The Million Dollar Hotel (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

What the hell is this movie about?

Director: Wim Wenders, legendary helmsman for Wings of Desire

Producer: Mel Gibson's company

Screenplay: Bono. (Also wrote much of the music)

Starring: Mel Gibson (I assumed he worked for free to give his production some star power), Milla Jovovich (who also sings on the soundtrack), and all the people who always play crazies (Jeremy Davies, Amanda Plummer, Peter Stormare, Bud Cort, etc.)

So how could it be so incomprehensible? 

Wenders is a director who specializes in characterization and  atmosphere.

Unfortunately, this is a murder mystery, is supposed to have a plot of sorts, and Wenders has no idea how to advance it.


The basic premise is that Mel Gibson is a special FBI agent who is investigating the circumstances of a suicide. A rich kid jumped from a hotel into the street. Unfortunately for Gibson, the hotel is inhabited entirely by loonies. Literally. Everyone in the hotel is crazy. The explanation had something to do with their not having proper medical insurance to get into a hospital. Whatever the explanation, Gibson has the frustrating task of questioning material witnesses who don't understand the questions, can't concentrate on the questions, or simply don't want to answer.

Unfortunately, you can see that the director has asked them all to be as odd as they can be at all times, so they spend their time messing up their own hair, drooling, sticking out their tongues, slouching, using verbal tics, darting their eyes maniacally - the whole Jerry Lewis schtick. None of the loonies are drunks, or violent psychotics or anything like that. They are all gentle, vulnerable, free-spirited loons, inhabiting an urban hippie commune, similar to the loonies in The Fisher King

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen

  • some "making of" featurettes

Sorry to say this movie isn't The Fisher King. 

Mel Gibson, the star and producer, publicly declared that it was boring. 

The man is known for his honesty. That's good enough for me. 

The Critics Vote

  • Apollo 63/100 (but Apollo users 1/100)

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.2/10, but Apollo users score it a perfect 1/100, making it the lowest rated movie in the history of the world. 
  • With their dollars ... they spent $8 million on this movie. the US domestic gross was $52,000. Think about that - $52,000 for a movie starring Mel Gibson
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is an E. I can't imagine any circumstances in which any type of movie lover or any specific genre fan would like this film. 

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