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Mentaculus

Celluloid Junkie - 2764 Rankings

Member Since: Jun 29, 2007

Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

Bio: After a fairly Lynchian childhood in an 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
98 T10 Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922) - Jan 24, 2009
"One of the most effective silent films I've ever seen, and notoriously underrated. Does it really dismiss spirituality away with reason in its final chapter? Or does the whole film basically enchant its audience anyway? ~ Really, one circular joke that can be viewed many times with differing interpretations."
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."
90 T9 Kuruizaki sanda rodo (1980) - Jun 02, 2015
"One can easily name off the film's clear progeny: Miike, Otomo, Kitano, Anno, Tsukamoto, Sono, Kurosawa, Yukisada. And it's easy to see why. From its opening moments, its raw, unrestrained, angsty energy is viral, and ultimately, its primary theme. Yet despite the pedigree it inspired and left in its wake, Crazy Thunder Road is its very own stray and rabid dog, and ultimately a sensation, requiring Western rediscovery."
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."
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."
10 T1 Highlander II: The Quickening (1991) - Nov 03, 2010
"Writer to Studio Exec: "OK, so the Immortals are actually Aliens." Exec: "What about the first movie?" W: "What first movie? Anyway, it's the future, and McLeod is old, but he has to fight an evil corporation from hiding the ozone layer from them." Exec: "He's old? Isn't he immortal?" W: "He is immortal!" Exec: "OK, I'll give you $35 million. Just steal more ideas from Blade Runner and Logan's Run if you need anything.""
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."
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."
80 T8 House (1977) - Mar 16, 2010
"I'm not going to pretend this is a good movie. It's not. It actually has to remind you at the beginning, "A Movie! House!" in case you get confused. But what it is is audiovisual insanity of the highest order: the absolute contempt for genre and script (horror/Toei Pink) creates an onslaught of editing and directorial experimentation not seen since the days Nikkatsu kicked Suzuki out on his ass for doing something new. Not a film; an experience."
99 T10 My Darling Clementine (1946) - Apr 17, 2017
"Kurosawa once said My Darling Clementine is a template for what films can be - and it's hard to disagree with the sensei. Bridges myth and history, allegory and humanity, in a way only the great foundational fables can. Intervening years of romanticism and cynicism have not diluted its power in the slightest. "