Friday, April 8, 2011

Retro Reviews: "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas"

Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas

Cast:: Johnny Depp  Benicio Del Toro

Writers: Hunter S. Thompson(book), Todd Davies, Alex Cox

Director: Terry Gilliam

***and 1/2 *'s out of four

                                         (Theatrical Poster)

In the foul year of our lord 1971, Hunter S. Thompson evoked on a wild trip that would soon become a literary classic There is no other director that could bring "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas" to the screen better than Terry Gilliam.  Even the most visual directors could not adapt this crazy story and many have tried. When you have a story this wild and inventive you need a director that is willing to go wade in the waters of insanity to put this on the screen.

                                          (Theatrical Trailer)

With Terry Gilliam on board to present the visuals, next were actors to portray Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo.  Although the characters of this flick were fictional they were still based on real people so good character actors were needed to make them more believable.  Luckily they found Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro to play these parts.  Johhny Depp has been an amazing character actor ever since "Edward Scissorhands" and he continues that tradition to this very day.  His impersonation of Mr. Duke aka Hunter S Thompson is quite brilliant from the look and gestures to the actual pitch and vocal movements.   It is uncanny at how much  Mr Depp looks like the real thing.  This is the role he should have been nominated for.

                          (Hunter S. Thompson interview 1978)


                                  (Photo: Universal Pictures)

Unlike other books that have been adapted to movies. "Fear and Loathing " stays really close to the source. A novel that once began as a failed writing assignment for Sports Illustrated but was later picked up by Rolling Stone. The book has received a great cult following so it should be no surprise that the movie would have the same. The fact that this was made by Universal Studios is quite unique because this is not the movie that has general mass appeal. This isn't the type of movie you would want to watch with your parents or with your kids.  It's just pure escapism joy and it is a positive drug story when you think about how it ends.  Thompson's story is a gateway movie(drug) for underground cinephillies. After this you may seek out other movies like it to help feed that addiction.

""Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas"  is playing midnight at Landmark Lagoon Theater in Minneapolis

Click here for tickets.
Ticket Info

                                   (Art by Ralph Steadman)

                   (Gonzo as Raoul Duke and Animal as Dr. Gonzo. I love this pic even if it is doctored)