Pinhole Movie Reviews

Looper by Thomas
October 29, 2012, 11:12 pm
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Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a mob assassin (with distracting, Bruce Willis-y make up) who kills people from the future.  The plot may be goofy, but it’s a sci-fi crowd pleaser! I don’t know what else you would expect. In any case, the fundamentals are in place: tight dialogue, good pace, suspense.  The futuristic details, cyberpunk set design and fun action scenes are just icing for the cake.  I say it’s the most enjoyable time travel movie since Back to the Future II.  Worth checking out.


The Master by Thomas

Joaquin Phoenix is (perfectly cast as) a disturbed WWII vet who gets swept into a cult; Philip Seymour Hoffman is their charismatic leader.  This is an odd, unsettling movie that flows at an unpredictable pace, kind of Kubrik-esque in that way.  The two lead actors are captivating — but if it wasn’t for them, this would be fairly unpleasant to watch.  Worth checking out.

The Master

The Contract by tincolor
October 24, 2012, 4:29 am
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Morgan Freeman is some kind of contract killer that gets caught for a very stupid reason, then runs away, then runs into John Cusack, who is “patching things up” with his son on a camping trip. It’s weird to see Mr. Freeman in a semi-villainous role, he’s not blatantly miscast, but he also doesn’t quite fit. Overall an unbelievable and forgettable thriller with too many subplots. Watchable.


Taken 2 by Thomas
October 16, 2012, 7:26 pm
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Liam Neeson reprises his role as a bad ass who must save his family from malicious Eastern European people.  This one looks and feels as cool as the original, which I attribute to the involvement of Luc Besson.  The script is definitely dumb…but it proceeds at a decent pace and does a reasonable job building suspense, which must be challenging when everyone knows what’s gonna happen. (It’s in the title!) Anyway: Watchable.

Taken 2

Once Upon a Time in Mexico by Thomas
October 16, 2012, 7:04 pm
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Hitman Antonio Banderas gets hired by Johnny Depp to assassinate a rogue general, or something.  Robert Rodriguez uses deep focus and over-saturated colors to make the movie look like a garish comic book.  The dialogue is painful, yes, but even the action scenes fail because of bad editing.  It’s  a train wreck. (Rodriguez’ first flick El Mariachi is much more fun.) Barely watchable.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Babies by Thomas
October 16, 2012, 12:29 am
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Yup. Babies. They exist. This documentary follows four such: two first world babies (US, Japan) contrast with two developing world babies (Nigeria, and Mongolia). There’s no message or narrative, just some astoundingly cute babies.  I felt weird watching this while cleaning and folding laundry, because these activities are only slightly more demanding then a baby’s daily regimen of simply hanging around. Oh, also this movie is FULL of boobs. If your goal is to start thinking about mammary glands in a non-sexual way, this is the movie to watch I guess.  Worth checking out.


Whisper of the Heart by Thomas
October 13, 2012, 8:31 pm
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A middle school girl finds the courage to be a writer — plus some of that pure, chaste, Studio Ghibli romance.  (Nobody ever kisses in these movies!) There’s lots of giggling and awkwardness and predictable middle school drama, but ultimately this is a meditation on the creative process.  Instead of being “spirited away” like other protagonists, this girl is stuck in suburban Japan where she must work hard to cultivate her creativity.  I liked this one.  Worth checking out.

Whisper of the Heart

42nd Street by Thomas
October 13, 2012, 7:43 pm
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A cash strapped Broadway producer gears up for one last hit. This is a classic Busby Berkeley romp, complete with wonderfully trip-y musical numbers. (The dolly under the legs shot is awe inspiring!)  However, there’s not much of a story arc: the random flirtations of loosely sketched chorus girls, divas, fast talking operators, and lecherous old men make for a very shallow plot indeed. Watchable.

42nd Street

Frost/Nixon by Thomas
October 11, 2012, 10:44 pm
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A British talk show host goes out on a limb to interview Richard Nixon three years after Nixon resigned in disgrace.  Frank Langella is unbelievably good as Nixon. The screenwriter, the same guy who wrote “The Queen”, once again generates drama from a semi-obscure moment in political history — without twisting the facts too much.  Worth watching.


My Cousin Vinny by Thomas
October 10, 2012, 5:55 pm
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Imagine you’re a deer. You’re prancing along, you get thirsty, you spot a little brook, you put your little deer lips down to the cool, clear water…BAM! A fucking bullet rips off part of your head! Your brains are laying on the ground in little bloody pieces. Now I ask you: Would you give a fuck what kind of pants the son of a bitch that shot you was wearing?? Required Viewing.

My Cousin Vinny

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