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Mentaculus

Celluloid Junkie - 2799 Film 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
53 T3 Alien: Covenant (2017) - May 24, 2017
"It's as if Ridley took the feedback from Prometheus and Fox and said, "Fine, I'll make an Alien movie for those Plebes." The result may just have mild contempt on all of us - like we're being served from the kids menu although we damn well know there's a wine list somewhere. Three or so action set pieces are extraordinary in their execution, and Fassbender is a God among men. But as the credits rolled I could almost hear Scott quoting from another of his own films: "Are you not entertained?!""
91 T10 Get Out (2017) - Feb 26, 2017
"Horror is a surprising vehicle for empathy. Few genres are able to so deftly enter the perspective of a character and pry out internal fears, subjective realities, and inner demons. What works so brutally well here is the way Peele slowly, eerily, gives passive racial/racist assumptions and cliches an uncanny physicality. For the runtime, I was seeing the world through Chris' eyes. And given the plot of the film, as a white person, this fact is absolutely terrifying in more ways than one."
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"
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. "
76 T7 Heaven Can Wait (1943) - Nov 29, 2010
"Lubitsch's use of ellipsis is intelligent to the point of being profound: it really is like grasping at the wind of life to catch only the most important bits. Still, I get the distinct impression that Lubitsch is looking back on his own life - and his distinct gender politics, marrying love and polygamy - and hoping Satan is just a heck of a nice fella. There is a very peculiar melancholy there, creating a different level of dark comedy. And I truly hope that worked out for him, really."
71 T6 Ghost in the Shell (2017) - Apr 12, 2017
"A vaguely sinister multinational constructs an idealized female human form from computers and corporate interests, only to encounter backlash when that form starts questioning its identity in a world where individuality is informed by physical attributes. Production history or plot synopsis? This film is unintentionally meta af. "
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 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."
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?""
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."