Silk Road (2021) Movie Review

Silk Road – Not So Stylish

Director: Tiller Russell

Writer: Tiller Russell (Screenplay) David Kushner (Novel)

Starring: Nick Robinson, Jason Clarke, Alexandra Shipp, Katie Aselton, Darrell Britt-Gibson

Plot: Philosophical twenty-something Ross Ulbricht creates Silk Road, a dark net website that sells drugs, while DEA agent Rick Bowden goes undercover to bring him down.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Silk Road starts when Ross Ulbricht (Robinson) decides he wants to change the world, his vision is a website on the dark web, which could hook people up with drugs, not giving them any need for proof of ID. His builds the Silk Road website, one that does deals using Bitcoin, leaving no digital footprints behind.

DEA agent Rick Bowden (Clarke) starts trying to hunt the owner of Silk Road down, but his lack of knowledge of the dark web means he will need to work with his informant, as Ross starts to see the success spiral out of control, making him one of the most wanted men in America.

Thoughts on Silk Road

Characters & Performances – Ross Ulbricht is the young man that believes in the freedoms that America can offer you, he wants to make more happen in the world, with his vision for change being a way to buy drugs without trading details. When his idea becomes big, he must find a way to stay ahead of the law, who are tracking him down, looking to close him down, showing him becoming more desperate and isolated. Nick Robinson does a solid enough job in this role, it would be fair to say we know he is capable of much more, with this role having the potential that could have changed how people saw him like it did for Jesse Eisenberg. Rick Bowden is a DEA agent that gets demoted to the tech division, making him a fish out of water, not knowing anything about computers. He starts looking into the case with Silk Road, using his street connections to make something happen, continuing to get involved when he is asked to walk away, pushing his family away more than he wants to. Jason Clarke is the strongest of the performers in this film, giving us a character, we can sympathise with more than anyone else involved.

StoryThe story here follows the twenty-something year-old that builds a website called Silk Road which will be used for criminal activities, with the ability to track the users being withheld, as we follow a disgraced DEA agent try to crack the case. This is a story that seems to try and turn criminal into the hero, this is a style of story we get two or three of a year, which makes the minor criminal seem like the most important person in the world. This does flow in the typical fashion, without giving us much going on, but does end up seeing characters drop out of the story without giving us a chance to learn about what happened to them. It does the basics well, it just gets everything together smooth enough to fill like one we have seen before.

ThemesSilk Road is a crime thriller that follows the invention of Silk Road, seeing the cat-n-mouse battle between the creator and the DEA agent trying to catch him. The locations show the change in life that Ross gets with his home environment changes.

Silk Road is on digital platforms 22 March from Vertigo Releasing

 

Silk Road is a by the book thriller that puts the spotlight on a criminal over the people that are tracking them down.

ABC Film Challenge – Favourites – S – Spaceballs (1987) Movie Rob’s Pick

Head over to Movie Rob’s site for more reviews.

“Say goodbye to your two best friends, and I don’t mean your pals in the Winnebago.” – Dark Helmet

Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (Theater in 1987, cable, video, DVD, 22 Sep 2001, 12 Sep 2013, 28 Nov 2017 and 17 Mar 2021)

Link to original review – Here and Here

Brief Synopsis – The evil race of beings known as Spaceballs plan to kidnap the princess of a friendly planet and blackmail the King to give them the fresh air from their planet.

My Take on it – Amazing film that works so well no matter how often one sees it.

Mel Brooks has always able to create so many fun films that parody specific genres.

This film takes on sci-fi films and they find ways to keep things hilarious from start to finish.

The dialogue is extremely clever and helps enhance things because of the way it keeps the audience so engaged in everything going on.

The genius of this movie is its ability to take scenarios and cues from various sci-fi films and franchises and blend them together in such a fun story.

The cast is superb with Mel Brooks playing duplicate roles.

He is helped by John Candy, Bill Pullman, Daphne Zuniga, Joan Rivers, Rick Moranis who all keep the tone so funny the whole way through.

The plot is intriguing and comes across as being quite enjoyable as things progress which is slightly unusual in films like this because they tend to care more about the jokes than the plot.

