "meaning".
Well, we certainly have adopted different attitudes today, haven't we? Everything with its socio-political subtext. The big problem, I think, with a movie like Blow-Up is that it doesn't easily let you pick which Side to Be On. It's very European in that way (Old Europe, to use current parlance).
Hey folks, when you look at a De Chirico (you should, you know), do you find the streets too empty, the perspectives too stark & arbitrary?
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Real Trip to '60s Mod London, Jan. 3 2014
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This review is from: Blow Up (DVD)
The core story is of a photographer (played by David Hemmings) who captures a woman and man embracing in a park - the man ends up dead, and the negatives of the photographer's pictures may contain evidence about the murder. By zooming and enlarging ("blowing up") portions of his photos, more detail and greater uncertainty emerges. There's a commentary audio track on the DVD that is worth listening to, after viewing the film in its normal form. That commentary is particularly useful for placing the film into its 1960s social context, and expanding on the artier scenes. It's clear from both the film's content - and the commentary - that the viewer is meant to come out asking "What's real, anyway?"
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4.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking ending for the main character., July 9 2013
By 
Robert Asgeirsson (Surrey, British Columbia, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blow Up (DVD)
I saw this fascinating Antonioni film back in the mid-sixties when it first came out. Aside from the frustrating ending, many aspiring photographers wanted the perks of his adventurous life-style, myself included. This film was refreshingly different from the main stream cinema of the day and attracted a lot of attention. The subtle wind sound in the park scene still works for me though my fine sound system needed cranking up a little. Bought this "used" in standard dvd format. I wonder what a Blu-ray version would do for the picture quality. Guess I'm Blu-ray spoiled these days.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual story enhanced by brilliant cinematography, Aug. 24 2002
By 
Matthew Horner (USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blow Up [Import] (VHS Tape)
"Blow Up" was a sensation when it was released in 1966. Critics and moviegoers hotly debated its enigmatic story. Three and a half decades later, its meaning is no clearer. I have seen it several times, and I remain clueless. The movie has fallen into relative obscurity, and, so, the few people I've met who have seen it have been unable to offer any satisfactory insights. If you are looking for pop entertainment, you certainly want to avoid this one because the plot is so puzzling.
Why, you may ask, do I rank it so highly? It's because it is one of the most visually stunning movies I have ever seen. Every single shot is composed with the utmost care. The framing is amazing. The colors are beautiful. The sound, too, is meticulously constructed. Although the sound technology back then was primitive compared to today's, the movie manages to make background noises very much a part of the whole.
The story revolves around a bored but brilliant London photographer, played by David Hemmings. He is a genius at his craft, but his life is an empty place. One day he wanders into a lovely park, where he spies two lovers. He follows them and photographs them. The girl [Vanessa Redgrave] sees him and demands he give her the film. He refuses. When he develops the photos, he sees a blurred image, which, when blown up, looks like it might be a body. He also blows up an images that looks like a hand holding a gun. He has accidentally photographed a murder. Or has he? The girl finds his studio. She seduces him. He pretends to give her the negatives, but later finds his studio has been vandalized. By the girl? By an accomplice? And for what reason? Who will believe him? Or is there anything to believe? It's left to the viewer to supply the answers.
The lively and unusual music tracks are by jazz great Herbie Hancock. The movie was directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, an Italian. To the best of my knowledge, his only other English language film is "Zabriskie Point" [1970]. His Italian films include "La Notte" [1960], "The Eclipse" [1962] and "Red Desert" [1964]. Brian De Palma's 1981 movie, "Blow Out" was inspired by "Blowup".
Highly recommended to those who believe movies can be an art form.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Heresy! - Not my favorite Antononi,, May 13 2011
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blow Up (DVD)
A film I appreciated and enjoyed more on a second viewing. But, while it's clear how influential it was on other film-makers, for me it feels more dated and awkward than Antonioni's earlier films. I know, I'm probably in the minority on this one.

Antonioni switches back and forth between 'plot' and abandoning it to shoot a now tame and silly three-way sex sequence, or a rock group stiffly performing. (Yes, that arbitrariness is part of the point, but its a simple point we get pretty quickly). There is that great sequence in the middle, when Hemmings starts to 'discover' the hidden images in the photos he took, but other than that sequence, this didn't have the visual brilliance of other Antonioni films that offset the sometimes simplistic characters and ideas.

That's a running feeling I have about Antononi - he's often simply judging the 'shallowness' of society and his characters instead of getting inside it, And he repeats himself on that theme obsessively. It's also sort of hypocritical. Clearly, Antonioni is judging his character's obsession with sex and material things, yet just as clearly Antonioni panders to those instincts with the endless sex and modeling, and 'cool. mod London' scenes. I'm sure he'd say that's the whole point; we're all that shallow underneath, but...

To be fair, many (most?) still think it's a masterpiece. And if more as an important piece of film history than entertainment, I agree it's worth seeing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Soundtrack review, April 15 2011
By 
Gary Fuhrman "gnox" (Manitoulin Island) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blow Up (DVD)
This is one of those films in which every detail contributes to the total effect, and contributes more on repeated viewings. This is especially true of the soundtrack -- and seeing many warnings among these reviews of poor audio quality, i hesitated for years to buy this DVD, although it's the only version available of one of the great films of its time (or any time, in my opinion). Well, it's true that the level of the soundtrack is exceptionally low: you have to crank up the volume at least 10db above the usual to hear it properly. But if your sound system can handle that without introducing noise of its own, then the sound is there in all its subtle glory (or its raucous glory in the scene with the Yardbirds performing "Stroll On"). The sound quality is especially crucial in the scenes in the park -- and the blowing-up sequence in the photographer's studio, where the audible sound of the wind in the trees adds a hair-raising effect.

