Wanted Luxury And Got Decent: Checking In For A One Night Stay

Hotel Artemis Poster

            What does crime, medicine, and dramas all have in common? Well outside of certain episodes of ER and Grey’s Anatomy, not much to be honest.  However, today those three genres mix together to bring you another movie that will hopefully bring with it some suspense, a little creativity, and some originality that Hollywood needs.  Welcome to another Robbie’s movie review and today we review:

 

Movie: Hotel Artemis

 

Director:

Drew Pearce

Writer:

Drew Pearce

Stars:

Jodie Foster,  Sofia Boutella,  Dave Bautista

 

LIKES:

 

  • Acting
  • Character Dynamics
  • Sofia Boutella and Sterling Brown’s Characters
  • Realistic Setting
  • Action Scene

 

Summary:  Hotel Artemis is a movie largely dependent on its characters, which fortunately are brought to life by the fantastic talents of the various cast members recruited for the project.  Leading roles by Foster, Boutella  and Sterling K. Brownare by far the most in depth and worthy of billing, but even the supporting characters like Bautista and Charlie Daywho bring their usual styles to the mix to alleviate some of the more somber moments.

As the actors bring it to life, the character dynamics start to awaken, establishing the realm of crime in the near-future LA and just how fickle trust can be in the underworld.  Those dynamics by far are the driving force of the movie, trying to help figure out how each of the pawns are connected and what will drive them in this high stakes hospital.  Perhaps it’s the setting itself that forces this evolution of characters, as the dingy oasis from the riot outsides places numerous pressure on the group.  As the outside world grows wilder (documented by occasional news blurbs), the characters are forced to interact and face their own dilemmas.  It’s a well-done drama that doesn’t pull any punches in the 2 hour run time so that it may establish so much.

I mentioned in pre-reviews that this movie looked to have some action to further spur the story on and for the most part… that is not the case.  Yet, there is one action scene in particular led by the sexy assassin herself, that is just epic, tense, and a great fit into the story that feels pertinent to the tale as a whole.  I wished there was more of these moments, but that wasn’t the direction they wanted to go.

 

DiSLIKES:

  • Slow at times
  • Charlie Day/Quinto Rants
  • Underutilization of characters/actors
  • More Action
  • Darker Violence
  • Background flops

 

Like some of the more popular dramas on television, Hotel Artemis’ drama is all about try to build tension through the characters and have politics, emotional fervor, and affairs be the selling point. This takes time to adequately develop, and given all the convoluted ties in this movie, it means a pace that isn’t quite adrenaline fueled. Hotel Artemis has its slow points, that easily could have been tightened to reduce the run time or potentially add some more tension/urgency to the mix.  Had there been more action to speed it up, the pace may not have been as much of a low point for me, but I fought sleep a couple of times.

In addition, a few of the directions that the characters were taken were not my favorite renditions I wanted to see.  Primarily in Quinto and Day’s characters, these players in Artemis’ game are more annoying than engaging, leaving me disappointed with the little contribution they played.  Day just rants and curses like someone hopped on coffee, Red Bull, and methamphetamine, while Quinto is just a big baby.  Not quite as fitting given the other portrayals of the crime gang.  Even worse, a few of the characters are super left out, reduced to a few, unmemorable lines or weak character ploys to get to the climax faster.  Jeff Goldblum’s character was one of these guys, and my fears of too many characters came true.

Which brings me to perhaps my biggest dislike of the film, the rushed background stories and flops.  The Nurse’s story is one of the heavy hitters, mysterious and emotionally charged, you expect it to be the epicenter of the movie.  And while it was a key connector, much of the backstory was not that impressive, alliterated, and lacking any major surprise/mind blowing component.  When the big revelation comes… you almost miss the clues and by this point I was done with all the planning, I needed the climactic finish.  Fortunately Nice and Waikiki’s tale had a little more to it, but even then it was only a superficial scratch to what lied below.  All the potential was kind of flown over, therefore this was the disappointment factor for me.

 

 

The VERDICT: 

 

            Hotel Artemis is weird and dark, no doubt about it, and truth be told it is a crime/drama with characters that are the central pillar to the story.  Despite a fantastic cast acting their brains out and a character centric plot, Artemis’s main flaws come from not having enough time to fully utilize everyone they wanted, and it resulted in plot teasers that could be expanded on in the future (perhaps in a sequel no doubt).  Such complications were only exacerbated by the slower pace, that begs for more suspense, tension, and action to bring it to life.  Truth be told, this could have been better done as a television series than a solo movie, given them hours to further map out the conspiracy web. Overall, not worth the trip to the theater to be honest, but worth the rent if you are into the alternative Sci-Fi/crime scene.

