The Rum Diary (2011 – Blu-Ray)

“I will try and speak for my reader. That is my promise. And it will be a voice made of ink and rage”

A new film about Hunter S. Thompson (Or his literary alter egos) is one thing to celebrate but a new film by Bruce Robinson is even better. After the double whammy of dark 1980s British Indie classics ‘Withnail & I’ and ‘How To Get Ahead In Advertising’, Bruce helmed a tightly controlled Hollywood studio film called ‘Jennifer 8’, an experience that was so painful that he turned to the bottle and would not direct another film in the intervening 19 years.

The star and producer of ‘The Rum Diary’, Johnny Depp has been trying to bring the film to the screen for over a decade. A great Doc is included on the disc featuring Thompson and Depp’s trail through an endless line of potential movie backers. Following Thompson’s death Depp asked a now sober Robinson to come out of retirement to write and direct. But Robinson found that he could only operate on Thompson’s wavelength by drinking again! The Puerto Rican locations look gorgeous and certain scenes where actually shot in real places Thompson frequented in the 50s.  Depp is surrounded by a superb supporting cast of misfit character actors lead by Giovanni Ribisi’s drunken-Hitler-speech-listening crazy man Moberg.

If you are expecting another Withnail or something along the lines of Terry Gilliam’s Psychedelic masterpiece ‘Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas’ then you may be disappointed. However on its own merits ‘The Rum Diary’ is a passionate drink fuelled odyssey of self discovery.

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