Pinhole Movie Reviews

Crimson Tide by Thomas
August 24, 2014, 1:24 am
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Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington are two naval officers who must vie for control of an American sub.  At stake: the fate of the world!  The film’s central conflict relies on a rather strange premise: Chechen rebels have seized control of Russian subs and threaten nuclear apocalypse. (Is this what the public really thought would happen?) With the strong ensemble, slick direction from Tony Scott, and the fact that Tarantino himself was hired to jazz up the script (hence the Silver Surfer references) this movie should have been better.  Watchable.

NB: I just find it really hard to avoid watching random 90’s Hollywood movies when they’re a click away. Some prove to be great (Jackie Brown, The Cable Guy) others are fun and nostalgic (Searching for Bobby Fischer, Can’t Hardly Wait) but almost all have surprises in the cast. Crimson Tide, for instance, has Vigo Mortensen, James Gandolfini, Steve Zahn, and Jason Robards!  Amazing.


Crimson Tide

Philadelphia by Thomas
August 2, 2014, 4:25 pm
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Tom Hanks gets fired after the partners at his conservative law firm discover that he has AIDS.  The subject matter is groundbreaking, Hanks is brilliant, and director Jonathan Demme adds some style (like the atmospheric party scenes or the characters staring right into the camera). And Jason Robards makes a great bad guy! But the movie, ostensibly a courtroom drama, doesn’t seem to focus on its fake-seeming legal procedure — it’s more about the redemption of Denzel, a gay bashing ambulance chaser who thinks he can get AIDS just from shaking TH’s hand. What? Maybe people in the 90’s behaved that way but it just feels so strange and dated now. Watchable.



Death Wish by tincolor

Charles Bronson has a death wish, but not the “I wish someone would just kill me” kind of death wish, it’s more like the “I wish I could kill other people with impunity” kind of death wish. Anyway, watching this movie gave me of two reasons to be glad I wasn’t alive in the 70s. First, interior decorating was criminally bad. Second, unless the police caught a criminal in the act, they were apparently shit out of luck. Don’t be fooled, this is no action movie, it’s brooding, dark and surprisingly more interested with the mental state of its protagonist that with exciting chase scenes and shootouts. By no means a terrible movie, but considering the wealth of vigilante movies we have today, pretty forgettable. Watchable.

P.S. Look out for both Jeff Goldblum and Denzel Washington in both of their first on-screen performances!


Training Day by Thomas
March 1, 2013, 6:00 am
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Ethan Hawke is an idealistic narcotics agent (?) who is kind of auditioning to be on an elite squad with Denzel Washington, who turns out to be a dirty cop.  They go around LA harassing people, then steal some drug money.  It’s competently made, but this is the kind of cowboy cop drama that is no longer relevant in the post-Wire era.  Watchable.


Training Day

Déjà Vu (2006) by tincolor

Denzel Washington is investigating a bombing that left over 500 people dead. Val Kilmer shows up and then the plot reveals its big secret. If you didn’t like 2011’s Source Code because it was just an awful wreck of a movie but thought the idea was cool then you might like Deja Vu. An action/police procedural with some sci-fi-y stuff to boot. Not-quite-edge-of-your-seat blockbuster. Watchable.

Devil in a Blue Dress by tincolor

Denzel Washington is out of work in 1940s LA until one day Tom Sizemore pays him to find a girl and then before you know it a mystery is afoot! This is a neo-noir film in every respect and there is no attempt to break the mold. Competent overall, but lacking that special something to set it apart. Averagely paced film that requires you to think just because there are so many characters to keep track of. Watchable.

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