Criterion Year Week 50: Blow Out

The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

Blow Out

 Spine Number: 562

Director: Brian De Palma

Genre: Drama

Brian De Palma is a bit of a quandary. He is undoubtedly one of the most important directors in the New Hollywood movement of the 1970's. His work has always been very slick and very Hitchcock inspired. 

But, therein lies the problem. You see, when you set yourself up for comparison with one of the unquestioned masters of your art form, you inevitable end up looking a little... lacking.

His career is littered with classics and disasters, but then... most people don't even have the classics.

Which brings us to...


While not explicitly based on anything, "Blow Out," is essentially a reworking of "Blow Up," but instead of a photographer finding evidence of a murder in the background of one of his photos, a sound engineer accidentally records a political assassination.

This is one of the best Hitchcock inspired thrillers out there. The plot is tight, the action moves along, the omnipresence of evil is showcased beautifully, the performances are outstanding, and the camera work is absolutely beautiful. It works on every level.

Performance wise... man. Travolta has never been better. Nancy Allen is heartbreaking. John Lithgow is absolutely perfect. Dennis Franz is just brilliant. 

There really isn't much more to be said here. This is a solid. often overlooked film that really deserves much more praise than it receives. So, join as as we talk about this fantastic piece of work.


In two weeks, we continue our run of movies that Clarkson will be seeing for the first time ever with... 

Spine number 575: The Killing

Also, check this out.

The Life Masters is now it's own show with its own site and own dedicated feed. That's right, we have two completely different shows! 

Right now check it out at

You can also drink in our brilliance on Youtube for both The Film Thugs and The Life Masters.

Looks like Summer Movie League has officially become Fantasy Movie League.

It looks quite fun. Here's how it works.

You have an 8 screen theater.

Every week you pick movies and have a budget/salary cap you have to stay under.

Then you compete against other theaters in your league.

It's fantasy football for movie people.

Our league is Film Thugs 2015 and the password is Porterhouse.

And remember, you can be a part of the show any time you wild like. How's that? All you have to do is call or e-mail us. If you live in the US, or any place that makes calling the US easy, just dial 512-666-RANT and leave us a voicemail. We will read the Google Voice transcript and play your message. It's both funny AND informative.

If you live outside the US you can call us on Skype at The_Film_Thugs. You can leave a message, or someone might actually answer.

E-mail us at and we will read/play whatever you send us, or you can e-mail to be part of  an upcoming "Ask the Film Thugs" show, where we answer questions on any subject without having heard them first.

Also, we are on twitter @thefilmthugs and on Facebook and Vine.

Also, be sure to check back often for our new endeavor The Life Masters, where we answer questions to other advice columnists.

Thanks for listening, and until next week...

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