Pinhole Movie Reviews

Strangers By The Lake (2013) by tincolor
December 16, 2019, 8:37 am
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After no posts for several years, I’m back… and THIS is the film I return with?!?! That’s right. This is the one. This film stars an idyllic lake with many friends who visit it everyday during summer in France. Mostly these friends just sunbathe on the lake’s shores, but sometimes these friends go swimming in the lake, sometimes these friends have sex with each other near the lake, sometimes these friends fall in love near the lake, and sometimes these friends even murder each other near the lake. Part AIDS allegory, part examination of the nature of attraction, part thriller, all French. Oh, yeah, and there’s a lot of unstimulated and very graphic gay sex. Watchable.


The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology by Thomas
September 21, 2014, 10:41 am
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Celebrity philosopher Slavoj Žižek is your host (and sole guest) in this talking-head type documentary.  Žižek gets inserted into scenes from his favorite movies, whence he explains how each movie carries out various ideological projects related to the sub-conscious currents of cultural life.  If you like cultural studies and can tolerate thickly-accented, barely intelligible jargon, then you might enjoy his critical ramblings — I certainly did.  But I also think this is just a fun use of the medium to tell a story about itself.  Worth checking out.


The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology



The Place Beyond the Pines by tincolor

Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper and Ray Liotta star in a film about how the choices of individuals can compound upon one another and reverberate into the future beyond the limits of our imagination. Divided in three chapters, this film starts off with the story of Ryan Gosling, a “Rebel Without A Cause” type bad-boy from out of town who rides his motorcycle in a traveling carnival. When he finds out that a tryst with Eva Mendes resulted in the birth of their son, he decides to stick around, never quite figuring out how to fit in.  As a kind of morality play, it makes sense that the story takes us forward in time so we can see the effect of the choices made in chapter one. But the truth is, the first chapter is way more interesting than the second and third, and I left the theatre wishing that chapter two had picked up during and earlier moment in time, perhaps showing how Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes first met. Either way, fantastic film with one of my favorite action sequences ever. Worth watching.


Stoker by tincolor

Park Chan-wook directs Mia Wasikowska, Mathew Goode and Nicole Kidman in this thriller about dysfunctional and potentially criminally insane relatives that come together after a death in the family. Apparently, the basic premise of this film is very similar to Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt, which I haven’t seen, but even still, this does feel like it could have been a Hitchcock film if Hitchcock didn’t always demand that the “good guy” triumph in the end or even that there be a “good guy” in the film at all. Creepy, stylish and suspenseful, but in the end, probably not a whole lot going on below the surface. Also, surprisingly not about vampires. Worth checking out.


Oldboy (2013) by tincolor


Josh Brolin is the titular old boy in this film about a man who is imprisoned in a mysterious room for 20 years, then inexplicably set free. In short, if you’ve seen the original Korean film, there really is no reason to see this remake. Performances range from decent (Brolin) to comically bad (Michael Imperioli) and if you were unsatisfied with the implausible ending of the Korean version, don’t go to this this one with the hope of discovering anything more satisfying. The setup remains as intriguing as ever, but that isn’t enough to make it anything more than simply watchable.


Side Effects by tincolor

Jude Law is a psychologist who is treating Rooney Mara, who is depressed because her husband Channing Tatum just got out of a short stint in jail for insider trading. Jude Law gives Rooney Mara some drugs and then things go wrong for just about everyone involved. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this, especially when the first 40 minutes plays like an indictment of pharmaceutical companies, but without ruining anything, let’s just say that the true genre of this film isn’t apparent until the second half. I’d say more, but a lot of my enjoyment came from not knowing anything about it. Plus, it’s Soderbergh, so how can you go wrong? Worth checking out.


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