Tag: 2 out of 4

Taking the Fall

Would you go to prison for other people? Would I? Ehhh, I really doubt it. I don’t think I could last in prison. I’d freak out like that fresh fish in Shawshank probably.

I have seen people take the blame for others actions before, doing quite the noble thing. One kid in my high school got busted for weed, that belonged to him and his roommate. He said it all belonged to him, not the roommate, and so he got kicked out of school, while his roommate got to graduate. Crazy noble.

I’m not noble.

Taking The Fall is about a guy who was just so nice he did something just like that and what happened next.

prisoner
Being stuck in prison so young. Better hit the button labeled Turbo, kid

Tyler (Munro Chambers) is getting out of prison after six long years! Hooray! He has a felony charge, because of a whole lot of weed. This was in college, where they got to party all day. It wasn’t really his weed, and it wasn’t even his idea, but he took the fall (The movie name!) so his friends could graduate and make something of themselves.

So his best friend Justin (Roland Beck III) picks him up and takes him to a nice rented house for a small get together. It was supposed to just be him, and one more, but they invited a few others to have a bit bigger of a party.

One of his older friends Peter (Chris Sturgeon) with his new fiancé (Kristin Zimber), his ex (Katie Gill) and her boyfriend (Jonathan Dylan King), and another friend (Avalon Penrose) who is a mom now!

Now Tyler can uncomfortably, reconnect with everyone he was close with at the same time, and listen to complain about their lives, how they feel stuck, how little they have done since he went away, and all of the bad decisions they made and continue to make. But come on. Tyler went to prison. Get over it.

millenials
Ah yes college. Where people drank beers uhhh….beers!

The main reason I wanted to see this movie is to figure out the rest of the description. Guy comes back from prison but and is ready to be happy, but… “only to discover that they’ve nearly all veered off course under the pressure of millennial culture.” What’s this? Millennial culture? What does that mean? Are they going to eat Avocados with Toast? Is this something about crippling student loans?

I was ready to be angry at the presumed anger at the main character. And honestly, his backlash went at them a little over half way through the movie, and it was so totally not work it. Yes. He was in prison. And he is mad because his friends don’t have jobs that they like. That they are burdened with child. That they feel trapped in relationships and don’t want to make their lives better.

It isn’t even a good rant. It is disappointing.

And I am surprised there is so much movie left after that. It is a low budget flick, it is designed to be full of long takes and conversations, but they really needed a lot more to drive the point home. Which is I guess….follow your dream and take risks? What is some debt if you already have student loan debt. Or something like that.

But again, it was extremely tame in topics. I don’t know. They really needed something more to add to the pressure the main character felt. Maybe a couple more characters with some other issues to pile it on. But he got mad at like, three old friends and one new person he doesn’t like. Overall not worth the time or story.

2 out of 4.

Crisis

There is a Crisis in America! And no, don’t go running to Ted Cruz, he won’t care.

But I should be more specific — there are a lot of active crisis’ in America. One crisis at a time is for small time nations. We have problems that span hundreds of years, so we are pretty good at having bad things happen, whether they are naturally occurring, or due to systematic issues.

Which crisis is this one going to tackle? Well, let’s just say that it involves the cops.

coppers
That literally narrows it down zero. 

See, drugs are bad, mmkay. And this is a movie that is going to talk about all of the badness of drugs, specifically, Opioid based drugs, since they are the hot commodity now that is fucking up things more than other substances.

What we have is three slightly interconnecting stories.

There is Agent Jake Kelly (Armie Hammer), who has been undergoing drug stings and trying to get not just the local dealers, but the suppliers, which requires the long wait and time.

There is Claire Reimann (Evangeline Lilly), a mother, whose son, who wasn’t perfect, was found overdosed with the drugs, and she didn’t even know or he had drugs before in his life!

And of course, Dr. Tyrone Brower (Gary Oldman) who is a professor of medicine stuff, and is helping do clinical trials for drugs as part of his research. And he is finding a new opioid, that is supposed to be less addictive, might not be as advertised.

Also, some other people and criminals and cops and more! Starring Greg Kinnear, Michelle Rodriguez, Luke Evans, Veronica Ferres, Kid Cudi, and Lily-Rose Depp.

professor sad
Someone covering up science? Unheard of!

