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Hotel Artemis



Genre : Action
Country : United States
Rating :
Director: Drew Pearce

Sterling K. Brown
Jodie Foster
Jeff Goldblum
Sofia Boutella
Dave Bautista
Charlie Day





Few film genres are able to jump on top of a trend as well as the action genre. When something is a hit studios will do their best to ride that wave as long as possible. When early John Woo movies gained cult status in the early 90’s fellow directors Dante Lam, Ringo Lam and Tsui Hark started finding work in the United States. After The Matrix surprised the world seemingly every action hero wore Ray Bans and shiny leather jackets. And that’s saying nothing about the glut of superhero movies to hit the big screen after the success of 2000’s X-Men. Clout chasing is a common occurrence within the action genre and the most recent film to influence the genre has been 2014’s John Wick.

Directed by stuntmen Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, John Wick was a surprise hit. Mixing Hong Kong-inspired gun fu with a modern, blood soaked revenge story, John Wick was a treat for audiences and critics alike. Since then not only has John Wick become a full-fledged franchise (with John Wick 3 coming out in 2019) but Stahelski and Leitch’s distinct style started to appear more and more. Aside from Leitch’s own Atomic Blonde movies like Run All Night, The Accountant and The Foreigner have similar elements either thematically or visually. The latest film to be inspired by Keanu Reeves’s master assassin is Hotel Artemis.

The year is 2028 and Los Angeles is on the brink of destruction. With corporations in control of water rioters have taken to the streets demanding justice. Using the riots as a cover career criminals Waikiki and Honolulu try to rob a bank when Honolulu is shot. With nowhere else to go they head to the Hotel Artemis, a hospital for criminals run by The Nurse (Jodie Foster). Things quickly go from bad to worse with the arrival of LA’s biggest crime lord, the Wolf King.

A shady criminal organization, enclosed spaces, Sofia Boutella, all things considered Hotel Artemis sounds like the perfect scenario for an action extravaganza. The kind of movie that should make Smokin’ Aces or Shoot’em Up look like My Dinner with Andre. Unfortunately that isn’t what we get. Whether due to a short production schedule or its lower budget Hotel Artemis can feel surprisingly sparse when it comes to action. After an exciting bank robbery in the beginning action comes in short spurts throughout Artemis‘s lean 97 before an explosive climax. I have to admit it left me wanting more. What little action we do get is great. With the carnage mostly focusing on nurse Everest (Dave Bautista) and assassin Nice (Sofia Boutella) their fight scenes play to their strengths. With Everest coming off as a monstrous bruiser and Nice being the agile yet deadly femme fatale it feels like a mix of WWE and Atomic Blonde. Their dual scene makes for a fun watch, I just wish there was more of it. This isn’t to say the movie is a failure on all fronts. In fact, I found Hotel Artemis to be quite a fun watch.

Perhaps most obvious is the film’s look. Like his Iron Man 3 collaborator Shane Black, director Drew Pearce does a masterful job making LA feel like a live, vibrant place. Despite mostly taking place at the Artemis his use of flashback and news reports make Los Angeles feel alive. Just as much detail is given to the Artemis. Practically a world unto itself Pearce does just as good a job making it feel like a real Old Hollywood hotel.

The second big reason for Hotel Artemis works is the stellar cast assembled. A mix of Emmy and Oscar nominees they are able to elevate what could just be a mix of crime movie clichés. At the center of the film is Sterling K. Brown as Waikiki. Far away from This Is Us, Brown is able to give the role a deepness you wouldn’t expect. Despite doing some awful things he straddles the line between sympathetic and bland quite well. A big part of this being due to his scenes with Honolulu, played by Brian Tyree Henry (Paperboi on Atlanta). Not only are the two able to pull off their roles but they interact like real brothers. The two have a chemistry that just feels authentic. Like Waikiki is someone trying their best to deal with a troubled younger brother. The kind of dramatic performance you would expect in a family drama yet makes it work into the neon-soaked world of Hotel Artemis.

The movie’s other main character is The Nurse, portrayed by Jodie Foster. Her first on screen role in several years she’s perfectly cast as the troubled yet resilient manager of the Hotel Artemis. While she has her own demons to confront, she continues on and does the job she was born for. It’s a role that could easily be overacted or feel hackneyed but Foster handles it with the same skill and talent she would a bigger movie. But as good as she is the films real star is the Wolf King.

