Pinhole Movie Reviews

The Manchurian Candidate (1962) by Thomas
May 27, 2012, 5:48 am
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Frank Sinatra is a troubled Korean War vet who comes to realize that his entire platoon was secretly abducted and brainwashed. It’s an inventive mix of thriller and political satire, with a creepy Twilight Zone feel throughout.  Janet Leigh (Jamie Lee Curtis’ mom) is sexy as hell, I don’t mind saying. But there’s no question that Angela Lansbury steals the show as the unbelievably sinister villain.  Worth checking out.

The Manchurian Candidate

The Thin Blue Line by Thomas
May 27, 2012, 5:16 am
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Errol Morris’ documentary about a capital murder case. The crime is recreated over and over again as we watch candid interviews with everyone involved.  We become familiar with all the strange and recognizable foibles that these people have, meanwhile Morris strings us along with abstract editing and cinematography.  It’s like a true crime procedural — except that the usual suspense and drama are replaced by pathos and morbid curiosity.  This is a startling, unsettling movie.  Worth watching.

The Thin Blue Line

The Name of the Rose by Thomas
May 26, 2012, 8:55 pm
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Sean Connery is a Franciscan monk who must solve a deadly mystery while facing down the Inquisition.  The real strengths of this movie are casting and makeup; everyone, besides Connery and his pliant Dr. Watson (Christian Slater), appears gnarled or bloated or stricken somehow — especially Ron Pearlman, as the mad hunchback.  Watchable.

The Name of the Rose

Beautiful Losers by Thomas
May 24, 2012, 3:36 pm
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This documentary introduces us to renegade artists and designers working in the 90’s.   I assumed that this film would add up to two hours of pretentious waffling, but in fact it was a peek into the creative mindset and the peculiar “street art” aesthetic that remains influential.  Worth checking out.

Beautiful Losers

Capitalism: A Love Story by Thomas
May 22, 2012, 6:37 pm
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The 2008 financial meltdown gets the Michael Moore treatment.  The only departure from Moore’s standard formula is the obligatory  “pestering members of Congress” scene: this time several Representatives actually sit down and talk about how they got pressured into voting for TARP.  Watchable (though I’d recommend Inside Job or any of the fine “This American Life” episodes on this topic instead.)

Capitalism: A Love Story

Strange Brew by Thomas
May 21, 2012, 10:04 pm
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Rick Moranis and Dave “not the founder of Wendy’s” Thomas are dumb, beer swilling Canadians, eh? (That’s the joke.) Then they get caught up in a wacky mystery at the local haunted brewery, which is also an insane asylum. Eh?  (It goes on like this.)  Unabashed nonsense of the highest order.  Watchable.

Strange Brew

Code 46 by Thomas
May 17, 2012, 3:29 am
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Look, filmmakers: cool Shanghai cityscapes and wierd sci fi concepts will get you pretty far in this world…almost to the top!  But somewhere along the line you need to develop a sense of urgency.  You need to place characters in a situation that has decipherable rules.  Then your future noir Blade Runner/Gataca story line *might* be more compelling.  I don’t know how you ever got Tim Robbins!  Watchable.

Code 46

Passengers by tincolor

Anne Hathaway is a psychiatrist who is helping survivors of a plane crash, but  all sorts of strange stuff starts happening. I watched the first 5 maybe 10 minutes of this film before I gave up and read the plot on wikipedia, after which my first reaction was, “what, this tired old plot again?” I hate to give this film a bad recommendation considering that I didn’t actually watch it, but I was already irritated by it during the first scene. Barely watchable.

Hide and Seek by tincolor

Robert De Niro is a recent widower and father to Dakota Fanning, a creepy girl who is being terrorized by…. duh duh DUH! … I won’t ruin the twist. Mediocre, boring, unsatisfying. These are the words that come to mind when I think about this film. Barely watchable.

Monster by tincolor
May 16, 2012, 1:57 am
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Charlize Theron is an ugly prostitute on a killing spree and Christina Ricci is her freaky looking, manipulative lesbian lover. There’s no denying that Charlize Theron’s acting in the movie is amazing, but that’s about all what is amazing in this otherwise slightly better than mediocre film. Take Theron out of the equation and I bet this movie would be mind numbingly boring. Watchable.

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