Hotel Artemis (2018)

I really dug this. I mean, I won’t buy it on DVD or anything but it was a great watch. It’s better than the adverts make it seem. I thought it would be kind of a dumb action film but it’s SO much more. The satire in it is spot-on, and won’t date. That’s the trouble with satire sometimes, it can become irrelevant really quickly. This won’t. This will only become irrelevant when one of two things happen: when we reach the time the film is set in (2028), or when poor people start getting treated with respect and dignity. So really this film has ten years of relevance, being set in a society where there are riots because access to water is being denied to people without money (something which a lot of people predict will happen in the future), so the film hits home in terms of satire. The rest of it? The plot is actually really well paced, it builds and progresses at a steady pace, not showing too much too soon, but also not spending so long building up that you end up bored. It looks stunning, the future-dystopian aesthetic showing a great mix of slick and dreary (like a Nick Cave album). The performances? Dave Bautista continues doing what he does, being terrifyingly intimidating with conflicting thoughts in his head. Sterling K Brown somehow manages to feel underused despite being a main character, and Jodie Foster is still a fucking treasure. I was reminded how truly great she is during this film, she wasn’t just acting vocally, or with her face, her entire body was consumed by her character, the way she stood, the way she walked, everything about her was character driven, and shows the difference between a great performer, and one of the greatest performers.

Despite that; Jodie Foster wasn’t my favourite part of the film. My favourite part of the film was the sense that there were other stories in this world. The spin-off potential is huge, everything about the world and the characters seems developed, to the point where if somebody told me it was a comic book adaptation I’d believe them. Even the way characters interact suggest a huge backstory behind their relationship (Batista and Foster in particular.

Now for the negatives; it’s really hard to find negative things about this. Not in a “it’s so brilliant it’s almost perfect” way, but in a “not a lot of it stood out” way. What it does, it does well, but it very does better than that. The plot is simply an excuse for the action scenes at times. I mean, that’s fine, but it would be nice if it tried harder. Also the satire doesn’t go quite as hard as you feel it should, it very quickly becomes just the backdrop, it would be like if Robocop had the exact same setting and atmosphere, but was a movie about golf.

So in summary; very good, but continued the modern trend of “Jeff Goldblum turns up for only 5 minutes”, and makes me disappointed that Sofia Boutella still hasn’t had a film franchise built around her.

Creepy Songs For Creepy People

 

New York, New York – Polly Scattergood

The original of this song is almost the exact opposite; bombastic and large. This is just downright creepy. I used it in my showreel and it fit perfectly, timed blood dropping with the beats.

Polly – Amanda Palmer

Yet another cover. I swear this list won’t all mostly covers. I hope. I listened to this song 10 times in a row whilst I was writing Poppy Blooms; which probably explains a lot about that film.

Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright – Ke$ha

Yeah, another cover, and this time it’s by a pop artist. But trust me; this is hauntingly beautiful and is the entire reason why I think Ke$ha gets a lot more stick than she deserves. But you might already know this because if I have a conversation about music with anybody for more than 5 minutes I will bring up this song. And nine times out of ten I have to follow it with “no, seriously, trust me on this”. No music, just her voice gasping the words in your ear.

Where The Wild Roses Grow – Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue

From Ke$ha to Kylie, not the worlds greatest transition, but meh. There’s also a version of this somewhere done by a band who sing it in German. If you listen to that whilst walking through a graveyard at 4am, it will fuck you up. A really good murder ballad which must have taken incredible balls on the part of both performers, who both risked alienating their current fan bases.

Red Right Hand – Nick Cave

I know, two Nick Cave songs, that’s possibly cheating, but who cares? Kind of an unofficial theme song for the Scream film series, being remade/remixed for every entry, but none are as haunting, beautiful, and as “sound of being followed down a dark alleyway by someone with a knife” like as this.

Creep – Scala & Kolacny Brothers

Best known as “that song from that trailer, no, not I Feel Good, or Walking On Sunshine, the unhappy bleak one”. The original was quite creepy yet this makes it more so. They also did a cover of Muscle Museum which just takes on all kinds of an emotional journey.

Cities In Dust – Siouxsie And The Banshees

Oddly danceable, kind of like dark disco. Made an appearance this year in Atomic Blonde, which if you haven’t seen, you need to remedy that and see it immediately, a wonderfully made film with one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard. And it means I won’t have wasted my time making sure I spelt Siouxsie correctly.