This film is able to keep the story flowing really well while giving us some great jokes along the way that are both funny and yet also stays relevant to the sci-fi aspect of the story by making things feel as if they are part of a familiar sci-fi franchise.

IMHO, this is by far, Brooks best parody (even if some of the others come close to also being spectacular.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia #1 –  Of all of the jokes in this movie, writer, producer, and director Mel Brooks says that the two he is most proud of are the running gag about merchandising (“Spaceballs: the Breakfast Cereal”, “Spaceballs: The T-Shirt”, et cetera) and Colonel Sandurz’s renting “Spaceballs” before it was finished.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia #2 – In a 2013 television interview (shortly before receiving the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award), Mel Brooks stated that he personally obtained George Lucas’ full permission to parody any and all things Star Wars-related but, on one condition, that absolutely no merchandise of any kind be produced from this movie. This is the reason why all Yogurt and the Dinks do is merchandising (it is also why none of the merchandise seen in this movie was ever mass produced or publicly sold in any way). (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)

ABC Film Challenge – Favourites – S – Sea Fever (2019) Movie Review

Director: Neasa Hardiman

Writer: Neasa Hardiman (Screenplay)

Starring: Hermione Corfield, Dag Malmberg, Jack Hickey, Olwen Fouere, Dougray Scott, Connie Nielsen, Ardalan Emaili, Elie Bouakaze

Plot: The crew of a West of Ireland trawler, marooned at sea, struggle for their lives against a growing parasite in their water supply.


Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Intense Biological Horror

Story: Sea Fever starts when biology student Siobhan (Corfield) is forced into the field, working on a fishing trawler under Captain Gerard (Scott), Freya (Nielsen), along with Johnny (Hickey), Ciara (Fouere), Omid (Esmaili) and Sudi (Bouakaze). The journey starts simple enough, before the boat becomes trapped by a creature.

Once freed the boat looks to return home, only they discover they have released a parasite onboard, which is attracted to open wounds, they will need to find away to escape the parasites or risk the infection spreading further.

Thoughts on Sea Fever

Characters – Siobhan is a marine biology student, she has been studying and understanding environmental changes that have caused major changes in the natural world, she is social awkward, rather focusing on her work than being able to handle a conversation. She must do field work, which see her joining a fishing trawler, for a simple study of the catches and going on a dive, only she gets more than she bargained for, as she must use her skills to try and save the crew of the boat from an unknown parasite, which has found itself way on board the boat. Gerard is the captain of the ship, he makes the decisions on where to fish and who does what on the boat, not being as welcoming as he should, knowing that taking her on board will help pay for things in the future. Freya is the partner who knows the difficult decisions Gerard is facing, showing him that they can work together through the differences on board. The rest of the crew do have something to fight for, showing they have people back home that care for them along the journey.

PerformancesHermione Corfield is great in the leading role, she creates the distance in her character with ease, making every scene feel like her character shouldn’t be there and doesn’t want to be there. Dougray Scott and Connie Nielsen bring the star power to the film keeping both their characters grounded through the situations, with the rest of the cast going great through the film too.

StoryThe story here follows the crew of a fishing trawler, joined by a student that find themselves infested by a parasite that is slowly infecting them as they look to make the difficult decisions or survive the effects of the parasite. The story here does show us just how difficult being caught out at sea can be on the victims, stranded no easy escape from what could be coming their way. We get plenty of hints into the superstitions of the crew, while seeing just how uncomfortable the student will be on the boat. The story does mix The Thing with Alien, showing us that we can bring the ideas that a borrowed but still feel fresh along the way.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror in this film comes from the isolation of the unknown that could be coming for them, the parasite slowly infecting people without knowing how to stop it.

SettingsMost of the film takes place on the boat, it keeps us within the walls of the fishing boat, that is stranded in the ocean, with the people on board facing an unknown threat, playing into the horror.


Scene of the Movie – The parasite first burst.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We get one twist which is not needed for the scare factor.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great atmospheric isolation based biological horror that brings more of the science to the table, than just going for a blood and gore heavy film.

Overall: Isolation Horror Treat.