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Mentaculus

Celluloid Junkie - 3015 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
91 90% 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."
98 98% 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."
99 98% The Magician (1958) - Sep 12, 2010
"A black comedy mocking, of all things, the post-Reformation debate between reason and superstition - but here told through sex, drag, a ghost who won't quite die, a Papageno wannabe and a 220-year-old witch. While the Magician's facades (and the cinematic trappings that help him along) all dissolve by the film's end, does that mean reason wins? Kinda. Not really. Sometimes all you can do is laugh."
76 64% 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."
94 94% 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."
41 16% Deadly Daphne's Revenge (1987) - Oct 17, 2018
"I watched the whole film with slack-jawed awe in pure astonishment: imagine for a moment a superbly crappy ‘70’s exploitation episode of Law and Order about #MeToo, starring Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Al Franken, and Louis C.K. (respectively) getting off (...) scot free and fighting for their lives against a crazed manifestation of their base desires. It’s like a trigger warning at a gun range. The tagline is, I shit you not, “Men will be shocked! Women will understand!”"
61 36% The Children (1980) - Jan 24, 2019
"The actual concept is stupid (nuclear waste turns children into zombies whose hugs burn people alive!) but th--- no actually that's a great idea. Toys with the familial anxiety that the adults may have to murder their own brood to survive, eventually taking it to its furthest extreme with some onscreen gun- and swordplay. Clearly there's some angst and small-town Americana social chicanery at work, hidden inside a film that is triumphantly perverse and tasteless. "
80 72% 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."
97 97% Barry Lyndon (1975) - Sep 08, 2008
"Basically, Barry Lyndon is like walking through an art gallery, and each painting gives you just that much more of the story. I love the veneer of artifice (hinting at class divisions) that permeates the dialogue and narration, which is only underscored by the natural lighting and costumes: there's no romanticism here, everyone's simultaneously butt-ugly and beautiful. And I don't care how long this is, if you get swept up in the visual aura, this can be 8 hours long and still a joy to behold."
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."