After he graduated from the University of St. Thomas, Jonathon joined the web team again as a web producer in February of 2011.
When he is not editing and/or writing articles, Jonathon writes for the Movie Blog.
Aside from cinema, Jonathon climbs rocks.
He also loves Carl Sagan.
Somehow, summer is halfway over. That being said, you should probably spend as much time as possible out enjoying the warm season on a lake or a patio.
Questions about vigilantism are at the heart of Cartel Land, a gripping documentary on the people risking their lives taking a stand against Mexican drug cartels on both sides of the border. Directed by Matthew Heineman, whose camerawork is athletic and fearless, the movie unfolds like a blockbuster action flick, not unlike executive producer Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker or Zero Dark Thirty. The film starts in Mexico, in the dead of night, with masked men cooking meth, explaining that while the drugs might wreak havoc in America, it’s the only way for them to escape poverty. What choice do they have?
If you’re looking to escape the heat and humidity this week, there’s probably no better way to do it than to watch Satyajit Ray’s gorgeously restored and undeniably epic Apu trilogy, which is playing over at the Lagoon Cinema. While it’s no doubt a commitment to see each film, the payoff is hug: It’s one of those works that’ll rekindle your belief in the power of cinema, or art in general. Seriously, it’s that good.
The love story that unfolds in “Love At First Fight” defies easy categorization. It’s not a French romcom, it’s not a passionate kissing fest, and it isn’t a tearjerker either. It’s just a slow-burning romance of sorts, with well-placed laughs. Featuring a remarkable performance by up-coming actress Adèle Haenel, the film is irresistible as it is unpredictable, and it makes for almost perfect summer movie watching.
If you looked at this headline and had no idea what esports are, here’s an explainer: Esports are video games played competitively, often at incredibly high stakes, before a massive, global audience.
With the holiday weekend come and gone, perhaps there’s a bit more free time in your schedule for movies. If that’s the case, you may want to check out the Walker Art Center’s Summer Nights/Cool Cinema series, which starts this week.
Emotionally explosive and wonderfully amorphous, “About Elly” is a 2009 film out of Iran getting its well-deserved release in the U.S. just now. Directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Asghar Farhadi (“A Separation”, “The Past”), the film is a naturalistic drama that could easily be described as a thriller. Its characters are believable and mysterious, and the film highlights, to Western eyes, the weight honor holds in cultures built around it.
While the most recent adaptation of “Madame Bovary” is no doubt pretty, director Sophie Barthes’ take on the classic Flaubert novel doesn’t quite feel like anything more than a bookish period piece. The dialogue is too flowery, the performances are mixed at best, and the film appears to be addicted to swooning over its delicate piano soundtrack.
The “Wolfpack” raises far more questions than it answers, and that’s both why the documentary is so compelling and, at the same time, somewhat frustrating.
When director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon started work on “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” the film that went on to conquer this year’s Sundance Film Festival, bagging both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize, he didn’t think he’d put a dedication to his late father at the very beginning of the movie.
A history of “Saturday Night Live” that isn’t afraid to dive into the show’s issues of diversity and identity, “Live From New York” is a compelling and effectively moving portrait of a program than in 40 years has gone from being an avant-garde game-changer to an American institution.
Nearly a decade ago, first-time filmmaker Marah Strauch thought she was going to make a documentary about her uncle, a man who filmed himself and others jumping off cliffs and skyscrapers for fun.
One of the best films to screen at the latest Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, Slow West blends a Coen brothers-like sense of humor with Tarantino-smacking violence to create a frontier story that’s hard to pin down and also forget.
The penultimate film of Albert Maysles is a loving and inquisitive look into the life of a now 93-year-old fashion icon.
Growing up as a kid with special needs, Nick Bertsch didn’t get invited to birthday parties or sleepovers. Making friends was tough, yet that didn’t stop him from becoming a close friend to one of TV’s most iconic characters: Big Bird.
In 1964, Muppet master Jim Henson picked the young puppeteer Caroll Spinney to don an 8-foot-tall bird suit for an educational children’s show called “Sesame Street.” Forty-five years later and more than two decades since Henson’s death, Spinney is still the man inside that yellow-feathered puppet, recognized the world over as Big Bird.
A lot of power in a relatively small package, “Tangerines” is an anti-war chamber drama with the emotional thrust of a knife to the gut.
After showing more than 200 films over the course of the past few weeks, the 34th annual Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival has wrapped up, and the competition results are in.
Science documentaries focusing on climate change in Antarctica, with gorgeous images of cerulean icebergs and throngs of wobbling penguins, are not exactly rare these days. Dena Seidel’s Antarctic Edge is the latest among them, and while it’s not as mesmerizing as last year’s Antarctica: A Year on Ice, it does champion an important group of people: the scientists spending huge chunks of their lives studying the frozen continent.
The beauty of director Naji Abu Nowar’s Theeb lies in its seeming simplicity. On the surface, it looks like a boy’s coming-of-age adventure story. Yet, on a deeper level, the film explores the death throes […]
Perhaps if one mixed the cinematic vision of the Coen brothers with the Rocky Mountain vistas and greasy leather hats of Red Dead Redemption, the result would be something like John Maclean’s incredibly stylish and […]
Why is it that nearly all of America’s mass murders are men, when women have just as easy access to firearms? Why are boys more likely to be bullied? To have learning issues? To drop out of school? To commit suicide? Those are just a few of the questions posed by The Mask You Live In, the latest documentary on gender in America by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, whose last film, Miss Representation, explored how women are under-represented in positions of power.
Saying that a documentary about a world-renowned chef could make your mouth water isn’t really impressive. But if a film could make you a fan of a country, a people, a cuisine, that’s something more powerful. Julia Patricia Perez’s Finding Gaston introduces the audience to one of Peru’s greatest cultural ambassadors, Gaston Acurio. The man, who appears at length in the film, is a bastion for every pepper, sauce and recipe native to his homeland, and he goes to incredible lengths to fortify the small Latin American nation as a haven for culinary treasures.
Writer/director Jessica Hausner’s latest work is weirdly captivating. The visual style, with people standing stiff as paintings and stoic Weimaraner dogs seemingly everywhere, sets it apart from so many movies these days while simultaneously cementing the movie in the historical frame of German Romanticism.
The best thing about The Longest Ride, the latest film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks tear-jerker novel, is the bullriding. The slow-motion shots, with the animal’s legs kicking and snot slinging into the air, capture the ride as an act of grace. An entire documentary focused on the sport could be carried by the power and beauty of such images. The same, however, can’t be said for “The Longest Ride,” which tries to mash two quite different loves stories together and ends up a messy, pointless excuse to see a glimpse of Scott Eastwood’s ass.