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Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (Criterion) (Blu-Ray)

4.2 out of 5 stars 326 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Christina Ricci, Tobey Maguire, Cameron Diaz
  • Directors: Terry Gilliam
  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: April 26 2011
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 326 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,940 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

It is 1971, and journalist Raoul Duke barrels toward Las Vegas—accompanied by a trunkful of contraband and his unhinged Samoan attorney, Dr. Gonzo—to cover a motorcycle race. His cut-and-dried assignment quickly descends into a feverish psychedelic odyssey. Director Terry Gilliam (Time Bandits, Brazil) and an all-star cast headlined by Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands, Donnie Brasco) and Benicio Del Toro (The Usual Suspects, Che) show no mercy in adapting Hunter S. Thompson’s legendary dissection of the American way of life to the screen, creating a film both hilarious and savage.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES • Digital transfer, approved by director Terry Gilliam, with a 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 by filmmaker Wayne Ewing • 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 • Audio excerpt from the 1996 spoken-word CD Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, featuring filmmaker Jim Jarmusch and actor Maury Chaykin • Fear and Loathing on the Road to Hollywood, a 1978 BBC documentary with Thompson and Steadman • Storyboards, production designs, stills gallery, theatrical trailer, and TV spots • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic J. Hoberman and two pieces by Thompson


