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The Rum Diary (Blu-Ray + DVD) (Bilingual)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Johnny Depp
  • Format: NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: eOne Films
  • Release Date: Feb. 14 2012
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006H0SW66
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,711 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

Based on the debut novel by Hunter S. Thompson. Tiring of the noise and madness of New York and the crushing conventions of late Eisenhower-era America, Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) travels to the pristine island of Puerto Rico to write for a local newspaper, run by downtrodden editor Lotterman (Richard Jenkins). Adopting the rum-soaked life of the island, Paul soon becomes obsessed with Chenault (Amber Heard), the wildly attractive Connecticut-born fiancée of Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart). Sanderson is one of a growing number of American entrepreneurs who are determined to convert Puerto Rico into a capitalist paradise in service of the wealthy. When Kemp is recruited by Sanderson to write favorably about his latest unsavory scheme, the journalist is presented with a choice: to use his words for the corrupt businessmen's financial benefit, or use them to take the bastards down.


Paul Kemp, un romancier, vient travailler à Porto Rico en tant que journaliste pour le San Juan Daily News, un journal sur le point de fermer. Entre son amour pour l'alcool et ses drôles de collègues, Paul Kemp est rapidement mêlé à de sordides trafics.

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 center 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

Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RIGGER1 TOP 100 REVIEWER on Feb. 27 2012
First up, I am a huge Hunter S Thompson fan, I also find Depp to be one of the best actors out there. So that being said, it's well known that the two were good friends (RIP Hunter I miss reading new stuff), Depp chased Thompson around before "Fear and Loathing" shot to study his character and they stayed friends untill his death. Depp was actually responsible for the million dollar tab of bulding a 150ft Gonzo cannon to spread Hunter's ashes for the funeral. Anyways, like "Fear and Loathing" this Gonzo tale has also gotten mediocre to negative reviews! Good news faithful readers, as usual critics (myself included) usually have no idea what they're talking about! (hee hee) This is a hilarious movie that's really entertaining, the screenplay was a good adaption of the book and I found the film really enjoyable. This was Hunter Thompson before anybody even knew he existed, a struggling writer trying to be find his way in the most bizarre and theatrical scenarios. We're lucky this book was ever released, after constant rejections for it early in his career Hunter shelved it for 30 years before releasing it. Great book, even better movie! Hope that helps, enjoy your popcorn...
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By PKZ on Jan. 8 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Just like "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" this is sharp stuff with outstanding performances. Johnny's characters are always interesting and entertaining.
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By Granny sparkle on March 1 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The DVD was damaged and wouldn't play. Very disappointing.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian Maitland TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 14 2012
Format: DVD
Great cast, decent story loosely based on Hunter S. Thompson's life, gorgeous location filled with mystery and intrigue yet it fell so flat. I, honestly, cannot put my finger on it as to why it failed but I felt the story seemed to fizzle out.

DVD extras are nothing to write home about either.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 228 reviews
67 of 74 people found the following review helpful
Loved it. Dec 27 2011
By Angela VanScyoc - Published on
This movie is good. I've read the book several times, and yes, there were changes made, but I still loved it. When transferring book to film, changes are always made. It's the awful truth, I know. People want to compare this film to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Guess what? It's not. AND, it's not supposed to be. I'm a Thompson fan, through and through. I've read his work for years. I think the characters were spot on. This movie isn't for people who just want to see Johnny Depp on screen, or those who want another film in the likes of Vegas. Ribisi was AMAZING to watch in this movie. I really loved it, can't wait to get my copy and add it to my collection.
43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Puerto Rican Heat Feb. 15 2012
By Grady Harp - Published on
To appreciate the quality of this rambling little film that is actually based on an episode in the life of Hunter S. Thompson the following biographical information is helpful: `Hunter Stockton Thompson (1937 - 2005) was an American journalist and author who wrote The Rum Diary (published in1998), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971), Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 (1973), The Curse of Lono (1983), and Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (1966). He is credited as the creator of Gonzo journalism, a style of reporting where reporters involve themselves in the action to such a degree that they become central figures of their stories. He is known also for his lifelong use of alcohol, LSD, mescaline, and cocaine (among other substances); his love of firearms; his inveterate hatred of Richard Nixon; and his iconoclastic contempt for authoritarianism. In 1960 Thompson moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to take a job with the sporting magazine El Sportivo, which folded soon after his arrival. Thompson applied for a job with the Puerto Rico English-language daily The San Juan Star, but its managing editor, future novelist William J. Kennedy, turned him down. Nonetheless, the two became friends and after the demise of El Sportivo, Thompson worked as a stringer for the New York Herald Tribune and a few stateside papers on Caribbean issues with Kennedy working as his editor. While suffering a bout of health problems, he committed suicide in 2005 at the age of 67.'

