Hotel Artemis (2018)

Rating 15

Length 1Hr 35

Release 20.7.2018

About As rioting rocks Los Angeles in the year 2028, disgruntled thieves make their way to Hotel Artemis — a 13-story, members-only hospital for criminals. It’s operated by the Nurse, a no-nonsense, high-tech healer who already has her hands full with a French assassin, an arms dealer and an injured cop. As the violence of the night continues, the Nurse must decide whether to break her own rules and confront what she’s worked so hard to avoid.


The Good

It’s a brilliant cast that work well together. The partnership between Jodi Foster and Dave Bastista is so good, I didn’t even care that Jeff Goldblum was in it even though he was the reason for watching. Star Trek Alumni, Zachary Quinto, playing a ‘soft’ bad guy after scaring me with his superhero villain in Heroes made for an interesting watch.

Charlie Day. Charlie Day, as in Horrible Bosses biggest pussy, plays the ultimate entitled knob and someone to fear. I never thought it possible after all of his typecast roles. It was rather refreshing to see this change and I definitely heard him before I recognised him.

The narrative cantering around advanced medical tech and dark houses for criminals is twisted in such an amazing way. I have so many questions and I want to explore the world. How does the 1% live?

It feels like an episode of Black Mirror on steroids; a potential future and an allegorical warning.

The Bad

The sub plot involving the brothers and the pen safe was a little under developed. Why would you fear someone who is in need of critical care and doesn’t know you have the damn thing you stole? A simple line establishing that there’s a locator inside the pen would have been enough. As it stands it’s a disconnected thread that makes a rather intelligent character seem very stupid.

How does Nice, played by Sofia Boutella, know her target will end up at Hotel Artemis? It’s heavily implied that they are already in the building but it’s not the case. It’s having a muddled narrative like this that stops it being the smart thriller it should be.

The Ugly

What the hell is it with Jodie Foster and flash backs?! They just don’t do it for me and I hate the blank stare that Foster gives to establish the start and end. I certainly think reducing the number of flashbacks or getting rid altogether would improve things.

Final Thoughts

It’s a gritty, messy thriller that you should watch instead of Blade Runner.

Jurassic Park. Halloween Edition (1993)

Rating: PG

Length: 2hr 8

Release: 15.7.1993

About: In Steven Spielberg’s massive blockbuster, paleontologists Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) are among a select group chosen to tour an island theme park populated by dinosaurs created from prehistoric DNA. While the park’s mastermind, billionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), assures everyone that the facility is safe, they find out otherwise when various ferocious predators break free and go on the hunt.


This is no normal review. In fact, it’s possibly not a review at all. Everyone knows this is my all time favourite movie and has been since July 1993 when it set me on my path to geekdom.

It’s a film I’ve watched so often, but I don’t think I’ve ever considered it as a horror, or a film to watch as a lead up to Halloween so the fear factor is never going to be there. I’m too amazed and in all honesty, I want to be there too.

So instead, I’m considering how many tropes and themes that come up in horror movies apply to Jurassic Park. I thought I was on a dud mission, but I was very quickly proven wrong.

Creature Feature

The creature feature is perhaps the most obvious genre this dinosaur disaster fits into. There’s narrative similarities within Jurassic Park and the Creature From the Black Lagoon, a tonal structure that Spielberg brings organically from Jaws and there’s even an audio/visual reference to one of the greatest creature feature: King Kong, just invade you were wondering what they might be keeping on the island. In the same way Black Lagoon has that embedded wonder, Jurassic Park is all smiles until things go very, very wrong.

One key trope from the creature feature (and arguably other horrors) that is seen multiple times is the Scream Queen. Both of our females give their lungs a good airing when found face to face with the prehistoric reptiles and join Faye Wray, Julie Adams and Susan Blackline as Hollywood Hollering Royalty.

Science, Bitches!

Science and playing God is a staple theme in many a horror movie. Frankenstein, The Fly and Jekyll & Hyde all have scientists take on the god-like role of creator. In much the same fashion as the previously mentioned films, the scientists of Ingen fails to understand the true nature of the monster in their captivity and they rebel against the creator.

Of course, this is on a much grander scale so the stakes are higher and the town at risk is bigger. While the revulsion for the monster isn’t present, it’s clear not everyone is happy with the creators.

The Slasher

Hear me out because yes, there’s no Freddy or Michael but some of the rules still apply. I am, of course, talking about the raptors and their story arc.