The original cowriter and director of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was Alex Cox, whose earlier film Sid and Nancy suggests that Cox could have been a perfect match in filming Hunter S. Thompson's psychotropic masterpiece of "gonzo" journalism. Unfortunately Cox departed due to the usual "creative differences," and this ill-fated adaptation was thrust upon Terry Gilliam, whose formidable gifts as a visionary filmmaker were squandered on the seemingly unfilmable elements of Thompson's ether-fogged narrative. The result is a one-joke movie without the joke--an endless series of repetitive scenes involving rampant substance abuse and the hallucinogenic fallout of a road trip that's run crazily out of control. Johnny Depp plays Thompson's alter ego, "gonzo" journalist Raoul Duke, and Benicio Del Toro is his sidekick and so-called lawyer Dr. Gonzo. During the course of a trip to Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race, they ingest a veritable chemistry set of drugs, and Gilliam does his best to show us the hallucinatory state of their zonked-out minds. This allows for some dazzling imagery and the rampant humor of stumbling buffoons, and the mumbling performances of Depp and Del Toro wholeheartedly embrace the tripped-out, paranoid lunacy of Thompson's celebrated book. But over two hours of this insanity tends to grate on the nerves--like being the only sober guest at a party full of drunken idiots. So while Gilliam's film may achieve some modest cult status over the years, it's only because Fear and Loathing is best enjoyed by those who are just as stoned as the characters in the movie. The DVD offers the film in its full 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Well, Terry Gilliam did it. They said that no-one could ever make a movie out of Hunter S. Thompson's sprawling, oozing, rambling, incoherent, gonzo 1972 novel of the same name, but by Jove he did! Not only that, he has made it wildly entertaining, watchable, hilarious and fun as well - a masterful achievement, given that the end of the novel itself breaks down into transcripts of tape as the good doctor himself gets the Fear. Much of the credit for this should go to the screenwriter who adapted the book so well, picking the best pieces from the book and managing to thread a vaguely coherent timeline through them, as well as to Hunter S. himself, for writing a book where the monologues can be adapted verbatim and work so well as voice-over in a movie. The type of "new journalism" practiced by Thompson and his alter ego Raoul Duke forswears objective description of vents for a manic subjective stream-of-consciousness retelling of the essence of the story. Wonderful to read - almost impossible to film.
The true star of the film of course is Johnny Depp, on whose masterful portrayal of Duke the movie hinges. He flails around frenetically, spitting out his words like a mad man in a fantastically broken style where the words trip over each other excitedly, racing to all get out at the same time lest some vital thought be lost in the overall melee, followed by pauses where he seems unsure of what he was saying in the first place. What's the deal here? What happens next?
Depp is ably aided and abetted by a chunky Benicio Del Toro who, despite his racial handicap, manages to portray the vicious and psychotic Samoan attorney that Duke is almost never without. The two of them then busily careen around Vegas, having fun, breaking the rules and searching for the American Dream.
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Format: DVD
Upon seeing this movie at a friends house a while back, I immediately bought it for myself. While it seems that people either love it or hate it, I suggest that you watch it at least once. Fear and Loathing is full of hilarious situations and some memorable one-liners, such as a stand-off between Raoul Duke (Depp) and a lone highway cop (Busey), or Depp exclaiming, "We can't stop here; this is bat country!".
While many critics accuse this movie of being shallow and annoying, it is probably because they are too full of themselves to understand what it's about. On the surface, it's about two rambling, drunk, and drugged crazies roaming the west, but it's full of witty humor (it takes several viewings to catch it all) and fantastic underlying themes that seem to be lost on the majority that can't appreciate this fine work of art.
While it's not excessively graphic (ala Requim for a Dream), Fear and Loathing does contain many scenes of drug use, and constant language. Obscene? Certainly. But if you don't take it at face value, it's a wonderful thrillride aiming to find the true American Dream.
Buy the ticket, take the ride. It's well worth it.
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Format: DVD
Now.. admittedly, this movie can get very tedious. I'm not particularly a Johnny Depp fan, but now and again, I see some works of his (Sleepy Hollow, What's Eating Gilbert Grape) that remind me of what a class actor he really is. Having spent a lot of time with Hunter S. Thompson obviously worked a charm with Depp, as his performance shines as drugged out journalist Raoul Duke.
Duke has set off to Vegas with his attorney and a boot-full of the craziest drugs you could ever imagine in one setting. The entire course of the film is basically one enormous trip, and the part I particularly enjoyed about this film is that no matter how bent, there's always Duke talking you through the moment - expressing his terror and euphoria.
I heard something about a lot of parents lobbying against this film because of the high drug intake, but in my opinion, after seeing bats attack you, reptiles in the casino lounge, and your attorney grow breasts on the side of his body, I don't think I'd ever touch the stuff these guys take. Films like Requiem For A Dream, Trainspotting and Fear and Loathing just help emphasise the reality of drug taking, and show the lows as well as the highs.
I commend the crew on this one.
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Format: VHS Tape
Though a bomb with the critics and at the box office, I personally loved Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. This film is completely bizarre, buy what do you expect from director Terry Gilliam (Monty Python, Brazil, Twelve Monkeys)? After a very boring opening scene that had really dumb humor ("Yeah, man" was dull when Cheech and Chong did it decades ago). Terry Gilliam gives his vicious and brutal (violent) humor in this film. Roger Ebert said "Some of there trips were real, so hallucinated, all interchangeable." I respect you, Roger, but this film, when they hallucinated, was hilarious. This is a very colorful film, so I wish I rented it on dvd (it has a very well-liked Criterion Collection set). Nonetheless, the grain and independant feel only added to it's quality. For the other reviewers who think Cameron Diaz should have been in longer, "Hello!" It was just a bit part, and if you want to see lots of her, see There's Something About Mary or Charlie's Angels. Benicio Del Toro is a marvelous actor who has spent his acting career making good independants (Usual Suspects, this, Traffic). I really liked when Depp was waiting for his rental car and the guy says, "Take this" about fifteen times with different gestures (it's some kind of paper). All Depp does is adjusthis mirror, and fiddle with his cigarette. Finally, Depp looks over, the man throws it at him, and Depp says, "I'm supposed to keep this, right?" Then the man says "Now, your going to be careful with this car, right?" Depp goes, "Oh, yeah, man," and immediatelly goes very fast in reverse. I wish I could tell you about all the other scenes, but you'll have to see for yourself. Thank you for taking the time to read my review and feel free to leave me a helpful/not helpful feedback. God Bless America!
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