The Black Hole Reviews
A spaceship, the USS Palomino, encounters a massive black hole. To the amazement of the crew, stationed on the edge of the black is the USS Cygnus, a ship thought lost 20 years earlier. The Cygnus was commanded by Dr Hans Reinhardt, a scientific genius. The crew warily board the Cygnus...
Intriguing central plot - the mystery of the ghost ship, its non-human crew, the mad/genius scientist in command, the Cygnus's mission. Yet, from the word go, the intrigue is undermined by a weak script and poor direction.
Plot is disjointed, sub-plots are half-baked, some scenes just make no sense at all and dialogue is often cringeworthy. The cast is decent - Maximillian Schell, Robert Forster, Anthony Perkins, Ernest Borgnine, Yvette Mimieux - but they largely end up looking like hammy amateurs due to the poor direction. Only Maximillian Schell comes away looking like someone who knows how to act, and this largely because his role required him to act in an over-the-top, larger-than-life sort of manner.
It's not all bad though. The movie is fairly entertaining and the general plot direction was interesting. Unfortunately, that is negated by the random, nonsensical ending.
Ultimately, quite disappointing, considering the potential the movie had.
This film is much closer to perhaps Aliens or even Event Horizon. It should be classified as a Sci-fi Space Horror film and many parts of it is. There's a general "eerieness" to the film which they captured it quite well, especially when B.O.B. told V.I.N.Cent that this ship is really a ship of the dead, a floating tomb.
Most people don't realize how old this film is. Many would say some ideas in there are already used in other films, without realizing those films are the ones copying this film. Overall, I say that this is a very well done film for its era.
It is spooky when it needs to be, exciting during the battle scenes, and was a good mystery from the begining.
A few "cutesy" Disney moments bring it down a wee bit, but don't significantly detract from the otherwise mature space opera.