Each Saturday, Jason spotlights one product or service he finds particularly useful or enjoyable; the kind of things that make you wonder, “Why doesn’t everyone have this?”

Happy weekend! Got plans? Me too.

I’m going to do nothing. On purpose. You see, even working hard can be its own rut if you’re not careful.

Some of the nothing I like to do is watch something. Like a movie. A motion picture. A flick. A film. A feature presentation, if you will.

Since the mutual advents of high definition and Netflix streaming and home delivery, I actually prefer to watch at home. You can pause for restroom breaks or more popcorn, and watch in any state of dress.

If a movie is on your packed agenda for this week, there’s one I’d like to recommend, and easily contends among the top five of my all time favorites.

Um…”HOLES”? Am I old enough to see that?

First, get your mind out of the gutter. This isn’t that type of website.

Second, never search for this movie with your offensive content filters off, unless you want an instant education in other interpretations of the word, and various applications thereof around the home.

The warning is unfortunate, but it had to be done.

Holes is a family movie. The title refers to literal holes, dug in the ground.

You take a bad boy, make him dig holes all day in the hot sun, it turns him into a good boy. That’s our philosophy here at camp green lake. –Mr. Sir

Stanley Yelnats the 4th is wrongfully convicted of stealing a pair of celebrity sneakers. Ironically, they belong to his baseball hero, Clyde Livingston.

Predictably, nobody believes Stanley when he insists they fell on him from the sky.

And so he is sentenced to Camp Green Lake.

There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. –Louis Sachar, Holes (novel, first line)

Having both read the book and seen the movie (and like The Neverending Story, I saw the movie first), I can attest that thanks to adaptation distillation (because the author wrote the screenplay), the movie actually is better. It just takes all the awesome plots and characters of the book and fine tunes them just a little more. But neither media disappoints for this title.

Though Holes is considered a children’s book/family movie, there’s nothing childish about the story. It tackles head-on some gritty topics like homelessness, education and social status, racism, greed, romance, heartbreak, injustice, and death.

She tried to wriggle free. “You’re drunk!” she yelled.
“I always get drunk before a hanging.”
“A hanging? Who—”
“It’s against the law for a Negro to kiss a white woman.”
“Well, then you’ll have to hang me, too,” said Katherine. “Because I kissed him back.”

More impressively, it addresses each in a thoroughly charming manner. You will fall in love with the characters from all four generations of the wider story, and each of the subplots is so intriguing that they detract nothing from the experience. Rather, they enhance it, giving pertinent details so the story of one kid’s life becomes the story of two curses across two continents and the multiple families affected.

The “good guys” don’t always do the right thing, and most of the “bad guys” are easy to sympathize with, making Holes satisfyingly emotionally complex. Even so, you know exactly who to root for, and can’t help wanting the underdogs to win in the face of overwhelming and impossible odds.

Add a healthy dose of humor, expertly delivered by phenomenal actors, and Holes is a complete win. You won’t be disappointed.

Stanley: Man how did she know my name?
Zig-Zag: Oh, man, she’s got the whole place wired. Oh yeah, she has these little cameras and microphones all over the place. In the tent, in the rec room, in the showers.
Stanley: They’re not in the showers.
Squid: Oh don’t listen to him. I read his file. It said he suffers from, um, oh. acute paranoia.
Magnet: So I guess that means she watches me everyday, huh.
Armpit: Man, he said cameras and microphones, not microscopes.

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