Ahhh drugs! We have to fight the drugs, the war on drugs is killing us!

That sentence is meant to sound extreme, because the war of drugs has been a big failure for many reasons that this review has no reason to get into. But that doesn’t mean this movie doesn’t make good points, because it does. This opioid thing mostly sucks because the makers of it claimed it was great, without knowing the addictive properties (or maybe they did?!) and got a lot of people hooked on painkillers, doctor prescribed.

But I do have a hard time getting really annoyed at the real life aspects they want me to be pissed at, when also parts of it are made up. I know for legal reasons, they probably couldn’t name a real drug. But did this professor research story actually happen? Like for something else? If so, that does bring an extra level of fuckery to the mix. I know in my life opioids are addicting and not as advertised, but it is hard to draw that conclusion when it is also paired with exaggerated or potentially made up plotlines.

What truth should I go out and shout?!

Overall, the plot is okay. I do wish it had some more edited out of it, as it dragged in parts for me, and strangely, the cop parts were the weakest for me. I did get sort of lost before the end. I couldn’t remember who backstabbed or pissed off who. Is that on me? Maybe. But Crisis could have been more entertaining as well.

2 out of 4.

Happily

Happy is a fun word. Most words with 2 ‘p’s in a row in them end up being fun, I think. Well not disappointment. Or apprehension. Or inappropriate. Or whippersnapper, which has two sets of 2 ‘p’s. 

Okay, I am not sure where I was going with this, except that my initial understanding of a concept (2 ‘p’s’ means fun) was wrong in closer expectation.

You know. Sort of like the movie Happily. Whereas with a lot of inspection, my ideas about it have changed after my initial thoughts of it. I thought this would be a happy film. Or maybe the title would be sarcastic, and it would be a terrifying film. But we definitely got something well in between both of those extremes. 

love
Red Light Sexy Time, a new cologne, for very specific occasions. 

Tom (Joel McHale) and Janet (Kerri Bishé) have a secret. They are in love. Love? Is this a bad secret? Are they married to other people? Is this a crush? Did they just meet? No. They have been married for 14 years, and they are still going through that extreme lust phase, where they want to bone everywhere and go out of there way for big acts. All of their friends find it weird and uncomfortable and they hate it, they literally have told them this. They got kicked out of a couples weekend because everyone is sick of them.

The next day, a mysterious stranger (Stephen Root) who works for the city shows up to discuss something important with them. He says that every once in awhile, someone has a defect, and they aren’t built like others. It doesn’t matter most of the time. But both of our main characters have the same defect. They never lose that desire, that happiness. They don’t have diminishing returns. So he is here to fix it, just has to give them both a nice shot and they will wake up the next day fixed.

Well, one dead body later, they are certainly not going to let whatever this is happen. 

Awkward awkward, dead body, ahh. Good thing they don’t fight and can work together to deal with this situation! However, after this, they get re-invited to the couples weekend. Weird. I guess the couples don’t care anymore. But also. Wait. Fuck. What if they sent the guy as a prank? What if there is no actual shot? Or what if it was a real thing that they all knew about except for Tom and Janet, and they are only inviting them because they are normal now? Shit, now this weekend is going to be suspicious. 

Also starring Breckin Meyer, Charlyne Yi, Jon Daly, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Natalie Morales, Natalie Zea, Paul Scheer, and Shannon Woodward

roots
I hope all mysterious strangers are played by Stephen Root in the future.

One of my friends uttered that they would never watch Happily again, and to this, I tend to agree. If anything, I could watch it to find out if I missed something during the movie, but I wouldn’t watch the whole movie to find that out. I would watch just a few scenes and the ending again. I don’t think I missed anything, yet I find myself still confused and underwhelmed by the end.

I guess the message of the film is that people aren’t perfect, everyone has secrets, and life moves on? I don’t know.

I honestly don’t fully understand all the intrigue that happened by the end, and I don’t know if the makers of the film did either? As far as I know, multiple aspects weren’t explained (and I am not talking about Root’s character, which makes since to be more mysterious). It had good ideas, but the execution was lacking.

It felt like most of the movie was just an introduction, but when the plot finally got going, it rushed through it and left us longing. I don’t want to be left longing if I also feel unfulfilled.

