Deep Web (2015)

This movie is all about the Deep Web (sites not indexed by large search engines) and all about the technologies that they use and the societies that they help to foster. The movie digs deep into how the sites are implemented, who their clients are, what the experience is like, and how it creates an environment unlike any other.

I'm just kidding. This is a movie about how Ross Ulbricht, known as the Dread Pirate Roberts (and the guy who ran the Silk Road site that sold weapons, drugs, and lots of other illicit properties on the net) was railroaded (their point of view) and denied justice. They should have called this "Silk Road" or "Dreaded Pirate" or something that wasn't as nebulous and it wouldn't have gotten my hopes up nearly as much. Instead, this was a hit piece that had little to nothing of the prosecution's side of the facts and lots and lots of the defense. I'm not saying he's guilty or innocent, as I only got one goddang side of the issue.

So, the director, Alex Winter, glosses over what the Deep Web actually is, why it exists, what it's used for, how dissidents try to access it, how the various governments try to subvert it, how encryption is implemented, where keys are stored, how blockchains are used with Bitcoin, other types of cryptocurrency, layered peer to peer encrypted networks that are invitation only, and all the other stuff that is actually associated with the Dark Web and Deep Web (which aren't the same thing).

Instead, we get this movie that assumes you understand the basics behind how the Silk Road is built and accessed, and if you just think of it as a website that you probably won't get to, I guess that's good enough. Then, it explains how altruistic the purpose of the Silk Road was and how it was a utopia of normal people getting the drugs that help them through their days or normal people who sell drugs to try to make the world a better place.

Then, the evil government, with it's tyrannical laws, stomps down the world utopia using nebulous and (probably) illegal means to find Ross and the others involved in Silk Road. Then, using USSR-like government powers, they rig the trial and the evidence and the witnesses and the judge. Then, a new Dread Pirate Roberts shows up, but he's a side note. The important thing is that Ross got screwed by the evil government - and his parents really think that he's not guilty. What reason would they have to be protective of him or have a skewed perspective?

Ross' parents. Unbiased.
So, if the movie was properly framed as Silk Road or even Dark Web (not Deep Web) I would say that this movie... no, it still wasn't good. It was the fact that they didn't even pay lip service to the case against Ross or paint even the slightest picture of it being anything less than the worst assault on personal freedom and free market ever. Also, those accusations that he put out a hit on several people were unfounded even more than everything else, which he's totally not guilty of either.

Direction was bad
Cinematography was good
Graphics were pretty good
Editing was okay
Basic creative oomph was bad.

Bottom Line: Honestly, I found the political motivations of those behind Silk Road interesting, but the rest of the movie was useless.



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