Holes  (2003)


Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Patricia Arquette, Tim Blake Nelson, Shia LaBeouf, Henry Winkler

Director: Andrew Davis

Rating: PG

Distributor: Buena Vista Home Entertainment

Release Date: September 23, 2003
Review posted: September 23, 2003

Spoilers: None


Reviewed by John Teves




Dogged by bad luck stemming from an ancient family curse, young Stanley Yelnats (Shia LaBeouf) is sent to Camp Green Lake, a very weird place that's not green and doesn't have a lake. Once there, he's thrown headlong into the adventure of his life when he and his colorful campmates Squid, Armpit, ZigZag, Magnet, X-Ray and Zero must dig a hole a day to keep the warden at bay. But why? Through it all, Stanley and company must forge fast friendships as they try to unearth the mystery of what's really going on in the middle of nowhere.


Capsule Critique


HOLES tosses in the occasional funny morsel as it includes a dash of clever scenes, enjoyable laughs and moral entertainment. The endearing novel by Louis Sachar now made into a Disney film is a mix of comedy, mystery, drama and adventure with a clever appearance that easily creates a tolerable attraction, which plays well with the family audience. Parents will be pleasantly surprised with this film. The well-liked film makes for a positive and favorable narrative.


The Video


HOLES appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. For the most part sharpness was solid on this video transfer. Some wide shots came across a bit soft at times, but those occasions appeared rare. For the most part, the movie looked concise and detailed. Jagged edges caused no concerns, and I also noticed no signs of edge enhancement. Print flaws looked absent, as I detected no examples of specks, grit, or other issues. Colors were splendid. Black levels were also solid, with dark tones that looked deep and dense. Shadow detail came across as detailed and accurate and never seemed overly dense. Overall, HOLES looked great!


The Audio


HOLES is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The soundfield maintained an emphasis in the forward channels, but it blended with all the speakers nicely. For the most part, audio quality seemed fine. Speech sounded natural and distinct, and I noticed no issues related to edginess. Effects were clean and exact. Taken as a whole, the track remained positive and worked well for its presentation.


The Extras

  • Filmmakers' Commentary with director Andrew Davis and author/screenwriter Louis Sachar

  • Cast Commentary with Shia La Beouf, Khleo Thomas, Jake M. Smith, Max Kasch

  • Deleted Scenes

  • Gag Reel

  • "The Making of Holes" Featurette

  • "Dig It" Music Video performed by the cast



The DVD provides a great picture transfer, a nice Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track and some nice extras. HOLES may not appeal to everyone, but I felt the film was charming and enjoyable in its own right. Overall, if you like Stand By Me and The Goonies then you’ll like this brand of family comedy.


John Teves rates the film 2 out of 4.

Review originally appeared on DVDFreak.net






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