I am keeping it at an average rating, because it did raise some interesting questions with some interesting scenarios, but it never felt properly together in one piece to really do much else. 

2 out of 4.

Godzilla vs. Kong

Godzilla. King Kong. Lizard. Ape. Will buildings get destroyed? Yes. Buildings will get destroyed.

The attempts to combine these franchises (well, one recent Kong Movie and two recent Godzilla movies) into one ultimate destruction battle was a lofty one, but clearly not one unheard of in our connected universes strategy of films. It was a guarantee, I imagine, to one day occur. I tried to come in ready for it, but honestly, I still never saw Godzilla: King of Monsters from two years ago, and at this point, I can’t imagine I will.

I was hoping that seeing the other two intro films would be enough, but it looks like this film made mostly throw backs to that last one, versus the other two. Damn it.

In Godzilla vs. Kong, the director promised there would be an obvious winner and not some bullshit tie overall. That is an important claim to make and really one of the main reasons I decided to even watch this one.

blast
Oh, Rave Godzilla has to be one of my favorite Godzillas. 

Rawr! Let’s get it on! Wait, no, not yet. First of all, Godzilla has been firmly established as some sort of Alpha Predator, whose sole purpose and existence is meant to make sure no other threats ruin the world. Godzilla doesn’t want to destroy, it wants to keep the balance and go back to the depths.

Kong though is another alpha predator thing. So some people are worried that this means Godzilla is going to come and destroy him at some point, so they have him in hiding, sort of.

There are also some corporations doing corporation things. There is a theory of a Hallow Earth where these beasts must have come from, that is likely to have huge power sources. So some companies want that power. Some want to just return Kong to his home. Some want to destroy all the monsters. You know, typical stuff.

Overall, they are going to have to fight, multiple times, and we are going to have to see things get fucked up along the way.

Also starring some humans like Alexander Skarsgård, Brian Tyree Henry, Demián Bichir, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Kaylee Hottle, Kyle Chandler, Lance Reddick, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, and Shun Oguri.

kong
Is this his “fuck around, find out” face?

Hey? Do you like monsters fighting? Then this film has some of that! Honestly, I did think there would be more fighting overall, so I am surprised that there wasn’t even more. But I guess only two main monsters can wail on each other for awhile. There are some minor monsters in the Hallow Earth area too, but they don’t do much for the action or the plot.

Of course the plot is weak. And again, I am disappointed about how much of it is based on the King of Monsters film, just because I hadn’t seen it. Literally any returning characters (outside of the giant ones) were from that movie. It did have some surprises in store, which helped keep things interesting. But at least early on, the slowness of the plot, and even the first battle, failed to keep things super interesting for me.

Now one major plus is that the fight scenes were all incredible visible and detailed, and I loved that. Giant monster fights and CGI have usually meant a lot of dark fights, or messy blurs, where your mind has to put in the action, but that only happened a little bit in the first major fight, due to the underwater aspect. The major fights that mattered where very clear and that added a huge amount of awesome to the film.

And what about the winner? Did the director lie? No. Not really. I can understand the moment they are saying that there would be clearly one winner, no takeaways. But we still had to fall into some similar versus film tropes that I also wanted out of my movie. From what the director said is the definitive answer, I agree with who was chosen, as it is the one that makes the most sense.  However, again, still, they make it super definitive either. It isn’t as final as I would have hoped based on the remarks, so really, the director remarks set up my expectations to be higher than they would have been otherwise.

Godzilla vs. Kong is still a lot of fun, especially in the last third. Just have to slog through the human stuff, and the early battles.

2 out of 4.

Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal

Hey! Remember the College Admissions Scandal? Hopefully, that news only broke out in 2019 and it was a big deal.

A lot of rich people had paid people to help their kids get into more elite universities. This news never came across as shocking, because people have already figured this out. But some people got really upset. Really, really angry. Especially at the actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, who helped get their own kids into college through it. Because they were celebrities (And women??) they probably drew the most scorn. But there were other famous people on the list. Coaches, CEOs, business executives.

Operation Varsity Blues was an attempt by the FBI and the Department of Justice to punish the rich and specifically, maybe, this guy named Rick Singer, the ringleader behind all of this.

OVB
Fun fact, I proctored an SAT test today. 03-24-21. Same day as review.

