The Hole YIFY
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It took twenty five years, but when Paddy Chayefsky wrote and scored a critical and popular success with Network it went a long way towards redeeming Billy Wilder and Ace in the Hole from the critical and popular drubbing it took in reviews and at the box office.The cry then was that Wilder was way too cynical and in the height of the superpatriotic McCarthy days maybe he was for that time. Perhaps Kirk Douglas's Charles Tatem would find employment as a writer at UBS for Howard Beale's mad prophet of the air or at Fox News or if your tastes run the other way, scripting one of Michael Moore's documentaries.Kirk Douglas is a veteran reporter who's been fired off a whole lot of newspapers and arrives in Albuquerque looking for a job. Editor Porter Hall after an interesting job interview hires him. Two months later, a bored Douglas and cub reporter Robert Arthur are sent on some nothing story and on the way learn of a man, Richard Benedict, trapped in an old cave with a broken leg. Remembering the real Floyd Collins story from the Twenties about a Kentucky man trapped in a cave for 18 days while America followed every move of the rescue attempt, Douglas smells a return to the big time. With the aid of a corrupt sheriff, Ray Teal, Douglas starts controlling the story and indirectly making the story. Of course things get out of hand.Kirk Douglas has never been afraid of being seen as unlikeable on screen and in Charles Tatem he's at his most unlikeable. In fact until he did There Was A Crooked Man in 1971, I'm not sure he's ever been this big of a canine descendant. He's matched every step of the way by Jan Sterling who plays Benedict's tramp of a wife who wants her cut of the proceedings and takes it out of Douglas literally.Ace in the Hole was made when newspapers still were a major source of news. Televisions were still scarce and I don't think it's an accident that Billy Wilder chose a sparsely populated state like New Mexico as the setting. Television sets in the Rocky Mountain states in 1951 were scarcer than the people.I think Ace in the Hole could be remade today, maybe with Michael Douglas taking over an internet news blog to bring it up to the times. Still Billy Wilder's magical cynical touch would be missing.
Four teens have been missing from their expensive private school for 18 days. Then one of them Liz Dunn (Thora Birch) comes stumbling back to school. She tells police psychologist Dr. Horwood (Embeth Davidtz) a story of desperation. The four teens (Desmond Harrington, Keira Knightley, Laurence Fox) had wanted a private party away from their families and ditch their school trip. They employed the help of Martyn (Daniel Brocklebank) who faked their school records and locked them in an underground bunker. The plan was for him to return after the weekend to unlock the door and let them out. However he never returned.This movie has aspirations of something better. It wants to be a Hitchcock noir. For the first half, it achieves something close to it. However, the movie starts showing the real story, and any mystery disappears.There is a better way this could have gone. Director Nick Hamm probably should have stayed with Embeth Davidtz as she tries to unravel the mystery. If that's the case, he can't really have Thora Birch blab out the story so early on.Then there is the ending. It makes very little sense that anybody could believe Thora Birch's story. The basic premise that these kids would be willing to let themselves be locked up is too hard to believe. The first time they shut the door, they would want to try to test it. The whole thing seems convoluted.
"Haunting" is exactly the term for it. I know others have knocked the silly robots and laser guns.But I have always felt The Black Hole's spooky emotional impact, through the visuals and music. Although the visuals are now dated, what they were aiming for strikes true. It's a vision of the future that strikes a chord in me: dark uncaring space, the black hole a crushing force more powerful than the sun, ego and insane genius, science and what's beyond science, the horror of the old crew's fate. The music with its heavy repeated theme is like the crushing presence of the black hole itself: relentless. A new God if ever there was one.In my opinion it has more emotional impact than Solaris, which threw in too much "murder mystery" and sort of confused me. The Black Hole is simple: it is clearly beyond knowledge and all the spookier for it.If you get a thrill from the idea of scientific discovery, give this underrated film a chance. You won't be disappointed.
