Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (The Criterion Collection)
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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.
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
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Top customer reviews
but if johnny depp isn't enough, you have benicio del toro. great performance by him as well. between johnny depp's hilarious lines and benicio del toro's savage physical humor, this movie had me laughing until my sides ached.
my first viewing put me off a little. the story doesn't really have any formula to it. just two guys wandering around las vegas, high as kites off mesculin, ether, and god knows what else. but the movie infected me. i found myself constantly thinking about it and talking about it, until i just needed to watch it again. and everytime i watch it, the movie gets funnier.
the only thing that bothers me about it is the sound. for some reason all the dialogue seems "far away" to me, making some lines a little hard to pick up. or maybe i'm just an audiophile.
this movie is a must see for any stoner, and just a fun movie to watch for any "model citizen."
Hunter S. Thompson tells us on the DVD comentary that he feels the film is "wonderful" and while he finds small faults in the film, particularly Depp throwing coins at a dwarf, he clearly acknowledges that the bringing his own legendary book to the screen is an enormous undertaking. The already cult film truely captures the feel of the book, the humour, the choas, the fear and loathing. Johny Depp hung out with Thompson to get his character down and practically becomes Thompson. Benincio Del Toro doesn't exactly look like Dr Gonzo, but did put on weight for his role and manages, according to Thompson, to deliver a fairy accurate protrail of his complex character. When I first saw this film I was a little worried that the book I loved so much would be ruined by some Hollywood scum, but ex Monty Python Terry Gilliam gave the fans a brilliant adaptation. In fact I do not believe that I have seen a better film based on a book.
The two disk Criterion Collection set gives a film an awesome DVD treatment. I don't know where to begin, 3 commentaries, one with Thompson! Deleted scenes, including the one I really wanted to see in the orginal film involving Duke and Gonzo telling a country cop about the drug and satanist situation. Archival footage of Oscar Zeta Acosta the real Dr Gonzo reading from his own book! An old BBC doco featuring Thompson, behind the scene footage of Thompson on set, trailers, Johnny Depp reading correspodence from Thompson on camera orginal artwork gallery,a booklet iside the DVD case (the case itself is absolutely gorgeous) and even parts from the audio cd of the book! In short worth every penny of the price!
If you love Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas I can assure you this DVD edition will become a treasured addition to your collection.
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