Blow Out [Import]
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Brian De Palma's 1981 thriller is something of a homage to Michelangelo Antonioni's masterful Blowup, though there are hints of Francis Ford Coppola's paranoia-inducing Conversation sprinkled throughout. John Travolta plays a sound-effects man who witnesses what appears to be a tragic car accident killing a presidential candidate. The audio tape he happened to be recording at that moment (adding to his collection of natural sounds), however, suggests but doesn't prove that a murderous conspiracy is afoot. Trying to tease a shred of evidence from murky doubt, Travolta's character turns to a hooker (Nancy Allen) for help and stumbles into a web of evil spun by a right-wing kook (John Lithgow). De Palma's fetishistic fascination with obscured truth in a universe ruled by chance makes Blow Out one of his most operatic films. It's also perhaps one of his most revealing about the inherent decadence of creating verisimilitude for art. Sometimes knocked for its outrageous camera technique, Blow Out contains several exciting sequences that underscore De Palma's amped-up admiration for many of Hitchcock's best moves. --Tom Keogh
Top Customer Reviews
A movie sound man (John Travolta in one of his best performances), inadvertantly records an accident while recording effects for a new film-- one that kills the governor. He saves the other passenger, a hooker (Nancy Allen in another great performance that reminds one of her hooker character in DRESSED TO KILL) who tries to help him solve the case.
Meanwhile, a killer is on the loose, killing off Nancy Allen look-alikes in a most brutal fashion-- strangling them, and then stabbing a picture of the liberty bell on their stomachs. Travolta and Allen try to put the pieces of the puzzle together by putting together a film of the accident, which is purposefully erased to make it look like Travolta is full of crap.
The killer calls Allen to meet her at a subway so she can give him the tapes of the accident, disgusing himself as a TV reporter. Travolta figures out a way to rig a microphone onto Allen so he can hear everything they are saying from his car. When he hears the guys voice, he knows it is not that reporter, and he races to find them before it is too late...
In some ways, this is a very complex, disturbing, suspenseful, and often confusing thriller. But that's that way it was meant to be. And you'll see that, at the end, the pieces of the puzzle all really do fit together (despite a very sad ending, you'll figure it out, through the tears).
MGM does a great job on the presentation on BLOW OUT, giving you a choice of widescreen or fullscreen on a two sided disc. Unfortunately, the only extra is the theatrical trailer, and that is a major disappointment on the issue of the DVD.Read more ›
Directed by Brian De Palma
Starring John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow and Dennis Franz
Criterion | 1981 | 108 min | Rated R | Released Apr 26, 2011
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Single 50GB Blu-ray Disc
Jack Terry (Travolta) is a sound-effects man who works on B-movies for a Philadelphia-based studio. One night, he decides to go out to record some new effects. He captures the sound of leaves rustling in the wind, a frog croaking, an owl hooting and a couple's conversation. They mention that someone is watching them from a nearby bridge.
Jack inadvertently records a car accident and a gunshot heard before it veers off the road into a creek. He runs over and leaps into the water, pulling a woman from the car, but too late to save the man she is with. The woman, Sally (Allen), survives the accident with no apparent injuries. The dead man turns out to be Governor McRyan, a potential presidential candidate.
The police write the crash off as an accident, but Jack knows what he heard and reconstructs the scene in his mind by listening to his recording. We find out that someone caught the crash on film and sold it to various publications. Jack matches the images to the sounds and is certain the crash was caused by a bullet hitting a tire. None of the authorities seem interested so he seeks Sally's help to prove his theory.
De Palma builds suspense throughout and a plot to discredit the Governor is gradually revealed.Read more ›
Jack Terry (Travolta) is on a city bridge recording ambient sounds for his latest schlock film's soundtrack when he hears a blow out and sees a car go off the road and into the lake. He dives in to find a woman, Sally (Nancy Allen), still alive in the car. He rescues her and takes her to the emergency room, where he finds out that the candidate was driving the car--and Sally isn't his wife. The police proceed to get Jack to "forget" what he saw.
Later, going over his tapes, Jack becomes convinced he heard a sound *before* the blow out--a gunshot. If there was a gun, then this was no accident.
After Carrie and Dressed to Kill, Blow Out continues Brian DePalma's reign as king of the Hitchcockian thriller/rip-off. Although style often triumphs over substance, often the style comments on the substance. His trademark split-screen (which specifically influenced Run Lola Run's Tom Tykwer) is used effectively to present two simultaneous sets of action that would otherwise be unknown. DePalma has also used this method of technical storytelling in Phantom of the Paradise and Sisters.
The acting is solid, as well, with Nancy Allen (then Mrs. DePalma) as the prototypical love interest (or is she?) and an early John Lithgow playing Burke, a homicidal maniac hired to take out Sally (as he takes out seemingly every woman who resembles her). DePalma would use Lithgow to greater effect in Raising Cain, and here he shows the promise of that later film.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Being a huge De palma fan, I was thrilled to see one of his best work on Criterion collection, the video is crystal clear as expected from CC, the extras are great including a new... Read morePublished 9 months ago by moviefreak
Yes it's Travolta, and yes it's good... it really is! If you need any more convincing, this is the Criterion version, and it's directed by Brian De Palma.Published 16 months ago by Wayne D. Graves
One of Brian De Palma's best films gets the Criterion treatment, and it's worth the wait! A very tense thriller that stays with you for quite some time!Published on Jan. 22 2014 by Jeff Morant
A rare and hard to find movie. I'm so greatful that it's still available. Service was fantastic, couldn't ask for anything better.Published on April 9 2012 by Ricky_D
Having heard before hand, that Brian DePalma's "Blow Out" was like a tribute to Antonioni's "Blow Up", i was definately intreagued. Read morePublished on June 8 2004 by K. A D. Veer
John Travolta plays this sound effects guy and then something happens..he is then abyssed into a web of thrills and paranoia.... Read morePublished on Dec 9 2003 by Michael Bolts
I saw «Blow Out» for the first time when I was 8. Couldn't forget it.
I saw «Blow Up» for the first time when I was 10. Couldn't forget it. Read more
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