Hotel Noir
Crime, Drama
IMDB rating:
Sebastian Gutierrez
Danny DeVito as Eugene Portland
Kim Mahair as Bettie Page
Michelle Dawley as Dancer
Michael Raif as Mysterious Gentleman (as Michael Raif)
Aaron Behr as Paul
John Colella as Barman Jack
Mandy Moore as Evangeline Lundy
Robert Forster as Jim Logan
Malin Akerman as Swedish Mary
Carla Gugino as Hanna Click
Rosario Dawson as Sevilla
Storyline: Los Angeles, 1958: a detective holes up in a downtown hotel awaiting killers to come get him. During the course of one night he will meet various occupants of the hotel and the truth of how he came to be in his present situation will be revealed.
Type 1080p
Resolution 1920x798 px
File Size 8152 Mb
Codec h264
Bitrate 11806 Kbps
Format mkv
Type HQ DVD-rip
Resolution 1078x448 px
File Size 2056 Mb
Codec h264
Bitrate 2976 Kbps
Format mkv
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
1080p 1920x798 px 8152 Mb h264 11806 Kbps mkv Download
HQ DVD-rip 1078x448 px 2056 Mb h264 2976 Kbps mkv Download

A neo-noir labor of love
Los Angeles, late 50s. Police detective Rufus Sewell ('Dark City') steals a suitcase full of money from a group of robbers who just did a successful heist. He holes up in a hotel room while trying to think of his next move. In the course of the night he comes into contact with a string of people including shower door installer Danny DeVito ('L.A. Confidential'), nightclub singer Carla Gugino ('Sin City') and cleaning lady Rosario Dawson ('Sin City'), and as the movie progresses, all the links between the various characters become clearer and tighter.

Written and directed by Sebastian Gutierrez ('Gothika', 'Judas Kiss') this neo-noir somehow went under the radar and wasn't even theatrically released?! The cast above is well-known as is, but it also includes other well-known faces like Robert Forster ('Mulholland Drive') and Kevin Connolly ('Entourage')... In any case, it's a shame as this is clearly a labor of love. The movie plays out in a non-linear fashion with a lot of flashbacks, voice- over narration (by different persons) and people telling their side of things so gradually more and more information is revealed and how each person fits into the overall story. It's a neo-noir through and through, but it also stands out in many ways. Filmed in gorgeous black & white the movie starts off focusing on DeVito, before turning to Sewell... or is it really Gugino's story? Or someone else's? Because of the way it is told, paying attention is required, as well as sticking with it... Things are fairly slow at first because all the characters need to be introduced somehow, including some which do seem a bit redundant and don't add a lot to the end result. But as the pace of revealing information increases, so does the movie's level. It's not a perfect movie by any means, but a fairly unique neo-noir all the same and well worth watching. 7/10
Detective Rufus Sewell holes up in a hotel after a robbery after he gets the loot
"Hotel Noir" is not a good movie. It has too many deficiencies that make it bad and make it uncomfortable to watch because it is so bad. I had almost given up on it when suddenly it began to come together better 53 minutes into the movie when it depicted a heist. At that point, the story picked up and the photography picked up. The acting and dialog then became at least tolerable. But before that, this picture is a disaster. Throughout the film, every actor has to deliver impossibly clunky lines. One thing that works well is how the interactions of the characters come together. That's done well, but forget the monologues.

Before that 53 minute mark, we basically have endlessly verbose scenes. If the dialog were good, this wouldn't be bad. But the dialog stinks. It's way, way off key. If this is the writer's idea of noir or noir homage or noir parody or noir anything, it fails badly. The main detective is played by Rufus Sewell, a Brit. His acting is OK, but he's miscast. His accent does nothing for an American-style film. His part is also bad, as he is so passive. He even puts a briefcase full of money under the bed! This is so bad. Robert Forster, who plays his partner, is much more effective. Even he has bad lines to deliver.

The makeup on the women doesn't look either good or right. The singing and dancing routines are flat, badly done, and off-key. Danny De Vito is fine, but mostly out of place. The sequence that starts the movie has no connection to it. The movie most certainly does not recreate the 40s or 50s or any noir movie from that era. I fail to see why the acting of Rosario Dawson is lauded by critics or admirers. To me, her acting is non-existent. She's totally unconvincing. Carla Gugino is better, but she seems lost in her part. Malin Akerman makes a valiant attempt to create her character, which is somewhat better written, but she simply does not succeed in bringing her to life as a real woman. This is a problem throughout the movie. The characters simply do not seem real, and that goes back to the lines they've been assigned to deliver.

I like some of the photography. It helps in sitting through this one. The ending is neat too.

John Grant thinks this film is terrific. He sees it as filled with notable one-liners. You'll have to make up your own mind.

