Sunday, July 10, 2016

New Rose Hotel (1998)

Directed by: Abel Ferrara
Run time: 93 minutes

When I saw this movie in high school I was rather disappointed. I liked Johnny Mnemonic and when I found out this movie I had to watch it as well. Being a teenager and insufferable ass I found this movie boring. My thoughts at the time was that it need an 80's stereotypical covered in chrome stomping on some suit while in car chase with gun fire. I don't think my teenage self was wrong but I'm older and I have read most of what William Gibson written.  So a re watching was in order and it proved that my teenaged self was an idiot. 

The story is about two mega corporations, two experts in corporate extraction, a girl, and bio engineering rock star.  Hiroshi is a bio engineer character has the ability to walk into a lab and turn out numerous multimillion dollar patients. This makes his mega corporation Maas a lot of money and gives character anything he wants.  However this is not making him happy and he is looking for greener pastures.

This is where Fox (Christopher Walken) and X (Willem Dafoe) come in. They are freelance corporate extraction experts and they are more than willing to help character get out of Maas' grasp and working their rival Hosaka. In order to get close to Hiroshi they need an intermediary who can sell him on finding happiness with Hosaka. Luckily for X and Fox they found the perfect agent for this in Sandii (Asia Argento). So Fox and X train her to seduce Hiroshi so she can convince him to leave his wife and Maas. During Sandii's training Fox falls for her and slowly the simple extraction plan gets complicated

Time passes and Hiroshi follows Sandii from Maas to Hosaka. Fox and X help set up a lab on Hosaka's behalf for Hiroshi in Marrakesh. Fox and Sandii make plans to give up life as corporate pawns and get married. X learns that Marrakesh is being coming the site for an impromptu convention for  Hosaka's top scientists. This leads to Fox and X being distracted by their divergent interests. That is when the complication from earlier happens it forces everyone to deal with the fallout.

This movie is a rather faithful adaptation of the William Gibson short story with the same name. It gets the feel of Gibson's writing and presents the story in the same quick pace that his short stories take. The leads are great in both performance and casting. That being said, the run time being padded with cuts from unsteady surveillance camera footage really took me out of the film. Also there are long scenes of dialog that make the film seem to drag. I get the scenes in question are there to develop the characters and to cut down on cost but it would have been nice if they shorten those scenes and shown more of the world or shown more.

Overall my younger self needed a punch to the head, this is a solid cyberpunk film, and a good Gibson adaption. This is a must watch if you are a hardcore cyberpunk fan and or William Gibson fan.

Make or Break: The unsteady surveillance camera footage did a hell of a job of jarring me out of the film. I get it was made in the 90's but less would have been better.

MVT: This film shows smart phones years before they were a thing.

Score: 5.9 out of 10

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