Pinhole Movie Reviews

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial by Thomas
September 4, 2012, 10:14 pm
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A boy forms an unlikely bond with an ugly puppet alien. Really it’s a miracle that this movie isn’t just cheesy and ridiculous — but it reaches beyond its premise to capture the familiar drama of childhood.  Terrific acting (how did they keep a straight face?), epic music, and clever cinematography.  Also that hospital scene still scares the hell out of me! (Apparently they used real doctors spouting real medical jargon.) Required viewing.

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

The Witches by Thomas

Beware middle-aged women who constantly scratch their scalps…they’ll turn ya into a mouse!  Nicolas Roeg uses surreal lighting and camera work to imbue Roald Dahl’s fairy tale with a real sense of dread.  The puppetry and special effects are pretty cool too — which makes sense because this was the last movie Jim Henson worked on.  Some of the comic moments fall flat, and the scary parts are not as frightening as I remember…that’s unavoidable. It’s still Worth checking out.

The Witches

ParaNorman by Thomas
August 15, 2012, 3:10 pm
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Why, it’s a 3D zombie flick — for kids! Like its predecessor Coraline, this gorgeous horror/fantasy was filmed with an updated stop-motion technique using 3D-printed puppets, for a beautiful, outlandish quality.  The first act is slow, but that’s ok because you need time to revel in the glorious design of the film.  (Also: I saw this at the crew premiere last weekend — in a theater full of the crazies who put it together! How about that?) Worth checking out.


Little Monsters by Thomas
April 4, 2012, 2:15 pm
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Fred and Ben Savage discover that under every bed lies a Neverland of mischievous monsters, who relish getting innocent kids into trouble.  This movie tackles the serious issues of the day: making friends in a new neighborhood, having a crush, thwarting bullies, hating your teachers, etc. There are also some genuinely frightening moments, such as when Dad (Daniel Stern) gets mad – or when the fun, anarchic world of the monsters turns scary, Dark Crystal-style.  In terms of political ideology, the message is this: parents may be dumb but their authority is ultimately grounded in reason (unlike the pure freedom of the monsters, which is easily co-opted by tyrants.) Also: children in the 80’s dress like present day hipsters.  Worth checking out.

Little Monsters

Cheburashka (2010) by tincolor
January 7, 2012, 3:36 pm
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A weird looking animal appears in a box of oranges and makes friends with an alligator. Cheburashka isn’t well known in US, but he’s pretty entertaining as far as stop motion animation characters go. The 2010 movie was only released in Japanese and Russian, but you can check out some of the older television shows in English. Worth checking out.

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