What was Disney thinking? It made a great movie. (by driffma)
Holes is a fable about the past and the way it affects the present lives of at least three people. One of them I will name, the other two are mysteries and will remain so. Holes is a story about Stanley Yelnats IV. He is unlucky in life. Unlucky in fact characterizes the fates of most of the Yelnats men and has been since exploits of Stanley IV's `no good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather.' Those particular exploits cursed the family's men to many an ill-fated turn. It is during just such a turn that we meet Stanley IV. He has been accused, falsely, of stealing a <more>
pair of baseball shoes, freshly donated to a homeless shelter auction, by a famous baseball player. He is given the option of jail, or he can go to a character building camp. `I've never been to camp before,' says Stanley. With that the Judge enthusiastically sends him off to Camp Green Lake.Camp Green Lake is an odd place, with an odd philosophy, `If you take a bad boy, make him dig a hole every day in the hot sun, it will turn him into a good boy.' We learn this little pearl of wisdom from Mr. Sir John Voight one of the camp's `counselors.' We get the impression right away that he is a dangerous man. He at least wears his attitude honestly; he doesn't think he is nice. The camp's guidance councilor, Mr. Pendanski Tim Blake Nelson is a different matter entirely. He acts the part of the caring sensitive counselor, but he quick, quicker than anyone else in authority to unleash the most cruel verbal barbs at his charges. The Warden has a decided capacity for meanness, but other than that she is a mystery. These three rule Camp Green Lake, a place that has no lake. It is just a dry dusty desert filled with holes, five feet deep and five feet wide. Its local fauna, seem only to be the vultures, and dangerous poisonous yellow-spotted lizards. Green Lake seems is, in many ways, a haunted place.Holes works in spite of the strange setting, and the strange story, because it understands people. Specifically because it is honest in the way it deals with the inmates of Camp Green Lake. The movie captures the way boys interact with one another perfectly. It captures the way boys can bully each other, they way they can win admiration, the way they fight with one another, and the way boys ally themselves along the age line. It is this well nuanced core that makes everything else in the film believable. What is also refreshing about this film the good nature of its main character. He does not believe in a family curse, he is not bitter about the infamous exploits of his `no good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather.' In fact he loves hearing the story. Stanley IV is not bitter about the past, and determined not let it affect him in the way it has affected his father and grandfather. There is at times a lot of sadness in the film, but not a lot wallowing angsty silliness. And that is refreshing. Holes is an intelligent, insightful and witty family movie. It entertains, and not in any cheap way. It is not a comedy, though it has its laughs. It dares to be compelling, where many family movies tend to play it safe and conventional. As such it transcends the family movie genera and simply becomes a good film that everyone can enjoy. I give it a 10.
If you have not seen this movie you have been DEPRIVED! (by firetop14)
And I'm serious! Truly one of the most fantastic films I have ever had the pleasure of watching. What's so wonderful is that very rarely does a good book turn into a movie that is not only good, but if possible better than the novel it was based on. Perhaps in the case of Lord of the Rings and Trainspotting, but it is a rare occurrence indeed. But I think that the fact that Louis Sachar was involved from the beginning helped masses, so that the film sticks close to the story but takes it even further. This film has many elements that make it what it is:1. A unique, original story with <more>
a good mix of fun and humour, but a mature edge. 2. Brilliant actors. Adults and kids alike, these actors know how to bring the story to life and deliver their lines with enthusiasm and style without going overboard, as sometimes happen with kids movies. 3. Breathtaking scenery. And it doesn't matter if it's real or CGI, the setting in itself is a masterpiece. I especially love the image of the holes from a birds eye view. 4. A talented director who breathes life into the book and turns it into technicolour genius. The transitions in time work well and capture the steady climax from the book, leading up to the twists throughout the film. 5. Louis Sachar! The guy who had me reading a book nonstop from start to finish so that I couldn't put it down. He makes sure that the script sticks to the book, with new bits added in to make it even better. 6. And speaking of the script! The one-liners in this are smart, funny and unpatronising. But there are also parts to make you smile, make you cry, and tug at your heartstrings to make you love this story all the more. 7. Beautiful soundtrack. There's not a song in this film that I haven't fallen for, and that's something considering I'm supposed to be a punk-rocker. The songs link to the story well and add extra jazz to the overall style of the film. If you're going to buy the film, I recommend you buy the soundtrack too, especially for "If Only", which centres around the story and contains the chorus from the book.I do not work for the people who made Holes, by the way, I'm just a fan, plugging my favourite film and giving it the review it deserves. If you haven't seen it, do it. Now. This very instant. Go!
I recorded this ages ago but only got round to watching it today. I have been ill so had run out of stuff to watch! I am so glad I saw it, and which I could erase my memory and watch i again for the first time. This movie is so wonderful! It reminded me very much of Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistlestop Cafe. The story goes back in time and at the end of the movie we see what the connections are. Some people have said this is a kids movie. I disagree - it may be made by Disney and many characters are children, but I am 23 and I LOVED it! There were moments when my spine tingled. The story <more>
is unlike any other film these days, full of adventure. I have just ordered the book from amazon, can't wait!