The fact that we don’t get a sighting of the raptors until the last 20 minutes or so is frightening in itself. All we’ve seen, is their destruction and lethal potential, much in the same way we don’t see the shark in Jaws or the knife break flesh in the infamous ‘shower scene’, our imagination makes quick work of filling in the blanks with scares and blood. The raptors are isolated, imprisoned separately, from the rest of the park. Too dangerous: they indeed claim the film’s largest body count.

Of course, like Michael Myers, when they find freedom the raptors set their sights on human victims which brings us to the glorious stalking kitchen scene. Replace the predatory reptiles with Ghostface and this scene could fit seamlessly into a Scream movie.

I’ll agree that there’s more than one, and there’s no motivation forthcoming but you have to admit, sometimes the explanation sucks and ruins the movie.

The Harbinger of Doom

A trope I only really became familiar with thanks to Cabin in the Woods. A meta horror that calls out all the tropes is perfect education for film.

So, there are two characters that fit the bill of a harbinger within Jurassic Park. The first is Robert Muldoon, who is vocal about the raptors and their dangers. However, the key role goes to Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm. Not only is his entire persona as a theorist of chaos an ideal fit, he has a passionate speech warning Hammond of his companies’ naivety in playing with Science, even going so far as call it ‘rape of the natural world’.

Both Malcolm and Muldoon give us some foresight into the horrors that are to be faced even if, as Malcolm puts it, he ‘hates being right all the time.’

Haunted House

So it’s an island, doesn’t mean the haunted house rules don’t apply. The clear trope that can be seen is the fracturing of the group, repeatedly. Those that do end up on their own; Muldoon, the lawyer and Arnold, die in rather painful and bloody ways.


Now you’ve read this, you may see Jurassic Park in a different way, or maybe you’re like Ian Malcolm and consider it …

Either way, go check it out on Netflix. There it isn’t butchered like a Michael Myer’s victim on Halloween (yup ITV! I’m looking at you)

Han x

The Fly (1986)

Rating 18

Length 1Hr 36

Release 13.2.1987

About When scientist Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) completes his teleportation device, he decides to test its abilities on himself. Unbeknownst to him, a housefly slips in during the process, leading to a merger of man and insect. Initially, Brundle appears to have undergone a successful teleportation, but the fly’s cells begin to take over his body. As he becomes increasingly fly-like, Brundle’s girlfriend (Geena Davis) is horrified as the person she once loved deteriorates into a monster.


The Good

  • The makeup and visual effects are incredible. Repulsive in some respects, but they certainly stand up to a modern viewing. From Seth’s mottled and sickly looking skin to his complete metamorphosis, it’s compelling and scary to see.
  • Jeff Goldblum and his ticks and twitches in particular. I do wonder if it’s his role here that put him up for consideration in Jurassic Park. There are similarities within the characters and the only difference being; Ian Malcolm would have predicted all this chaos. Goldblum has been long established as a loveable kook for me, that seeing him in this very different role helps bring the horror alive.
  • I love that Seth has a better outline plan of action than a Tory government. Something I thought right before he tells Veronica he wants to be the first insect politician. I giggled way too much at myself for that.
  • John Getz wins me over by the end of the film. I can’t remember what else I’ve seen him in, but the word ‘sleaze’ comes to mind and that’s before you consider the ‘Han’s buddy’ beard he has going on. Sleaze is actually right. He’s a knob to Veronica and I hate him for about two thirds of the movie. However, he really turns it around.

The Bad

  • There’s less Science and more about the relationship between Seth and Veronica. While it certainly makes for a better horror, I personally didn’t care for it.
  • The timeframe seems off, making the relationship seem overly toxic, without the whole spontaneously mutating into a psychotic insect. I know there’s a comment close to the end of the film about how a month has passed, but early on it seems like a day goes past and they’ve gone from bed buddies to an old married couple holidaying to Florida.
  • Not sure how I feel about the narrative commentary of Veronica having to tell Seth about her intended abortion. I know it’s necessary for the cause and effect to lead to the final act, but I’m very uncomfortable with it when he’s shown violent predator behaviour. Without getting bogged down in gender politics, I think it’s fair to say that if you’re beau has become a mutation that vomits over his own food and scared the bejesus out of you, you can wave the ‘conversation’.