So who is Rick Singer? A former basketball coach at the collegiate level, who eventually got canned, he turned his attention towards college admissions. He was just going to help parents give their kids an edge. You know, help them pick better classes, extra curricular activities, maybe a few more points on a test, or those sweet sweet recommendations.

And overtime this apparently shifted, where sure, he would have contacts in colleges who would agree (due to personal donations or donations to their clubs/sports) to say they totally scouted a potential walk on athlete and encourage admissions to accept them should they apply. And then the student, who wouldn’t know about this and likely has never done that spot, will never walk on try out for the sport, oh well.

That is bad yeah. A bit worse is when he started getting parents to have their kids “Tested” for learning difficulties, to get extra time on their tests. This eventually led to proctors who would take the test for them without the students knowing. I’ll save those details for the doc.

And so this guy sucks right? Where is all his national scorn? We should know his name. But the DoJ used Singer early on, he was now a cooperating witness. He was used to get more past clients to admit to wrong doing, and that, at this point, is where all the focus has lied. And that is pretty fucked up.

I honestly never cared this scandal, at all. I thought it was weird the disgust those two actresses in particular. I wondered when are the actual colleges going to be punished or changes made to make sure “side doors” don’t exist. (Hint, nothing really happens to them). The documentary makes this same point (which I totally thought before I heard I swear!) but this is like using the drug dealer to punish the drug users. And not the drug dealer or the drug dealer’s supplier. It is going after low hanging fruit, that frankly, feels like a mostly victimless crime.

I am not defending the rich. Go ahead and tax and eat them or whatever. But a privileged kid getting a spot at a college doesn’t have to actually take it away from someone else, because the colleges themselves choose to limit things. I’d say it is more likely they just let these extra people in through this methodology (that likely is still happening at many places) than filling in some specific number of spots available.

And so what about Singer? Well, cases are still going on, so nothing yet, but he likely won’t have a punishment either, just like the colleges, and that is what we are left with.

The documentary does mention these things, but in small amounts and I don’t think attacks it enough. A lot of the documentary is actually just recreations of phone conversations between Singers and clients, with actors playing them to let us see it somewhat naturally I guess. It was an okay method, and clearly the main goal of the documentary. But I don’t need to see actors acting out phone conversations, I’d rather go more into the history of this sort of thing, the trials around it, what is going to happen and what could happen to fix this sort of thing in the future.

Some of the actors in this documentary were played by Matthew Modine, Jillian Peterson, David Lloyd Smith, and Roger Rignack.

2 out of 4.

The Toll

You gotta pay the Troll Toll, if you wanna get into that boy’s soul. Or something like that. I could have also went with the pop culture reference of, A toll is a toll, and a roll is a roll, and if we don’t get no tolls, then we don’t eat no rolls. Not sure if any other iconic toll related quotes.

The Toll is an upcoming horror movie that deals with the scariness of having to pay a fine to cross a bridge or use a highway. (That is also a joke). In reality, a toll can be anything. A price you have to pay for hopefully a safe journey is the goal really.

In this movie, the toll won’t be be a monetary thing though. No, it will involve some death instead.

uber
Death by Uber? That is a real thing though!
Cami (Jordan Hayes) is just flying in to her hometown, a late night flight. She hasn’t been here in a good long time. And because it is the modern age, she is just going to get an Uber or some similar service to take her to her home so that she doesn’t have to wake her parents. She didn’t put the destination in the app, so she has to do it when in the vehicle and it sure is a long way away.

The driver, Spencer (Max Topplin) agrees to do it, because hey, even though it is late, it is going to be a fat payday, and better to take the guarantee. He is a bit awkward, tries to make the small talk, but Cami doesn’t really want to. She thinks he is creepy, and he thinks she is creepy too.

Eventually, once they get more to the boonies, the GPS has him take a path that she is not used to, but she agrees that he can just follow it, should be no big deal. And then eventually, after some weird moments, they find themselves stranded. Cami doesn’t trust her driver, and thinks this is all a ruse to “get her” and her driver is annoyed at all of this and isn’t sure how to handle the situation either.

