Pinhole Movie Reviews


Heaven Knows What (2014) by tincolor
August 31, 2016, 4:19 am
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Arielle Holmes is addicted. If the heroin doesn’t kill her then her frighteningly unstable boyfriend Caleb Landry Jones definitely will. This movie is INTENSE! Holmes brings both the realism and dramatic skill necessary to sell a performance like this on screen. The cinematography alternates between tightly framed closeups and deceptively restrictive long shots, visually alluding to the constricted world these characters live in. Despite impressive performances, interesting visuals and a hard-hitting soundtrack, the lead characters just aren’t that interesting. Their relationship feels like a Shakespearian tragedy sabotaged by the tediousness of addiction, both chemical and emotional. Watchable.

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All is Lost by William
February 20, 2016, 5:08 am
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Robert Redford is out on the ocean alone when his boat gets hit by a wayward shipping container. The rest of the movie he spends quietly trying not to die. Perhaps because of the almost complete lack of dialogue, the movie feels unique and compelling. Worth watching.

All is Lost poster.jpg



Like Father, Like Son (そして父になる Soshite Chichi ni Naru) (2013) by William
October 11, 2015, 11:17 pm
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Two sets of parents discover that their six-year-old children were switched at birth, and don’t quite know what to do about it. Could be the setup for a hilarious comedy, instead it’s the setup for a contemplative and deeply moving film about parental love and what parents ought to expect of their children and of themselves.

Well, this movie is really, really good. On some days I might call this “required viewing,” but today I am going to say Worth Watching Plus, where the plus basically means that the next movie you watch should probably be this movie.

Like Father, Like Son poster.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Like_Father,_Like_Son_(2013_film)



Poetry (시) by Thomas
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



Nebraska by William
February 20, 2015, 11:13 pm
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Will Forte agrees to drive his aging father from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska after the older man is informed that he May Have Won $1,000,000! by a catalog sweepstakes company. It’s a pretty bleak movie about looking for meaning in a rather banal life, and trying to understand and connect with people who, were they not your family, you would have no reason to want to understand or connect with. Three well-done and interesting performances by Will Forte and his parents make this movie Worth Watching, but prospective viewers should be aware that it is also rather depressing and slow-paced.

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The Panic at Needle Park by Thomas
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



The Ice Storm by Thomas
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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