Million Dollar Hotel
The brain child of U2's Bono, Million Dollar Hotel starring Mel Gibson, Milla Jovovich, Jeremy Davies, Peter Stormare, and Tim Roth begins when a billionaire's son mysteriously falls off the roof of a skid row hotel. FBI Agent Skinner (Gibson) turns the lives of the insane inhabits upside down searching for information concerning the death of Izzy, the millionaire's son.

This movie is very weird. Sometimes the styles and themes worked and sometimes they didn't. Almost every single character in the movie had a twitch... you know the kind...Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys type... bouncing off the walls, thinking your a Beatle, or believing your Geronimo the Indian chief. Most of the time these characters were completely unrelatable and borderline annoying.

But not all is lost! God bless Jovovich and Gibson as they carry their original and interesting characters through the movie. Gibson wears some crazy neck brace and goes by the nickname of Frankenstein. I loved his contribution to the story. I loved how the neck brace ties back to reveal his past and why the present is so important. Jovovich did an amazing job floating through the frames as a girl who truly thought she didn't exist. Twirling her hair with one hand, a cigarette in the other, she cuddles up at the corner book store flipping through the pages of random dime store novels.

Jeremy Davis acts the same role he always plays. That same guy you've seen from LOST, Rescue Dawn, and Saving Private Ryan... if only not more extreme in this film. His twitchy broken conversations that never quite make eye contact but create nervous anxious tension.

Tim Roth was in the film for no more than a minute despite his character being the subject of conversation through out the film...the complete subject of everyone's insanity. When we finally see him in a flash back at the end we finally understand who this character was and what he meant to the people of the Million Dollar Hotel. The rest of the characters are trivial and really just fill the void of the insane and a flea bitten story.

The camera work was stunning as it randomly speeds up and slows down depending on the situation and movements of the actors. The framing and composition were beautiful creating a very interesting world. Every scene was created with strict style, intentionally playing on the minds of the insane.

Although beautiful, this was a hard movie to watch. I found myself on a rollercoaster of interested and not caring. The movie's pace would build to excitement and then drop off into slow voice over driven segments of Jeremy Davies brain. About two thirds of the way through I just didn't care anymore. I wanted it to be over. I didn't care who killed Izzy or why. I just wanted the insanity to end BUT right when I was ready to give up the rollercoaster drops again for a stunning and amazing end.

When weighing this film on the star scale the film successfully teeters towards the all 5 with its beautiful compositions and amazing ideas and characters. Slowly as you analyze the film more you notice it sliding back farther and farther as you recall how frustrated and bored you were at times. The times when you too felt like you were going to go insane. The scale rests somewhere a little less then halfway to perfect. Some cool slices amongst and overall damaged pie.

Reviewed by: shea
3 Comment(s)
Andy said...
I remember really liking this when I saw it the first time about 6 years ago. Last night I could literally barely keep my eyes open...losing the battle for the entire middle of the movie. It is too long, too disjointed and had too many quirks. I REALLY didn't care. I did like the concept of the world Wenders tried to create. Some of the shots were beautiful. I also liked how sometimes time slowed when Davies character would get close to Jovovich. And the ending leaves you thinking.
martha said...
this is a perplexing review (a good one, but perplexing... as, it seems, the movie is). i feel like (judging by the two stars) you wouldn't recommend this, and yet i leave your review and even andy's comment wanting to add it to my queue.
Shea said...
well...thats exactly what it is like watching it...ha...perplexing.