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The Rum Diary [Blu-ray]


Price: £6.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Rispoli, Richard Jenkins
  • Directors: Bruce Robinson
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Entertainment in Video
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Mar 2012
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0064OUGPU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,329 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Based on the debut novel by Hunter S. Thompson which initiated his long, distinguished and brilliantly unpredictable career, The Rum Diary tells the increasingly unhinged story of itinerant journalist Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp). Tiring of the noise and madness of New York and the crushing conventions of late Eisenhower-era America, Kemp travels to the pristine island of Puerto Rico to write for a local newspaper, The San Juan Star, run by downtrodden editor Lotterman (Richard Jenkins). Adopting the rum-soaked life of the late 50s version of Hemmingway’s lost generation, Paul soon becomes increasingly obsessed with Chenault (Amber Heard), the wildly attractive Connecticut-born fiancée of Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart), a businessman involved in shady property development deals.

From Amazon.co.uk

Actor-producer Johnny Depp pays homage to his friend Hunter S. Thompson through this sprightly adaptation of the novelist's semi-autobiographical novel. Depp plays Paul Kemp, the booze-sozzled journalist who takes centre stage in Bruce Robinson's period comedy. Out of desperation, the New Yorker takes a job with a San Juan newspaper in 1960, where he reports to the cynical Lotterman (Richard Jenkins) and shares a squalid flat with laid-back photographer Sala (The Sopranos' Michael Rispoli) and the truly unhinged "crime and religion" reporter Moburg (a scene-stealing Giovanni Ribisi). The three Ugly Americans do their best to drain the island's rum supply until Kemp meets Aaron Eckhart's slick Sanderson, who recruits the writer to promote his real estate ventures, regardless as to the number of poverty-stricken Puerto Ricans his hotels will displace. Politically, Kemp leans left, but he needs the dough, so he accepts the offer, only to find the ultimate temptation in Sanderson's uninhibited fiancée, Chenault (the stunning Amber Heard). It's a tricky balancing act, but when the natives start getting restless, Kemp risks losing everything. If the conclusion feels anticlimactic, Robinson keeps the antic energy going through nerve-wracking car chases, balletic cock fights, and a hilarious acid excursion that recalls the hotel trip-out in Terry Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, to which Robinson's film serves as a less surrealistic cousin. If it isn't as certain to become a cult classic, like the director's equally inebriated Withnail and I, Depp and company always remain true to Thompson's irascible spirit. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Ian Armer VINE VOICE on 28 Nov 2011
Format: DVD
Spoilers.

By 'flat' I mean there are no real spikes along the way to really hook you in. The Rum Diary is a film about finding your voice and yet in search of a voice of its own. Entertaining, yes, but weirdly lacking 'something' to make it all gel together.

Depp channels Hunter magnificently (again) and the plot bounces along at a spritely pace, but it is entirely without focus in telling the real story of how the fictional Paul Kemp became Hunter S. Thompson. The bastards win, pessimism prevails, there is lots of drinking and a few brief honest glimpses of what it is to be a writer (the unflattering description of Kemp's CV sums it up). Sandwiched into the proceedings is a 'go nowhere' romantic sub-plot, a slew of set-ups that are deliciously pulled out from under the viewer as everything falls apart and pedestrian, almost TV movie direction from Bruce Robinson. Seriously, if you missed it at the cinema, the television/home cinema experience won't detract.

On the plus side, it is well written. Bruce Robinson's script is literate and layered - maybe too layered with various plot strands - but The Rum Diary could almost be a prequel to Terry Gilliam's 'Fear & Loathing'.

The film leads you along but takes you to the one place you never expected - a marina theft for a gloomy finale. Try and throw your expectations out of the window when watching this, it might even benefit from a second viewing, because there are lots of hidden treasures in The Rum Diary - they're just obscured by a rambling, excessive plot that burns out and manages to turn this flaw into a redeeming feature. Watch it, you'll know what I mean!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Valerie J. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 Feb 2012
Format: DVD
I really don't understand why some people don't rate this movie at all. It takes all sorts, I suppose. For me, The Rum Diary is an often hilarious drama and something a bit different for Johnny Depp who plays the role of Paul Kemp, an American journalist who goes to work for a small and struggling newspaper in the America owned island of Puerto Rico during the 1960s. Kemp says, at the job interview, that his c.v. is as phoney as his stories. Over all, the newspaper staff seem to be a dysfunctional lot surviving on booze and drugs, red-eyed Kemp included as he swigs back the rum and tries to fit into the local hispanic scene with little success. But, it's hard to keep out of trouble when you go falling for a rich man's wife (Amber Heard), and a crooked rich man (Aaron Eckhart) at that.

I thought I would never say it but, in this, there are times that Johnny Depp is not a pretty sight. There is one scene in particular that had me rolling in the aisles, so to speak. When he and a colleague are in a small car together, a couple of gringos being chased by nasty Puerto Ricans. I laugh as I type, at the memory of it. If you check the trailer on YouTube, it shows a bit of it.

Kemp's accommodation is garbage but Puerto Rico looks fun. I went there in the 90s and it wasn't half as lively. I must have checked into the wrong hotel.

I'm not in the least surprised to find that I enjoyed this movie because it was directed by Bruce Robinson who directed the classic and hilarious British movie, 'Withnail & I' (1987) as well as *Still Crazy (1998).

The Rum Diary movie is based on the book by Hunter S. Thompson, available at Amazon.

* Error - My mistake and I have been corrected by GlynLuke: Bruce Robinson didn't direct Still Crazy he starred in it. Thanks, GlynLuke. :)

Love it or hate it, I guess.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard on 4 Jan 2014
Format: DVD
I read Hunter Thompson's The Rum Diary a while back and enjoyed it a lot. This polished little film brilliantly adapts the book to produce a fairly faithful version, but one in which the humour is greatly enhanced. It's essentially a fine, stylish comedy and an affectionate homage to Thompson. All concerned have done the man proud. As much as I admired the book, I absolutely loved the film.

The original novel was written back in the early 60's before Thompson developed his Gonzo style, and the story contains many of the key ingredients that came to inform that later. Essentially the simple plot concerns the rum-soaked adventures of a young wastrel journalist who joins the motley crew staffing a crappy little U.S. newspaper serving the American ex-pat and tourist community in Puerto Rico. An exotic hot-bed of corruption and rapacious capitalism this setting is highly picturesque and offers the film-makers plenty of scope for staging hilarious and edgy escapades which they take full advantage of. As a trip back into early 60s mondo-modernism-in-the-tropics style, the movie is hugely enjoyable. It's awfully good-looking.

The story was loosely based on Thompson's own experiences as a freelance journalist reporting from South America. Written in fairly straight, elegant journalistic prose the book was a fine first novel that remained unpublished for years presumably because it's a modest contemporary tale (like a long short story) and reads like a classy bit of Lit rather than an obvious commercial entertainment. By the time Thompson's star had risen to a point where publishers would have been interested, his writing had moved so far on into the extraordinarily original high style of Gonzo, that this relatively sober early effort must have felt a bit redundant.
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