Pinhole Movie Reviews


Arrival by jaemskeray
February 26, 2017, 5:14 am
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Lets see, how do I do this again?  … In Arrival, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner are tasked with communicating with a visiting advanced race of extra terrestrial beings.  The movie stays simple and on point, not tasking itself with any more than exploring this idea.  Cuts of the main character’s daughter meeting animals and insects permeates the film, drawing to mind a reference I once heard made about how what we would call an alien abduction is similar to a fish getting caught and then thrown back, albeit from the fish’s perspective.  The special effects are artsy; its not a big explosiony, blockbustery, dumb down the script for mass appeal, sci-fi movie.  Theres a major M. Night Shamalamadingdong twist at the end thats pretty cool, and, not to brag or nothing but I figured it out way before the others I was watching with, ergo I smarter.  I’d say its worth checking out.

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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 Pervert’s Guide to Ideology by Thomas
September 21, 2014, 10:41 am
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Celebrity philosopher Slavoj Žižek is your host (and sole guest) in this talking-head type documentary.  Žižek gets inserted into scenes from his favorite movies, whence he explains how each movie carries out various ideological projects related to the sub-conscious currents of cultural life.  If you like cultural studies and can tolerate thickly-accented, barely intelligible jargon, then you might enjoy his critical ramblings — I certainly did.  But I also think this is just a fun use of the medium to tell a story about itself.  Worth checking out.

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The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

 

 



The One I Love by jaemskeray
September 15, 2014, 1:54 am
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What the what?  The One I Love is a … I’m gonna go with Romantic Comedy about a young couple that has fallen out of love with each other trying to reinvigorate their relationship.  A therapist tells them to go to this house in the mountains for a retreat that he sends all his couple patients to, and then craziness ensues.  I really don’t want to give any of this away because I highly enjoyed it.  This movie twists and turns, and just when you think its one thing it then turns into something else.  Very well crafted.  The only problem with this movie is that once you start to analyze it afterwards, the whole thing falls apart like a house of cards.  But, that doesn’t take away from the joy of watching it.  Worth Checking Out



Jerry Maguire by Thomas
September 13, 2014, 7:52 pm
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Cruise is the ultimate late capitalist, a smooth operator trading entirely on image. He should be on top of the world, yet somehow he’s unhappy. It turns out he’s engaged to a mechanical career woman, he lacks wholesome male bonding, and worst of all his beloved realm of sports has become hollow and corporate. Our hero must find a meaningful relationship while re-committing himself to the lost chivalry of sports marketing! Come on, how strange is that premise?

Cameron Crowe wrote and directed this specimen: a sports movie whose focus is not on on bonding-through-athleticism but on masculinity, virtue in a “cynical world” and family-life-in-the-90’s type stuff.  I like it because it’s stylish and self-conscious and aimed at adults. I admit it’s dated (the fax machine), perilously cute-and-sweet (the toddler, the swells of music), fraught with stereotypes (the emasculated jazz loser, the women’s group, the Tidwell family)…but the acting is charming and you gotta love the snappy dialogue. It’s like old school Hollywood returns; an update on the old tear-jerker romance. I say, worth checking out

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Jerry Maguire



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.

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Guardians of the Galaxy



The Brood by tincolor
September 9, 2014, 9:26 am
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Oliver Reed is a suspiciously evil-looking psychoanalyst whose treatment includes verbally abusing his patients until they explode with anger. When the family members of one of his patients start getting murdered one by one, it’s clear that something bad is happening as a result of the doctor’s treatments. This early David Cronenberg film is genuinely creepy and very, very gross, but you’ve got to expect that with Cronenberg. What I didn’t expect was to see someone bludgeoned to death in front of no less than 10 toddlers. Is this OK? I really don’t think so, I mean, if I were a toddler and my mom put me on a movie set where someone was realistically beaten not two feet away from me with lots of blood squirting all over the place, I would be A) pissed at my mom, and B) seriously traumatized for life. But if you can get past all that, this is top-shelf B-horror. Expertly directed, a great performance from Oliver Reed and a great buildup to an ending that is just the right combination of ludicrous and dark. Worth checking out, but only if you are in for a really violent and disturbing film.

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