Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Terry Gilliam's adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's book. View more >
Starring Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Christina Ricci... View more >
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I watched an entertainment show on CNN on friday at 11 PM (May 22), where they did a piece on the film "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas", where director Terry Gilliam was interviewed. He said "You'll either love or hate this movie. I don't want people to say 'Well, it was ok, it was good'"
I saw the movie on friday at 4:20 PM, and I thought the movie was exactly how Gilliam didn't want me to feel. The movie is an explosive work that makes no sense through and through, but that's the point: the movie is a drug. And your addicted for 118 minutes. NOW I've seen everything.
It stars Johnny Depp as Duke, a reporter (?) who travels with his associate (?), Dr. Gonzo, played by Benicio Del Toro. Every second of the film they are on a drug, whether it be ether, mescaline, dope, etc. Duke is always smoking a cigarette in a filter. The plot (?) follows the two as they somehow cover a race. Man, and I thought it was hard to explain "The Big Lebowski."
There are a lot of "situations" that occur in the film, many of which are impossible to explain, but they involve the horror of taking a lot of drugs. One particular horrifying scene involvs Gonzo as he sits in a murky bathtub, with peeled oranges, wanting the tape recorder right in the bathtub with him. Another is when Gonzo and Duke beg the usher to let them into the concert hall to see Debbie Reynolds, and then when they finally get in, they get kicked out because they are laughing too much. Still with me?
It's as if Gilliam wants you to be on drugs as you enter the theater. Well, I don't do drugs, but I felt like I was while watching the movie that I had digested every kind of drug imaginable. And for some reason I congratulate Mr. Gilliam for doing that. I don't know why, but give this movie a try. You won't know either.
Picture: 4 The picture had an array of color, but the picture was never clear. Many scenes looked like Super 16. Black level is ok, but at least the color was up to par.
Sound: 2 I saw it in dts, but the sound was awful, it sounded like jacked up Dolby. Every scene just did not sound real.
Photography: 5 Gorgeously filmed in Super 35, with the entire frame used, no cropping or anything. Great framing, one of the year's best.
Length: 118 minutes. Universal. firstname.lastname@example.org ICQ-4339199
"Fear..." is definitly worth seeing, yet it irritated me. The entire thing is one massive drug binge, and... well thats just it, there isn't a whole lot more to the movie. Every 10 minutes the two are ingesting nearly lethal amounts of whatever and then acting like maniacs. It's entertaining, Oh Yes. Yet it leaves a little something to be desired. I guess I was a bit bored by it after awhile. If you want to, you can just ride along in the "Drugs! Lotsa Drugs!! Woo-Hoo!" atmosphere, and have quite a laugh. As far as intelligence, plot or direction(as in, 'Where is this going') you might not find too much, though. But I guess that's not what it's all about, is it. Still it's *definitly* worth seeing, even if solely for the "Woo-Hoo!" factor. It also does a pretty good job of simulating acid visuals in the begining... Not that I know...
please save your money, i lost though the whole movie, theres no plot no story line if you do want to see it wait till rental then you can go rent it with a bunch of friends and won't loose that much money
I admit, I read the book before I saw the movie, and I'm familiar with Hunter S. Thompson's Gonzo-style of journalism - that helped my enjoyment of this movie.
I thought the film was a fabulously lavish interpretation of the book. The *meaning* of the movie might be lost on someone who hasn't read the book, or doesn't know when it was written (1971). Thompson's take on the 1960s had the hindsight of only a couple of years when it was written, yet the movie shows how he wrote with 30 years worth of perspective - that's why this movie plays so well in 1998 - and it's more a reflection of Thompson's brilliance than anything else.
Another bonus - the rampant drug use (I feel) is a vehicle through which the reader/viewer can see how equally bizarre and intoxicated the sober world is. And it's a spoof on the enlightenment of the 60s and the resulting excesses of the 70s.
Finally, I'd like to add that it was refreshing to see Hollywood produce a movie that presented drug use in a non-judgmental light. Generally the formula is "drugs are bad, you shouldn't use drugs, mm-kay?" Here it's neither good nor bad, it just IS.
OK, I called this movie good because its either gotta-see-it or stay-away. How to tell? Do you know who Hunter S. Thompson is? Have you read his writings? Do you want to see more? You MUST see this movie.
Dont know who he is? Then I gotta say stay away.
Besides the fact that Hunter is Duke, of Doonsbury fame, the cool thing about this story is that it is, well, mostly true. Hunter was a real guy, and really did the type of things in this movie.
You don't watch this movie as much as absorb the experience. So.. go or not, you've been warned!
Wacky black comedy by the creative genius of Terry Gilliam. Johnny Depp and Benicio DelToro (who I didnít recognize) are a drug induced "Dumb and Dumber" duo on a road trip beyond belief and the physical comedy adds to the smart script. Parts reminded me of last yearís U-Turn but I liked Fear and Loathing even better. I wonít spoil the cameos galore but with Gilliam at the helm you can be sure you wonít forget the cast of characters F&LILV will introduce you to.
10-point scale rating: 7
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