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Mentaculus

Celluloid Junkie - 3071 Film Ratings

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
81 75% 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."
68 49% 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."
83 78% Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015) - Jun 23, 2015
"Like the best satires, it's slyly written, and in absolutely terrible taste. A dizzying pastiche of Bond and modern actioners with a vicious populist message that is as wacky and culturally primed as Cooper's Behold A Pale Horse. As nasty and unrestrained as this film was, I immediately wanted to rewatch it. I think there's more being said here - in script, tone and especially its self-aggrandizing violence - than is immediately let on. Just like the best conspiracy theories."
90 89% Struktura krysztalu (1969) - Jun 30, 2018
"A masterclass in ellipsis and scale, and the way film, as an extension of human experience, can make a mountain of a molehill and a fable of an epic. It's a quiet revolution over dinner conversation, told with a light charm and a hint of grace."
100 99% The Shining (1980) - Apr 08, 2018
"A lifetime of rewatching has convinced me that The Shining truly does have an otherworldly, occultic power. The first half of the film is akin to a ritualistic seance: images, music, and faces seep slowly into the unconscious mind, only to be released in the second half of the movie in a bloody orgy of psychological grotesquerie. As a byproduct, The Shining has as many interpretations as there are viewers and their experiences. It conjures the obsessions - and evils - lurking in each of us."
20 4% Godsend (2004) - Sep 10, 2008
"My (now-)wife and I almost stopped dating after seeing this in theatres. It was so dumb and so boring, we didn't make out, we were in so much awe at its badness. Leaving, we barely spoke. I puked up the Joe's Crab Shack later that evening. We've never gone back to Joe's Crab Shack. I've never seen the movie again. We married in spite of this evening."
84 80% Jacob's Ladder (1990) - Jan 11, 2010
" "It is easy to go down to hell; Night and Day the Gates of Dark Death stand wide; But to climb back up again, to retrace ones steps to the open air, there lies the problem, the difficult task." -Virgil, The Aeneid, Book VI. Yet, "The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." -John Milton. The film's pluses and minuses lie in the contradiction."
94 94% 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."
78 68% Alien: Resurrection (1997) - May 07, 2019
"Slathers on the Freudian grotesque: sees the Mother themes of the previous films and decides to run with ideas of Abortions and Incest. On that note, it might just be a fitting evolution of Giger’s concepts, fueled by perversion and an elevated, lurid, askew sensuality. So the film swings wildly between dirty gore and an otherworldly eroticism, which takes some getting used to. But once you do, it peaks to scenes that are truly and beautifully intense. "
82 77% 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"