But eventually, there are going to be people or things in the dark, and if they want to get out of it, there will be a price to pay.

passenger
“I would give this trip zero stars if it would let me.”
Without knowing the plot of the movie as I went into it, the intro to the film was very interesting to me. It felt like a normal intro to a horror movie. One that would be 5 to 10 minutes top, then the scary bad guy or entity would get the kill, and then we would switch to the main characters to continue with the plot. A lot of films do something similar.

And this one didn’t. The intro the movie was the intro to our main characters and we just hop immediately into their story. It was a gradual realization, one that really finally hit me about 30 minutes in.

This is a film that really takes its time to build up the initial scares and weirdness. We get regular creepy Uber driver vibes early on, but when it transforms into something else, it is a good transformation for us to make.

The main two leads did a good job of really selling the situation they were in. I enjoyed it for at least two-thirds of the movie. I think it was very messy by the end of the movie. It didn’t make as much sense to me, although it did save a final twist when I was no longer expecting twists. So that is fun. That little bit saved the film for me, because the ending wasn’t pacing out to be that great of a movie. I disliked a lot of the parts of the movie when they left the vehicle and the mythos actually unfolded, but there was enough at the  end to keep things interesting.

Overall, the film is okay, but could have easily been terrible. It is thanks to the two leads, and the slow build up to really set the atmosphere right.

2 out of 4.

The Courier (2021)

The Courier came out right after a different film named The Courier came out. Well, this one was supposed to come out in 2020, and the other came out in 2019. But now that this one comes out in 2021, is that okay? Is that awesome?

I didn’t even know about the 2019 The Courier until I was on IMDB looking for this link. I didn’t review the 2019 film, as I didn’t know about it, and now that I see it I am glad I didn’t watch it. It is sometimes okay to judge a film by its IMDB page cover, by the way.

Like, when I judge the 2021 The Courier’s page, I get excited because I see a famous name who I like in movies. And it has a poster/cover that makes me think about to spy action movies from the early 2000s. Okay, that is less exciting.

plane
But the ‘stashe game always brings me back into it.

Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) is just your regular, everyday, British businessman. He technically did electrical engineering, and this just brought him to travel all over Europe, including the very frightening Eastern Europe. Because this is during the 1950’s and early 1960’s, when we had that Cold War thing going on between the US and USSR. And I guess Great Britain was on the American side, they usually are.

Because he was a legit businessman who traveled a lot between the halves, MI6 recruited him to pass on messages to and from both sides. Mainly, he would go into business with Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze), a Russian who was high up in their level of government or whatever. Apparently he wanted out. He wanted to give up USSR secrets. So he just needed someone to get the message and bring it back.

Sure, Greville is not a spy with any spy training and that is what they want. They want a regular person so it passes any level of scrutiny. And it will just be temporary. Probably. Greville doesn’t know that the assignments might grow and grow, and eventually might help put an end to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Also starring Jessie Buckley, Rachel Brosnahan, and Angus Wright.

spystuff
They are going to hide the secrets in his ‘stashe in case you were curious.

Surprise! The Courier is a real movie about a real guy who helped do some spy things despite not being a spy.

Surprise! Another cold war film that I watch that I can say has okay amounts of acting, and an okay story, leading to a very okay film. I will be honest, this movie is pretty forgettable for me. I am having to write about it weeks before I can publish it (they let us see it really early) because I know there is no way I will be able to remember most of this film a week later.

Is that a problem? Yeah probably. But the 2 out of 4 rating also is an umbrella of average films that aren’t necessarily bad, but also don’t have any reason of standing out in the future.

The Courier will be forgotten, it won’t win anything, but it is not technically a bad film by any of those measures. If you like Cold War stories, you might get more enjoyment out of this true story. If you don’t like Cold War stories, then uhhh, you probably should definitely avoid it.

2 out of 4.

Wally’s Wonderland

I haven’t played it, because the idea of playing a game to be scared is on my nope nope list, but I guess Five Nights at Freddy’s is a game about surviving animatronic robots? Things that come alive at night and want to kill?

Nice. A solid topic. Simpsons did it.

And it looks like that before a movie could come out to take advantage of its popularity, Wally’s Wonderland came out first to soak it all in. Did it steal the idea? Probably not. Killer robots in a kids store aren’t exactly new. But in terms of films, it is always good to be first.