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Immediate background:Jacques Becker was dying when he filmed "le trou,and he made it his legacy;it's the tragedy of man caught on the web of life -an admirable metaphor shows two wardens feeding a spider in the undergrounds with a fly-,and anyway unable to escape from the final death.The first thing to bear is mind is that,calling "le trou" a "prison movie" would be an insult.Although adapted from a Jose Giovanni's book -Giovanni had been himself in jail for some time and his depictions are as close to reality as can be-,Becker masterfully transcends his subject and gives something definitely new.Some said it was the final link between "la nouvelle vague" and what the highbrows pejoratively -and thoroughly unfairly- call "cinema de qualité" but Becker had predated that overrated new wave by almost ten years :"rendez-vous de juillet" had already almost everything the young Turks would bring later.First shock is the use of the wide screen,the cinemascope,which Becker had never experimented before;and he achieved the impossible: using this device for a story which takes place ,either in the four walls of a jail,or in the undergrounds and the sewers .The only picture of the outside is seen when the two inmates open a manhole.And the second one is the sound:there's no music at all,except for the final cast and credits -saving the cast and credits for the end was very rare in the contemporary French cinema -But the soundtrack resembles some kind of musique concrete with its relentless thumps, the whispers and the screams inside the cell,the creaking of the doors ,the waters in the sewer;and the final cacophony -which is not unlike the one which Manliewicz used in "suddenly last Summer" the year before- packs a real wallop.Another Becker's tour de force is his description of the prison life:he avoids all the clichés that mar so many "prison movies" (the overpraised "Whatsisname redemption" is no exception):here, the wardens are,most of the time ,kind and friendly,the relationships with the inmates remain polite ,maybe sometimes too much:particularly those between the young man (Marc Michel) and the head warden are almost paternalistic.Another Becker's permanent feature comes back to the fore in "le trou" :friendship,solidarity ,which was already present in "rendez-vous de juillet" and "touchez pas au grisbi".Here it's pure manly friendship and it seems that a certain misogyny is infiltrating Becker's world:during the 2 hours + running time of the movie,we only see one young girl (Catherine Spaak) behind a grille,for a very short while.The only positive woman whom we' ll never see is (naturally) one of the five inmates ' s(Michel Constantin) mother("I almost killed her when I was sent to jail so I do not want to take a chance and try to escape")SPOILER:But even this world where five inmates share everything,where their friendship is "more than I 've ever had "(Marc Michel's character) is collapsing;the first cracks were already here in "rendez-vous de juillet" when some of the young students were giving up on their plans ,to the main hero's (Daniel Gelin)disappointment.But "touchez pas au grisbi" took friendship over everything including money."Le trou" reveals the true nature of man,even if the informer seems completely desperate at the end of the movie.The mammoth task they did ,the hole '(le trou) is nothing but a cul-de -sac and it epitomizes,in a Hustonian way -we're closer to Huston than to Godard ,fortunately,the vanity of everything man can do to escape from his fate,and in the case of Becker ,to escape from death.END OF SPOILERHad Becker ended his career with his three precedent movies (Ali-Baba,Arsène Lupin ,Montparnasse 19),his former masterpieces (Casque d'or,Goupi Main Rouges ,rendez-vous de juillet),could have been tarnished by association.But "Le trou" ,his final masterpiece stands in little danger of bringing this about.
Scientists accidentally create a black hole in St Louis and want to destroy it before it consumes East St. Louis which I thought was the plan. Only Judd Nelson and Kristy Swanson can save us from the military preventing using nuclear weapons. Also, there is a giant dyno-man monster that came through the black hole,Characters were boring. They attempted to create a story with a daughter and ex-wife. Folks stand around and watch the hole grow.
THE BLACK HOLE is the usual nonsense science fiction TV movie that was made for the Sci Fi Channel. This one features Kristy Swanson, best known as the actress who originally played BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER in the unsuccessful film made years before the TV series came along, revamped the idea, and was wildly successful. This film sees experimental scientists managing to create their own mini black hole, only to put the world in danger when a monster comes through it.It's ridiculous as it sounds, and pretty pitiful even by the standards of this genre. The film is chock-full of cheesy CGI effects and the creature is rendered invisible which gives it an odd, FORBIDDEN PLANET-style look. The acting is noticeably worse than even in this sub-genre of films, and the characters are so poorly-written as to be one-dimensional. Even genre fans will be hard pretty to enjoy this one. 59ce067264