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 »
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
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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I bought this film "pre-viewed" on DVD because of Mel Gibson's face on the front cover and the promise of bonus features on the back. After watching it, I wondered if it was released on the heels of 9-11, as nothing else could quite explain why I had never even heard a one-liner about this fresh film with it's very believable, and wonderfully eccentric characters. The cast is first rate; Mel Gibson in his most complex role to date; Jimmy Smits, an absolute natural; Gloria Stewart (Titanic), Amanda Plummer, (The Fisher King; Freejack) Peter Stormare, (Chocolat; Armageddon) Julian Sands (Boxing Helena) and even Bud Cort (Harold and Maude; Pollock) support the two leads, Jeremy Davies, (Saving Pvt. Ryan) and Milla Jovovich. (The Messenger; Zoolander)
The DVD is a treat with U2's haunting song "The ground beneath her feet" the perfect accompaniment to the opening menu, as it sets the tone for the film beautifully. (Ok, I'm conveniently ignoring the opening song, "The First Time," as well as the actual opening shot, but after that ordinary opening, the movie gets deep and interesting quickly.)
When we first meet "Tom Tom," he is preparing to jump off the roof of the "Million Dollar Hotel." As he runs across the roof and launches himself through the air, our emotions are still not with him, for we only know three things about him, 1.) he looks peculiar, 2.) He is throwing himself off the roof of a hotel in some big city and 3.) he has not connected with us on a human level... As he sails spread-eagled through the air, we hear his voice proclaim: "Wow, after I jumped, it occurred to me... life is perfect." From that narrative voice and beyond, this film sucks you into the lives of the "Beggar's Butler," a retarded man and splendid mimic played to perfection by Davies, and the girl of his modest dreams, Eloise, played by Milla Jovovich. Tom Tom's best friend, Izzy Goldkiss (Tim Roth) died from a fall from the same roof and special agent Skinner (Gibson) is brought in by media mogul and Izzy dad, Stanley Goldkiss to find or frame a killer. The residents band together to stand up to Skinner and perhaps make a few dollars for themselves in the process. The film is well acted and unpredictable and by the time we watch Tom launch himself over the edge at the film's conclusion, we have come to care - to really care - about this human being and the motley crew of characters who people his world, and that brings a genuine welling of emotion and a spilling of tears. Not many films today can claim as much.
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