I did go in reluctantly to this, because although the idea sounds great, these Nicolas Cage movies that keep getting hyped by the internet keep also disappointing me, so it is hard to really trust again.

wally
Best employee, hands down. Or, hands up?

This guy (Nicolas Cage) was cruising along, living his life, when his tires go flat and he has car problems. He gets a tow from the local small town, that can probably work over night and get him out the next day, but they are a cash only business. If he is willing to work, someone else might pay his debt though.

This guy is introduced to Tex Macadoo (Ric Reitz), the owner of Wally’s Wonderland. A pizza party restaurant with animatronics. Apparently he is a new owner and needs it cleaned out inside, and if this guy works on it he will pay for his car damage. Sure. Especially if it comes with beer and breaks on the pinball machine.

But sure enough, this is just a plot to make him a sacrifice, as these animatronics will come to live and are here to kill.

Also starring Emily Tosta, Beth Grant, Chris Warner, Kai Kadlec, Caylee Cowan, Jonathan Mercedes, Terayle Hill, and Christian Delgrosso.

shirt
You thought I’d show you a killer robot in these photos? Disappointment! 

I had low expectations going into Wally’s Wonderland, but honestly, this one surpassed them. I wouldn’t say it is still an overall great film, but it certainly has entertainment  value and it made some good decisions.

A lot of films that dump exposition on the viewer with a backstory or flashback usually do it poorly. This film does the same thing, and doesn’t do it in any unique way, but it seems to fit the style really well and I find it all acceptable.

Cage plays one of those silent but deadly roles in the film and I am happy that he keeps up the act the entire time, and they don’t ruin it with some monologue near the end. He is quick to act, but also quick to make sure he gets his self care in. If you don’t treat your own self, then who will?

Despite being a bit of a fun ride, the film didn’t really give many twists or turns. It was really straightforward. Despite the large number of robotic singing killers, the fight scenes were not done too creatively. Most of the robots when fighting Cage also apparently lose any tactics they have. One robot easily kills a teenager with a repeatable ranged attack, and it doesn’t really attempt it on Cage ever despite knowing he has destroyed the others. They don’t just appear in the dark either for sudden surprise bites and cuts.

The people who are interested in this plot will get exactly what they want from this movie and shouldn’t be disappointed. Cage is cage. Mayhem is mayhem. And creepy happy birthday bots really should be destroyed.

2 out of 4.

Silk Road

Everyone reading this has a big regret. It is the same collective one. You know. Not investing in Bitcoin decades ago when it was just starting out. The same thing you said probably a decade ago, and maybe said a couple of years ago. If it keeps going up though….should you invest now? Hard to say.

It’d be easier to guess and get lucky with the next bitcoin, but there are a lot out there, and no one is reaching that same level of price, so its a hard battle.

But what does that have to do with the movie Silk Road? No, not the ancient one. The new one, that was for drugs on the internet with bitcoin! Ah yes, the story is full circle now. Sure, I would love a movie about the start up and take down of one of the most infamous “websites” out there.

cash
Need this film to make at least this much money to break even.

Ross Ulbricht (Nick Robinson) is one of those types. You know. A libertarian. He believes in lots of freedoms and getting away from the federal and local governments as much as possible. And probably, sometimes, he believes in non libertarian ideals as well, but that’s one of the perks of being a libertarian. Being able to claim to be different despite being just like everyone else.

Anyways. He is good at computers, and likes bitcoins and thinks all of this is the future. So he ends up setting up Silk Road. An Amazon for drugs and illegal stuff! Nothing really bad like assassins for hire, but weed, LCD, fun stuff. And thanks to encryption, the dark web, and bitcoin, he can set this whole thing up and even have the drugs mailed through the US postal service right to people’s doorsteps. Ah yes. Freedom.

But the government ain’t going to let this one slide. They will have a crack team (heh) of FBI specialists who know the internet to try and trace him and bring him in. And they will also have Rick Bowden (Jason Clarke), a DEA agent close to retirement who also has huge money issues, trying to figure out how to stop it despite being mostly computer illiterate and his much younger boss not caring about what he works on.

Also starring Alexandra Shipp, Jimmi Simpson, Katie Aselton, Lexi Rabe, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Daniel David Stewart, and Paul Walter Hauser

internet
What the fuck is the internet?

