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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (The Criterion Collection) (1998)

Johnny Depp , Benicio Del Toro , Terry Gilliam  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (828 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire, Ellen Barkin, Gary Busey
  • Directors: Terry Gilliam
  • Writers: Terry Gilliam, Alex Cox, Hunter S. Thompson, Tod Davies, Tony Grisoni
  • Producers: Elliot Lewis Rosenblatt, Harold Bronson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: February 18, 2003
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (828 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007ELDF
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,403 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New digital transfer supervised by the director and new Dolby sound mixes
  • Three commentary tracks: director Terry Gilliam; stars Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro and producer Laila Nabulsi; and author Hunter S. Thompson
  • Deleted scenes, with commentary by Terry Gilliam
  • Collection of storyboards and production designs
  • Collection of original artwork by famed illustrator Ralph Steadman
  • Fear and Loathing on the Road to Hollywood: A BBC feature documentary with Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman
  • Hunter Goes to Hollywood, a short documentary video by Wayne Ewing
  • A look at the controversy over the screenwriting credit
  • A selection of Hunter S. Thompson's correspondence read on-camera by Johnny Depp
  • Rare material on Oscar Zeta Acosta, the attorney on whom the character Dr. Gonzo is based
  • Excerpt from the 1996 audio CD
  • Trailer and stills galleries
  • A booklet featuring an essay by J. Hoberman and two pieces by Hunter S. Thompson