Throughout the film the Wolf King is talked about in hushed whispers, projecting a presence that seems larger than life. Then, amidst an entourage of armed thugs is a middle aged man in sandals and a fur coat. And as ridiculous as it sounds it works. Portrayed by Jeff Goldblum, he peacocks onto the screen with the quirky charisma we have come to expect from him. Eccentric yet threatening he is followed around by his youngest son, portrayed by Zachary Quinto. Following his father wherever he goes he is on a constant quest for his father’s approval. A quest he continually fails at. An antagonistic relationship the two have a great rapport that would be perfect in a Quentin Tarantino film.

From the look to the frenetic action one can’t help but think of John Wick and its signature hotel The Continental. Despite the advertising that isn’t quite what we get. While the fight scenes are well choreographed what we get is a slower, more deliberate film focusing on character instead of action. Despite its outstanding cast providing some memorable performances Hotel Artemis is hindered by a script and characters we have seen dozens of times already. Regardless it can be overlooked thanks to some enjoyable bursts of action and the always delightful Jeff Goldblum. Like a real hotel it’s a fun place to visit but you may not want to stay for too long.


Rating 6/10
Links : IMDB

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Expendables 4 Movie Review | Explosive & Funny!



Expendables 4 (Lionsgate Movies)

The following piece was written during the 2023 Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie material being covered here wouldn’t exist.


A new generation of stars join the world’s top action stars for an adrenaline-fueled adventure in Expend4bles. Reuniting as the team of elite mercenaries, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, and Sylvester Stallone are joined for the first time by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Megan Fox, Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Jacob Scipio, Levy Tran, and Andy Garcia. Armed with every weapon they can get their hands on and the skills to use them, The Expendables are the world’s last line of defense and the team that gets called when all other options are off the table. But new team members with new styles and tactics are going to give “new blood” a whole new meaning.

Iko Uwais as Suarto Rahmat (Lionsgate Movies)

The Expendables Film Series

I highly recommend catching up on the other movies in the Expendables film series.

Expendables 1 (2010)

The only life they’ve known is war. The only loyalty they have is to each other. They are the Expendables: leader and mastermind Barney Ross (Stallone), former SAS blade expert Lee Christmas (Statham), hand-to-hand combat specialist Yin Yang (Li), long barrel weapons specialist Hale Caesar (Crews), demolitions expert Toll Road (Couture), and precision sniper Gunnar Jensen (Lundgren). Living life in the fringes of the law, these hardened mercenaries take on what appears to be a routine assignment: a covert, CIA-funded operation to infiltrate the South American country of Vilena and overthrow its ruthless dictator General Garza (David Zayas). But when their job is revealed to be a suicide mission, the men are faced with a deadly choice, one that might redeem their souls or destroy their brotherhood forever.

The Expendables Official Trailer (Lionsgate Movies)

Expendables 2

Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren),Toll Road (Randy Couture) and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) — with newest members Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) and Maggie (Yu Nan) aboard — are reunited when Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) enlists the Expendables to take on a seemingly simple job. The task looks like an easy paycheck for Barney and his band of old-school mercenaries. But when things go wrong and one of their own is viciously killed, the Expendables are compelled to seek revenge in hostile territory where the odds are stacked against them. Hell-bent on payback, the crew cuts a swath of destruction through opposing forces, wreaking havoc and shutting down an unexpected threat in the nick of time — six tons of weapons-grade plutonium; enough to change the balance of power in the world. But that’s nothing compared to the justice they serve against the villainous adversary who savagely murdered their brother. That is done the Expendables way….

The Expendables 2 Official Trailer (Lionsgate Movies)

Expendables 3 (2014)

In The Expendables 3, Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team comes face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill… or so he thought. In order to defeat Stonebanks, Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables’ most personal battle yet.