If I had to guess, Silk Road wanted to be the next Social Network with some Catch Me If You Can action. People avoiding arrest and starting tech revolutions. Hip young people out to save the world. Violence and drugs and maybe even a little bit of sex.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t end up being as good as either of these films. It is a lot less witty and pretty bare bones on the plot. I liked parts, I hated parts, and I really thought a lot of information was skipped on the true story elements. I don’t even know if that is true. It just feels like a lot of it was skipped around or ignored or just accomplished during montages. And in terms of a police cat and mouse game with Ulbricht, well, it is really just mostly avoidance until a couple things get let up, and that is it.

Fun fact, Robinson and Shipp were previously in the movie Love, Simon, in definitely not a relationship, but they are in one for some time in this movie.

Back to this movie. It is such a good story in real life, but I think the movie tries to remain neutral in all of the story telling, so it can’t really fully give me a really wow granting storyline. All of the acting is just fine. It was good to find out about the DEA agent who decided to be a dickbag about this whole thing a well, but it doesn’t make this version of the story interesting enough to ever warrant a rewatch unfortunately.

2 out of 4.

Land

Robin Wright is someone who has had a spectacular resurgence over the last decade and not enough people are giving it credit. Everyone mentions the McConaissance, but what about the Wright Stuff? No that is bad, sorry.

Okay, in the McConaissance, Matthew was in notably a lot of rom coms and became a good actor suddenly with a string of films, so we were like, “Oh! Where have you been this whole time?!” and then he won an award, probably. I don’t remember.

For Robin Wright, it was more of a “Oh, where have you been this whole time?” because despite being in things most of her career, she has felt a bit more unnoticeable since Forrest Gump. That was until House of Cards put her back on the radar, and with big roles there, and Wonder Woman, and Blade Runner 2049, she is back. So after all this time what does she wants to do? She wants to direct and star in a movie damn it. And that movie is Land. And it isn’t even based on a book.

love
Just a woman and her own private cabin and mounain.

Edee (Robin Wright) is tired of all the shit. You know. The social media. The news cycle. Going to work. Grocery stores. Doggy day cares. Minimum wage. Maximum wage. Racism. Electric stoves. Theme parks. Museums. War. Famine. Movies being made about Dracula. Literally all of the shit, she is tired of it, and she has decided to get away.

Full stop, no contact, she now is going to live at this tiny little cabin on a mountain deep, deep in the woods. She has brought no money, no tech, nothing but clothes to help her. She is going to live off the land (movie name!), hunt, and sleep on her own. And if it kills her, it kills her, but she is going to make a real good try of it. Why did she decide this? Well, wait until the end of the movie for that.

And despite wanting to be alone, she does have someone to help her, eventually, after saving her life. Miguel (Demián Bichir), who actually knows hunting and survival skills, can’t just leave her there to die. So he agrees to help her out and he agrees to her rules. No news about the world. Just some lessons for a season, and then off he goes.

Also starring Sarah Dawn Pledge and Kim Dickens.

confuse
Learning is great, especially when it keeps you from not dying.

Wright is a lovely actress and a strong actress. She has been doing this for a long time. And it shows. She is very strong in this as well and open. We see her at some very low moments in this characters story, and she bears it all to get those emotions across to the viewers. She is wonderful in this. 

But it is not enough to carry the movie for me.

 The entire movie it just feels like we are being teased info that we know they will tell us eventually. Why did she run away from life? What happened in her past? We get snippets, but we don’t get the real reason until the last few minutes of the movie. And it is a brief story, and honestly, I think at that point it would have been better to have kept it a mystery. 

Like, if you wait until the end of the movie, I expect something very dark, or unimaginable, because she changed her whole life, and damn it, we weren’t told why. It would be hard to live up to those expectations. And almost would have been better to keep it a secret, very true to her recluse lifestyle. It makes sense why we found out from the plot, and it involves growth, but by then I care a little less.

As for the rest of the movie, like I said, it has a lot of strong acting, but the story is certainly weak in the middle. The plot can be summarized as someone goes to the woods, they struggle, they struggle a lot more, they are saved, they learn, they thrive, and life is good. I know most films can be broken down into ridiculous ways like that one, but damn it, I wanted something more.

2 out of 4.