Hotel Artemis (2018)

Director: Drew Pearce

Writer: Drew Pearce (Screenplay)

Starring: Jodie Foster, Sterling K Brown, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum, Brian Tyree Henry, Jenny Slate, Zachary Quinto, Charlie Day, Dave Bautista

 

Plot: Set in riot-torn, near-future Los Angeles, ‘Hotel Artemis’ follows the Nurse, who runs a secret, members-only emergency room for criminals.


Tagline – No Guns, No Cops, No Killing The Other Patients 

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Action Film

 

Story: Hotel Artemis starts in the future with a riot running through LA, bank robbers Waikiki (Brown) and his brother Honolulu (Henry) get injured which leads them to the criminal hospital known as Hotel Artemis, run by the Nurse (Foster), you must be a member to be treated in this hospital and her clients including Nice (Boutella) and Acapulco (Bautista).

The Nurse’s night doesn’t get any easier when the building owner’s son Crosby (Quinto) wants to be treated, breaking the rules to get to the location and when cop Morgan (Slate) breaks through she must help her too. Her only protection comes from orderly Everest (Bautista), as the night turns into chaos.

 

Thoughts on Hotel Artemis

 

Characters – The Nurse runs a criminal hospital disguised like a hotel, she has exclusive memberships which will see her help injured criminals for money, if you don’t follow the rules you don’t get treated, she does have a dark past though which has kept her inside for years. Waikiki is the smarter of the brother’s who have just committed a robbery, he takes his injured brother to the hotel, which does seem him being nosey while he is being treated. His brother Honolulu gets injured in the escape, his choice to what to steal leads to the chaos within the hotel. Nice is an assassin planning her latest job, which will involve a patient in the hospital. Niagara is the king of crime, he helped start up the hotel knowing just how good The Nurse is at curing people. Morgan is a cop that has a connection to the Nurse’s family, she is the only cop that she has helped in her time in the hotel. Crosby is the youngest son of Niagara, he is a loose cannon not willing to take no as an answer. Acapulco is a magician that is currently in the hotel, he talks too much believing that he can talk or buy his way out of anything. Everest is the orderly in the hotel, he deals with any unwanted guests and does the odd jobs around the hotel. There is a problem with the characters though and that is, that we must have codenames and real names, depending on who are the ones that know who.

PerformancesWhen it comes to the performances, Jodie Foster is the highlight because she is the only good person involved out of the people that get enough time to do anything. This is the problem for most of the stars, they just don’t get enough time to make the biggest impact, Dave Bautista however does seem to enjoy his role in the film getting to play the biggest member and the funniest member of the cast.

StoryThe story follows the events inside a secret hospital disguised as a hotel to which criminals come for medical attention, only this night is when riots have taken over the city and the rules are about to be broken. The story works for the fast pace style of this movie, we do have to digest a lot of characters, nine main ones which clearly doesn’t give the characters enough time to do their thing. The strangest way to describe this story, would be that it feels like a season finale to an interesting world we don’t get to experience enough. I do think this is extremely watchable as a story though, never getting too complicated even with the pure number of characters we have.

Action/Crime/Sci-FiThe action is fast paced shooting mostly, we have a couple of fights, it shows how the underworld needs to operate to stay afloat. The crime world we see just how many people will visit this hospital in search of help. The future shows just how hectic the world has become.

SettingsThe film is set inside the Hotel Artemis, which is a secret hospital in the middle of the city for criminals, it is a clever idea to make our characters only facing off within the walls.

Special EffectsThe effects are shown mostly in how the surgery happens using newer technology which doesn’t seem too far away.


Scene of the Movie –
The escape plan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Some of the characters just don’t get enough time to make an impact.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun fast paced action film, it does have good performances even if it does become crowded in places, we have a clever idea which at least is original from Hollywood.

 

Overall: Fun and easy to watch.

Rating

 

 

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Venom (2018)

Director: Ruben Fleisher

Writer: Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner, Kelly Marcel, Will Beall (Screenplay) Todd McFarlane, David Michelinie (Comic)

Starring: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate, Marcella Bradio

 

Plot: When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego “Venom” to save his life.


Tagline – The world has enough Superheroes.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Starts Way Too Slow

 

Story: Venom starts we hotshot San Francisco reporter Eddie Brock (Hardy) goes to far trying to hatch a story about ultra-rich scientist and visionary Carton Drake (Ahmed), this leaves him fired, his fiancée Anne (Williams) fired and him dumped.

6-months later, Eddie is still feeling the effectives with his career down the toilet, he drinks his life away until one of the scientists working for Drake offers him a scope to the new symbiote research, to which Eddie gets too close to and becomes Venom. The two must learn together to work as one to achieve their own goals in survival with Drake wanting his property back.