 

My scores are:

 

Action/Crime/Thriller:  7.0

Movie Overall 6.0

 

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Beyond The Federation, There Lies An Okay Adventure

Beyond

            Space, the final frontier, a line that continues to repeat over the years in one of the most popular science fiction movies to grace entertainment. Less than a decade ago, J.J. Abrams decided to reset the series and open up a new universe in the Star Trek universe that led to a lot of controversy. This weekend the third installment of this series has warped into our theaters this weekend and I assembled a crew to journey into the unknown and report our findings, (aka a review). So bold up, get set, and read up on my review of Star Trek Beyond.

 

The GOOD

  • A true Star Trek adventure
  • Beautiful special effects
  • Comedy that kills
  • Great acting

 

As mentioned by a few fans, Beyond drops back from the federation centered tales and returns back to exploring the unknown. Beyond goes into the exploration of nebulae, running from CGI crafted natives, and facing technological warfare that always seems to be deadly to extras. As Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew are forced into the seemingly abandoned world, you get pulled into the nostalgic voyages made famous all those years. While some of the wild live and environmental hazards are a bit lacking, this adventure focuses on what the crew must do to complete their mission with the most members possible. Just like the Star Trek episodes of yore.

How this adventure is brought to life, is by the special effects department.  Abrams use of special effects is top of the line, blending live pyrotechnics with computer generated magic. All of the space stations, starships, and stunt work are incredibly animated, flowing into sequences that are somewhat exciting and worthy of the silver screen. The alien world as well holds the same magic, and feels like a Star Trek landscape, albeit a little more simplified and unimaginative than some of the other places we have visited. Regardless the special effects will certainly be the wow factor to the audience members and will help break up some of the mundane parts of the movie.

My friends and I agreed though that the most entertaining feature was the comedy in this movie. Kirk gets a few laughs in here, but Pine’s character takes a more serious role in this installment, but his well timed snipes got a chuckle from the audience. Scotty the ever angry/irritated engineer still brings the laughs with his irate venting rants and Simon Pegg’s delivery to maximize the enjoyment factor. But it is the dynamic duo of Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Bones (Karl Urban) that really had me in stitches. Spock’s neutral stating of the obvious and his failures in love provide enough ammunition for the good doctor to bash with it. The constant bickering between the two continues to evolve which leads to great character development and dialogue that continues to remain funny throughout the two hours. As I mentioned, none of this would have been possible without the insane acting abilities and fantastic deliveries of our acting cast.

The BAD

  • The lack of danger/challenge
  • An almost pointless plot device

It was somewhat hard to find faults in this movie for me, but one thing was the lack of challenge our heroes faced in this movie. Think about the Star Trek saga, our crew gets pulled into some crazy situation and it takes every ounce of energy to penetrate, attack, or defend their target. In this movie, both enemy and hero had too easy a time accomplishing their goals. Our crew snuck into places without much resistance, and even when their presence was known the confrontation was a little too one sided and quite poorly executed. Therefore the movie was a little on the boring side for me at times, or at least dull to say the least. It was missing the adrenaline rush and suspense of the second movie, which must have been traded in order to achieve the adventure part of the movie. Even newcomer Jaylah was a bit lackluster, with her combat stances and speeches more impressive than the skills she displayed. And despite the visual effects, the blaster fire was colorful, but seemingly pointless in the ship-to-ship battles. Oh well, number four may be able to correct this…if there is a number four.

In terms of the plot, the movie is pretty sound and focuses a lot on character development than anything else. Don’t get me wrong…this is a good thing, but I was still hoping to have a bit more in terms of action/suspense balance to keep me engaged in the tale. Krall’s (Idris Elba) goal in this movie was almost pointless, his path to revenge centering on a trinket that almost pointless in the grand scheme of things. There was little strategy, and again struggle, to implementing this device and as such I found the central plot of this movie a tad daunting.

 

The VERDICT

Nevertheless despite these weaknesses, Beyond’s delivery is solid. The visual effects craft a wonderful world for our crew to explore and the cast certainly looks the part on all fronts. The biggest strength is certainly the actors bringing characters that we love to an even deeper self, and the comedic punch many provide gives you the laughs. However, I don’t think this one reached the level that Into the Darkness did, especially in terms of excitement and suspense. This reviewer though has to recommend a visit to the theater for this one though, and was the best of the three I saw.

My scores:

Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi: 8.0

Movie Overall: 7.5