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Mentaculus

Celluloid Junkie - 2732 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
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."
97 T10 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."
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."
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. "
98 T10 Videodrome (1983) - Sep 09, 2008
"All of Cronenberg's fascinations/obsessions, predominately his anxiety about society's influence over the body, only become more significant and horrifying in hindsight. My favorite films (of which this is one of them) leave me feeling as if it is a complete entity; nothing should or could be added or excised to make a more compelling feature. You could write books over what happens in this 80-min film."
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"
42 T2 Noah (2014) - May 11, 2015
"The entirety of my viewing I kept asking myself Why this was made. It's too off-script for a Christian audience, too religious for the blockbuster audience, too mystical for the Jewish audience, too campy for the adults and too adult for the kids. Luckily time will wash this one away as a mistake. On the plus side, Nick Nolte has finally been typecast as a rock. "
92 T10 Bringing Out the Dead (1999) - Dec 06, 2009
"Probably Scorsese's most underrated film. And considering the collaboration of all those involved, that's rather confusing. Yes, it's a spiritual successor to Taxi Driver, but since when is that a bad thing? BotD has some of Scorsese's most beautiful cinematography (partially thanks to Dante Ferretti), bolstered by Schrader's religious wit and some great performances, especially by Cage and Rhames (and Cliff Curtis!)"
83 T8 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."