Home Page > Movies Index (w/mixed oldies) > > Movie Review

This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

They're Coming to Take Me Away

The Million Dollar Hotel on IMDb

Plot Overview

quiltingOne hotel guest lives in the past, works on her needle­point and thinks the world is all effed up. Another, Thomas T. “Tom Tom” Barrow (Jeremy Davies) is a “skate­board riding half-wit.” He is “the beggar's butler” there to the rest of the “mental defectives”—and one drunk. Eloise Ashe (Milla Jovovich)'s room is wall-to-wall literature (“I remember every­thing,”) and she carries it home by the armful. She lacks a strong sense of self (“I'm fictional.”) Dixie (Peter Stormare) writes songs for the Beatles. Right! Joseph “Geronimo” Tipawa (Jimmy Smits) is a painter and a thief. He steals canvases by obscure artists from neighbor­hood galleries and over­lays them with tar. London art expert Terence Scopey (Julian Sands) pronounces them “garbage” but “important garbage.” Geronimo thinks the reason he can't sell them is people won't buy from an Indian, so he has resident Jew Israel “Izzy” Gold­kiss front for him. Izzy doesn't do any better with the tar paintings than he did with his own poetry—who does?­­—and having a weak ego he adds to the sad legacy of other important works “about all of the lives, the cultures, the moments, that are buried in the pavement. Lost forever.” He “died with­out selling a single painting.” As author James Tucker put it:

It was unfortunate, she'd be the first to admit, but wasn't accident and death the price for great works, great monuments? ¶Workers had died building the pyramids at Giza, in Egypt. During construction of the Empire State Building, no? And the Eiffel Tower. Certainly, the Three Gorges Dam in China. (194)

star of DavidIzzy's rich, estranged father Stanley (Harris Yulin) won't accept Izzy's suicide (“Suicide is the lowest crime to a Jew.”) It would make him look bad as a dad (“We don't have suicide. Never needed it. Hardly ever.”) He pulls some strings to have a Senator Cole send G–man Special Agent Detective J.D. Skinner (Mel Gibson) from Washington to solve the crime. Skinner is in a hurry because he's had to interrupt his vacation with his fiancée Maya, and when his inter­views get him nowhere, he has one of their number arrested at random … the Indian of course.

puzzled ladiesThe hotel residents hold a pow wow in the lobby. It won't do to let Geronimo take the fall, because his record guarantees he'll do hard time. But if one of them were to confess, he'd end up in a nice country club hospital with expansive grounds and friendly staff, a whole lot better than their current digs. The sensational TV news could even spark sales of the Indian's paintings. Sounds like a plan, but how long can these half-wits stay committed to it?


right handOne of their number actually knows something about Izzy's death, and a long working of circumstance, Skinner's heavy hand, and a woman's gentle touch lead him to reveal it as if by divine decree. (Prov. 16:1) “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.”

box turtle(Prov. 16:2) “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.” According to Mr. Goldkiss the Jews in 600 cities decide daily what is the truth and they end up with 600 truths. Dixie knows he wrote the Beatles songs though he gets no royalties, no author listing, and no picture on the cover. God on the other hand can do special things even beyond the retard's admitted limits, like counting the match sticks in a box from a single glance or talking to the animals.

(Prov. 16:3) “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” As soon as Geronimo places his sales in the hands of one of God's chosen (“God is white!”) he can concentrate on his artistic creativity.

(Prov. 16:4) “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” Tom Tom has an epiphany at the end in which he pronounces every­thing perfect, scene after scene looking through the windows, even the preacher on the radio declaiming sinners in need of Jesus Christ to avoid perdition.

Production Values

” (2000) was directed by Wim Wenders. It was written by Nicholas Klein with Bono providing musical backdrop. It stars Jeremy Davies, Milla Jovovich and Mel Gibson. Gibson was rich with a deadpan delivery and tongue-in-cheek remarks. The rest outdid them­selves in kookiness (“This place is a freak show”) with a lone Donal Logue playing it straight as L.A. detective Charley Best.

MPAA rated it R for language and some sexual content. It was filmed at the Rosslyn Hotel, 112 W. 5th Street, Los Angeles, California, USA. It's 2 hours long.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This movie is dark, atmospheric, and fatiguing in the extreme. The audience must process a continual stream of quirky characters each with his or her own personality tics. Tom Tom's haircut looks like wings, Skinner's back is criss­crossed with scars, and TV 6 announcer Jean Swift (Charlayne Woodard)'s visage is of mixed reflectivity, i.e. black skin & diamond tooth stud. The characters wade through a flooded hotel. And that's not to mention the dizzying helicopter shots. What it boils down to is, “We're all noodle soups in our heads here,” and the audience cannot remain unaf­fected. Nobody who's at all human can possibly enjoy this show, though some will dislike it more than others. The reason I rated it even at a ‘C’ is that it's technically well made, for what it's worth. It's the original concept that made it a flop.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good for running video checks. Suspense: Yawn. Overall movie rating: Three reluctant stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Tucker, James. Holdouts. Text copyright © 2018 by James Tucker. Seattle: Thomas & Mercer, 2018. Print.