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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Johnny Depp , Benicio Del Toro , Terry Gilliam  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (808 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Ellen Barkin, Craig Bierko, Gary Busey
  • Directors: Terry Gilliam
  • Writers: Terry Gilliam, Tony Grisoni, Tod Davies, Alex Cox
  • Producers: Laila Nabulsi, Patrick Cassavetti, Stephen Nemeth
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: November 17, 1998
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (808 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0783229526
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,633 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Spotlight on Location
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Editorial Reviews

    Amazon.com

    The original cowriter and director of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was Alex Cox, whose earlier film Sid and Nancy suggests that Cox could have been a perfect match in filming Hunter S. Thompson's psychotropic masterpiece of "gonzo" journalism. Unfortunately Cox departed due to the usual "creative differences," and this ill-fated adaptation was thrust upon Terry Gilliam, whose formidable gifts as a visionary filmmaker were squandered on the seemingly unfilmable elements of Thompson's ether-fogged narrative. The result is a one-joke movie without the joke--an endless series of repetitive scenes involving rampant substance abuse and the hallucinogenic fallout of a road trip that's run crazily out of control. Johnny Depp plays Thompson's alter ego, "gonzo" journalist Raoul Duke, and Benicio Del Toro is his sidekick and so-called lawyer Dr. Gonzo. During the course of a trip to Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race, they ingest a veritable chemistry set of drugs, and Gilliam does his best to show us the hallucinatory state of their zonked-out minds. This allows for some dazzling imagery and the rampant humor of stumbling buffoons, and the mumbling performances of Depp and Del Toro wholeheartedly embrace the tripped-out, paranoid lunacy of Thompson's celebrated book. But over two hours of this insanity tends to grate on the nerves--like being the only sober guest at a party full of drunken idiots. So while Gilliam's film may achieve some modest cult status over the years, it's only because Fear and Loathing is best enjoyed by those who are just as stoned as the characters in the movie. --Jeff Shannon

    Product Description

    When a writing assignment lands journalist Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and sidekick Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) in Las Vegas, they decide to make it the ultimate business trip. But before long, business is forgotten and trip has become the key word. Fueled by a suitcase full of mind-bending pharmaceuticals, Duke and Gonzo set off on a fast and furious ride through nonstop neon, surreal surroundings and a crew of the craziest characters ever (including cameo appearances by Cameron Diaz, Christina Ricci, Gary Busey and many others). But no matter where misadventure leads them, Duke and Gonzo discover that sometimes going too far is the only way to go. Capturing the insane madness of Hunter S. Thompson's literary classic was the challenge that director Terry Gilliam (12 Monkeys) openly embraced. Critics hailed it as: "Mindblowing. Bizarre. Outrageous. Wild." Buy the ticket. Take the ride!

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    163 of 175 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.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    54 of 57 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.
    Comment | 
    Was this review helpful to you?
    41 of 45 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.
    Comment | 
    Was this review helpful to you?
    41 of 45 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.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    1.0 out of 5 stars aweful
    I wasted my time and money on this terrible movie. I thought it was be interesting and it was just odd.
    Published 8 days ago by Stefwoods
    5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy Movie at a great price.
    It's an amazing movie already. I just wanted to update it for the Blu-Ray player and upgraded to the Criterion Collection edition to maximize the viewing experience.
    Published 11 days ago by True Love
    5.0 out of 5 stars A+ Movie based on a book
    I loved the book by Hunter S. Thompson and truly feel like this movie is a great representation of the book, unlike most movies based on books. Read more
    Published 17 days ago by Jeri D Bruegger
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
    Hunter S Thompson is a genius and this book is pure fun. It is an easy read. Highly, highly, recommended!
    Published 21 days ago by GonzoLeslie
    5.0 out of 5 stars OLD LAS VEGAS STYLE MOVIE
    AWESOME movie to watch. I enjoyed seeing what old las vegas look like ,comparing to vegas now days look like.
    Published 24 days ago by tanya sanders
    5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
    Awesome tripped out flick. Love the role jonny takes on n the changing of lights. "Don't forget the golf shoes!"
    Published 1 month ago by Kenneth c. kuhrt
    2.0 out of 5 stars typical
    Not a big Johnny Depp fan. Seems to be the same character in different settings, and different costumes in all his movies. Seems very one dimensional.
    Published 1 month ago by patrick horrocks
    5.0 out of 5 stars Here is your half of the Sunshine acid.
    Classic drug enthusiast movie. You must have drug experience to find the amazing humor in this flick. Depp becomes Hunter, flawless acting. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by James M Palmgren
    1.0 out of 5 stars fear and loathing in las vegas movie
    This is a stupid move, which was a waste of money
    johnny depp is very disappointing
    It may not be his fault, the whole script, etc. is stupid. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Pya
    5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE - GLAD IT CAME SO QUICK!!!
    This is an old time fav of ours. We ordered it on a whim one night when we really wanted to watch it...and, before we knew it, it was here and we were cracking up!!!
    Published 1 month ago by Teri Luciano
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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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