Pinhole Movie Reviews

The Revenant by William
January 24, 2016, 3:49 am
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This movie is a lot like the new Mad Max, in that it’s mostly just one damn thing after another, and also that it features Tom Hardy. There are some exciting scenes and cool visuals, but ultimately it’s really long for a movie that doesn’t have much depth to it. Watchable, especially if you are a person who pays attention to and enjoys the technical aspects of movies.

The Revenant 2015 film poster.jpg


Unbroken by William
September 14, 2015, 8:50 pm
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Dude gets captured by the Japanese in WWII. Conditions in Japanese POW camps during WWII are not very good. At 140 minutes, this movie is rather long, and a lot of stuff happens. Some of the stuff is even interesting! But it’s not really tied together in any significant way, and nobody makes much of an effort to analyze what is going on. I mean, in a way that’s just life in a prisoner of war camp. You’re not there because of any crime you need to reflect on and learn from, you’re not going to be able to escape or do much of anything heroic, so mostly you just sit around unhappily waiting for the war to end. Watchable.

Unbroken poster.jpg

Killing Zoe by Thomas
September 22, 2014, 8:17 pm
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Eric Stoltz is an American bank robber in Paris who, together with a crew of maniacal French junkies, parties all night and then robs a bank the next day.  He also sleeps with Julie Delpy — bank teller by day, call girl by night! Right. It’s absurd, salacious, extremely violent — an exploitation film, like Tarantino without the irony or the production values. Turns out it was written and directed by Roger Avary, who contributed some of the more outlandish scenes to the Pulp Fiction script, which makes sense.  Anyhow, if you like the heist genre or cult movies in general then it’s worth checking out. Otherwise, just watchable.


Killing Zoe 

Peter’s Friends by Thomas
September 1, 2014, 7:53 pm
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Stephen Fry is an amiable fop who invites his old university drama club friends for a little New Years Eve get together at the ole country estate.  Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the movie gathers a generation of stars — Branagh, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, etc. — for a kind of 90’s British Big Chill.  (Actually more than a generation, since the older lady who plays the maid is actually Emma Thompson’s mother! Fun fact.)

In The Big Chill, we get a somber tone at the start, followed by a gradual uptick of humor and period music and bittersweet sentimentality as you get to know the ensemble.  Peter’s Friends, on the other hand, tries to force the mirth with 80’s music, dudes in drag, a comically annoying American, and sex romp type scenarios — before you actually care about the characters.  When they finally reveal their devastating burdens in Act II or III, you hardly get time to process any of it.  Despite this and other screenwriting issues, the movie does have its highlights including several Hugh Laurie musical numbers. If you love ensemble comedies about the perils of adulthood, this is worth checking out.  Otherwise, just watchable.  


Peter’s Friends


Diner by tincolor

Steve Guttenberg, Daniel Stern, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Timothy Daly, and Paul Reiser are the guys that frequent the titular diner in a film about a group of friends coming to terms with what it means to grow up, settle down and get married.  Set in 1959, this is a film as much about the era as it is about its characters. I imagine part of this film’s appeal is its excellent art direction, but no matter how pretty and nostalgic everything looks on screen, when most of your characters are jerks, it’s hard to get too into the film. In many ways, the East Cost version of American Graffiti. Watchable, maybe worth checking out.


Haywire by tincolor

When a job goes bad for super secret agent Gina Carano, she suddenly finds herself on the wrong end of a chokehold with nowhere to run and no one left to trust! Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Bill Paxton, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas and Michael Douglas are, for the most part, all intent on doing harm to Ms. Carano. There is a lot going against this movie, the premise is tired, the dialogue isn’t snappy and the performances are mostly bland. But there’s just something about a Steven Soderbergh film and a David Holmes soundtrack that wins me over every time. Not exactly the Borne Identity with a female lead, but close enough. Watchable.


Neighboring Sounds / O Som ao Redor by tincolor

There is no good way of describing what this movie is about. On the surface its about the mostly insignificant daily happenings of a group of neighbors in a mostly quiet area of Recife, Brazil. But just below that surface there is something sinister going on that is paradoxically both imperceivable and also somehow weighing on everyone’s conscious. I have no idea what this movie is actually about but a little bit a internet research and some shaky speculation tells me it has something to do with economic disparity. I don’t know…it could be about that…but then again this movie is so cagey about its true intentions. More than anything this film is slow and lacks a traditional narrative structure, so there’s no real ending, no real conflict and no real plot. It’s a pretty film and that fact, along with the hope that at some point everything would come together and make sense (which it didn’t), kept me watching through to the end. It’s hard for me say whether or not I liked this movie so it’s even harder for me to decide how recommendable it is. Based on that solid logic, my rating is this: watch the trailer below and if that doesn’t make you want to see it, just don’t watch it. So there you go, a movie with no real rating. (Pst! In all honestly it’s probably barely watchable but it may be as high as worth checking out, it’s just so hard to decide!)


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