Pinhole Movie Reviews

The World’s End by Thomas
August 31, 2013, 11:21 pm
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In this alcoholic sci-fi romp, a washed up Simon Pegg cajoles his old drinking buddies into one last pub crawl — only to discover that they’re old now and all their old haunts are lame corporate chain pubs! Glad they’re tackling tough social issues here.  Pegg’s comic sensibility is squarely rooted in making fun of B-movie conventions, which I love.  If you like his brand of campy fun, a la Shaun of the Dead, I say this is Worth watching. 


The World’s End

Twins by tincolor

Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger are twins; one’s big and the other’s small, one’s fast talking and devious and the other is Austrian for some reason and totally naive. And that’s the whole movie. No seriously, there is a plot, but it’s a plot that only takes advantage of the fact that DeVito and Schwarzenegger are twins in the most superficial of ways. I’m going to have to give this a low watchable.

Twins Poster.jpg

Greenberg by Thomas
August 28, 2013, 3:02 am
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Ben Stiller is an introverted, slightly disturbed ex-rocker who agrees to house sit for his bourgeois brother, then gets involved with his bro’s much younger, unreasonably attractive assistant Greta Gerwig.  Neither of these two misfits want to depend on the other, which generates a kind of adolescent awkwardness in the relationship.  There’s an obvious sense of melancholy – it is a character study by Noah Baumbach after all – but that’s tempered with subtle humor and a sense of naturalism.  The city is a character too: if The Squid and the Whale was an homage to Brooklyn, Greenberg is a bored and vaguely pissed off drunk dial to L.A..  Worth checking out.



Safety Not Guaranteed by Thomas
August 28, 2013, 2:09 am
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Aubrey Plaza stars in this hipster time travel comedy, which seems to be an under-appreciated sub-genre of science fiction? The movie is quirky and off-beat, but not in the dumb, self-conscious way that I expected.  It’s just comedy. In other words, the screenplay is silly but the characters are believable. Maybe that’s what makes for a good comedy.  Plus it gets extra points for being set in Washington State!  Worth checking out


Safety Not Guaranteed 

The Giant Mechanical Man by Thomas

Jenna Fischer is a disaffected 30-something trying to survive single life.  She becomes fascinated with “a giant mechanical man,” who turns out to be idealistic street mime Chris Messina.  This one follows the standard rom-com formula reasonably well: i.e. there are several obstacles to the pair finally getting together and they are spaced at intervals throughout the script to create suspense.  My favorite of said obstacles is a clingy self-help charlatan played by a very annoying Topher Grace. The costume designers show that his character is awful by making him favor turtle neck sweaters, which is funny. The story feels a bit cartoon-y over all, but at least it’s heartfelt. Worth checking out.


The Giant Mechanical Man

A Very Long Engagement by William
August 24, 2013, 5:37 pm
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Audrey Tautou’s fiancé forms part of a group of condemned French soldiers sent out of the trenches of WWI to be killed by the Germans. Even so, Miss Tautou remains convinced he is not quite so dead as such a story would imply and sets about investigating the event and the men who made up this unfortunate group. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s movies (e.g. Amelie)  are characterized by their careful craftsmanship and sometimes dark playfulness, and that style is fully on display here. The first sequence of this movie, presenting each of the condemned men, is particularly well-done and a compelling introduction to the story. This film nearly merits being made compulsory, but it’s a touch too idiosyncratic and drawn-out to be right for all audiences. Still a high Worth Watching.

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Before Sunset by William
August 16, 2013, 4:07 am
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Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy spent a single night together 9 years ago (as depicted in Before Sunrise), and this movie begins with them meeting again in Paris. Eighty minutes of basically pure conversation follow, about life in general and their lives in particular. The dialogue is interesting but not blow-your-mind insightful. Mostly it just feels real and honest, like maybe a good episode of This American Life. Very well done, but obviously you have to ready for an extremely talky romantic movie. I haven’t yet seen the third part of the trilogy, but definitely will. Worth Watching.

Before Sunset poster.jpg

Un Cuento Chino (Chinese Take-Out) by William
August 15, 2013, 2:25 pm
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Grumpy and misanthropic hardware store owner Ricardo Darín (El Secreto de sus ojos) finds himself living with a Chinese immigrant while said immigrant attempts to find his family in Argentina, neither one speaking a word of the other’s language. As with Nueve Reinas and El Aura, this movie derives much of its strength from its lead actor, Ricardo Darín, who is particularly skilled at playing flawed and unlikable protagonists in a compelling and likable way. Some funny parts, but not much of a payoff in the end. See Darín’s other movies first. Watchable.

Prince Avalanche by Thomas
August 14, 2013, 11:00 pm
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In this low-key art house flick, Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch are spending their summer in a burned out forest in West Texas, repainting the yellow lines on a service road.  Rudd plays a stiff, aging nerd; Hirsch is a goofball who doesn’t understand the appeal of doing manual labor or learning German from a cassette tape…which reminds me, it’s set in the 80s! This odd and sometimes hilarious movie moves slowly through its bleak and magical setting. Worth watching


Prince Avalanche

Bourne Legacy by tincolor

Jeremy Renner is Jason Bour… oh wait, no he’s a lot like Jason Bourne, and he was part of the super secret spy program Blackbriar that Bourne was also part of, and Joan Allen is in there too, and the general tone of the film is pretty similar to the first three Bourne movies, but honestly, this is by far the most forgettable film in the series so far. Partially because we are never really given a reason to sympathize with Jeremy Renner, but also because the plot takes a back seat to incomprehensible spy jargon and fast and furious camera work (I know something cool is happening during these scenes, if only the cameraman would stop moving for a second so I could see what it was!). Watchable.

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