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Mentaculus

Celluloid Junkie - 2710 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
94 T10 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."
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."
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."
88 T9 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."
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."
76 T7 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."
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."
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."
10 T1 Highlander II: The Quickening (1991) - Nov 03, 2010
"Writer to Studio Exec: "OK, so the Immortals are actually Aliens." Exec: "What about the first movie?" W: "What first movie? Anyway, it's the future, and McLeod is old, but he has to fight an evil corporation from hiding the ozone layer from them." Exec: "He's old? Isn't he immortal?" W: "He is immortal!" Exec: "OK, I'll give you $35 million. Just steal more ideas from Blade Runner and Logan's Run if you need anything.""
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."