Righteous Villains (2020) Movie Review

Director: Savvas D Michael

Writer: Savvas D Michael (Screenplay)

Starring: Steven Berkoff, Gary Dourdan, Steven Brand, Adam Deacon, Gianna Calchetti, Andreas Karras, Lois Brabin-Platt, Jamie Crew

Plot: A modern day tale of good vs evil, secret societies, sorcery and Satan.

Tagline – Saints, secret societies, sorcery and Satan.

Runtime: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Righteous Villains starts when conman Jeremiah (Crew) and grieving widow Jolie (Brabin-Platt) are drawn into a plan that will give them both what they want, Jeremiah money, Jolie a chance to be reunited with her dead husband Mickey (Dourdan).

The pair must look to put aside their differences to go into the underworld of hell, to learn how Satan (Deacon) runs the world, with punishment for the guilty, in their own attempt to save a missing child.

Thoughts on Righteous Villains

ThoughtsRighteous Villains takes us into the world of the evil around making deals with the devil and the path is could send you down for the things you want. It might not give us the clearest in how everything unfolds, with us only seeing the evil in the world, not giving us the idea that we could have light and dark. The performances are fine, with the bigger names reduced to more supporting cameo like performances in the film. The film does take us to the unique locations which will show us how the devil will be hiding within us on Earth. This isn’t the most appealing film that does end up feeling like it could have been tweaked more to give it a more rounded feeling.

Righteous Villains will be available on DVD & Digital Download from 19th April

Final ThoughtsRighteous Villains is a film that doesn’t do enough to create the ambitious world it wants to.

Echoes of Violence (2021) Movie Review

Director: Nicholas Woods

Writer: Nicholas Woods (Screenplay)

Starring: Frank Oz, Sam Anderson, Sean Dillingham, Amy Tolsky, Jennifer Levinson, Verity Branco, Heston Horwin, Michaella Russell, Chase Cargil, Taylor Flowers

Plot: An immigrant travels from Sedona to Los Angeles to seek revenge against the immigration lawyer who ruined her life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Echoes of Violence starts when real estate agent Alex (Horwin) saves Marakya (Russell) from an attack on the land. Alex learns that Marakya has been abducted by Kellin (Cargill) who isn’t going to stop until he gets her back, leading to the pair needing to travel to LA so Marakya can get revenge on the people who have put the target on her. Along the way we learn the true motives of everyone involved, leading to the intense outcome for Marakya.

Thoughts on Echoes of Violence

ThoughtsEchoes of Violence brings us a new approach on human trafficking, with the victim being saved and looking to go after the people that ruined their life. It will take us on a journey and will give us the different perspectives of the characters motives, which will help us understand what is going on in their worlds. The performances in the film are strong throughout, showing the ordeals the characters would have been through, along with the difficult decisions characters must make throughout the film. The locations will take us across America in the battle for revenge, with the pursuit following along the way.

Final Thoughts Echoes of Violence is a strong thriller that will give us the smart decision to showing us how each character is truly thinking.

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.

Flesh Is Heir To (2020) Movie Review

Director: Dale Johnson

Writer: D. Allan Johnson (Screenplay)

Starring: Heather Michelle, Brandon J Shaw, Elisa Marti, Richard Brundage, Adam Braunstein, Louisa DeButts

Plot: This erotic neo noir mystery centers around Cece Blair, a young theoretical physicist who starts having paranormal visions upon returning from her universe bending Collider Work in Switzerland. Benign at first, her visions take a dark twist when she witnesses a male patron in a restaurant suddenly become a violent imaginary murderer.

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Flesh Is Heir To starts when new detective Charlie Black (Michelle) takes taken into the force, where she must learn from Captain Walker (Braunstein). CERN employee Cece (DeButts) finds herself having horrific visions of murders happening in front of her eyes. Trying to figure out what is happening, she is left to go in search of the truth, turning to Charlie to potentially investigate a real murder.

Cece looks to get close to the potential serial killer, as she searches for answers, while Charlie is trying to get the case into the light of day within the police force. Can either of them stop this mystery killer before he strikes again.