In the film version of Thompson's autobiographical book, Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) is a freelance journalist who finds himself at a critical turning point in his life while writing for a run-down newspaper in the Caribbean under toupeed editor Lotterman (Richard Jenkins). He is accompanied by the staff photographer Sala (Michael Rispoli), the drunken staff writer Moberg (Giovanni Ribisi) in his discovery of the many wonders of Puerto Rico, not the least of which is a group of entrepreneurs lead by Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart) - who happens to be living with the stunning Chenault (Amber Heard) who Paul is attracted to - and a series of disreputable business men bent on `touristifyng' a neighboring island. Paul is a drunk and finds innumerable distractions and challenges as he tries to worm his way through the playing field of lost souls.

The story is Hunter S. Thompson all the way and Bruce Robinson has adapted Thompson's book in much the same way the novelist communicates: Robinson also directs. Depp, as usual, manages to make the strange lead character not only interesting but also ingratiating. The supporting cast is solid. The film gets off track many times, but as pure entertainment it is a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours watching Depp create another memorable character based on life! Grady Harp, February 12
39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
A solidly entertaining movie borderline manic Dec 22 2011
By monsterofthemist - Published on
Johnny Depp plays reporter Paul Kemp in Hunter S. Thompson's the Rum Diary. The movie borderlines on insanity as Kemp becomes drunk and drunker in a 1960s Puerto Rico. While not as manic as the other Hunter S Thompson films the Rum Diary has it's own narrative rhythm. Paul meets his eccentric coworkers, gets drunk, has crazy adventures, gets drunker etc. Johnny Depp's acting is good, one gets to see an interesting portrait of a writer trying to find his voice while he is trying to get plastered. There are undercurrents of Hunter S. Thompson present in Depp's portrayal of Kemp which starts bubbling to the surface near the end. there are funny antics going throughout the movie just not nearly as sporadic as the other two. all in all the movie is good and if you are a Johnny Depp fan Or a Hunter S. Thompson fan check this movie out and see if it can entertain you.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By THE MOVIE GUY - Published on
Johnny Depp plays Paul Kemp, a New Yorker hired to work at a newspaper in San Juan (1960). The paper is going down hill. The editor, Richard Jenkins, wants new blood, even though Paul appears to be everything he doesn't want in an employee. There is unrest outside, but no one at the newspaper knows what is going on. The humor is fast and witty. The man Paul is replacing was "artistic" and "raped to death" by sailors.

Paul Kemp is a Hunter S.Thompson clone. He was hired because the editor likes his style of writing. He is placed in charge of writing horoscopes, something he makes up. He describes the obese Yankee tourists as "great whites" the most deadly creature known to man. They are afraid to venture outside of their hotel, spending their days bowling, gambling, and duty free shopping. The more you spend, the more you save. His writings tend to be cynical.