 

Thoughts on Venom

 

Characters – Eddie Brock is an unlikable reporter rushing in head first for stories, which he believes he is helping people, he never worries about the consequences of his reporting. His latest attempt to get a story leaves him with nothing and his last attempt to redeem himself leads him to attack the person who killed his career, only he must learn to work with Venom a symbiote that fuses with him. Eddie becomes the good and calm side while Venom is out for destruction willing to kill anyone that gets in his way or just bite their heads off. The two have back and fourth conversations which are more comical than anything showing the balance between good and evil I guess. Anne is the fiancée that loses her job because of Eddie’s action and moves on with her life, though she will always be there to support him once he comes looking for help, most just the love interest she doesn’t really do much in the film. Dr Carlton Drake is a genius who can see the problems in the world being over-population, he has been searching for solutions and believes with the symbiotes he has one, he will give up human lives to make this happen, while keeping a positive face to the public, most a powerful businessman villain.

PerformancesTom Hardy, well this is one of his weaker outings, he struggles to make us care about Eddie, we don’t quite get convinced with his Venom side either, the accent doesn’t help either. Michelle Williams is wasted in this role, sure she will have got paid well which gives her more time to do Oscar bait movies, but this should have been more for her to work with. Riz Ahmed is hot stuff in Hollywood right now, his performance however isn’t great, it feels generic, he doesn’t give us anything we haven’t seen from a villain before either.

StoryThe story is the origin of Venom, it follows the mad scientist idea who is popular to the public but behind closed doors he conducts experiments ethnically wrong. Nosey reporter gets infected and it is a race to stop him becoming too powerful and save the world. this is simple origin storytelling for a Spiderman villain, well this is confusing, wait no, this is an origin for a villain who will not have a hero to face, but he might be good, well Deadpool good. The pacing of this story is all over the place, we spend so much time going through the introduction and we only have three characters, its not like an X-Men film, that we start to lose interest before any of the fun stuff happens. The problem is nothing surprising happens in this story and we are left by the ending thinking about the next comic book movie over the next Venom movie.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action when it happens is a complete mixed bag, the car chase is great fun as we can do things you simply can’t do with humans chasing, the weakness comes from the messy final fight which just becomes confusing in a Transformers way. The film could have a wonderful horror element, it wants to and you can see this, but it just doesn’t follow through. The sci-fi side of things well the ideas are all there to make this stand out more, the problems come by not making too much of the chances given to them.

SettingsWe are set in San Francisco, which is the same location we just saw in Antman and the Wasp, we need more cities in America to set superhero movies if we are having this many a year.

Special EffectsThe effects are yet another mixed bag here, we do have some wonderful uses of the effects, then like with the action the final battles is too messy to be enjoyed.


Scene of the Movie –
Car Chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just why would a secret meeting in the streets lead to sneaking on the base if you were worried about your family? Sure Drake has camera that would show him around his own techno base.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weak comic book movie, giving us an origin for a villain that will never have a hero to face (Due to who owns Spiderman) it is so by the book it feels like the 90’s called and want their movie back.

 

Overall: Forgettable by all accounts.

Rating

 

 

Brain on Fire (2016)

Director: Gerard Barrett

Writer: Gerard Barrett (Screenplay) Susannah Cahalan (Memoir)

Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Thomas Mann, Richard Armitage, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jenny Slate, Tyler Perry

 

Plot: A young, capable professional cannot explain her newly erratic behavior.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Standard Drama

 

Story: Brain on Fire starts as we meet 21-year-old Susannah Cahalan (Moretz) she has her dream job working for the New York Times and has a steady relationship with musician Stephen (Mann), but her life starts to turn upside when her mind starts getting out of control, filled with blanks spells and erratic behaviour.

When Susannah starts suffering seizures the doctors don’t seem to be able to find anything wrong with her and as the decline increases so does her behaviour. Her parents Tom (Armitage) and Rhona (Moss) do their best to get her the best help and the doctors can clearly see there is something wrong, but the answers remain even more difficult to find.

 

Thoughts on Brain on Fire

 

Characters – Susannah Cahalan is a 21-year-old with her whole life ahead of her with her dream career at such a young age. Her life however takes a dramatic turn when she starts suffering from paranoia episodes which puts the strain on her personal and professional life with the doctors running out of options, this is her true story. Stephen is her boyfriend that uses his music to try and help ease her pain. Tom and Rhona fill the parental roles that both have different ways of handling their helplessness through the illness, as well as the friends that support her.

PerformancesChloe Grace Moretz is a great and talent young actress, but for this role you can see she is too young to truly understand the subject in question, remember this was film when she was 18/19 and the story is being told from perspective of someone in their early 20s, so you did need someone who would understand that age. The rest of the cast are fine without getting anything overly different to deal with.

StoryThe story is an important message about understand an illness which can be difficult to diagnose, and one people have been suffering with, this is her story about how she survived. One of the big problems is that we have scenes without her, so this can’t be from her memory, but second-hand account. For the subject involved we kind of understand how these stories will go and this doesn’t offer too much new to the genre. If this is something you enjoy watching you won’t be complaining, but it won’t make any of the top lists.

BiopicThis is Susannah’s story, you really can’t say a bad thing about her story, it just doesn’t truly feel film worthy.

