Pinhole Movie Reviews

Boyhood by Thomas
September 21, 2014, 12:38 pm
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Instead of shooting another symbolic “coming of age” movie, what if we just take 12 years to shoot so that the child actors actually become young adults before our very eyes?  It’s a superb realism called reality, a pastiche of scenes from childhood that don’t necessarily have any meaning except that they add up to a life.  Plus the movie looks gorgeous, and it’s fun to revisit the artifacts of the “2000s” era. (the indie rock soundtrack, “Halo” on original Xbox, etc.)

I did think that the charm starts to suffer a bit once the boy in question is old enough to speak long, quizzical, Linklater-ish dialogue — but that’s just me.  Over all Linklater managed to push the boundaries of cinema while also making a poignant, very enjoyable movie.  An amazing achievement!  Required viewing.


Annie Hall by tincolor

Woody Allen and Diane Keaton (AKA Annie Hall) have broken up, but just went wrong? That’s the basic plot of Woody Allen’s first “serious” film. If you’ve never seen this movie, watch it before you do anything else. It’s not only one of the best Woody Allen films, it’s also just an amazing film. It’s a blend of comedy, romance and drama that still feels unique today. It’s been a while since I last saw this film, and I completely forgot about how wacky some of it gets. There’s the animated sequence in the middle, and then all of these times that Woody Allen pleads with the camera for sympathy and a totally zany cameo by Christopher Walken that I had completely forgotten about. Anyway, great film. Required Viewing.


Monsoon Wedding by tincolor

Everyone in the family is excited for the wedding of Vasundhara Das and Pravin Dabas, but as this is a movie, expect practically everything that can possibly go to go wrong. Just like the film’s intricate wedding, It’s a minor miracle that this film is able to juggle so much and with such success. It explores multiple themes without feeling unfocused, it manages to make every subplot feel just as important as the main plot, and it gives the kind of weight and depth to its minor characters that is usually only reserved for a single protagonist. And as if that weren’t enough, director Mira Nair is able to take real and specific issues that Indian society faces today and make them feel universal without sacrificing the authenticity of her characters. Excellent direction, a great script and a cast that is able to bring it all together. Shefali Shah, a cousin of the bride is especially fantastic! Required Viewing.


The Cable Guy by Thomas
August 9, 2014, 5:34 pm
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Matthew Broderick is a newly single but otherwise normal dude.  Then he encounters a kind of social demon or bogeyman – a twisted, single-parent child of the TV generation (Jim Carrey) — and his life unravels.  Ben Stiller directed, Judd Appatow (co)produced, Leslie Mann (co)starred, and many edgy comedians appeared in this satire, a sort of Kafka story about mass media.

This movie is farcical, self-aware, bizarre and uncomfortable, bending genres from comedy to suspense to horror  (which is not marketing friendly) and here’s a key point: it’s a Hollywood-scale production that’s aimed at adults.  Hence, it was a flop.  I just love the fact that the studios must have thought they could green light *any* project involving Jim Carrey and make money.  Ha! I’m gonna go for Required Viewing.


The Cable Guy

Under the Skin by jaemskeray
August 6, 2014, 12:23 pm
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Jonathan Glazer’s triumphant return to directing is a heart pounding and staggeringly gorgeous film unlike any sci fi or horror film I have ever seen before.  The closest thing I can relate it too is the film 2001.  A woman scours the streets of Glasgow in her van preying on lone men, she seduces them only to – wait – I don’t want to give anything away.  Honestly, even if I told you, half of it would be my interpretation cause this film is aaaaaaartsy.  So its best to go into this movie with a clean slate.   I could interpret and digest this movie for hours, so watch it and let me know what you think!  Apparently, it was shot with hidden cameras, and ScarJo improving with real people half the time, which adds a whole other level to this which is just… crazy.  If this film isn’t Required Viewing, I don’t know what is.

The Grand Budapest Hotel by jaemskeray

Set in a fantastical and dark pre WW2 Europe, this farcical murder mystery is about a hotel concierge, played by Ralph Fiennes, who is accused of murdering his anciently old lover.  The story is told from the perspective of the hotel’s lobby boy, whom Ralph takes a shinning to, and who is along for the whole crazy ride.  It was a bit of a slow burn at the beginning setting everything up, but once it got going, oh man was it amazing.  Visually, its the most beautiful movie I have ever seen, watch the video below to see how they made some of the shots.  Anderson’s best movie so far.  Required Viewing.

Pandora’s Promise by jaemskeray
April 7, 2014, 4:49 am
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The documentary about nuclear power says that back in the 70s and 80s the oil and coal companies saw nuclear as a threat.  So, they said it as unsafe (which it is if it is not handled properly); and promoted wind and solar as safe and clean alternatives.  The way they did this was through posing as environmentalists or clean energy companies.  They did this was because they knew a fact that many people still don’t know, that solar and wind power, although clean, cannot give us enough energy because they are fickle energy sources dependent on the weather.   They knew that every time you set up a solar or wind power plant to run a city, something has to power that city when there is no sunlight or wind.  And if its not nuclear, then its oil and coal.  So, just think about that: the expansion or solar and wind plants actually means the expansion of oil and coal.   Screw the oil and coal companies for playing the American citizens and screw them for causing the global warming that will inevitably kill us all for their petty greed.  Not only do I think its a required viewing but I feel that we should research this further, and possibly invest in and support nuclear power.  Required Viewing.

Her by Thomas

It’s the near future. Joaquin Phoenix is a lonely city dweller who stumbles on companionship in the form of Scarlett Johansson’s disembodied computer voice.  This unusual trope means that we spend almost the entire film looking at Phoenix’s face, which should be ridiculous but isn’t.  The movie is innovative, poignant, and beautiful. It’s Blade Runner during daytime hours — a sci-fi romance instead of a film noir.  I hope it wins Best Picture even though the Oscars are dumb! Required Viewing



Don Jon by jaemskeray
January 19, 2014, 6:30 am
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Don Jon is rare and bold look at modern day porn culture and internet porn addiction.  Written, directed by, and starring Joseph Gordon Levitt, this post-modern movie gladly and willingly fails the Bechdel test to prove a point.  “How can a reprehensible character like Don Jon exist?”, reviewers who missed the point or don’t know what an allegory is ask.  Well, he does exist, we see him on MTV’s Jersey Shore and other reality tv shows.  He’s everywhere, I even see parts of him in myself.  It makes sense that he is everywhere, every day we are literally surrounded by porn images in ads, tv, the internet, music (what do yo think Miley Cyrus is referencing?).  This movie begs the question what’s the world going look like in 20 years when my generation, a generation raised on internet porn, a generation whose biggest icon made millions by creating the creepy stalker website Facebook, whats gonna happen when my generation is put in charge?  How are we gonna make the right decisions when we can barely grow up right?  But, perhaps I’m overreacting, perhaps this is just a movie about a shallow douche bag from Jersey.  Required Viewing.

Let the Fire Burn by jaemskeray
January 6, 2014, 5:08 pm
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Let the Fire Burn is a documentary film about the events that led up to the horrific stand off between the black liberation organization MOVE and the Philadelphia Police and Fire departments in 1985.  The stand off led to the police department burning down several city blocks, killing many.  No one was held accountable for these actions and the black liberation group either all died or went to jail.  It is incredibly difficult to watch and incredibly difficult to write a review so short.  There is no simple message here to leave the post with, it was a complicated story.  But it is the kind of story the reminds us why documentaries are made and so I think this one is Required Viewing.


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