Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Phil sees THE RUM DIARY at the Camera 7 Pruneyard-November 5, 2011

Welcome back folks to Day Two of my massive movie binge weekend! Alright, let's keep this party going. The second film I saw was the new Johnny Depp film THE RUM DIARY, based on the novel by infamous author Hunter S. Thompson.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2011)
Taking place in the early 1960's, Depp stars as an American writer and journalist named Paul Kemp who goes to Puerto Rico and gets a job at a rundown and failing newspaper as a writer. There he befriends some of the others who work at the paper such as Sala (Michael Rispoli) and Lotterman (Richard Jenkins). Soon Paul gets involved with a shady character named Sanderson (Arron Eckhart), and also falls for his girlfriend Chenault (Amber Heard).

The film stays pretty faithful to the book, and what I loved most about the film is that Thompson's spirit is predominant throughout the film. Depp is absolutely believable as a very young and constrained Paul Kemp (or as Hunter), and the cast could not have been more dead on. Depp is fantastic as Paul, who is one half of Thompson's personality, while Sanderson is the other half. Eckhart is suave and manipulative as the rich aristocrat Sanderson. However, it is Amber Heard that will be talked about. Not only is this woman just absolutely drop dead gorgeous, but her performance as Chensault was really well done. An excellent performance from an actress whose prior roles were as Nicolas Cage's daughter Piper in DRIVE ANGRY and as Angie Anderson in PINEAPPLE EXPRESS. She also starred in John Carpenter's THE WARD, which was released on Blu-Ray and DVD this past October. Hopefully we'll be seeing more form this beautiful and talented actress.

The film was written and directed by Bruce Robinson, who has only directed three other films (1987's WITHNAIL AND I, 1989's HOW TO GET AHEAD IN ADVERTISING, and 1992's JENNIFER EIGHT). Robinson was sober for six and a half years before writing the screenplay for the film, upon which he suffered a severe writer's block. To find inspiration, he began drinking again (about a bottle a day) until the script was completed. Afterwards, he stopped drinking, so goes the story. But it's a story that Hunter might of liked to hear.

THE RUM DIARY is a great, entertaining, art house film that some will like, and some won't. Fans of Hunter S. Thompson (and of the film FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS) will enjoy watching the film. I personally enjoyed the film, as it carried Hunter's own personal beliefs about life, love, and rebellion. Something that we all need more of in this world.

THE RUM DIARY is currently playing in theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas. To view showtimes, visit their website at www.cameracinemas.com

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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