Aaron Eckhart is a wealthy mobster/businessman, Amber Heard is his free spirited gf who causes everyone grief. Aaron needs a writer (PR man) with new eyes, and Paul sets his bloodshot eyes on Amber, a woman who considers clothes optional. There is also criticism of today's conservatives as Paul remarks about Nixon, "Some day some filthy hoar-beast will make him look like a liberal." While watching the Nixon-Kennedy debate, through a pair of binoculars on a neighbors TV, Paul is able to predict a Kennedy victory because "I do horoscopes." The humor is off-beat, cynical, and hard hitting like Thompson. A local proclaims, "This country was founded on genocide and slavery...then they brought in Jesus like a bar of soap."

The movie is also critical of the dummy-down media who kills stories so as to not offend their advertisers. In the film, capitalism is destroying Puerto Rico, creating a war of haves vs. have-nots while Cuba turns to communism. A rich man claims, "Liberals are college educated communists with Negro thoughts." To them the problem with the world is the communists. The movie takes a leftist look at the world as it plays out in the microcosm of Puerto Rico.

Paul is caught between the two worlds and must make a choice.

The movie is not all political. Just as you think Paul has reached bottom, he discovers "a drug so powerful that the FBI gives it to communists." NOTE: LSD in liquid form, administered to the eye should be done in split drops with three full drops being way too much, possibly causing hallucinations...or so I've been told.

Good acting, good script, funny and very entertaining. Staunch conservatives might be critical of the leftist views contained in this Hollywood film. A must view for Hunter S. Thompson fans.

F-bomb, excessive drinking, drug use. Was that Amber topless is a dimly lit love scene?
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The rum diary - I don't know what these other two above were watching Nov. 2 2011
By Asylumly Blessed - Published on
This was a pretty good movie. Lot's of laughs from the audience, I would say, said it all. Depp is a young, somewhat New York type that flies down to Puerto Rico to work for a paper. He displays a kind of innocence not knowing what to the expect to find at the newspaper he's gone there to work for. Yes everybody else is a wilder character than he is because they've been there a lot longer and are more in tune with the underworld of the country. He gave the impression that whatever he experienced in New York wasn't anywhere near any type of preparation for what he was about to experience in Puerto Rico.

I've been thrown into situations like this myself and he did exactly what I would have done. You don't wanna piss off the locals or the people you meet because you don't know what they're capable of especially when they display such unbridled, manic behaviors. So Depp played it low key not knowing what to expect. If you want to find out where the footing is, you listen to the rhythm, understand the beat before you join in and Depp didn't know where exactly his footing might end up. You do that if you're not sure of what to do or say next. You don't wanna end up in an alley with a shiv in your back. So you let others take the lead since they seem to know the layout and know what to do and not what to do and who to do it with. He hadn't been there long enough as an explorer to live with the natives and wear the grass skirt.

The supporting cast was much more animated than Depp was but the reasons I gave above is why. You're a guy in a strange country with a whole lot of whacky, crazy people on one side and because you seem 'On The Level' more so than the others on the island, you get invited to play with the rich in a scheme that the ragtag characters at the news paper could never get invited to. That's why the guys at the paper were never invited. If Depp had been a more worn, torn older drunk like the news paper guys he would have never been invited to play with the rich and the story would have had to revolve around the newspaper guys ... which in retrospect would have been a great story also. But it wasn't what Hunter wrote. This was more of a story about a guy in the middle trying not to get dragged down to the bottom and going there quickly but wanting to play with the rich without losing his sense of honest play either.

I felt the characters were well divided up from the top of the cream (the rich), to the middle (Depp) and the swill at the bottom (the paper characters). I do have to say Ribisi was great as always. This is an actor that plays a character part so well he'll go down in Hollywood history as one of the greatest character actors along with Steve Buscemi.

This is a movie where everything fit. A young guy who was thrusted into an environment that he didn't really fit into, then the guys who were well worn, wanting out but couldn't find their way out so they just got numb to it all and found ways to cope, to the rich guys going there to find huge profits.

The score was well picked also. Kudos Depp.

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