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Ernest Borgnine passed away yesterday, leaving a black hole in our hearts

Ernest Borgnine, who won an Academy Award for Marty passed away yesterday at the age of 95.

Making the world .00000000001% less beautiful.

I was not a huge fan of Borgnine, though he was a fine character actor.  But his passing put me in mind of a movie that I thought was absolutely awesome as a kid:  Disney‘s The Black Hole.

A title that could also accurately describe Hayden Christensen’s acting career.

I was a little confused for a moment about whether Borgnine was actually in The Black Hole since it came out in 1979 (thirty-three years ago, yikes!) and the character I thought he had played was old with eight extra o’s in my recollection.

This picture goes to show how fickle memory can be. Clearly the 1979 Borgnine was only deserving of two extra o’s, not eight.

I was two years old when this movie came out, so I obviously didn’t see it in the theaters but on television, but it made an impression.  It had friendly robots, scary robots, scarier robots, scary robots who turned out not to be robots, laser guns, a scary ship, a mad scientist, basically everything that strikes a young boy as awesome.

Though with a 5.7 average score on IMDB.com, clearly my “awesome” was in the minority. Encino Man got a 5.3 if that tells you anything.

An adult me, of course, sees all the flaws that I happily missed as a child capable of enjoying things on a pure, superficial level.

Okay, so maybe good robots Bob and Vincent don’t register any higher than a one on a one to ten scale of visual design…

And maybe Maximilian’s torso should have made him so top heavy as to make any chase scene laughable, even with his whirring blade hands…

And maybe the laser guns don’t look very awesome when not wielded in a double-fisted manner by menacing robots…

See? Much better!

But these guys are still creepy…

And the big reveal, where you find out the crew are no more robotic than Al Gore, is still impactful.

And the ship design remains one of my favorite from all of science fiction.

So, all in all, it holds up as well as anything from my childhood with the exception of Connect-Four which remains the greatest game ever invented.

I can’t wait until they make a movie out of this game like they did out of Battleship! I’m crossing my fingers they get Liam Neeson for some token role.


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