Holes (Widescreen Edition)
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Stanley Yelnats IV (Shia LaBouf), is a hard-luck boy, not surprising seeing his great-great grandpa had a curse laid on him for eternity by Madam Zeroni (Eartha Kitt). The Yelnats have had a habit of failure ever since. Stanley's Dad, (Henry Winkler) is working (unsuccessfully, of course) on inventing a perfect shoe-deodorizer. Ironically, Stanley is falsely arrested for stealing a great athlete's shoes. He is given a choice of jail or Camp Green Lake. Stanley innocently notes he's never been to camp before so---you just know This Was Not A Good Choice. Camp Green Lake is on a parched and barren desert. The lake disappeared a century before. Stanley is indoctrinated by down-and-dirty bad Mr. Sir (Jon Voight) who informs Stanley his days will be spent digging 5' x 5' holes to build "character" and any misstep will bring him to the Warden's (Sigourney Weaver) attention, a lady who coats her nails with rattlesnake venom.
His fellow inmates who like to be known as X-Ray, Armpit, ZigZag and Magnet greet Stanley with hazing and hard times. His only true ally is tiny little Zero (Khleo Castro) who wants Stanley to teach him to read. The day-in-day-out work is filthy, backbreaking and endless. But Stanley is learning some secrets that might permit him to break the age-old curse of the Yelnats.
Mr. Davis tells us Stanley and Camp Green Lake's history via flashbacks, and for the most part does a good job keeping the story moving, though it might be overly complex for younger viewers.Read more ›
So when they introduced the movie, I was quite interested. Part of me was hopeful it would turn out well, the other part of me was skeptical that it would be anywhere near as good as the book. However, my fears were dashed. This movie was FABULOUS!
The story jumps back and forth a little between three different tales -- the story of Elya Yelnats, the main character's "no good, dirty-rotten, pig-stealing great-great-grandfather"; the story of Stanley Yelnats IV himself; and the story of a legendary outlaw, Kissing Kate Barlow. The three stories are interwoven quite ingeniously. In some cases, you aren't completely sure what the connection will be, but then when you find out, it fits perfectly.
The story IS slightly altered, of course, as most books-brought-to-movies tend to be. But it very much keeps the spirit of the original book. The boys are very believable -- I especially love Zero! Sigourney Weaver makes a wonderfully nasty warden. And John Voigt does a wonderful insane portrayal of Mr. Sir.
This movie will keep you laughing and curious throughout. And if you enjoyed the book, you'll like this film!
A young cast of actors, all talented, couples with Jon Voight as the over-the-top Camp Greenlake superintendent, "Mr. Sir".
Greenlake is a juvenile detention camp in the desert, and while conditions there are pretty oppressive, they are downplayed enough to make the movie safe for 9 and 10 year old viewers, as well.
The charm of the book, and also the movie, is to tell the tale of the Yelnats clan, revolving it around young Stanley Yelnats IV's incarceration for something he didn't do. Flashback is used to revisit the era that both Stanley's great-grandfather and grandfather lived in. These flashback scenes, amazingly, focus not on the Yelnats, but more on the women who inflicted the family curse on them, arising in terrific roles for Eartha Kitt (as gypsy Madam Zeroni) and stagecoach robber Kissin' Kate
Barlow (played by the luminous and talented Patricia Arquette).
Modern day is not without its own bad girl, with Sigourney Weaver as the Warden, who rules the camp with an iron fist. The Warden has her own agenda for the holes that the boys are forced to dig in the desert, and she's quirky, evil, and larger than life, looming over Voight and "Dr."(Tim Blake Nelson). Weaver's "Ex-c-uuuuuu-se Me?" line, used over and over in the film, is terrifying!
The audience is caught up in the action from the opening screen, and given a couple of young anti-heroes that are worth their weight in gold. A cameo by the irresistible Dule Hill from "The West Wing", is also notable.
"Holes" is perhaps the best family film of the last couple of years, and an outstanding example of what good filmmaking is all about!
Highly recommended for sheer enjoyment!
So far, so good. Then the endless subplots and flashbacks take over. We flash back to Stanley's eccentric family (Dad Henry Winkler is trying to invent a cure for smelly sneakers). Then we go back to Latvia, 150 years ago, to see the origin of the Yelnats family curse. Then we flash back and forth to an Old West frontier town, where the white school marm is in love with the black onion-farmer. Then it's back to Camp Green Lake. We are never told, until the end, what all the flashbacks and characters have to do with anything and after a while, it's hard to keep it all straight.
Shia Leboeuf is quite appealing as the innocent and kindhearted Stanley. The teens who play Stanley's campmates are all good, especially the boy who plays "Zero," the hero of yet another subplot. Fans of the novel will undoubtedly enjoy "Holes," since the screenplay was written by the author.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting and entertaining movie. Bought it as a gift and enjoyed it so much will watch it again.Published 10 days ago by Kate'sPlace
Great movie. Closely followed the book. A nice easy evening watch. Even for an adultPublished 11 days ago by Kevin Bowlby
There are very few movies I can think of that have done justice to the book/novel they were based upon. This one is true to the quirkiness and humor of the book.Published 15 days ago by HAPPYMAMA
Great movie! I purchased this for the 6th grade team of teachers that I work with. Each year, our students read the book and watch the movie, but this year the movie was nowhere to... Read morePublished 18 days ago by rfadeley07