Mike Max is a Hollywood producer who became powerful and rich thanks to brutal and bloody action films. His ignored wife Paige is close to leaving him. Suddenly Mike is kidnapped by two ... See full summary »
The director Friedrich Monroe has trouble with finishing a silent b&w movie about Lisbon. He calls his friend, the sound engineer Phillip Winter, for help. As Winter arrives Lisbon weeks ... See full summary »
Peter Soffel is the stuffy warden of a remote American prison around the turn of the century. His wife, Kate, finds herself attracted to prisoner Ed Biddle. She abandons her husband and ... See full summary »
Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.
After the wild life-style of a famous young German photographer almost gets him killed, he goes to Palermo, Sicily to take a break. Can the beautiful city and a beautiful local woman help him calm himself down?
The Million Dollar Hotel follows the supposed murder of Izzy Goldkiss. FBI Agent Skinner is sent into investigate the crime, and to weed out the killer. When he reaches the 'hotel', he comes across many of the forgotten types of people living in the city. You have Geronimo, who is a self proclaimed Native American artist. Dixie, played with great gusto by Peter Stormare, as the 'fifth' Beetle that is still waiting for his royalty payments, as well as recognition. Eloise, who is the neighborhood 'whore'. And then there is Tom-Tom, played by Jeremy Davies. He's the center of the story, being that he's the 'village idiot' of the bunch, and has the trust of everyone in the Hotel. Agent Skinner has a few days to find out who the killer is, while the residents of the hotel devise a scheme to sell off Izzy's fabled 'Tar Paintings'. Written by
Mel Gibson was so ashamed of the film that he fought to prevent it from being released to theatres in the U.S. See more »
The positions of the pool balls change during the voting scene. See more »
Wow, after I jumped it occurred to me, life is perfect, life is the best. It's full of magic, beauty, opportunity, and television, and surprises, lots of surprises, yeah. And then there's that stuff that everybody longs for, but they only real feel when it's gone. All that just kinda hit me. I guess you don't really see it all clearly when you're - ya know - alive.
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. . . suicide at the best moment of your life . . .
Million Dollar Hotel is a beautiful movie, and one of Wenders' best recent efforts, considerably better than The End of Violence or Lisbon Story, but with a smaller worldview than Until the End of the World or Wings of Desire. The State of Things is also one of my favorite Wenders.
I can understand how many people might not like this movie. It's a young person's story about suicide and first love at the very moment when you know it's the best moment in your life as it ever will be, before you get jaded and caught up with the familiar chase after sex, money and power, when your sensations become dulled and your body not as agile because now you're older. It is concerned with poetically defective mentalities and has a drug-like sensibility to it, so you may not get it if you're a normal social conformist with a happy childhood. But then, I had this kind of youth, too, living in drug-addled international student hostel dives around Greenwich Village in the Eighties, purposefully unemployed because it seemed more open to possibility and potentiality than the unphilosophic nine to five. Suicide can really be a statement of momentary happiness rather than the mundane postmortem understanding of a troubled youth, the movie seems to say.
Jeremy Davies gives a fantastic, inspired performance, reminding me a bit of Leonardo DiCaprio in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, but much more nuanced as to require second viewings, or Johnny Depp in Benny and Joon. Admittedly, the story is not completely credible, because while the Million Dollar Hotel seems real enough (think Chelsea Hotel if it were in downtown LA), how all these misfitting characters can survive financially and end up living together in this amazing place cannot be scrupulously pondered. At the same time, it's good that Bono helped write the story, because Wenders' plots tend to be otherwise somewhat inchoate. So in the end, it's an atmospheric fantasy. (Why do so many movies of the late Nineties-early Thousands have people jumping off of roofs? : Open Your Eyes) Nor is all the acting uniform, although Davies especially, Jovavich and notably Stormare stand out. Although Gibson is focused big on the center of the video box, it's really not his movie, as he's just along for the chance to ride with Wenders. The dialogue mixed in with the Beatles lyrics is quite clever. The camera effects for those moments where Tom-Tom and Eloise seem to move in slow motion for several parts of a second are neat, as if the two of them are not completely in the same dimension of our reality and are in danger of somehow being shaken loose from this world. I can't believe this movie was never widely released, as I just found it on the shelf in the video store, don't know how I ever missed it, and I agree that it is destined to be a Wenders cult favorite.
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