Ramsey Ann Naito and Alex Winter on the red carpet at the 90th Annual Academy Awards (Oscars) 2018 held at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. This year's winner of Best Picture was 'The Shape of Water', with director Guillermo del Toro winning Best Achievement in Directing - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 4th March 2018
The Deep Web is the term given to areas of the internet that cannot be detected by usual search engines and thus is a hotbed of organised crime. When a site called Silk Road was discovered selling illegal drugs, the FBI had a hard time uncovering the person/s behind it. In 2013, however, a young man named Ross Ulbricht was alleged by the FBI to be the ringleader behind the site, under the name Dread Pirate Roberts. There was multiple pieces of evidence found on his computer at the time, though Ulbricht has since claimed in interviews that there were in fact several people operating under the pseudonym. As he awaits sentencing under four separate charges for his involvement, people are having some doubts over his guilt. If he is behind Silk Road, he's done a remarkable job in fooling those closest to him.
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Spanish director Eugenio Mira combines slick filmmaking with a dark and nasty plot as this fast-paced thriller unfolds almost in real time. So even if the premise doesn't quite stand up to scrutiny, it's packed with characters and twists that keep the audience glued to the screen as the mystery charges inexorably forward. Suspense comes in some gruesome surprises along the way, as well as in the actors' urgent performances.
The film opens as Tom (Elijah Wood) heads to Chicago for his first piano performance in five years, organised by his movie-star wife Emma (Kerry Bishe). She's even flown in the custom piano owned by Tom's late mentor, whose fortune mysteriously vanished after he died (cue an ominous chord!). Despite enormous pressure from the press and his fans, Tom is quietly confident about his long-awaited return to the stage. An old friend (Don McManus) is conducting tonight, and his assistant (Alex Winter) has everything under control. Then just as he begins to play Tom sees words in red ink on his score: "Play one note wrong and you die!" Using an earpiece and a laser gunsight, an angry fan (John Cusack) leads Tom on a wild cat-and-mouse game right through the performance.
Yes, the idea is pretty preposterous, and not just because Tom can play outrageously complicated pieces note-perfect while a maniac shouts in his ear. Tom even manages to make phone calls and send text messages while playing, darting off-stage to crank up suspense along the way. The main threat is against his wife, whose demanding friend (Tamsin Egerton) and her browbeaten husband (Allen Leech) also get involved in the mayhem, which no one else in the theatre seems to notice until the over-the-top finale. But through all of this, Mira directs with a Hitchcockian grip on the suspense, deploying gallows humour, sweeping camerawork, dramatic music and complex long takes tighten the screws.
Continue reading: Grand Piano Review
Alas, it doesn't look good. Bill and Ted are walking mistakes as it is. They can't pronounce Socrates and believe Caeser was "a salad dressing dude." But their grasp of superlative adjectives like triumphant and gnarly is impressive indeed, so maybe there's hope.
Continue reading: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure Review
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure was a tremendous hit in 1989 and a sequel was immediately in the works. Where the first film took our stoner heroes through time, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey upped the ante and took them to hell. Literally, the original title of the film was Bill & Ted Go to Hell. The plot is awash in weird humor and outlandish gags as Bill and Ted attempt to defeat two evil robotic versions of themselves, avoid death, save history, and otherwise remain cool.
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Thing is, Winter had a great intuition unfortunately neither Hollywood nor the public was in a like mind. Freaked floundered and sank and now, after years of rumors, the gimp is back out of the trunk. And it's a groovy thing.
Continue reading: Freaked Review