The Expendables 3 Official Trailer (Lionsgate Movies)

Movie Review

Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture and Sylvester Stallone bring the explosive energy needed to give us an explosive performance on-screen. The new members, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Megan Fox, Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Jacob Scipio, Levy Tran, and Andy Garcia bring in a breath of fresh air with new attitude and fighting styles to keep us entertained. This movie is the fourth in the Expendable film series, but there is definitely no clear link between this movie and the prequels. Each movie in essence is a new mission and Expendables 4 can be watched without watching the previous movies. I suggest watching the previous three movies to experience the explosive action that you get when you combine our favorite action heroes.

Sylvester Stallone as Barney Ross, leader of the Expendables (Lionsgate Movies)

Expendables 4 was great and delivered yet another action-packed mission filled with awesome fights, humor, cultural references and explosions. However, it wasn’t difficult to spot the main villain and there aren’t much surprises in terms of the new action stars who join this mission.

The movie starts us off with the Expendables in a race against time to retrieve nuclear warheads, but the mission goes south and instead of sticking to orders, one of the soldiers attempt to save his team member instead, which results in a failed mission and a casualty. The story follows the combination of accomplishing the mission while delivering a can of revenge-based whoop-ass. The last fight isn’t as explosive as the cast but still manages to deliver a plot-twist finale.

Megan Fox, Andy Garcia & Jacob Scipio, some of the newest members of the Expendables (Lionsgate Movies)

A future sequel should really consider a completely new group pick up the baton and leave us in suspense as to who the new heroes and villains could be. I love a good surprise with a side of plot twist in any movie.

There is no post-credits scene, so no need to wait till the very end. The trailer doesn’t spoil any of the plot twists you can expect from the movie. Overall, my rating for Expendables 4 is a 3.5 out of 5.

Make sure to watch at a cinema near you!

Expend4bles Official Trailer (Lionsgate Movies)

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Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom | Official Trailer

Arthur must enlist the help of his half-brother Orm in order to protect Atlantis against Black Manta, who has unleashed a devastating weapon in his obsessive quest to avenge his father’s death.




Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom [credit: Warner Bros. / DC]


Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Release Date:

December 20,  2023


James Wan


Jason Momoa, Patrick Wilson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

Plot Summary:

Arthur must enlist the help of his half-brother Orm in order to protect Atlantis against Black Manta, who has unleashed a devastating weapon in his obsessive quest to avenge his father’s death.

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Retribution Movie Review: Mildly Explosive 



Lionsgate Films

The following piece was written during the 2023 Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie, Retribution, being covered here wouldn’t exist.


When a mysterious caller puts a bomb under Matt Turner’s car seat, he begins a high-speed chase across the city to complete a specific series of tasks. With his kids trapped in the back seat and a bomb that will explode if they get out of the car, a normal commute becomes a twisted game of life or death as Matt follows the stranger’s increasingly dangerous instructions in a race against time to save his family.

Liam Neeson as Matt Turner (Lionsgate Films)

Did You Know?

This movie is the third remake of the movie titled Retribution.

In 2015, a Spanish-language adaptation, The Stranger (El desconocido) was released. This was the first Retribution movie. A dishonest banker pays the ultimate price for his wrongdoings when he is held hostage in his own speeding car by a bomb-making extortionist.

In 2018, a German-language adaptation, Don’t. Get. Out! (Steig. Nicht. Aus!) was released in Germany. A loving father and husband is extorted by an unknown guy and he is about to lose his life, his money and his family

In 2021, a Korean version, Hard Hit (Balsinjehan) was released. On his way to work, a bank manager receives an anonymous call claiming there’s a bomb under his car seat, and if anyone exits the car, it will explode unless he can pay a ransom.

The Turner Family (Lionsgate Films)

Movie Review

Liam Neeson plays the role of Matt Turner, and is literally in the ‘hot seat’ throughout most of the movie. The movie eases you into the drama and the suspense keeps building as the time passes. No time is wasted to bring A small cast brought an intense situation to life in Retribution, and I need to compliment, especially Liam Neeson, Jack Champion and Lilly Aspell, who played the parts of Matt Turner, Zach Turner and Emily Turner respectively for playing the part in the car to perfection. A plot twist is delivered at the end, but the ending is not as explosive as the bomb in the car.

Overall my rating is 3 out of 5 for the Retribution. There is no post-credits scene, so no need to wait till the end. The trailer doesn’t spoil too much of the movie and serves as a great appetizer for Retribution.

Catch the trailer, and watch Retribution at a cinema near you.

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