SettingsThe film is set in New York and in hospitals, it shows the everyday life Susannah would have been living in at the time.


Scene of the Movie –
Margo visits Susannah.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It felt like an episode of House.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid enough biopic that doesn’t offer too much new, it is watchable but not one that will be talked about for years to come.

 

Overall: Standard biopic without the impact.

Rating

 

 

The Secret Life of Pets (2016)

secretDirector: Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney

Writer: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio, Brian Lynch, Simon Rich (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Louis C.K. Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Albert Brooks, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey

 

Plot: The quiet life of a terrier named Max is upended when his owner takes in Duke, a stray whom Max instantly dislikes.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disappointing Animated Comedy

 

Story: The Secret Life of Pets starts as we meet Max who life is all about being with his owner Katie who live in New York and have an amazing bond in his eyes but he struggles to deal with her leaving for work every day. With Max living in an apartment he has a neighbour in Gidget and well a host of other pets who get left while their owners go to daily routines.

Max’s life is turned upside down when Katie brings a new dog home Duke who throws Max’s perfect little world out the window as he is no longer the alpha of the apartment.

When the rivalry between Max and Duke reaches new levels, they find themselves taken to the pound only to be saved by Snowball a bunny who leads a gang of abandoned pets. While back home Gidget leads the party to of other pets from the building to look and save Max before their owners come home.

 

Thoughts on The Secret Life of Pets

 

StoryThe story going on here is something that is very much for kids to enjoy, we get a deeper meaning of that pets are for life but this doesn’t become the main part of the story which is disappointing. The adventure the characters goes on feels like it could just be a one off television special gone mad if I am to be honest and borrows so much for more established movies out there.

Animation/Comedy/FamilyWhen it comes to animation it is all good but you have come to expect that from animated film now. The comedy is nearly all slapstick and barely comes off while I do feel the whole family wouldn’t enjoy this as it would be more suitable for just the kids out there.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are all painfully stereotypes you would think when you see the animals involved which in the end shows the writers just don’t seem to have had animals in their own lives, the voice overs all for the character they are playing by not having the biggest names behind the characters.

SettingsThe film uses New York as the setting which is a scary place for people but just think what it would be like for the animals living there, that is captured in this film well.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very kid friendly film that just doesn’t hit all the marks it should for the potential it had while it ends up being just a slack lazy story telling we have seen before.

 

Overall: Plain average kid film that just isn’t that special.

Ratingcard

 

 

Gifted (2017)

Director: Marc Webb

Writer: Tom Flynn (Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Evans, Mckenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan, Jenny Slate, Octavia Spencer, Michael Kendall Kaplan, John M Jackson

 

Plot: Frank, a single man raising his child prodigy niece Mary, is drawn into a custody battle with his mother.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Truly Charming Engaging Drama

 

Story: Gifted starts as we meet single boat repair man Frank Adler (Evans) who has been home teaching his child prodigy niece Mary (Grace), he wants her to experience more of the world trying to push her into attending school against their supportive neighbour Roberta’s (Spencer) ideas.

When Mary finds herself stuck in a class she is clearly too smart to be a part of, it is up to her teacher Bonnie (Slate) to challenge her in class as Mary must learn social skills with other students. When Frank’s mother Evelyn (Duncan) returns to the scene, she wants the custody of Mary and get her into all of the gifted schools forcing her to follow in her mother’s footsteps, the very thing Frank wants to stop happening. We are left to follow the court case unfold leaving us with the questions on what we think would be best for a child with Mary’s gifts.

 

Thoughts on Gifted

 

Characters/PerformanceFrank is the single uncle of Mary, he has given up his life to raise his niece to make sure she doesn’t get forced into the same routines her mother had to go through and be a normal kid. He always wants to do the right thing for Mary. Mary is the niece that has an exceptional gift when it comes to numbers, raised by her Uncle who has kept her grounded she finds herself in the middle of the court case. Evelyn is the Frank’s mother and Mary’s Grandmother who wants to take Mary into her own custody to make sure she gets the best education to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Bonnie is the teacher that challenges Mary but ends up being a love interest for Frank, with Roberta being the good neighbour that is the only other adult Mary has befriended.

Performance wise, Chris Evans is fantastic in the leading role playing each scene perfectly, Lindsay Duncan is also great throughout the film as is Jenny Slate and Octavia Spencer is the always reliable supporting actress. Mckenna Grace bursts onto the scene in the film where she is brilliant throughout the film.

StoryWhen you look into the story you must understand this is all about what would be right for Mary. We see both lives she could end up living, one with her Uncle and one with her grandmother. Watching how the court case unfolds shows us just how difficult the discussion could be as both have the positives. I think the story is paced perfectly to tell the story without creating a true villain and is just about two people who want the best for Mary.

SettingsThe settings show the different worlds Mary could live in, the regular person or the higher class, I do think this is important to everything that goes on.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best feel good movies of the year, it shows human issues without making anything aggressive towards each other just people wanting the best for a gifted little girl.

 

Overall: In a summer filled with mega budget films, this film shines brighter than any so far.

Rating