The Rum Diary (2011)

This is the movie version of the Hunter S. Thompson novel of the same name, once again with Johnny Depp playing the lead role as he did in the 1998 classic 

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

In full disclosure I have not read the original novel, but based on the previous outing with Fear and Loathing, a book I had read, I did go into this one knowing this was probably going to be a weaker retelling of a story.   However, considering this was simply an awful movie, I have now this one on my reading list so I can determine if the screenplay was at fault, or the original source material.

Of course, any Thompson story is semi-autobiographical, a wistful thinking of the authors life in a variety of different situations.  In this outing, we have our budding journalist down in Puerto Rico for a local newspaper in the 1960s.  With his drink fueled life (and a hilarious addiction to spirited hotel miniatures) we see him get to grips with the local scene, finding out who is who, and weaving through a variety of moral challenges as he tries to figure out his place in the world.

The supporting cast in this movie is simply not being used to their fullest.  

Giovanni Ribisi role as the off-the-rails journalist goes no where and 

Richard Jenkins plays the toupee wearing editor-in-chief who is trying to keep the motley crew together long enough to get a newspaper printed.

Sadly, all the best bits are to be found in the 2 minute trailer.  While the trailer does not necessarily give away all the plot line (if you can all it a plot line), it does setup a completely different tone than the one you get.

Depp does his usual Jack-Sparrow-as-a-journalist but it isn’t enough to carry what is a very poor outing.  Considering all the ingredients director,

Bruce Robinson, had to work with here, he definitely left it in the oven too long.

Would stay clear of this one and save yourself the agony and lost time. 


Viewing Date
Tuesday, 15th September 2015


IMDB YouTubeTrailer

A Few Best Men (2011)


Olivia Newton-John, what were you thinking when you signed up for this script?  What is an actress of your gravitas and legendary status doing in this disaster of a movie that invokes memories of the Sex lives of the Potato Men with its below toilet humor.   Tell me there was a nasty tax bill you had to find some cash for and this was the best option next to selling off signed memorabilia?

This movie came with a great pedigree with writer Dean Craig who penned the excellent Death at a Funeral
farce (coincidentally also staring

Kris Marshall).  In other words there is simply no excuse for this train wreck of a movie.

Being made in Australia, we have the usual Australian thespians rolled out in various cameo roles to try and convince us this movie is better than it is.  If you are someone that is convinced Clark Kent and Superman are two completely different people after he puts on the glasses, then you are going to love the plot twists and happy situations these group of people get themselves into.  If on the other hand you are not fooled by that clever disguise, then you are going to see everything coming as if you had written the script yourself.

There simply is nothing funny or amusing about this movie.  We have a sheep that eats the local drug lord condom filled cocaine, that then of course results in the group deciding to feed the prize sheep with laxatives and then inserting their arm elbow deep to extract said packets.   Oh how we laughed.

We have our wonderful 1970′s Sandy, taking a line of cocaine and proceeding to make a fool of herself in the wedding (to which the whole story is based around).  You can actually see her dignity dying, live, on screen.

We have

Pitch Perfect’s Fat Amy, Rebel Wilson, playing the fat (pretending to be a lesbian to piss her father off) sister.  Even her scenes, cannot save this utter waste of everyone’s time.   She doesn’t even look interested as she delivers her lines.

The only good thing I can honestly say about this movie, it does eventually end, 90 minutes later.  The torture does stop and while I was willing to give up on the movie 20 minutes into it, I was determined to stick it out to the bitter end.  I had to prove to myself I could handle this much pain.

If you really want to watch this movie, then do yourself a favour, watch the trailer and extrapolate from the 2 minutes, because the other 88 minutes you are missing out on, will offer no more clarity or entertainment.


Viewing Date
Sunday, 23rd August 2015


IMDB YouTubeTrailer

The Guard (2011)

Brendan Gleeson wraps himself into the type of role he was born to play, an unconventional, no nonsense, highly amusing Irish man.  Gleeson here is a country sergeant in the local police (called the Garda in Ireland) who manages things in his own delightful way.

From the opening scene, where he simply lets a car full of joy riders speed past him without any form of chase, knowing they are probably going to end up crashing and killing themselves, he casually appears on the aforementioned road crash, goes through the bodies looking for identification, only to find a small bag of drugs, where he throws most of them away, pops an ecstasy sticker on his tongue, turns around and utters “what a beautiful fucking day”.  

You are now setup for the type of sergeant we are about to see in full action as the area see’s its first murder and international drug smuggling operation.

With an excellent supporting cast,

Mark Strong

and Liam Cunningham lending their weight, but not so much as to take the real humor and personality away from Gleeson’s excellent natural performance.

Criminal: I didn’t know it was illegal to interfere with a lamb.
Sergeant: I would think so, for sure, what would its parents think?

The movie goes along at a wonderful pace with Gleeson in nearly every scene offering his rye social commentary on various situations.

The humour and banter notches up when “the American” FBI agent comes along (played by the excellent Don Cheadle), to offer his international help to the local law enforcement agencies as they try to land the drug smuggling gang hoping to land their haul of drugs on the Irish coast.

Mark Strong, playing his “Arch” character from Rocknrolla has some laugh out loud moments as he plays off the Irish characters as he believes they are hicks and not quite cut out for the professional criminal business.

‘Course it’s fucking all there. This is the pay-off, yeah? We pay you off, you and your pals keep your fucking noses out of our business. That’s the dynamic in this situation. Why the fuck would I then cheat you out your money? Eh? Why would I do that? That doesn’t make any sense. That’d defeat the entire purpose of the fucking interaction. Fuck me

While you could be forgiven that the interplay between Gleeson and Cheadle is taking on the classic cop buddy relationship, it never reaches its true cliche ending.  You sense he is simply tolerating the FBI agent with no real desire to help or even get to know him.   I like how the tension is kept here with no real conclusion to this relationship.

This movie, like his earlier In Bruges, was never destined to be a blockbuster hit though with a $6M budget, it made an impressive $19M worldwide.  This movie is the classic cult it was destined to be, with each viewing making it better than the last.

Must watch for any movie fan.


Viewing Date
Saturday, 22nd August 2015


IMDB YouTubeTrailer