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Mentaculus

Celluloid Junkie - 2636 Rankings

Member Since: Jun 29, 2007

Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

Bio: After a fairly Lynchian childhood in an affluent American suburb, I moved to Japan at 13, saw foreign film, and it destroyed my fragile little mind. Now forever damaged, I live in LA, have degrees in Cinema and Religion, a Masters in Information Science, and watch too many films in between writing projects. Life goals: direct a film, and see a UFO.

more Featured Reviews
87 T9 Starship Troopers (1997) - Sep 09, 2008
"Starship Troopers is an open question: childish and violent, but swimming in subtext about appropriation of war, propaganda, The Other, and so forth. Why does it cast all white actors as Spanish characters from Buenos Aires? What does it say about engendering violence in our schools, or how the war splits the characters apart (for a common goal)? Verhoeven's brilliance is so in-your-face, it flies under the radar."
96 T10 Winstanley (1975) - Jul 12, 2012
"After a long hiatus, this film reaffirmed my love in cinema's potency and power, brevity and universality. The film is as much a love letter to the people it depicts as it is to film structure and economy, and it shows remarkable depth and respect for both. An underrated masterpiece."
81 T8 Ancient Aliens (2009) - Oct 26, 2015
"COULD IT BE [insert hand gesture] that, hidden away from the furthest reaches of respectable scientific inquiry [pan to ruins of Puma Punku], this show piques SOME... KIND... of legitimate interest in real archaeology, linguistics, classics, & history? Some Ancient Astronaut theorists say Yes. [Insert CGI UFO over Giza Plateau] Further proof can be found by looking at the renewed interests in ancient artifacts [insert CGI glowing Ark of the Covenant], & the editing techniques... of other shows."
94 T10 Samurai Rebellion (1967) - Jan 24, 2009
"I'll have to disagree with most here and say that the social dilemma of the film - beauracratic traditionalism vs. the sanctity of the family unit - is just as heartbreaking and wraught as Kobayashi's other works. This is Sirk with katanas; this heightened family melodrama is underscored by the incredible B&W cinematography, and showcases one of society's most universal follies. The extended-family-encounter scene is as brilliantly staged and handled as the more action-heavy ending."
80 T8 Retribution (2006) - May 24, 2010
"Fascinating as it completely summarizes Kurosawa's previous work, going so far as to copy, shot-for-shot, a glorious scene from Pulse. But it's not so much a retread as a potent embodiment of the director's obsessions. The murders are merely a parenthesis in a story of urban decay, moral morass (pun intended) and a worldview - closer here than ever before - about to teeter off the edge towards a personal and grand apocalypse. Very recommended."
42 T2 Noah (2014) - May 11, 2015
"The entirety of my viewing I kept asking myself Why this was made. It's too off-script for a Christian audience, too religious for the blockbuster audience, too mystical for the Jewish audience, too campy for the adults and too adult for the kids. Luckily time will wash this one away as a mistake. On the plus side, Nick Nolte has finally been typecast as a rock. "
94 T10 Secret Sunshine (2007) - Jun 13, 2012
"Exhausting. This should be used in Christian circles - not to show the damnation of the faith, because it never goes down that rabbit hole; nor as propaganda, because the Church in many ways exacerbates Sin-ae's suffering. But that's why it should be seen. What Chang-dong Lee is showing is a person's slow mutation of insufferable grief into pride, and the community's part to play in the matter. Lee's getting to the point using only a few performances and nuanced cinematography is masterful."
82 T8 Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011) - Dec 10, 2012
"Too many "cult" films focus on propaganda as if there are keywords that cause all who listen to them to fall prostrate at a masochist's feet. MMMM rightly revolves around three elements instead: emotion, ambiguity, & their intersection. A difficult subject, but Durkin makes it work because, like Hawkes' character, you feel immediately as if you are in good hands, and then it messes with you in deep and frightening ways. It's a beautiful debut film that will continue to say more with time passing"
82 T8 Nazarín (1959) - Aug 19, 2011
"I can see it now: When I die and go to heaven, after I pass over the threshold and catch up with all the souls from life - who will I see but Bunuel, sipping a dry martini and arguing passionately with Michael over some arbitrary theological definition of the Eucharist. I'll introduce myself, we'll talk about his art. Then he'll take me aside, out of earshot of the saints, and whisper earnestly, "How the fucking hell did I get here?""
100 T10 A Serious Man (2009) - Feb 20, 2010
"A modern-day Job, but in this variation, despite the same pleading and anger due to surreal happenstance, God has no voice to rebut either the 3 rabbis or poor Larry. What does that mean? I dunno. Jefferson Airplane."