Pinhole Movie Reviews

Plucking the Daisy / En effeuillant la marguerite by tincolor
August 31, 2014, 6:25 am
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Brigitte Bardot runs away to Paris, gets caught up in a series of zany misunderstandings and close scrapes and ultimately must compete in a strip tease contest in front of her boyfriend and father. I honestly am having a hard time remembering the finer details of the plot. It’s not that the film is that complicated, it’s just not very interesting. Basically the only reason to watch this is Bardot. In terms of film history, it was co-written by Roger Vadim, Bardot’s husband at the time, and came out the same year as the more famous “And God Created Woman” which was directed by Vadim. A low watchable.



Johnny Guitar by Thomas
June 6, 2014, 5:50 pm
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In this surrealist Western, the title character carries a guitar instead of a gun. But the real hero is Joan Crawford in cowboy drag, a saloon keeper falsely accused of a crime.  Her accuser, the villain, is also a lady, which makes the situation pretty much unthinkable in 1950’s Hollywood.  This is a fun and colorful romp of a movie that both glorifies and pokes fun at the Western genre, especially its gender stereotypes. A strong Worth watching.


Johnny Guitar

Mädchen in Uniform (1958) by Thomas
June 6, 2014, 4:40 pm
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Set in a repressive Prussian all-girls boarding school, this tale of stifled lesbian love is pretty fun to watch.  It could be called “camp” because of the subject matter and the fact that it was made in the 50’s, but it’s really an effective, well crafted movie.  A Technicolor remake of the 1931 cult film of the same name, which you can watch on youtube (though apparently no one knows exactly how much the Nazis censored from the original.)  An enthusiastic Worth checking out.


Mädchen in Uniform (1958)

Bad Day at Black Rock by Thomas
June 6, 2014, 1:16 am
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Aging veteran Spencer Tracy comes to a podunk town to find a missing buddy from his WWII days. The twist: his buddy is Japanese. (Another twist would be that Tracy is a one-armed karate master!) This is a visually striking film, one of the first shot in wide screen “CinemaScope” format. It’s also a wonderful thriller, on par with Hitchcock even.  As with John Sturges’s more famous movies, like The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape, this is mostly long shots and menacing dialogue for the first two thirds, which only adds to the thrill of the final confrontation.  A strong Worth Watching.


Bad Day at Black Rock

All that Heaven Allows by Thomas
November 3, 2013, 1:27 am
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A lonely suburban widow falls in love with her gardener (Rock Hudson) but society doesn’t approve of the match.  This technicolor tearjerker from 1955 is corny and ridiculous — but in a kind of unbelievable way.  The film uses color to enhance the melodrama.  Besides “Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” I’ve never seen a movie with such amazingly coordinated colors.  Definitely Worth checking out


All that Heaven Allows

Tokyo Story by Thomas
April 12, 2013, 4:19 am
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This is a moving portrayal of family life, probably Ozu’s most famous work. But calling it a “story” might be overstating the case a bit: Basically two empty nest parents visit their offspring in the suburbs of Tokyo.  Sure, other significant stuff happens….but keeping the plot simple calls our attention to the subtle range of characters’ feelings.  Worth watching.


Tokyo Story

Sabrina (1954) by Thomas
February 22, 2013, 10:38 pm
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Audrey Hepburn is a servant’s daughter who falls for one of the brahmins that her father serves — the young scoundrel of the family — despite the fact that he’s engaged to the daughter of a sugar magnate.  The engagement is a business maneuver, of course, so older bro Bogart steps in to woo Hepburn himself…it reminds me of some silly Bollywood plot line.  With Hepburn’s charm and Billy Wilder’s slick direction, I wanted to like this one more — too bad there’s no room for Bogart to make any jokes or just be awesome, as he usually is.  Watchable Plus.


Sabrina (1954)

All About Eve by Thomas
December 16, 2012, 7:47 am
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Bette Davis plays an aging diva who takes a protege under her wing — then worries that her young charge is scheming to replace her.  It’s a tragic, slow burning, King Lear kind of situation. But instead of marching dolefully on to an inevitable conclusion, the script stays sharp all the way through.  Like Sweet Smell of Success, it features surprising twists and a near constant stream of biting, darkly funny dialogue. This is classic stuff.  Worth watching.


All About Eve

Vertigo by tincolor
August 8, 2012, 3:56 am
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Alfred Hitchcock’s “best movie ever” is about James Stewart, a retired detective suffering from vertigo who is tailing Kim Novak, a blond chick who has a nasty habit of being possessed by the dead and trying to kill herself. The technical aspects of this movie are amazing, flawless! The way Hitchcock uses the camera to tell so much of the story is a truly amazing feat. Unfortunately, the plot does gets a little murky. Why do Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak fall in love with each other in the first place, and why does everyone put up with Jimmy Stewart even though he’s pretty much a total asshole? The movie definitely suggests answers these questions, and you don’t even really need answers to enjoy the film, but still the whole thing does come off feeling a little contrived. Worth watching.

Harvey by Thomas
July 25, 2012, 7:09 pm
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Jimmy Stewart is an alcoholic with a kind and gentle soul — who happens to be friends with a giant, invisible, talking rabbit.  This movie has a broad comedy exterior but delves into supernatural social commentary “as the evening wears on.”  Stewart’s performance is subtle and inspired: it elevates the slapstick plot into the realm of pure genius.  I’m sure everyone’s already seen this — nevertheless, it’s Required Viewing.


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