I give the writer-director Sebastian Gutierrez credit for an honest attempt at something, but I do not know what. He created something here that came out of his artistic soul, but what is it? What's to be our critical judgment? Mine is that he didn't know enough about film noir to make an actual noir or even a neo-noir. He has given us a few good moments, but the rest of it is simply weird in any places. Characters deliver long monologues that are decidedly unmotivated, unreal, uninteresting and unrelated to the story. The actors cannot put this across. What was Gutierrez thinking? The movie isn't intended as a parody. It's filmed and edited smoothly. There is professionalism here. But the project is simply peculiar and fails to gel into something serious. It has a high dose of self-conscious introspection by the characters that they pour out to us. This is not how to achieve good drama, melodrama or noir. Shakespeare could do it in measured doses, but Gutierrez is no bard.
Hotel Noir may not be a movie you must see, but it is good enough to kill some time with.
Those familiar with writer/ director Sebastian Gutierrez work know that probably the best thing about his films are the actors in them. This one contains his Carla Gugino, who has seemingly been in most of his films; Rosario Dawson; Danny DeVito; Michael B. Jordan, in a small role; and actress Malin Akerman. Combined, I wouldn't say this film is as interesting as previous efforts like Girl Walks Into a Bar or even the Elektra Luxx series, but more so Gutierrez experimenting with his style.

Characters & Story

The featured characters of the film include Felix (played by Rufus Sewell) who is a cop who fell in love with the film's damsel in distress Mary (played by Malin Akerman); and they share the focus of the film with Eugene (played by Danny DeVito) a traveling shower door salesman; Hannah (played by Carla Gugino) a touring lounge singer; Sevilla (played by Rosario Dawson) the hotel's maid, and seemingly a prostitute; and the last person worth mentioning is Felix's partner Jim (played by Robert Forster) a man who you don't really take note of at first, but ends up waking Felix from his dream.

As for the story as a whole, the main story deals with Hannah speaking with Felix who talks about the last few days, weeks, or perhaps months, of his life. He fell in love with a dancer named Mary, a girl caught up with some bad people, who he has sacrificed a lot for, and is willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to have a happy ending for. Meanwhile, Hannah has her own issues with a crappy man in her life who has a complex about the way Felix looks at her, and seems to go to Sevilla in order to work out his frustrations. Leading to an film which at first seems like a big disjointed mess, but eventually all stories find a way to meet and make it so that the knot it untied and everything ends making sense.


When it comes to Hotel Noir, I must admit that it doesn't have a lot of things which stand out worth praising. I will admit that I was glad to see Carla Gugino in something, and she does an alright job as Hannah, but even though she probably was the best in the film, it wasn't saying much. One thing though, which I will admit was good about the film is that somewhere within the 2nd half, after introductions and tedious dialog, it somehow became interesting.


But there lies the problem. Though not as pretentious as The Counselor, when it comes to dialog, it can get just as boring at times. Being that this is a crime drama, Gutierrez doesn't employ his usual humor and dialog and tries to make things a bit more serious to fit the tone, due to this, the film for the first half feels a bit like a drag. I attribute this mostly because Gugino and Sewell just don't make the best of scene partners, and while Sewell has the look for a noir film star, he doesn't have the charisma to really draw you in and make you care, nor does his love interest Akerman.

Perhaps, another issue worth noting, is that the story isn't really the most appealing either. For anyone who has taken a basic film study course, with a focus on genres, it seems the focus of the film was just checking off what are the requirements to call your film a noir. Make it in Black & White: Check; have a cop: check; make sure to have a damsel in distress: check; make sure to include backstabbing: check; and it seems once those elements were met, those involved just winged the rest of it.

Overall: TV Viewing

If this so happens to come on TV, or hopefully online like Girl Walks Into A Bar, I would say it would be worth watching. Is it the best thing I've ever seen? Far from it, but it is good enough for a lazy Sunday, or just background noise for a nap. The music is easy on the ears, and there is, sadly, only a few bits of action which could probably wake you up. Otherwise, the story is dull enough to not make you feel like you are missing anything and, after watching it straight through, I can definitely say that unless you are a fan of someone involved, skipping this movie altogether isn't the hugest of losses.
could have been great but just doesn't work
there are several key ingredients present here, which could have potentially yielded great results, but unfortunately a lack of aim and some grave casting errors doom this flick to mediocrity.

first the good: the picture looks great, especially considering the budget. solid but not exceptional camera-work. malin akerman, Danny devito, Carla gugino and especially Robert foster look and sound great and are just right for their parts. their efforts keep the rating at slightly above average.

the bad: the dialogue has no feel for the time period. it is full of phrases and expressions that don't feel right for the time. Rosario Dawson and Kevin connolly are completely miscast. especially connolly sounds and looks like this could be some sort of shrooms-induced "entourage" dream-sequence. his appearance immediately made me think of Tobey maguire in "the good German" who also stuck out like a sore thumb in that cast. Rufus sewell at least looks right for the part but his voice and accent do not.

even though the flick is coming in at a rather reasonable 97 minutes, these crawl by and during the Nth musical number that goes on for far too long you can't help checking your watch.

(mild spoilers) the 'joke' ending and the aimlessly wandering plot add to the somewhat unsatisfying experience.
Exactly as advertised
I came to IMDb looking for a review to decide on whether to watch this and there wasn't one so I let that decide in the movie's favor as I figured to write one for it.

I liked it. Any movie with the word 'noir' in the title has work to do to avoid the clichés that the genre forces it to reference. The characters have to be one-dimensional and fit the molds. The dialog has to be clipped and clever. Yet this movie is homage to noir as well as being a fun yarn in its own right.

It's stylish and stylized with narration and inner monologues from multiple characters. There's flashbacks and story tangents from all the main characters, that stand on their own as but also get sewn together by the end. It's black and white but you stop noticing that early on because the medium matches the tone of the movie so well.

If you're in the mood for light story-telling that's well thought out then Hotel Noir is a fine place to spend an evening.
See Also
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