Tag Archives: Jodie Foster

Soundtrack Review: Hotel Artemis (2018)

Released on June 8th, 2018, Hotel Artemis is a near-future dystopian film that takes place in a secret hospital for criminals (the titular hotel). The hotel is run by The Nurse (Jodie Foster) and Everest (Dave Bautista), an orderly. Services offered include 3D-printed organs and top of the line care, provided you follow the rules of the establishment. This status quo is upended one night during a riot when a notorious kingpin (Jeff Goldblum) is rushed to the hotel with serious injuries.

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The score for Hotel Artemis was composed by Cliff Martinez, whose approach to scoring is nontraditional.  His scores tend towards being stark and sparse, utilizing a modern tonal palette to paint the backdrop for films that are often dark, psychological stories like Pump Up the Volume (1990), The Limey (2009) Wonderland (2003), Wicker Park (2004), and Drive (2011).  Martinez has been nominated for a Grammy Award (Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic), a Cesar Award (Xavier Giannoli’s A L’origine), and a Broadcast Film Critics Award (Drive).  His score for The Neon Demon was awarded Best Soundtrack at the 2016 Cannes International Film Festival.

Not only is the soundtrack of Hotel Artemis sparse, it also suffers greatly from being overly homogeneous. I thought I was imagining it at first, but as I listened to track after track, I realized that most of the music sounded exactly the same: deep synthesized bass tones mixed in with a synthesized drone. There are minor variations to be sure, but the elements are the same throughout. No wonder this score hasn’t stuck in my mind, there was nothing memorable about it.

Synthesizers can be great for film scores when they’re utilized properly (Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049 are excellent cases in point), but that is not the case here. The drones don’t lead anywhere, there’s no musical development. This can make a potentially great film average and in this case, it makes an average film mediocre.

In conclusion: the score of Hotel Artemis is mostly forgettable, just like the film, which is a real shame. I do my best to find the positives in any score I listen to, but I just couldn’t find them here. What did you think of the score for Hotel Artemis? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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My thoughts on: Hotel Artemis (2018)

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There’s a saying among film bloggers: never trust the trailer.for a movie. Hollywood designs trailers to run like mini-movies and show off the best parts of a film, which also serves to hide any flaws (though sometimes a film is so bad even a trailer can’t disguise its issues, just look at Pixels (2015)).

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a confession to make: I trusted the trailers for Hotel Artemis and it came back to bite me. The concept of a secret hospital for criminals is a sound one and it features a quality cast: Jodie Foster (in her first film in five years), Jeff Goldblum, Sofia Boutella, Zachary Quinto, Dava Bautista, Sterling K. Brown, and so on. With this level of talent and an intriguing premise, Hotel Artemis had the potential to be amazing. But at the end of the day…it isn’t.

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The biggest flaw in this story that I can see is that it tries to tell too many stories at once. It starts off simply enough: It’s the year 2028 and Los Angeles is embroiled in the largest riot in its history because a private company has shut off the water supply to most of the city. During the chaos, a bank robbery goes south and Sherman (Sterling K. Brown) takes his wounded brother to the Hotel Artemis to get treated by the Nurse (Jodie Foster). Once inside, patients are referred to by the room they’re staying in.

Current residents:

-Nice (Sofia Boutella): an assassin being treated for a gunshot wound

-Acapulco (Charlie Day): a smart-mouth arms dealer recovering from an assault

-Waikiki and Honolulu: Sherman and his brother

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So far so simple right? The story quickly expands to include sub-plots involving Nice and an assassination job she must pull off; a wounded police officer seeking entry to the Hotel who happens to know the Nurse from way back; the sudden arrival of “the Wolf King” (a crime lord who “owns most of LA”) and his son (Zachary Quinto) who also owns the Hotel, the mystery behind how the Nurse’s son Bo died AND the revelation that Sherman’s brother unwittingly stole some diamonds from the Wolf King’s organization. It’s far too many elements to keep track of or care about and the film is a disjointed mess as a result.

It pains me to say this but Jeff Goldbum was completely wasted.in this story. He has barely any screen time and he’s out of the picture before you know it. Zachary Quinto is also criminally wasted. In fact, it feels like a large chunk of his character’s backstory is missing. Presented as the son of Goldblum’s Wolf King, he comes across as a whiny younger son with issues, however there’s not enough backstory given to explain why he’s acting this way.

There’s really not much more to say. Jodie Foster turns in a good performance, but it isn’t enough to save Hotel Artemis from being a mess.

What did you think of Hotel Artemis? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

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My thoughts on: Contact (1997)

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I’ve seen Contact several times and I distinctly remember being royally confused by it when I was younger. The first part of the plot is fairly straightforward: Dr. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster), working for the SETI program, discovers a transmitted signal being sent from the star system Vega. Using help from a reclusive billionaire named S.R Hadden, Arroway discovers that the information in the signal are instructions on how to build a machine that would allow a single person to apparently travel to meet the aliens transmitting the signal.

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A machine is duly built at Cape Canaveral, and while Arroway is a frontrunner to go, because she is an atheist, she is passed over for David Drumlin (Tom Skerrit), Science advisor to the President instead. But on the day of launch, the machine is bombed moments before launch and Drumlin is killed as a result. Hadden informs Arroway that a second machine was built in Japan and this time she is going to be the one to go.

From this point on, things get weird, and I mean REALLY weird. Arroway is in a pod-like structure, dangling above the whirling machine that is apparently generating a wormhole for her capsule to pass into. Upon launch, Arroway passes through a long series of wormholes and experiences a lot of strange phenomena, including distant starscapes and planets that appear to contain intelligent life.

Last of all, Arroway finds herself standing on a beach that exactly resembles one in South Florida from her childhood (only a look up at the sky gives away that she’s not on Earth). An alien appears in the form of her deceased father and the two have a brief conversation. Apparently, all of this (the signal, the machine, Arroway’s visit), was only the first step in helping humanity become a spacefaring race. The visit abruptly ends and suddenly Arroway is back in her capsule on the other side of the machine.

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As if things weren’t already weird enough, the situation turns on its head when everyone informs Ellie that her trip never happened. As far as they could tell, she simply dropped from the top of the machine to the bottom in a matter of seconds. Yet Ellie swears she was gone for 18 hours, but the video footage she recorded is only static, leaving no proof to verify what she saw. After a long hearing, Ellie returns to work at SETI, still believing in what occurred, despite the fact that almost no one believes her, and hopeful that they will be contacted again someday. Meanwhile, in one last strange conversation, two government officials discuss the question of, if the mission was a failure, why did the recording devices record 18 HOURS of static? Hmmmmmm, a good question.

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The film is based on a book written by astronomer Carl Sagan and depicts how he thinks a first contact between humanity and aliens might go. Like I said before, this film gets really weird in some places, but if you’re okay with that, this is the film for you.

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