I have also seen reviews claiming that cuts have been made in the film. I saw it in theatres several times back in 1966 or 67 -- this is one of a mere handful of films that i have seen several times in the theatre -- and the version on this DVD is exactly as i remember it, nothing missing. There's nothing wrong with the picture quality in this Antonioni masterpiece either. I won't repeat here what many reviewers have said about why this is a great film, but i will emphasize that the DVD is a good buy IF you have a decent sound system to play your movies through.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A labyrinth of realities..., Sept. 24 2010
By 
Edmonson (Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blow Up (DVD)
Michelangelo Antonioni's "Blow-Up" features David Hemmings as the photographer. This film follows the photographer into a park where he takes photos of a couple embracing and playing. It is later when he develops the photos that he finds out that he has evidence of a murder in the backgrounds of the photos.

The movie is as much about the photgrapher in the film as it is about Antonioni, who is also the photographer of the movie. In the movie when Hemmings develops the photos he is trying to put together the reality of the scene, and he is trying to impose a narrative on the scene he has viewed just as the director himself through a sequence of scenes is creating a narrative. Can reality ever really make sense though? Here, the photographer is going over photo after photo in order to try and recreate the past moment that he witnessed. Interestingly enough while we are watching the scenes there is no sound or music except the haunting sounds we heard in the park of the leaves of the trees rustling in the wind. Through these sequences of shots a marvelous build up of drama is created as we speculate about what he is going to find. Eventually he does find a man in the woods holding a gun, and believes that he has prevented a murder. It is through a series of shots like these that Antonioni's genius for film making is conveyed. After blowing up a few more photos he finds a body and realizes that someone was killed after all.

There is a scene that is important in the film that shows an artist in his studio who makes a comment that he often doesn't know what he has made until after the fact. And it is only after he has had some time to view the painting that some aspect of it begins to have meaning for him. It is at this point that he has then imposed meaning on the image. This could be said to be the way Antonioni works through his own work as a director. When the photographer goes back to the park to see if the body is there it is to verify the reality of what he has seen in the photos. After he sees the body in the park he then must find someone else in order to verify his view because reality only has meaning in a social context. But then when he goes back to his studio he finds that someone has stolen the photos, and so the evidence of the murder is gone. When he returns to the body in order to photograph the body it also is gone. Now he can't prove that there was a murder. The blown up photos look like one of Bill's abstract paintings where there was no meaning until the artist imposed one on the image, just as Hemming's character too has imposed meaning on the photos he has taken. By blowing up the photos it is as if he has revealed layers under layers to find meaning, but has he found any meaning if he can't now prove it to anyone else? Vanessa Redgrave's character appears again and then disappears. Constantly we are led through this labyrinth where the truth remains elusive. Meaning is shown as only having meaning if it is in a social context as meaning is a social construction. Hemming is never able to verify his reality since he can never get anyone to see the corpse.

In the last scene, with the mimes, we have a group of people participating in the illusion of a tennis game which the photographer witnesses. We are shown that the imaginary tennis game has meaning because this group of mimes buy into this reality. Eventually Hemming's character also buys into this reality as he goes to retrieve the imaginary ball that was hit over the fence. Even the camera buys into this reality as it too follows the flight of the imaginary ball which flies over the fence and rolls over the grass. Ultimately Hemming's character disappears which seems to reaffirm that this is the director's reality that he has created.
Blow-Up is about these layers of meaning that are constantly being pealed away as if there is no true reality that can be seen since reality is constantly shifting depending on the context or point of view.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Antonioni step, July 17 2004
By 
Hiram Gomez Pardo (Valencia, Venezuela) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blow Up (DVD)
A phothographer (David Heminngs) gets a slapshot and he believes there's a murder in that picture.
The reality is elusive , and watch about your senses seem to reveal you . Nothing is like it seems . The hidden message underneath the script .
Antonioni has beencalled the master of the silence . And in this case , in his first american film he challenges our ancient beliefs , what we usually mean as common sense . What's the truth and where does it begin our disturbed or prejuiced perceptions about the real world . Obviously there's a bit message aboutthe drugs world in this statement.
The ending sequence in what we see? a mude tennis game is not pnly a sincere tribute to the timeless genius of the mimo art - Marcel Marceau - , but a clear reference about we state as truth many times what other senses vaguely pretend establish .
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4.0 out of 5 stars Abstracts and Innuendos, June 9 2004
By 
Amanda Richards (Georgetown, Guyana) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blow Up (DVD)
A difficult movie for the casual viewer, due to the eclectic mix of images and events, all with hidden meanings and social commentary.
The imagery is harsh, with a despicable main character, emaciated waif-like models, stark scenery, seemingly unrelated sequences of events, and sudden bursts of motion followed by extended periods of silence.
This certainly would have been a controversial movie in its day, with the semi nudity, casual sexual encounters and drugs, but is interesting today as a time capsule into 1960's London.
Vanessa Redgrave gives a wonderful performance, stealing the spotlight from David Hemmings during their on-screen scenes. Sarah Miles is enigmatic to say the very least.
Despite watching it twice, the ending still puzzles me, but the mimed tennis game was truly brilliant.
An important work of art that should be examined from the point of view of Michaelangelo Antonioni, and then re-interpreted for personal preference.
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Blow Up
Blow Up by Michelangelo Antonioni (DVD - 2004)
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