Editorial Reviews

Additional Features

Criterion's high standards get even higher with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. "Hunter Goes to Hollywood" is a fascinating 1978 segment of the BBC's Omnibus series, following "gonzo" journalist Hunter S. Thomson and artist Ralph Steadman on a Fear and Loathing-like odyssey to La-La-Land; a visit to Thompson's Aspen, Colorado, ranch offers ample proof that Johnny Depp's later portrayal is uncannily accurate. All three commentaries are worthwhile for different reasons: as always, Gilliam is intelligent, mischievously subversive, and defiantly protective of Thompson's source material; Depp and Benicio Del Toro offer passionate perspective on tackling their demanding roles without drugs; and producer Laila Nabulsi chronicles her 10-year effort to get the film made (including the protracted writer's credit arbitration). Thompson's commentary is the least coherent but most entertaining; with occasional whoops and hollers, he's like a stand-up act for acid freaks, dispensing occasional pearls of wisdom. Another excellent feature is Depp's reading of correspondence with Thompson; in emulating his friend, Depp proves himself to be a fine writer and storyteller. Taken together, these and other features make Criterion's DVD an essential addition to Thompson's literary legacy. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro. The screen melts and morphs into one psychedelic image after another as a journalist and his lawyer embark on a drug-addled trip to Vegas. Based on the book by the original gonzo journalist," Hunter S. Thompson. 1998/color/118 min/R/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
173 of 186 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The critics were wrong again January 23, 2001
By dwpoore
Format:DVD
I find it sad that much of the country bases it's movie selections on the opinions of hacks like Leonard Maltin. I can see why this wasn't a mainstream success due to it's waaaaaay out in left field mentality, but because of all the negativity this great film remains unseen by many. As people come around to the acting genius of both Johnny Depp and Benecio Del Toro (and they will), they will inevitably want to see their earlier works and then, finally, they will see what all the hype wasn't about.
Terry Gilliam absolutely NAILED Hunter's book. The visuals are incredible and alarming. The angles, strange and enticing. I heard that they filmed this movie without a script, just the book in hand. After reading the book, I believe trying to write a script for it could have severly dampened the impact.
Now for the drug use... If you are the type of person who realized that Fight Club wasn't really about the fighting, then you will also realize that Fear & Loathing isn't really about the drug use. According to the big dog movie critics only a stoner will appreciate this movie, which leads me to believe that only idiots become professional movie reviewers.
If you appreciate ground-breaking cinema, truly innovative directing, first-rate acting and are looking for something different... the ramblings of a gonzo journalist could be just the thing.
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Madness, Politics, Drug Use and Mean-Tempered Cops January 31, 2003
Format:DVD
This DVD finally gives one of Terry Gilliam's lesser-loved (but brilliant!) films the red carpet treatment. The commentary from Gilliam is crazed and passionate; Depp and Del Toro really show off their wit, charm, and intelligence along with producer Laila Nabulsi's back-stage insight, and the last commentary is a rather odd and screwball one from Thompson himself. I won't tell you a thing about the last commentary. You've got to buy this and check it out on your own. (Here's a hint: 'Screeee-ahhhh! Raaaaaaaagh!' *other assorted sounds*)
The second disc is crammed with some great goodies as well - Depp reads letters written to/from Thompson. There's a great BBC documentary showing HST and Ralph Steadman undertaking a trip from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. Another gem is a snippet from an audio-book recording of Fear & Loathing with Jim Jarmusch as Raoul Duke! All definitely worth it.
Fear and Loathing isn't just a drug movie (as all the extras on the DVD will reiterate over and over again) - it's a truthful, imaginative, twisted, and subversive take on the death of the most idealistic decade and generation. We get to see it all through the eyes of two renegade professionals, one a journalist and the other a lawyer, both fighting the good fight against scum and villainy.
We can't stop here! THIS IS BAT COUNTRY.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buy the ticket; take the ride February 17, 2003
Format:DVD
If, when you rent this film, you are expecting a Cheech and Chong film, think twice. People frequently compare the two, but Fear and Loathing is not only infinitely better, it is not the screwball comedy everyone seems to think it is.
Johnny Depp plays Raoul Duke, alter ego to gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, who wrote the book this film is based on. He is sent on an assignment by Rolling Stone to cover a motorcycle race in Las Vegas. Coming along for the ride is Dr. Gonzo (aka Oscar Zeta Acosta), Duke's repulsive attorney, played by Benicio del Toro. The two rent a very expensive convertible and bring along with them a case full of illegal drugs.
The film is essentially the journey of two drug-fueled madmen through one of the most unfriendly cities in the country, but it's also a study on what life was like in 1971. In the end, as funny as it may be, it's really a docudrama. Gilliam directs the film in his classic "nightmarish" style, creating a truly hellish vision of America. But the biggest surprise of all is how true the screenplay is to the novel. Sure, like any adaptation, some good stuff is taken out, but if you compare what's written down, there isn't that much of a difference.
Most enjoyable, however, are the performances. Johnny Depp is hilarious as Duke and Del Toro, despite how disgusting his character is, is nothing short of a scene stealer. The film is also ripe with cameos, the most memorable are the ones delivered by Harry Dean Stanton, Tobey Maguire, Gary Busey, and of course, Flea of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
I recommend this to any Gilliam/Thompson fans, though in order to enjoy it, you need to watch it in a generally filthy atmosphere, and for some of you, you may need to see it more than once to really appreciate this. Overall, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a very good film filled with moments that stick with you for a long time.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas June 21, 2008
Format:DVD
A Review of the DVD: "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"

Starring:
Johnny Depp,
Benicio Del Toro

Director: Terry Gilliam

Writing credits:
Hunter S. Thompson (book)
Terry Gilliam (screenplay)
Tony Grisoni (screenplay)
Tod Davies (screenplay)
Alex Cox (screenplay)

Run Time: 118 Minutes
Released: 1998

Hunter Thompson practiced total immersion journalism. He called this form reporting gonzo journalism.

Hunter Thompson drove to Las Vegas to report on a motorcycle race and ended up writing a story about himself writing a story about a motorcycle race. If he would have written a conventional report on motorcycle racing it would have been interesting to motorcycle enthusiasts for a few days. Since he wrote a gonzo story he had a very wide canvas and he used it well to create a classic.

Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro do justice to the outrageous characters created by Hunter S Thompson. The reader might be turned off by the obstreperous behavior, extreme self indulgence and offensive inconsiderate language. If you can look past this offensive conduct and you will see that Hunter S Thompson gave us an insight into the American character of the 1970's.

See also: Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga (Modern Library)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

I completely enjoyed this film and recommend it to others.
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difference between this and the Ws edition
by ws do you mean widescreen or the new editom which i cant remember the name of?
Sep 18, 2007 by eze543113 |  See all 2 posts
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