  • I can see how the film is interpreted as a commentary of the AIDS crisis, however it is self evident that the commentary is much too broad for this to be the case. It’s a shame, as if they went in with intention, it could have made an excellent theme. That said, we have werewolves for that.

The Ugly

  • The gore was too much for me. Made me physically sick and it’s the first time during this advent I’ve had to look away from the screen.
  • The maggot baby birth! Holy fuck, that was horrific. Perhaps it has more impact on a woman but that was a visual I could have done without.

Final Thoughts

It’s a well made film that had proven my theory that I am indeed a pussy when it comes to gory horrors. It’s like Captain America gone wrong, way way wrong.

Into the Night – 15 #Jeffwatch

into-the-night01

Thanks to a wonderful Jeff Goldblum meme conversation, my love for Jeff has reignited. This was a man that was ever-present in my childhood. I’d mistakenly begged to watch the Fly and to this day I’ve not seen it all the way through.

So Friday night viewing had to be the recently Netflix added Into the Night; a 1985 thriller staring a young Jeff alongside the wonderful Michelle Pfeiffer and notable cameos from Jim Henson and David Bowie.

It’s not a great watch for those who like their thrillers fast paced. It’s almost halfway through before there is any sembilence of momentum. However, it is a brilliant nostalgia trip and an intriguing look at what life is like when you can’t be contacted through a phone.

If you asked me to describe Jeff in three words, they would be eccentric, charming and electric. The Jeff in this film is devoid of all of these (which is a testament to his ability as an actor) and is beige. His character is beige, the film is beige hell, even Bowie’s cameo is beige. Which is all good, except it means there is no character development; he’s a caterpillar and I’m disappointed that I don’t get the butterfly I know Jeff can provide.

Alas, this won’t be joining Jurassic Park as one of the #Jeffwatch repeated viewings.

Jurassic Park (1993)- PG

jurassic-park

Back in November I went to see my most beloved film in the Royal Albert Hall. I figured reviewing a film I know inside and out would be a good way to dip my toes back into the blogging world.

I first watched this film when I was 8 years old and it very quickly became my comfort movie. If I was unwell, if I couldn’t sleep; there it was like an old friend. I loved this film so much I completed my dissertation around the film and its theme of control.

The Good
It’s hard not to talk about it without bias, but as a blockbuster movie it checks all the boxes. It has pace, bratty children you kind of hope get eaten before the final act and some lines that as soon as they’re uttered, you know they’ll be set out as iconic quotes.
Even now, most of the CGI looks good and I will forever love Nedry’s demise along with the now famous ‘clever girl’

The music is quintessentially John Williams and a piece that complements the action. While the main theme is incredible, it is the section as they arrive to the island that sticks in my mind and floats my heart.

Getting Richard Attenborough out of retirement to play Richard Hammond was a stroke of genius. He has such an eccentricity about him that I can’t help but feel for him as his world collapses. The character that appears on the screen is world’s away from Michael Crichton’s incarnation in his 1991 novel.

Another smart move was to adapt the character of Alan Grant into a a-typical Spielberg leading man; a man who struggles to bond with children, but is resolved by the closing credits. See Close Encounters, Indiana Jones, War of the Worlds and even E.T for others within his body of work.

The Bad
As I’ve grown, I’ve become increasingly irritated by the ‘kitchen’ scene. I just think its a little too…. implausible. I know, I know… it’s a movie about cloned dinosaurs but it’s just a little too comical now to see those terrifying monsters man handling the door like some two man panto horse. I do still enjoy Lex’s ‘cunning’ attempt at confusing the raptor by trapping herself inside the kitchen cupboard. However, it’s not as calculated as I once thought; she looks too scared to be the bad ass I had pinned her as.

I’m also a little saddened by the omission of the last act of the book. There is a complete sub story about the raptors that reads like a directors dream. Okay, snippets make there way into Lost World, but it would have fit perfectly here.

The Ugly
The birds at the end of the movie are not condors! Up until last month, I watched this poignant cut from Alan Grant’s outward gaze to a flock of birds thinking it was a reference to Hammond’s outburst at the dinner scene. It made sense, I loved it.
Alas, I was wrong and it’s just a bunch of pelicans with no relevance to the rest of the movie. I guess that says more about me than the movie though.

Cast- 7
Cinematography- 8
Plot- 6 (missed too many bits from the book)
Pace- 9
Music- 8
Enjoyability- 10