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Mentaculus

Celluloid Junkie - 2674 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
79 T8 It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) - Jul 09, 2014
"On the one hand, you could write this off as a slick and bloated celebration of passive evil that everyday people are quite capable of if given the right circumstance (which is wonderful). Or, it is simply a coda to the bygone days of slapstick, giving each at least some due for their glory days of beating themselves up for a quick laugh, at their expense (which is wonderful). But if you read it both ways at once, the climax on the firetruck has quite a vicious sting (which is brilliant)."
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."
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."
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."
76 T7 Stone (2010) - Oct 15, 2011
"The conceit - the effects on a man's soul when regret, pride, arrogance and faith get thrown into a blender and set on 'puree' - is absolutely singular for a studio film. Especially one as expertly acted and well crafted as this. Yet the ending just ends. And whatever the reason (probably a weighty, pretentious one), it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. But I still want to recommend it as a bizarre, obscure film about the effects of faith on the faithless, which is a rare thing."
84 T9 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."
98 T10 Simon of the Desert (1965) - Dec 07, 2008
"SOTD is truncated, incomplete, and barely known - but it is the one Bunuel film I continually return to. This has something genuine to say about the falseness of altruism, the relationship between Man and God, and the death of the Enchanted Age. Or I'm reading too much into it. God bless Bunuel."
T1 High School Musical (2006) - Sep 11, 2008
"Music that wants to be a musical. Works surprisingly well as a horror film."
99 T10 Mary Poppins (1964) - Sep 09, 2008
"Some films may equal, but will never surpass, the amazing "Jolly Holiday" sequence for pure joy and imaginative beauty. Whatever you say about Disney, this is his crowning achievement. A close look at the narrative shows this is more for adults to experience the joys of innocence and imagination - and really, we could all use a bit of that."