Pinhole Movie Reviews

Guardians of the Galaxy by Thomas
September 9, 2014, 5:16 pm
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Chris Pratt is a space scavenger with an attitude and a taste for R&B.  Like John Wayne in Stagecoach, he falls in with a band of misfits who form bonds of friendship through adversity.  What this fantasy spectacle lacks in plot it makes up for in gorgeous production design and digital effects, with the plenty of jokes to keep things light. Director James Gunn is best known for the horror/comedy Slither and actually began his career with the Troma team (purveyors of outrageous B-movie schlock) so he seems quite skilled at this goofball approach. It works! For my summer blockbuster money, I say: Worth checking out.


Guardians of the Galaxy

Maleficent by jaemskeray
July 29, 2014, 3:24 am
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First Frozen and now Maleficent?  Feminists have taken over at Disney and I love it!  Angelina Jolie plays the fairy wizardess queen Maleficent who placed the original spell on Sleeping Beauty in Sleeping Beauty.  But now, Disney tells Maleficent’s side, answering the question, why are you hating on some little girl, Maleficent?  Misunderstood and multi-faceted, Mal is a character who you really feel for.  The original fairy tale is a horrific story of lust and rape, so Disney will never actually get around to telling the real thing, but this version is at least more true to the actual themes of the original.  Worth Checking Out

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug by jaemskeray
January 6, 2014, 5:27 am
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-IIIIIIIINNNNNNNGGG.  Barely watchable.  For a movie called the Hobbit, Martin Freeman has like 2 lines, which he delivers so very well, but they were also in the trailer, so, spoiled!  The main character in the movies is the dwarf king, and he has the smoothest nose I have ever seen on camera.  I’m talking super smooth, boogers must just zip right outta there.  They all fight the dragon for like an hour.  The whole thing is 3 hours long.  Why?

Cloud Atlas by William
September 1, 2013, 3:37 pm
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Six stories dispersed in time and space intercut with each other. Do they have some connection? Probably, but it’s not obvious. Perhaps there’s a serious and profound idea contained herein, but I decided not to hurt my head too much over that possibility. It was a good decision, and overall I enjoyed the experience of watching the movie, in contrast to some of my fellow critics. I can see how many people would hate this movie. The writers imply a kind of coherence that isn’t really there, giving the whole thing an air of annoying self-importance. And yes, constantly seeing the same famous actors in weird make-up is distracting. Even so, I enjoyed the experience enough to call it Worth Checking Out.

Incidentally, I had read the book some time ago and found it only okay.

Cloud Atlas Poster.jpg

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey by jaemskeray
August 6, 2013, 5:35 am
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Anthony Kiedis is one of the dwarfs and Bret from Flight of the Conchords is an elf again.  I mostly agree with Thomas’s post on this, but I did like it, good escape.  Sorta boring though.  I think the big news here is I’ve finally figured out what a watchable plus is.


The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Extended Version) by Thomas
March 13, 2013, 8:35 pm
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If you’ve already devoted eight hours of your life to this shindig, why not put in another four? They altered the plot in annoying ways here, such as making Frodo betray Sam on the long road to Mordor. But generally they were pretty faithful.  It turns out that the “army of the dead” bit is actually from the book! (However, it’s more of a minor incident that happens off stage, if you can believe that.)  Anyway, this might be my favorite of the movies because it has some moments of raw power, as in the final struggle to summit Mount Doom.  Watching these has been a fun, extremely nerdy project.  Not as fun or nerdy as re-reading the books, though. Worth checking out.


The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Extended Version)

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Extended Version) by Thomas
March 13, 2013, 8:23 pm
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The legend continues, like TV sensation Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.  Second acts are always more interesting because the real conflict comes into play.  Also, I was pleased with the level of detail (and precious comic relief) that Jackson preserves in this installment.  But I think the movies in general are just less subtle and interesting than the book. For example, in the first one Boromir is supposed to be corrupt almost from the beginning — and in this one his brother Faramir seems petty and weak the whole time, as if all the men besides Aragorn are pretty much worthless.  Still, the Gollum effects and pretty much everything else works well. Worth checking out.


The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Extended Version)

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Extended Version) by Thomas
March 13, 2013, 8:12 pm
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Peter Jackson may  be the perfect director for this kind of project because his style is larger than life. If you’ve seen his zombie bloodbath movie Dead Alive, or the pitch black Muppets parody Meet the Feebles, then perhaps you know what I mean.  But while hitting the right epic tone, he had to cut out a ton of interesting material from the first LOTR book. No barrow wights, no Tom Bombadil…ah well.  Worth checking out.


The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Extended Version)

Groundhog Day by William
February 2, 2013, 2:40 pm
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Bill Murray is a weatherman dispatched to a small town in Pennsylvania who finds himself reliving the same day over and over again. It’s like a hilarious Twilight Zone episode! As a comedy, this movie is top-notch, with lots of memorable lines and a perfect performance by Bill Murray. But this “fantasy” movie is more infused with verisimilitude than most “normal” movies, as Murray portrays a man forced to investigate the meaning of his life. This is another case where the name of the rating has actually happened, so I can justify nothing lower than Required Viewing.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey by Thomas
December 16, 2012, 9:03 am
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In the Lord of the Rings movies, Peter Jackson had to cut material from the books so as to condense each installment down to a (remotely) palatable movie length.  In this absurd Hobbit adaptation, he faced the opposite problem: how do I beef up a fairly slim fantasy book into an epic film trilogy? (Yes, this is the first installment of a Hobbit trilogy…)  The solution was to linger way too long on trivial moments and invent ridiculous sub-plots nowhere to be found in the book.  There are some fun bits, such as Bilbo’s riddle game with Gollum, but over all the movie is tedious and hopelessly silly. Of course, it’s not the worst movie I’ve ever seen — but, if you consider the $270 million budget, this may be the all time worst performer as far as “quality to budget ratio.”  (It easily beats Titanic.)  Finally, filming stuff at 48 frames per second makes everything look flat and hyper-detailed, as if you are standing on a film set rather than watching a movie. So stupid! Barely watchable.


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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