Tuesday 22 Jul
 
 

Fashionable revolution

JEWEL Fashion Show
6:30 p.m. Tuesday
Gaillardia Golf & Country Club

5300 Gaillardia Blvd, Oklahoma City ieew.org
$100 advance purchase online only

07/16/2014 | Comments 0

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0

Sorcerer

William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Drama · ‘Rum’ punchless
Drama
 

‘Rum’ punchless


A tame Johnny Depp and disheveled script leave ‘The Rum Diary’ with a nasty hangover.

Matt Carney November 2nd, 2011

Written by Hunter S. Thompson at 24, but unpublished until his early 60s, “The Rum Diary” was a fictionalized account of his besotted time in Puerto Rico, what in reality was a nine-month stint between gigs as a New York City journalist.

Thompson was no exception among young writers; the novel was only a seedling of what would eventually bloom in merciless attacks on the American Dream in “Hell’s Angels” and the narcotized paranoia of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” Talk-show host Charlie Rose rightfully harangued the writer in 1999 for the late-career cash grab.

Unfortunately, director Bruce Robinson — who hadn’t helmed a film since 1992’s “Jennifer 8” — adapted the script with too much reverence, twisting what was an expression of Thompson’s fear of old age into a miscast romance with as many plot holes as swigs of alcohol.

Those expecting Raoul Duke instead get Paul Kemp, a lifeless Johnny Depp (“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”) who — nearing 50 — looks nearly every second of it next to 25-year-old Amber Heard, whose Chenault sizzles like the Caribbean sands at noon in a summertime heat wave. Too bad she can’t convince us to consider her anything more than a petulant, impulsive thing in tight dresses.

“I just want some apple-blossom lipstick and fucks,” Kemp says after watching her copulate with an overtanned Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart, “Battle: Los Angeles”) from afar. The dialogue clashes with Christopher Young’s score, which insists on blasting flutes every time Heard and Depp go puppy-eyed.

Robinson relies too heavily on Thompson’s writing style (“Too many adjectives!” Kemp’s editor complains) to hold the script together, fails to develop the plot (Kemp’s search for “his voice”) and wanders down so many subplots (all starring “Avatar”’s Giovanni Ribisi at his most annoying) that he has to turn to inner monologue to pull the narrative together.

The only spot-on casting here is Eckhart’s slick PR stereotype. The white linen-sporting Sanderson greases the wheels of a lucrative hotel deal on a nearby island, thereby providing a villain, although the performance is really just a douchier version of his lovable, flawed “Thank You for Smoking” hero.

Thompson enthusiasts surely will enjoy themselves, catching a refracted view into the father of gonzo journalism’s early days, as well as an occasional gem or two (“He’s gotta mouth like an AP wire” and “blackheads like Braille”) amongst overwrought duds (“Your tongue is like an accusatory giblet!”).

And while Thompson did eventually “find his voice,” as Kemp hopes in the film, it’s a wonder he ever did.

 
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