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Mentaculus

Celluloid Junkie - 3124 Film Ratings

Member Since: Jun 30, 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
88 86% Jane Eyre (2011) - Mar 20, 2011
"The first filmed version of the novel that thoroughly understands the Gothic in its source. By turns frighteningly romantic and sublimely atmospheric - everything about the production is so solid the deep complexities in the story appear effortless. What deserves an even more honorable mention is the cinematography that lingers in the dark corners of the castle and the bags under Rochester's eyes more than the charm of Victorian gardens."
90 89% Kuruizaki sanda rodo (1980) - Jun 02, 2015
"One can easily name off the film's clear progeny: Miike, Otomo, Kitano, Anno, Tsukamoto, Sono, Kurosawa, Yukisada. And it's easy to see why. From its opening moments, its raw, unrestrained, angsty energy is viral, and ultimately, its primary theme. Yet despite the pedigree it inspired and left in its wake, Crazy Thunder Road is its very own stray and rabid dog, and ultimately a sensation, requiring Western rediscovery."
96 96% Showgirls (1995) - May 20, 2019
"Verhoeven pulled off a fucking coup, here, didn't he? Showgirls combines the myth-making Americana pomp of Busby Berkeley, and the subversive, knowing sex games of Russ Meyer, but then it took all of Bob Fosse's quaaludes and had a seizure going down on a hooker in a Vegas back room. Its Tits-and-Ass-and-Overacting glam is a smokescreen obscuring the truth of the musical mythos: Every kind act is shit on and every little shit gets ahead. It's neither serious nor a satire - it's a statement."
76 64% Stone (2010) - Oct 16, 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."
86 83% eXistenZ (1999) - Sep 10, 2008
"Watching this launches me into an embarrassing eXistenZial rant on philosophical spiritualism: the grotesquerie of material forms upon layers of physical condeCenZion; the fractal, analogous nature of interpretive time; the arcane mystery of our degree of free will, us as the architects or pawns of our condition as our consciousness leaps. A Word for God is the missing "Y" in the world of illusion and tranCendenZ (un)veils an End to things. It's gross and gorgeous, brilliant and psychotic."
94 94% Toy Story 3 (2010) - Jun 23, 2010
"Pixar is the only American animation studio that can take some of our most iconic characters, have them swim in existentialism, get tortured by a villain who refuses redemption, and send them to a literal hell and back - but do it with such undeniable tact, grace and aplomb nobody even bats an eye. Actually, it might make the ending that much more stirring. It's a good thing there are credits videos for those... um, other people, clearly... who teared up."
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."
30 8% The Fate of the Furious (2017) - Nov 10, 2018
"Possibly the douchiest movie in the history of douchebaggery. The first F&F was The Favorite Movie of my wife’s boyfriend before we dated, and he was a douchebag. Every plot point - from Charlize as a dreads-wearing crocodile at the world’s wettest watering hole to some contrived second Cuban Missile Crisis - is so desperate to appeal to his divine level of doucheness it can’t even succeed at full douche-attainment. It’s a Catch-22 of douche. I hope he enjoys it."
76 64% Lethal Weapon (1987) - Feb 17, 2017
"Perhaps 80's action films were all self-aware? Beginning as a rather reflective police procedural, the action and logic soon jump into ludicrous speed in a manner that seems purposeful and reflexive: a comment on the American Banal, allowing regular joes an outlet to blow shit up. The use of sound - background sounds always commenting on the characters - seems to point this way. It's practically magical realism for working stiffs."
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."