Tarantino acted as executive producer and himself contributed as director to this very uneven portmanteau movie set in a once-fashionable Los Angeles hotel. The connecting thread between the four different stories is provided by Tim Roth as the bellboy who has to cope with some very bizarre customers and situations on New Year’s Eve. The first two episodesoThe Missing Ingredient by Allison Anders and The Wrong Man by Alexandre Rockwelloare inconsequential, but Tarantino and his pal Robert Rodriguez deliver interesting sketches. In The Misbehavers, Rodriguez demonstrates his expressive use of camera and editing in a nasty little comic tale about the antics of two mischievous kids who are left to their own devices when their gangster parents go out to celebrate the New Year. In The Man from Hollywood, Tarantino experiments with long takes and use of the steadicam in telling a neat yet unoriginal joke involving Hollywood types, the power of money, and the danger of losing a finger. Despite the trademark verbal pazazz and cine-literate in-jokes, the whole exercise shows Tarantino (who himself plays a high-on-success Hollywood star) in an unattractive light and provided his detractors with plenty of ammunition for attacks of self-indulgence.
With: Madonna, Lili Taylor, Jennifer Beals, Antonio Banderas.