The Black Hole

I went out to the office to get some work done, and I paid my Discover card balance. My FICO score was above 800. I finished watching “The Black Hole,” the forgotten Disney entry into science fiction. The cast was quite good, with Maximilian Schell, Anthony Perkins, Yvette Mimieux, and Ernest Borgnine. It didn’t have much sense of the science fiction audience, though. The Mimieux character supposedly had ESP, which goes against the views of any person with a serious interest in science. The robots looked stupid. A computer that was supposed to be superior to the one used in “Star Wars” was employed for the special effects, but the effects didn’t look like much of an improvement over what was in previous Disney pictures like “Bedknobs and Broomsticks.” I’m not too sure that the idea of hanging out just beyond a black hole was a good dramatic premise. Maximilian Schell was a good madman for this crazy plot, although I thought that Max von Sydow could have been better. Yvette Mimieux had a big name for being in “The Time Machine.” Her character here was nothing special, and her hairstyle was irritating and not so attractive. Ernest Borgnine looked like he was the same age the last forty years of his life. I was sorry to see a dark and ugly side to his character at the end. I could never forget what he was in “Marty.” I really hated the idea of the drones. Where they doing anything at all except taking up space? My thought about the Cygnus was that there was no way it could exist. It was like a whole city out there in space, with electricity being wasted every second. The Perkins character must have been the most foolish and gullible person ever. The movie didn’t mix special effects with plot very well, because the story was lacking any spark. It was predictable, and all the characters were stuck in one place. Everyone was trapped in a spaceship with a madman instead of in a haunted house. Yvette didn’t get to show off her beauty. The robots seemed silly, voiced by Roddy McDowall and Slim Pickens. The robots appeared to be taking the place of animals that would normally be in a Disney movie. This was a movie that indicated that Disney was far behind the times. It had some of the feeling of a Lost in Space episode. The physics in this film is way off the mark. The astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson called “The Black Hole” the most scientifically inaccurate science fiction movie of all time. It had an unusual ending, especially for a Disney film. The music was by John Barry of James Bond fame. What was curious was that there was an overture for this movie, when the entire running time of the movie was only 98 minutes. It sure seemed like a pompous beginning. I thought the music was overpowering and annoying, too. One of the other movies that director Gary Nelson was known for was “Freaky Friday” with Jodie Foster, Barbara Harris, and John Astin. “The Black Hole” was supposedly the 21st highest grossing movie of 1979. The most successful science fiction movie of the year was “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” at Number 5, followed by “Alien” at Number 6. “The Black Hole” was known as the first Disney movie to receive a PG rating. We do see a character being killed. The soundtrack album was to be released on vinyl filled with colored liquid, but manufacturing problems prevented it. I could not understand how Disney could consider a remake of the movie unless there was a legal angle to it. I gave an exam to my class and talked with the security guard about making money on the Internet. I thought it would be very difficult. I certainly don’t trust anyone to give me a payment online. Are all moneymaking schemes on the Internet really just scams? When I got home, I watched the classic Twilight Zone episode “A Game of Pool” with Jack Klugman and Jonathan Winters. I thought about what the episode would have been like with Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason in it. I watched the first few minutes of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” with Kim Darby and Herbert Lom. The episode was “The Five Daughters Affair.” It looked like their plane was going to crash, but some rope wriggling did the trick. Some of the people who died on April 22 include Miguel de Cervantes (1616), Will Geer (1978), Ansel Adams (1984), Richard M. Nixon (1994), Erma Bombeck (1996), Linda Lovelace (2002), and Felice Bryant (2003). Today is a birthday for Peter Frampton (65), John Waters (69), Jack Nicholson (78), Glen Campbell (79), and Charlotte Rae (89). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 22, “Invaders from Mars” was released in 1953. In 1983, “Losin’ It,” with Tom Cruise and Shelley Long, was released. In 1984, CBS aired a television movie featuring Albert Finney as Pope John Paul II. In 1989, Madonna had a Number One single, “Like a Prayer.”

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