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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Johnny Depp  Actor Benicio Del Toro  Actor Craig Bierko  Actor Ellen Barkin  Actor Gary Busey  Actor


MPAA Rating: R
Contains:Violence,Brief Nudity,Adult Situations,Not For Children,Adult Language,Profanity,Substance Abuse

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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Theatrical Release Date: 1998 05 22 (USA)

UPC: 715515070218

Studio: Criterion

MPAA Rating: R   Contains:[Violence, Brief Nudity, Adult Situations, Not For Children, Adult Language, Profanity, Substance Abuse]

Summary: Terry Gilliam (Brazil, Twelve Monkeys, The Fisher King) directed this colorful, stylized, pseudo-psychedelic $21-million adaptation of the 1971 Hunter S. Thompson classic, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey into the Heart of the American Dream, about stoned sportswriter Raoul Duke, Thompson's alter ego, on a wild drug-crazed road trip, a paranoid plummet into the belly of the beast, with his pal, lawyer Oscar Zeta Acosta. Originally serialized in Rolling Stone (November 1971), the book catapulted Thompson headfirst toward the Kerouac-Mailer-Capote pantheon and jump-started the entire movement of "gonzo journalism." Carrying a suitcase of drugs, Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp with shaved pate) and his attorney Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) drive a red convertible across the Mojave from L.A. to Vegas, where Duke has an assignment to cover the Mint 400 desert motorcycle race. As the drugs kick in, Duke ventures into voiceover, filling in the blank spots and narrative gaps. "This is not a good town for psychedelic drugs," says Duke, but even so, they consume vast quantities, eventually escalating to ether. Duke notes that with ether "you can actually watch yourself behaving this terrible way, but you can't control it." The two trash their hotel room, and Gonzo goes back to L.A. Thinking the hotel room holocaust will lead to an arrest, Duke begins a drive back to L.A., but after an odd encounter with a highway patrolman (Gary Busey) and a telephone conversation with Gonzo, he returns to Vegas to cover the District Attorney Convention on Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs in the glitzy Flamingo Hotel. This time the drugged-out duo trash their Flamingo room. The crazed carnival atmosphere segues into a carney casino, Bazooko's Circus, where a barker (Penn Jillette) spiels amid aerialists, clowns, and a rotating carousel bar. Gonzo worries over runaway teen Lucy (Christina Ricci), who paints portraits of Barbra Streisand. Soon the hallucinations begin: Duke sees Gonzo transmogrify into a demon with breasts on its back, and an acid vision of a Vegas bar features large legit lounge lizards (courtesy of monster makeup man Rob Bottin). Flashbacks depicting Duke's intro to the drug scene jump back to love-Haight relationships in San Francisco's Summer of Love. Cameos and guest stars include Mark Harmon, Cameron Diaz, Flea, Lyle Lovett, Harry Dean Stanton, Ellen Barkin, Tobey Maguire, and Hunter S. Thompson himself. The film features a Geffen Records soundtrack mixing rock of the period with Vegas lounge tunes. Over the years, various script adaptations came and went as did numerous talents; people connected with past efforts to film Thompson's book include Martin Scorsese, Jack Nicholson, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, and writer-director Alex Cox. Shown in competition at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

Category: Comedy

Features: Digital transfer, approved by director Terry Gilliam, with dts-hd master audio soundtrack and an optional 5.1 mix
Three audio commentaries: one with Gilliam, one with stars Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro and producer Laila Nabulsi, and one with author Hunter S. Thompson
Deleted scenes, with optional commentary by Gilliam
Selection of Thompson correspondence, read on camera by Depp
Hunter Goes to Hollywood, a short documentary
A look at the controversy over the screenwriting credit
Profile of Oscar Zeta Acosta, the inspiration for Dr. Gonzo
Collection of artwork by illustrator Ralph Steadman
Excerpt from a 1996 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas recording featuring Jim Jarmusch and Maury Chaykin
BBC documentary from 1978 with Thompson and Steadman
Stroyboards, production designs, stills, and trailer

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Format: Blu-ray

Release Date: 04/26/2011

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Cinemascope

Audio: DS Dolby Surround (4.0)

Runtime: 119 Minutes

Sides: 1

Number of Discs: 1

Region: Blu-ray region A (North America, Central America, South America, Japan, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia)

Matthew Tobey

Just as it seemed impossible to make a cinematic adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's words from the classic 1971 account of post-1960s America, it's quite a task describing such a visual film in text. It simply has to be seen to be believed and understood. And that is one of the film's biggest successes, turning the words into images -- original, vivid, unforgettable images that pull the viewer into the movie whether they get it or not, whether it's a dream, a drug trip, or a warped recollection of the past. But Terry Gilliam's brilliant visual style would be wasted if not for the incredible performances of Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro. Both play their characters with the eyes of strangers in a strange land, despite the fact that they are in their home country. Judged by many to be pointless and even boring, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is, as the original book was, a reflection of an unsettling, unpredictable time. It's lack of a concrete traditional story arc may turn some off, but for those who can look beyond that, it is hilarious, scary, manic, and poignant, a film that is pure anarchic entertainment as much as it is compelling insight. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi

Cast and Crew: Patrick Cassavetti  Producer 
Alex Cox  Screenwriter 
Terry Gilliam  Director 
Terry Gilliam  Screenwriter 
Tony Grisoni  Screenwriter 
Stephen Nemeth  Producer 
Harold Bronson  Executive Producer 
Tod Davies  Screenwriter 
Richard Foos  Executive Producer 
Laila Nabulsi  Producer 
Johnny Depp  Actor 
Benicio Del Toro  Actor 
Craig Bierko  Actor 
Ellen Barkin  Actor 
Gary Busey  Actor 
Cameron Diaz  Actor 
Flea  Actor 
Mark Harmon  Actor 
Katherine Helmond  Actor 
Michael Jeter  Actor 
Penn Jillette  Actor 
Lyle Lovett  Actor 
Tobey Maguire  Actor 
Christina Ricci  Actor 
Harry Dean Stanton  Actor 
Tim Thomerson  Actor 
Richard Riehle  Actor 

Country: USA