The Rum Diary (2011)

Starring Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Rispoli, Amber Heard, Richard Jenkins, Giovanni Ribisi, Amaury Nolasco, Marshall Bell, Bill Smitrovich, Julian Holloway, Karen Austin

Directed by Bruce Robinson

Expectations: Low. Heard bad things, but my love for Hunter S. Thompson is enough to get me to watch this.


I can now fully understand the negative backlash to The Rum Diary. When it released into theaters I decided against heading out to see it, despite a high interest. I did that because I’ve read Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary, and I enjoyed it, but when I finally saw the trailer for this adaptation it looked as if they had taken the rather different source material and gave it a heavy dose of Fear and Loathing’s manic energy. I called bullshit and said I’d catch it on DVD. Well here I am a few months later, DVD in hand, and damn if the movie isn’t pretty close to the book. What we have here is a case of poor marketing. The film was marketed as a non-stop rush of waggling devil tongues and slurred words, so obviously people who bought into that in the trailer were disappointed when they saw the subtly chaotic piece on the discovery of a journalist’s craft. And conversely, I am pleasantly surprised by the shift in tone and focus from the marketing. So in effect the marketing is specifically targeting non-fans by drawing them in with empty promises, but turning off fans who know the book in the same stroke. The film is quite reverent of Thompson and his ideals, so I can only imagine the shitstorm that went down between the marketing department and the filmmakers. Or perhaps I’d just like to imagine something similar to the events of The Rum Diary surrounding the production of The Rum Diary.

Continue reading The Rum Diary (2011) →

Top Five Most Anticipated Movies of the Fall

As much as I dislike posts like this I’m doing one of my own, simply because there are actually a few movies I’m really pumped to see and I haven’t seen them mentioned in the various most anticipated posts I’ve run into. Without further ado:

The Skin I Live In
dir. Pedro Almodovar
rel. date: 10-14-2011

This is easily my most anticipated movie of the year. I cannot wait. Almodovar has quickly become one of my favorite directors after watching only a few of his recent works, including his stunning film Broken Embraces. I haven’t even seen the trailer for the film as I don’t want a single thing spoiled, but I’m sure Almodovar will deliver the goods.

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Melancholia
dir. Lars Von Trier
rel. date: 11-11-2011

Again, I haven’t seen the trailer (I guess it should be noted that I generally avoid all trailers if I can help it), but I’m a sucker for most anything this guy puts out. I don’t always care for them completely, but his films are always challenging and interesting. I’ve also had a crush on Kirsten Dunst for a while so having her in the starring role doesn’t hurt.

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The Rum Diary
dir. Bruce Robinson
rel. date: 10-28-11

I know next to nothing about this film, but I have read the book, so that should count for something. I love and respect the work of Hunter S. Thompson, and while I’m not the most diligent reader of his stuff, I’m always floored when I do pick something up. Just the fact that they made The Rum Diary into a movie is something worth exploring. It looks to have a great cast too, with Johnny Depp and the lovely Amber Heard leading the charge.

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Straw Dogs
dir. Rod Lurie
rel. date: 9-16-2011

This one is mostly morbid curiosity than anything else. Having read and reviewed the original novel, and then the same for Peckinpah’s massacre adaptation, I feel like I have an informed opinion of the story and the remake will be interesting to look at from that point of view. I have no real hopes for the film itself though.

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Piranha 3DD
dir. John Gulager
rel. date: 11-23-2011

This one is just going to be a whole lot of fun… I hope. I missed the first one in the theater, but after hearing some good things about it, ended up watching it on DVD. It blew me away with how fun, over-the-top and ridiculously gory it was… and it left me wanting more. I can’t wait to have all kinds of stupid bullshit popping off the screen at me when the sequel finally drops, although the change in directors could signal bad waters ahead.

 

EDIT: OK, last-minute 6th film addition! I just found out about RZA’s new film, The Man with the Iron Fists, due out late 2011. It is supposedly everything a kung-fu fan could want, and being a kung-fu fan, I want it! Not too sure about Russell Crowe as the lead, but Pam Grier’s in it, and RZA is such a fan of old school Shaw Brothers movies that I think it’ll be pretty awesome.

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