So much cooler and more interesting than the usual live-action Disney junk. (by judithfessbeggler)
HOLES is not your average Disney stuff- it's very, very fun, even for adults who usually cringe at the cutesy, focus-group designed "family entertainment" that Uncle Walt's studio passes off as live-action. Perhaps the secret of this film's success is in its faithfulness to the original book, which is a little bit darker than your average kid stuff. The action begins when Stanley Yelnats is sent to a boys' prison camp, where all the inmates are forced to dig holes under the desert sun as a form of rehibilitation. But as the story progresses, Stanley's tale <more>
becomes interwoven with that of a legendary treasure, and this adventure becomes ten times more fun than any Disney movie about an all-boy prison camp has any right to be. Jon Voight is especially nasty and colorful, and Sigourney Weaver is beautiful, as always.
I couldn't keep from commenting after reading the very short "Not bad" commentary. This movie is much better than just not bad. The acting is stellar, even from the children in the cast, who don't play cute or anything else but act just like my son's friends. The movie is smart and expects it's audience to be as well. The double back flash story lines are imaginative and contribute to the story rather than act as time filler. I watched this movie with my kids and then I watched it again by myself a few days later. If you have kids and are sick to death of movies that <more>
inspire a diabetic coma with their syrupy sweetness, then check out "Holes." My 6-year-old enjoyed it as much as my 11-year-old, and my husband and I enjoyed it as much as the two of them. How many movies can you say that about?
Holes, the novel, was forced on me in an education course. I didn't think I would like a children's novel; plus, the other couple of books I was forced to read for the class were really bad. But, to my surprise, I absolutely loved Holes. It really is one of the most perfectly written novels I've ever read. I think it has the rare quality that makes it appeal to pre-teens, teenagers, and adults. Everyone who reads it, I think, will walk away a better person. While I can't quite say that for the film, I am happy to say that they got it mostly right. I don't think viewers of <more>
the film will walk away as enriched, but they will certainly be entertained, without the side effect of being stupider when they sat down. It is an intelligent story, and it's very well told. I think it moves a tad too quickly. The novel takes more time in developing the characters. And the flashbacks come in and out so quickly that they don't have too much time to register. The interracial romance in the past feels more cliché and trite than it does in the novel. And the ending, which ties together all the loose threads, seems very ridiculous. It's exactly the same in the novel, but there's a sense of the absurd that doesn't quite exist in the film. It works a lot better. I also don't like the multitude of pop songs. I wish Disney didn't feel it such a necessity to sell soundtracks. The cast is across-the-board excellent, from the young kids to the old pros. Jon Voight is especially great. Not quite sure why we need Catwoman and the Fonze, though. 9/10.
Typically, "kids" films have some annoying quality to it that makes it way too sappy and unbearable for someone over 13. But then again, that's before Holes hit the scene. Sure, it has the very same moments that often times give a kids movie its aforementioned quality, but this film does a good job of staying away from such conventions. The acting was decent, and the uneasy dynamics that Stanley had with some of the other campers was more realistic than what most movies seek to portray. What I especially liked about this movie was the fact that this film didn't try to break <more>
your heart or make you cry. The emotional power was a little more natural than most would imagine, kind of like The Shawshank Redemption in many ways which Holes also has a similar, redemptive ending to it . The only down side? The hokey looking lizards. Overall, however, an 8/10.
A Disney movie that dares to do something different should at least be awarded for effort. "Holes" doesn't make the same mistakes as one would expect from a Disney movie about troubled teenagers put in a camp. For the first time events are not explained in details. The flashback scenes really do serve a purpose and present several mature topics that may surprise the viewer. I must admit that at first I was a bit put off by the seriousness of the movie. But soon I realized that we had to endure those moments to see the beauty of the story. Besides the story this movie also does a <more>
good job of questioning some methods that are used in correctional facilities. One example where Caveman is forbidden to teach Zero to read because they have to dig holes in order to build character,like learning to read won't contribute to that . "Holes" is a movie that is smart and beautiful. A must watch!
One of the Best Disney Films Out. (by FilmFanInTheHouse)
Holes 2003, Dir Andrew Davis When Stanley Yelnats IV is wrongfully convicted of stealing, he is sent to 'Camp Green Lake'. At this camp, the Warden, and her two henchman, Mr. Sir and Dr. Pendanski command the campmates to dig holes after hole after hole. But for what reason? Stanley plans to find out.I never really had any intention in watching 'Holes', and i must admit, i only really watched the film, because i'm such a fan of Shia LaBeouf, but even if you are not a fan of him, then it doesn't matter. 'Holes' is one of those Disney film that the whole family <more>
can enjoy. The story is lovely written and incorporates a wonderful idea of including flashbacks to the past. These are not distracting and really gives a great back story. All the cast are great. The young stars act well and the addition of Jon Voight and Sigourney Weaver are a joy. Shia LaBeouf shows that even at 17, he can act without any flaws. This is one Disney film, you definitely would enjoy as a family."I learn from failure." - Stanley Yelnats III Henry Winkler