The Oscars are over, congrats to the winners and nominees but now it’s time for some recommendations of movies that maybe you still haven’t seen and are still curious to see. Actually there will be a series of dude flick posts of upcoming reviews of movies that are more for the guys as these are movies that after the whole Oscar buzz and Valentine’s Day, us males, need some good old fashion dude flicks to get us out of this girly slump we find ourselves in these days.
The Rum Diary
Johnny Depp has had some memorable roles. This role will be no exception as this movie, which did rub the critics the wrong way mostly because the nature of the man behind this movie, Hunter S. Thompson. I admit at first, the name stumped me when I first heard about this movie but then I remembered a little book and movie called “Fear and Loathing Las Vegas” from the 90s. The movie in which Johnny Depp played a controversial journalist and took a trip to Vegas and let’s just say “We can’t stop here this bat country’! Despite his tragic death in 2005 his stories continue as Hunter S. Thompson is back and so is Johnny Depp and this time we see how a journalist in the midst of paradise, corruption and a whole lot of rum can still help find their voice in the “Rum Diary.”
Paul Kemp( Johnny Depp) is an aspiring freelance writer from New York who need’s an escape. He has struggled as a writer in his first ten years of writing novels and articles that are just not grabbing readers. He can’t seem to find his voice and hopefully a job in San Juan Puerto Rico is the calling Paul needs for his slumping career. However Puerto Rico back in the 1960’s was hardly a place average Americans knew about? A place that is more well-known for it”s tourism attractions and not exactly the people who actually lived there. Paul wants to help people back in the states understand this new paradise and see what the hype is all about.
Problem is there are many distractions in Puerto Rico. Especially with Paul who loves his drinking and rum being the drink of choice on this island. Actually inhabitants like Sala(Michale Rispoli) prefer drinking rum over water as you will see watching this movie. Despite Paul’s issues with his drinking his editor Lotterman( Richard Jenkins) in San Juan need some fresh meat for his now failing newspaper. Paul want’s to write about the real stories of San Juan but his editor is more concerned in keeping his bosses happy and talking more about the tourism that continues to bring the “great white sharks” of the north. In other words the higher class millionaires that are using San Juan as their new backyard playground for not only vacationing but investment opportunities.
Paul then meets Sanderson(Aaron Eckhart) and his lovely companion Chenault(Amber Heard). Sanderson works for the paper but finds other ways to make a living while in San Juan. Sanderson is a young entrepreneur that uses his powerful friends to make capital investments within the island. He comes to Paul asking for him to follow him on his next business adventure that involves a lonely island that can potentially worth millions in tax-free money for not only Sanderson but all the others involved. He hopes that Paul will be a silent partner but when Paul sees the whole plan unfold he realizes that the people of San Juan are going to be at a loss, losing homes property and moving poor families while Sanderson and his business partners make fortunes of money.
I will stop there as i don’t want to spoil to much of the movie. My favorite parts really involve Paul his new friend and colleague Sala and an even odder companion Moberg(Giovanni Ribisi) who really needs a vacation from San Juan. Actually his character reminds me of an even more messed up Rauol Duke from Fear and Loathing las Vegas. The three of them become accomplices through their misadventures of not only drinking home-made rum, that will light with a match but, their plans to possibly save the once failing paper and become unlikely heroes. Problem is they might tick off the whole island, create more problems for Lotterman, plan some voodoo and possibly steal Sanderson’s woman all at the same time. “The Rum Diary” is a good guys flick and give it three and half stars, if you enjoy the pairing of Hunter S. Thompson and Johnny Depp. The other characters are good but nothing too special I enjoyed Sala the most. If you liked “Fear and Loathing Las Vegas” you should enjoy this movie.
A great interview of Johnny Depp and his experience with Hunter S Thompson