My 100 favourite films. Entry #15: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
directed by Terry Gilliam
starring Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro
country: USA
genre: Comedy ?

Visuals: 10
Writing: 8
Everyday watchability: 6
Number of pounds del Toro gained for his role by eating donuts: 40

I have to get to a Gilliam film at some point because there are five more of his films on this list. Oh shit, spoiler. As if you didn't know I was a huge fan.

Movies can do all types of things for the viewer: awe them with technical skill; make them laugh; make them cry; make them wish they hadn't spent $10 to listen to some guy talking on his cell phone through the entirety the film. Some films do these first three things better than others. Truly great films make you feel something (anything really) for hours or even days after viewing. Fear and Loathing was one such film for me. After watching it, I felt positively intoxicated and invigorated by its manic energy and bizarro tone. I was impressed by its ability to leave such an impression on my psyche. Not many films can do that. I was a film major after all.

Furthermore, Depp gives a fantastic performance, the special effects are nice, the cinematography is ludicrously good, and it's funny as hell. Not only is it funny, it's poignant. Depp gives a great reading of Hunter S. Thompson's "Wave Speech," probably one of the finest pieces of writing of the 20th century, and the scene puts the book on tape version to unimaginable shame. Come to think of it, it puts any book on tape to shame, unless it's The Book of Awesome by Professor Fantabulastic as read by Robot Jesus. That would probably be pretty good.


2 comment(s).:

June 9, 2008 at 7:56 PM Peaches said...

The Book of Awsome by Professor Fantabulastic as read by Robot Jesus?!?!?! I don't care who you are, that's funny.

Intoxicated and invigorated--I think those are pretty good states of mind induced by a film. And yes, given your technical skills, it is impressive that this movie did that.

How'd you know the 40 pounds came from donuts?

June 9, 2008 at 8:28 PM Lee said...

Oh, that's just what it said on the IMDb. It could be a lie.