Jonah Smith

Jonah Smith

Jonah Smith Quick Links

Film RSS

Religulous Review


Excellent
Ponder this: Christians and Muslims embrace two competing, ancient fairy tales that both end with the glorious destruction of the world, except for exclusive alternate endings for believers. And the people who currently have the greatest power to destroy the world are Christians and Muslims, whether by nuclear bomb or environmental neglect. Therefore, prophecy is destined to fulfill itself, unless people come to their senses and recognize religion for the poison it is.

Offended? Terrified? Whether you're a Sunday School regular or a godless intellectual, you're certain to find Bill Maher's anti-religion polemic Religulous to be a provocative, brilliant, infuriating documentary. It's one part Bowling for Columbine, one part An Inconvenient Truth, built upon a base of sneering mockery.

Continue reading: Religulous Review

Right At Your Door Review


OK
Though the film version of 24 won't be released (reportedly) until 2009, its effect on cinema can be well felt in a film like Chris Gorak's Right at Your Door. As smoothly as any of the six terrorist attacks in Fox's hit program, three "dirty" bombs go off in Los Angeles, causing a slow-moving toxic snowfall of ash that barely obscures the view of the L.A. skyline bellowing smoke and flames.

Sadly, there's no Jack Bauer in this mini-apocalypse, but rather his antithesis: a stay-at-home husband/wanna-be rock guitarist named Brad, played by 1990s slacker incarnate Rory Cochrane. Furthermore, instead of finding the nearest gasmask and doing everything in his power to save his working wife Lexi (Mary McCormack), he bunkers up in their sloping-suburbs house with the next-door gardener (Tony Perez) and scotch-tapes every window, door, nook, cranny and crease the he can find. Then honey comes home: Contaminated.

Continue reading: Right At Your Door Review

A Scanner Darkly Review


Weak

When Richard Linklater released Waking Life in 2001, he became the granddaddy of a whole new kind of filmmaking process. The film had been shot and edited like a normal feature, then sent to computer jocks who basically painted over each frame, giving the images a surreal quality of undulating colors that fell somewhere between photography and animation -- an acid-trip philosophy lesson.

Linklater returns to the same technique once again (and for the last time, from what he has said, due to rampant production difficulties) for a much more literal acid trip. Based on the Philip K. Dick novel of the same name, A Scanner Darkly is a feature-length PSA on the evils of drugs and the potentially-as-damaging efforts to ferret them out of society.

Continue reading: A Scanner Darkly Review

The Clearing Review


Very Good
There's tension in them there trees, and hopefully some cash for Fox Searchlight in the form of counter-programming. Surrounded by a sea of summer popcorn escapist vehicles, the rock-solid kidnapping thriller The Clearing feels like a frigid and somber snowball dropped into the heart of the Arabian Desert. We're typically not trained to accept weighty emotional dramas in the dog days of July, though when one this good rolls through, let's hope it has a better survival rate than said lump of frost.

The adult-oriented character piece delves headfirst into the natural landscapes of the Southeast - primarily Georgia and North Carolina - to hide the criminal wrongdoings of kidnapper Arnold Mack (Willem Dafoe) and his valuable target, Wayne Hayes (Robert Redford). While the men work their way to an undisclosed location in the woods, Clearing continues to focus on the consequent people affected by the impromptu abduction - from Wayne's wife, Eileen (Helen Mirren), and their children (Alessandro Nivola, Melissa Sagemiller) to the businessman's mistress (Wendy Crewson).

Continue reading: The Clearing Review

Waking Life Review


Essential
Today, most films are bloated, uninteresting, narrative-driven drivel, filled with beautiful people, a hit soundtrack, and closely following the storyline of some bestseller close enough so that it doesn't offend a legion of Oprah's Book Club readers. Waking Life is something altogether different, a work of abstract art that recalls Buñuel, Lynch, and Cocteau.

Most people will not understand Waking Life. Some will find it to be one of the most brilliant pieces of film ever produced. I found it to be beyond words; a combination of film, groundbreaking computer animation, and a difficult and profane script that produces a sublime interpretation of existence.

Continue reading: Waking Life Review

Jonah Smith

Jonah Smith Quick Links

Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Filmmaker


Suggested

'Lost' BBC Session By Led Zeppelin Recovered And Restored

'Lost' BBC Session By Led Zeppelin Recovered And Restored

The 1969 session, including the only known recording of 'Sunshine Woman' by the band, will be included on a re-issue of 'The Complete BBC Sessions'...

Michael J. Fox Joins Coldplay On Stage To Perform 'Back To The Future' Songs

Michael J. Fox Joins Coldplay On Stage To Perform 'Back To The Future' Songs

The 55 year old actor joined Chris Martin and co. on stage in New Jersey to perform 'Earth Angel' and 'Johnny B. Goode'.

Bjork Announces Virtual Reality Exhibition In London, Plus Single Live Show

Bjork Announces Virtual Reality Exhibition In London, Plus Single Live Show

Bjork Digital comes to London's Somerset House in September, along with a single live show at the Royal Albert Hall.

Advertisement
Has Kanye West Broken The Law Over Taylor Swift Phone Call?

Has Kanye West Broken The Law Over Taylor Swift Phone Call?

Kim Kardashian released an audio excerpt from a phone call between Kanye and Taylor Swift over the lyrics of 'Famous' - but if it was recorded...

DJ Shadow - The Mountain Will Fall Album Review

DJ Shadow - The Mountain Will Fall Album Review

There's very much a strength of conviction in remaining what you were, but arguably more so in becoming what you want to be.

'Poldark' And 'X Factor' Set For TV Clash In September

'Poldark' And 'X Factor' Set For TV Clash In September

The BBC drama starring Aidan Turner returns to BBC One on September 4th.

Guns N' Roses detained for gun possession

Guns N' Roses detained for gun possession

Guns N' Roses were detained at the Canadian border last week for gun possession but they're adamant the weapon didn't belong to them.

Advertisement

Jonah Smith Movies

Religulous Movie Review

Religulous Movie Review

Ponder this: Christians and Muslims embrace two competing, ancient fairy tales that both end with...

Right at Your Door Movie Review

Right at Your Door Movie Review

Though the film version of 24 won't be released (reportedly) until 2009, its effect on...

Advertisement
A Scanner Darkly Movie Review

A Scanner Darkly Movie Review

When Richard Linklater released Waking Life in 2001, he became the granddaddy of a whole...

The Clearing Movie Review

The Clearing Movie Review

There's tension in them there trees, and hopefully some cash for Fox Searchlight in the...

Waking Life Movie Review

Waking Life Movie Review

Today, most films are bloated, uninteresting, narrative-driven drivel, filled with beautiful people, a hit soundtrack,...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.