Thoughts on Flesh Is Heir To

Characters & Performances – Charlie Black is looking to break the barriers in the police force, she can handle herself in a male world and is the one that is willing to listen to Cece’s story and try to make a case out of what is only seen as a dream. Heather Michelle does well in her role here, showing the strength in dealing with the male world. CeCe is the scientist returning from working on the CERN collider, she starts experiencing visions in her everyday life, ones that turn murderous, leading to her trying to figure out what is going on, putting herself in the middle of a dangerous situation. Louisa DeButts does bring her character to life with ease, needing to give us the more difficult reaction scenes of shock of what she is witnesses. The rest of the cast bring us mysterious stranger that Cece sees in her visions along with Captain Walker that is showing Charlie the ropes.

StoryThe story here follows a rookie detective investigating a series of vision a CERN scientist is having that involve a serial killer, with the two going their own ways about trying to solve the mystery. In the core of the story this is an interesting idea that could bring together the unknown results of the CERN collider with a murder mystery, which is by far the most interesting side of the story. When this is an interesting side of the story, getting to the deeper side of the story doesn’t come easy, with moments that more filler conversations that don’t connect the bigger picture, which will bring the interest behind everything down more. We also add in a lot of random art filled shots that doesn’t seem to be connected to the story going on around them.

ThemesFlesh Is Heir To is a murder mystery thriller that will give us an interesting idea behind what could be causing the mystery, this will have minor elements of sci-fi and horror too. When it comes to the locations we get the unusual idea of having the crimes seen in very public places for the visions, before returning to the more traditional locations for the crimes.

Flesh Is Heir To is wonderful idea for a story that gives us a fresh approach to the murder mystery story.

ABC Film Challenge – Favourites – C – The Chaser (2008) Movie Review

The Chaser – Gritty, Dark & Disturbing

 

Director: Hong-jin Na

Writer: Won-Chan Hong, Shinho Lee, Hong-jin Na (Screenplay)

Starring: Kim Yoon-seok, Hung-woo Ha, Yeong-hie Seo, Yoo-Jeong Kim, In-gi Jeong

Plot: A disgraced ex-policeman who runs a small ring of prostitutes finds himself in a race against time when one of his women goes missing.


Tagline – The hunter and the hunted, the ultimate chase begins

Runtime: 2 Hour 5 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Chaser starts as we meet former detective turned pimp Joong-ho Eom (Yoon-seok) who arranges the girls, but will get hands on with anyone who abuses his girls, putting their safety first, his style has seen him falling behind and when some of his girls have gone missing, he starts to investigate the truth.

When Joong-ho catches the killer Young-min Jee (Ha), he faces a new race against time to save the missing girl Mi-jin Kim (Seo) that Young-min isn’t will to give up the information about, despite having the police constantly on the attack looking for the truth.

Thoughts on The Chaser

Characters & Performances – Joong-ho Eom is a small time pimp, with his girls getting treated differently to others in the industry, he is a former detective as will use his connection when needed and he will take on and punish anyone who hurts the girls he has working for him. When his girls start going missing, he goes into detective mode to track them down, where he catches the person behind it, but is left trying to figure out where the latest victim is, to reunite her child with them. He will not stop until he finds her and he is willing to hurt anyone that holds back the truth. Kim Yoon-seok does show us just how far someone will go when they are pushed to the limits. Young-min Jee is the killer, he calls up prostitutes where he uses the time to kill them, he has been caught but isn’t given away the information about where he has committed these crimes, keeping everything secret, so his latest victim will die, a sick a twisted man that is always ready to make people pay. Jung-woo Ha gives us a very cold character that will not stop and is always planning something in his head. Mi-jin Kim is the prostitute that is taken by Young-min Jee, locked up and beaten, she spends most of the film tied up waiting or thinking how to escape. The supporting cast in the film are all wonderful, showing us just how dark and desperate this world created has become.

StoryThe story here follows a former detective turned pimp that must track down a killer who is killing his girls and find the latest victim before it is too late. This story shows us how someone searching for the truth will go to extreme lengths to make sure he finds it, going into a dark place to take on a killer that isn’t willing to give up any information, knowing he is in a race against time to save a life. The story is gritty, filled with twists about who is involved and by the end will leave you exhausted.

ThemesThe Chaser brings us into a cat-n-mouse like world, with a killer looking to stay ahead of the man trying to catch him and save his victim. We get plenty of running action sequences, through the tight streets, trying to capture potential suspects, before we learn the truth, with the tension being ramped up by the race against time to save the missing girl. We don’t hold back on the violence which will be shown in every blow. The setting of the big city, works, with the housing area being very tight streets, leaves everything in a race against time, with many different options.

Final ThoughtsThe Chaser is a dark disturbing crime thriller that doesn’t hold back on anything.