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Mentaculus

Celluloid Junkie - 2695 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
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?""
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."
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."
82 T8 Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015) - Dec 21, 2015
"TFA may be overly polished in some of its beats and characterizations, but finds a raw vitality in its battles, dogfights and lightsaber duels that is arguably missing from the other films. I came away mesmerized by its newfound intensity. It also leaves enough narrative room for the right kind of questioning: the old-school, daydream-leading type of conjecture and curiosity in its world building, that creates a real, breathing popular fantasy- and a worthy and welcome addition to the franchise."
86 T9 The Lego Movie (2014) - Feb 20, 2014
"Miller, Lord and co. rightfully know that for many of us a narrative film set to Legos will never be as good as the stories come up with on the fly as kids... playing with Legos. So to stay ingenuous, they embrace the Anything Goes aesthetic, but as a coup de grace, they go the step further and ask why we need the film in the first place. Answer: On your 1.5 hour way to work today, sing, "Everything is Awesome" on repeat. The truth will hit you harder than a credit card bill from the Lego Store."
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"
68 T5 9 (2009) - May 29, 2011
"A movie for 13 year old philosophers, regressed Marxist sociologists, or Taoist paranoid schizophrenics. The story's simplicity of narrative and character was refreshing, as was its brutally frank depiction of death. But it felt like it was far too broad for what was clearly going to be a niche story with a small audience - and ultimately the film pleases no one."
74 T7 A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985) - Sep 16, 2010
"Fine. I'll be That Guy: when taken on its own terms, this is a better-than-average scarefest. It has more in common with Jacob's Ladder or Angel Heart than the ANOES series, and in a way creates a Lovecraft-ian descent into personal madness and fear - which pushes Freddy to the background. And while I completely understand that to be a major flaw with fans, it really works when considered as a standalone or spinoff title. That it even has a subtext (surprisngly gay!) gives it more points for me."
90 T9 The Dark Knight Rises (2012) - Jul 30, 2012
"An overwhelmingly oppressive film on many different levels. Its penchant for melodrama over supreme logic makes sense for a film of its masked caliber - what was surprising for a comic opera, then, was every characters' recurring self-acknowledgement that they are acting out of very specific ideals, representing them, becoming walking synecdoches of some larger puzzle that generations from now will be piecing together for us. That it's also somehow a blockbuster makes this a frightening success."
98 T10 Videodrome (1983) - Sep 09, 2008
"All of Cronenberg's fascinations/obsessions, predominately his anxiety about society's influence over the body, only become more significant and horrifying in hindsight. My favorite films (of which this is one of them) leave me feeling as if it is a complete entity; nothing should or could be added or excised to make a more compelling feature. You could write books over what happens in this 80-min film."