The Black Hole

Of the films inspired by Star Wars, The Black Hole may have aged the most poorly. One of the financial failures that nearly did in Disney in the '70s and early '80s, the film, unprotected by the merchandising barrage that accompanied it in 1979, now seems to have been created specifically to sell toys and coloring books and blind viewers with state-of-the-art special effects. With a warmed-over Star Trek plot involving a Byronic space captain (Maximilian Schell) and his attempt to achieve immortality by exploring the titular black hole, the film doesn't have a whole lot going for it beneath the surface. Although, it features an interesting cast of character actors (including Robert Forster, Ernest Borgnine, Yvette Mimieux, and Anthony Perkins) appearing during awkward stages of their careers, but The Black Hole lives and dies by its technological advancements. To students of now-archaic special effects, these may still be interesting, and this new widescreen version preserves them well. But The Black Hole will likely bore anyone not immediately captivated by V.I.N.CENT, the prissy, Cicero-quoting robot with a voice provided by Roddy McDowall and a body that looks like an art-nouveau reinterpretation of a can of beans.

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