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New Rose Hotel Reviews

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Adam M

Super Reviewer

July 27, 2007
Hypermedia spy story -- "What is real in the world? What/who can I trust?" -- is actually a thin veil for a doomed romance story: "Is my love real or an illusion? And BTW, could virtue, mine or maybe hers, have saved me from illusion?"

Unlike Alphaville, I never get the flickering sense that this world, jerryrigging pieces of the present to represent the future, is a real place. Instead, this move plays like vignettes in an off-Broadway play about the future, with monitors showing tinted surveillance footage next to the stage.

Walken creates a real, whole character out of verbal pirouettes around cliches; Dafoe is more than believable in the mute, physical acting required by a sustained flashback montage; and Argento is more of an underwritten cipher than she is mysterious. Her part in the con, as a surefire seductress, we have to take on faith. With the elliptical editing and blacked-out backgrounds, they could stuff anything in the plot, but they don't. The fact that the movie stays together, as does Walken and Dafoe's goldminers' pact, keeps things intriguing enough. We want to know exactly how everybody is going to commit suicide by Fate.
DragonEyeMorrison
DragonEyeMorrison

Super Reviewer

October 3, 2007
Poorly constructed in every way, it manages to stay watchable thanks to Walken clearly having fun with his role, Dafoe helping the buddy chemistry, and Asia Argento's hot naked body.
whosinthenews
whosinthenews

Super Reviewer

February 27, 2011
New Rose Hotel is a great looking, stylish film, carefully shot and wonderfully acted by Walken and Dafoe, but I have never in my life seen a movie that goes so far out of its way to go absolutely nowhere. We're given a long setup explaining the details of Fox and X's plan to basically steal a scientist and sell him to a rival company. The last forty minutes however does almost nothing with this narrative. Various events which cause the plan to deteriorate are referenced secondhand, and the story mostly then just descends into overlong conversations that rehash portions of what we've already seen. At the same time the film also tries to thrust X and Sandii's lukewarm romance into the forefront when it has nothing to do with the main narrative, since there really aren't any further implications of their involvement (or lack of) with one another.
This was very much a wasted opportunity to create a dramatic, work of sci-fi art.
Christopher B

Super Reviewer

November 19, 2007
Okay, here it is. The one Ferrara film I loathe. Granted I do need to see it again now that I know what to expect. For those not prepared, the beginning of the film is decent but the end is all flashbacks of the beginning. Be prepared to be pissed off. With all the remembering Dafoe does in The New Rose Hotel, I'm hard pressed to recall that much, except the "Surprise" isn't that surprising.
frstrat
August 15, 2009
I really dug this movie. It is not an action set piece a la "the Matrix." There is no crazy wire work or looney gun fights. Based on a short story by William Gibson, it is a strong character piece about who is conning who. The science fiction elements of the story lie in the circumstances of the plot (two corporate headhunter/kidnappers arrange for the defection of super brainy geneticist from one multinational to another) rather than in super cool gizmos or effects shots. There is no sci-fi eye candy in this movie - truth be told some the effects shots are pretty cheesy, but again that is not what the movie is about. The performances were great and the screenplay is very faithful to Gibson's short story. The movie is a bit of a puzzle and is probably more enjoyable if you know Gibson's story.
November 1, 2007
Not only incomprehensible, but it didn't make me want to understand. Abel Ferrara misuses Walken *and* Dafoe.
July 29, 2007
Asia is hot and Dafoe gives a solid performance. Walken is a little over the top once again but some how as usual he always makes it work. The problem is the movie is uber slow and boring.
subliminalkid
June 18, 2007
I've seen this film like five times now, and I've never once been able to really pay attention to it. But William Gibson, Willem Defoe, Christopher Walken, Asia Argento and Yoshitaka Amano can't be wrong.
May 2, 2007
I caught this movie in bits and pieces really late one nite. I rented via Blockbuster online...TOOK FOREVER and watched it w/o interruption very weird but intresting. I still didn't get it.
reclaimer31
April 22, 2007
With this cast I can't belive how bad this movie was. You watch the first half then they show it all again in flashbacks. Lame
September 14, 2007
What's on the screen is so dreadful that it inspires the ontological question "What are films and why is this not one of them?"
March 20, 2013
Two of my favorite actors, Walken and Dafoe, in the same movie. How could it miss? Horribly, terribly, hideously, that's how. The director was, I'm convinced, on some kind of narcotic that induced him to endlessly repeat the same scenes over and over again. That, alas, was the least of this film's cinematic failures that even acting heroes like W and D could not overcome. And maybe worse of all, the girl wasn't that hot.
Ken H.
September 17, 2012
It seems like everything was done at the last minute, and when they finished shooting they realized how short it was and added in an extra 10 or 20 minute scenes of flashbacks or eroticism. However, the acting was top notch and the scenes where the movie was actually focusing on the plot were quite good and had that nice, sluggish Abel Ferrara charm to them.

