Pinhole Movie Reviews


Pet Semetary (1989)
November 12, 2018, 11:10 pm
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In this classic schlock fest, a doctor (who looks and acts like he’s from a soap opera) must decide whether to use an ancient Indian burial ground to resurrect his pet/family/family pet. I watched this during the tail end of scary movie season and despite the terrible acting, it’s firmly lodged in my head now. Possibly because of the catchy end credits theme tune by The Ramones? Look out for a cameo by King himself, who also adapted the screenplay from his own novel. (That’s commitment.)  Oh yeah and the amazing campy performance of the great Fred Gwynne. Watchable Plus!



The Overnight
January 23, 2016, 11:11 pm
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An insecure couple, hoping to make friends in their adoptive home of Los Angeles, spend a farcical evening with another random couple, despite being mildly creeped out the whole time.  Jason Schwartzman has fun portraying a mysteriously wealthy weirdo — a sort of California guru stereotype — but he can’t carry this movie.  Big spoiler: it’s mostly about butts and dicks.   Barely watchable.

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The Overnight



Poetry (시)
April 18, 2015, 5:49 pm
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An alienated grandmother takes a poetry class, and learns a terrible secret.  Melancholy and bitterly funny, the movie moves slowly and gracefully from start to finish.  The emotional life of outcasts has always been a strong subject for a movie, and it works well here.  Worth watching. (and it’s on Netflix, so there’s no excuse)

Poetry film poster.jpg

Poetry



The Panic at Needle Park
January 12, 2015, 11:18 pm
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In the 70’s, before Manhattan got Disney-fied, the streets belonged to pimps, pushers, and addicts.  Amidst the chaos, a woman falls for a low level heroin dealer  (Al Pacino) and enters a life of desperation and crime, doing anything for her next fix.  But will she cooperate with the hated NYPD?  This is harsh hyper-realism, breaking taboos to the point that it’s painful to watch.  Still, like Taxi Driver and Times Square, it was actually shot on location and so it manages to capture the seedy underbelly of New York, rather than an idealized Hollywood view of the city.  Worth checking out.

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The Panic at Needle Park



Killing Zoe
September 22, 2014, 8:17 pm
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Eric Stoltz is an American bank robber in Paris who, together with a crew of maniacal French junkies, parties all night and then robs a bank the next day.  He also sleeps with Julie Delpy — bank teller by day, call girl by night! Right. It’s absurd, salacious, extremely violent — an exploitation film, like Tarantino without the irony or the production values. Turns out it was written and directed by Roger Avary, who contributed some of the more outlandish scenes to the Pulp Fiction script, which makes sense.  Anyhow, if you like the heist genre or cult movies in general then it’s worth checking out. Otherwise, just watchable.

Killing_Zoe_1994_film_poster

Killing Zoe 



Boyhood
September 21, 2014, 12:38 pm
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Instead of shooting another symbolic “coming of age” movie, what if we just take 12 years to shoot so that the child actors actually become young adults before our very eyes?  It’s a superb realism called reality, a pastiche of scenes from childhood that don’t necessarily have any meaning except that they add up to a life.  Plus the movie looks gorgeous, and it’s fun to revisit the artifacts of the “2000s” era. (the indie rock soundtrack, “Halo” on original Xbox, etc.)

I did think that the charm starts to suffer a bit once the boy in question is old enough to speak long, quizzical, Linklater-ish dialogue — but that’s just me.  Over all Linklater managed to push the boundaries of cinema while also making a poignant, very enjoyable movie.  An amazing achievement!  Required viewing.
Boyhood_film

Boyhood



The Ice Storm
September 21, 2014, 11:50 am
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A disturbing family drama about sex and the limits of the suburban idyll; the darker cousin to American Beauty.  And yet it has no use for the stylized design, “titillating” teen nudity, or pretentious lyricism of that movie.  Maybe that’s because middle class values and sexual mores were already being called into question in the 1970’s setting…but also Ang Lee creates a good rhythm here, moving naturally between each set of characters (miserable adults vs. horny teenagers) so that we get a large amount of detail in each scene and yet the plot moves along just so.  Who needs pretty framing devices in this case?

The actors seem amazingly candid — the married couples have such scorn for each other, the teens are so pained with their burden of adolescence — plus the cinematography is impressive.  (Neatly composed silences, almost Ozu-esque, contrast with some truly wacky visuals — such as an extreme close-up of the very slim patch of rear end peaking over a girl’s waistline, followed by a cut back to the face of the boy behind her, transfixed. Yikes!) This is worth watching — though if you object to obscenity I imagine you’ll find it unwatchable.

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The Ice Storm




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