Review: Terrorstorm (DVD)
Written and Directed by Alex Jones
As someone who follows Alex Jones' work and tries to keep current on the latest conspiracy theories, I wanted to do something a bit different when I watched Terrorstorm. Having heard pretty much all of Jones' main talking points regarding government-sponsored terrorism and 9/11 conspiracy in the past, my goal was to watch Terrorstorm with as clean of a slate as I could manage. I wanted to experience this documentary as a true novice in the field and judge just how potent it would be to viewers uninitiated in the ways of the Jones.
For the purpose of this review, I will be breaking down the documentary into its 5 chapters.
A History of Terror~
To start his film, Alex Jones takes us through a miniature history lesson of government sponsored terrorism through the ages. Starting with Adolph Hitler and moving forward in time through the Tonkin Gulf Crisis and CIA-sponsored coup in Iran, Jones lays down a pretty convincing array of factual events. Although the exact circumstances of several of the examples he used are still in contention, it does form a solid foundation of precedence for the theories he later presents.
Though the way Jones provides the information in this segment is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, he backs up just about everything he claims with either official, declassified documents or 1st hand, expert testimony. However, as is usually the case in Jones' work, he has a way of completely burying you in facts. The first 15 minutes of Terrorstorm feels like an avalanche of dates, names, and events--making it somewhat hard to follow for those with short attention spans. I felt the need to stop and rewind at several points in the first chapter, just to make sure I was understanding the points he was trying to make.
This is by far the film's strongest aspect. In this chapter, Jones travels to London in the aftermath of the 7/7 subway and bus bombings to investigate the many oddities in the official government explanation. It is in this segment of the film that Jones is at his best--doing it all from getting into trouble with the local police to interviewing people on the street while mixing in his own special blend of corny humor and movie references. Also, this segment features Jones with his signature bullhorn, bringing the Infowars message to the people of London. If nothing else, these scenes are entertaining just for the shock value of the things Jones says and the reactions he gets from Londoners.
Though what I liked best about this part was its noticeably slower pace. Instead of just getting hit by a torrent of facts, the film slows it down and lets it all sink in. For instance, on scene involved discussing the likelihood that there was a government training exercise on the exact day of the 7/7 bombings involving the same targets getting hit with the exact same explosives. He goes on to say that with some kind of sophistimicated mathematical calculation, the odds of that happening was greater than some number with 41 zeros after it--or twice as many grains of sand on the entire planet. It all made for a very powerful point.
It was also a bit comical that, after bullhorning Parliament, Jones was added to a terrorist watch list in England. It wasn't so much comical that protesting would label you a potential terrorist, but it was funny how nonchalant Jones was about being added to such a database.
American Empire + Crawford, TX~
I've decided to lump these 2 chapters together--mainly because I disliked the equally. Up until this point, Terrorstorm was (almost refreshingly) bipartisan in its theorizing. The Alex Jones fan in me kept trying to remind myself that he is usually an equal opportunity offender--taking shots at both sides of the political spectrum on shows such as Coast to Coast AM. However, the George Bush and redneck bashing in these chapters (although usually pretty funny) could be a definite turn off for some viewers.
For me, my biggest gripe was that they really didn't add much to the film. Most of it just seemed like a lot of same old 'Iraq was for oil' and 'Bush is a phony' kind of talk. I guess the scene's only redeeming quality is that it showed in a few interviews just how uninformed and trusting certain Americans can be.
To finish things off, Jones closes with the best 9/11 theories and the recent Charlie Sheen controversy. If you've already seen the Showbiz Tonight and Jimmy Kimmel Live interviews with Sheen and Jones, there's really nothing new for you to see in Terrorstorm. But for those that missed the clips in real time or haven't bothered to watch them on the internet, there's definitely some quality material in this chapter. My favorite scene being Jones' interview on Showbiz Tonight when, after being asked the simple question if Charlie Sheen approached him or vice versa, Jones goes on a longwinded, mile-a-minute rant about government sponsored terror--even getting in a few plugs to his websites in the process. Classic Jones.
The other topic of interest in this chapter is the collapse of building 7 of the World Trade Center. I'd say that this is still one of the strongest and as of yet unexplained mysteries of that day. The video footage of its collapse really brings up some interesting questions.
Although this is Alex Jones' most expensive and high-quality documentary to date, it still has this independent look and feel to it. The professional DVD menu and computer effects throughout the film are a nice touch, overall sound and video quality is still lacking. Black levels are often pixilated beyond reason and text can be hard to read due to aliasing. Likewise, save for Jones' narration, sound quality is unreliable at best. At some points it can sound muffled, while at others it suffers from full-blown interference and static. It doesn't necessarily detract from the movie as a whole, but it is something to be aware of if you're planning on purchasing this DVD.
DVD extras include trailers of Jones' other work and a recording of 9/11 & the Neo-Con Agenda Symposium on Los Angeles. The later clocks in at about an hour and includes speakers such as Charlie Sheen, Bob Bowman, and Jones himself.
Although not without its flaws, Terrorstorm is without question Alex Jones' most ambitious and successful documentary to date. With a runtime of around 113 minutes, it's literally packed with solid information. Music by Graham Reynolds (who also composed for last summer's A Scanner Darkly) is also a nice treat.
For fans of Jones and newcomers alike, Terrorstorm is an excellent compilation of the most current and pressing theories on the dark side of the international politics of today.
Rating: 4 / 5
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Discuss The K-Files @ the USofE HERE