I say if your a big enough fan of Ferrara's you should at least give it a chance. Everyone else will be bored.
moviebuff18cab
March 8, 2006
NEW ROSE HOTEL (1998)
Everett Jensen
December 17, 2008
New Rose Hotel
written and directed by Abel Ferrara
based on the short story by William Gibson
starring Christopher Walken, Willem Dafoe, Asia Argento, Yoshitako Amano, Gretchen Mol, Annabella Sciorra

Based on a thirteen page William Gibson story this film dissolves into a fledgling, constipated visual enema. Degeneration and dissolution are surely given the opulent treatment here and the film projects an urgency of decay and despair. Two con men espionage agents hit on a quick scheme to fill their coffers. Fox (Walken) and X (Dafoe) have worked out a deal to convince a future-shaking scientist named Hiroshi (Amano) who is working for the Maas Corporation to defect to Hosaka, another brutally efficient corporate titan. They use raw, unadulterated sex in the form of prostitute Sandii (Argento) whom they convince to seduce Hiroshi for the sum of a million dollars. Sandii is a trick card and her machinations prove to upset the fine balance held in the hands of the two men.

This film often seems to be little more than a series of wonky sex scenes and a whole lot of abstract scene selection. Indeed, Argento spends much of the film exposed and normally this would make for a thoroughly satisfying cinematic experience. However here there is simply nothing inherently seductive about her nude scenes. It?s almost impossible to imagine but the vision of a nude Asia Argento is actually wasted here. It seems unfathomable but the film makers manage to create a work that makes a naked Asia into a secondary concern. The lighting doesn?t do her justice and her body isn?t quite given the opportunity for full expression. The scenes feel staged and utterly lacking in even a semblance of erotic potency. Now, Hiroshi?s wife (Mol) on the other hand does not take her clothes of and is infinitely more desirable than Sandii. She is all steely eyes and haughty presentation and best of all she is described as a ball-buster. This is a woman who could tyrannize a man with a simple glance. She possesses all of the simplicity of a woman of great power.

The film certainly plays with a dystopian aesthetic and is convincing as a piece of generic hysteria-bating but the style is sabotaged by a weak narrative that just doesn?t have much of a pulse. The film is mainly an excuse to cart out finely-toned flesh and make it writhe and grind as much as possible. The sex scenes could not be less erotic as they are too formulated to create anything remotely approaching a direct erotic response. It doesn?t matter how many times sex is employed in this film because it proves to do nothing more than interrupt the story for what it is. It?s clearly an attempt, in concordance with the fragmented images prevalent throughout the film, to convey an art-house feel but it turns out to be nothing more than an example of indulgence on the part of the director. If they were hot scenes and one honestly felt that Asia was fully engaged, perhaps it might have been more effective. Admittedly, there is something thrilling to see her pout and purr for the duration of ninety minutes. In a better film this would be more of a cause for celebration.

We never meet Hiroshi and are introduced to him strictly through surveillance cameras who have tracked him over the course of a considerable length of time. Subsequently he haunts the film and the viewer sits in giddy anticipation as to what will finally happen to him. Alas we never get full satisfaction and it?s yet another example of how frustrating this story actually is.

The film actually ends two thirds of the way through. The rest of the time is spent in a series of flashbacks that offer a bit more dialog than when they were first presented. They don?t offer anything particularly noteworthy and it?s a drag to be subjected to so much that has already been revealed. It?s a strange technique and is ostensibly designed to articulate the deep regret of X as he relives his encounters with Sandii. He is too attached to her and believes her promises although they soon are shown to be fraudulent and fraught with treachery.

Overall, the performances in this film seem static and in need of oxygen. Christopher Walken plays the same daffy eccentric he always plays. Willem Dafoe is given few opportunities to fully embrace his character and often seems to be playing the role under protest. Yet, they both fit the film quite easily and somehow their performances convey the emptiness of their characters. Fox is presented as something of an intellectual but Walken delivers his lines so sardonically that it?s difficult to truly believe anything he is trying to say. His character is trying to be sincere but there is absolutely nothing sincere about him. In many ways both characters are ciphers who are merely one-dimensional without considerable warmth or depth or anything else that forces audiences to identify with them on screen. But at least Walken dances as he always does and that?s always worth something. Asia Argento doesn?t exactly have to act much in this one so it?s simply not possible to gain a full understanding of her talent in this area. She?s mostly exceedingly lovely eye candy and looks quite natural with her breasts bared. Still, a lot more actual seduction without the pedestrian look-see would have transformed this film into more of a bonafide erotic thriller along the line of John Dahl?s ?The Last Seduction?.
sideburnz
February 16, 2005
New Rose Hotel, a movie by the director of Bad Lieutenet and King of New York starring Christopher Walken dancing and hamming it up which is always good William DaFoe also give a good performance and Asia Argento gives a very sexy performance. its about business espianoge where Walken and Dafoe use Argento to seduce a top scientist away from some company. Walken has some great lines, but the plot falls apart in the last twenty minutes and it feels like they didnt know how to end the movie and they just show a bunch of flash backs of stuff that happened in the movie. its worth a watch for Walken alone, and Dafoe and Argento are little added bonuses. funny thing is this is a sci-fi movie set in the near future. the technology they use isn't to far off from what we have today just slightly more advance video cell phones, other than some small things you wouldn't even notice it was a sci-fi film. i wouldnt have if it weren't in the sci-fi section at Hollywood Video.
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