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The Rum Diary Blu-ray Review

“The Rum Diary” is a meandering mess.

If you expect “The Dum Diary” to be another cult classic collaboration between Johnny Depp and the late Hunter S. Thompson, you’re going to be disappointed. If you expect “The Rum Diary” to even be entertaining, you’re going to be disappointed. Instead, one should expect nothing of “The Rum Diary” because that’s basically what you get here in this meandering story of a booze loving American journalist’s (Paul Kemp) misadventures in 1960’s Puerto Rico.

Instead of seeing a wildly inventive, amusing, observant, and downright bizarre film based on the works of Hunter S. Thompson, we get a film based on a story that was wisely shelved for 30 something years. This was an early written work of Thompson and it shows in this film adaptation. The film is downright aimless (although maybe that is the point). I suppose some may find entertainment value in the scenes involving chickens, booze, drugs, fire breathing, a witch doctor, and a freakish Giovanni Ribisi who looks like Torgo from “Manos: The Hands Of Fate,” but it all feels like the ramblings of an author trying to find his voice. The entire time I was wondering what the point of this film was because it doesn’t seem like anyone involved in this lifeless movie seems to know.

Summary: “The Rum Diary” is a noble failure. It was clearly a passion project for Depp and the filmmakers, but it fails to connect on any emotional level. Still, at least it’s nice to see Depp in a non Pirates or Burton film role.


The film is presented in 1.85:1 1080p and the picture quality is hands down the best thing about this entire disc. The blue ocean looks especially stunning.

The 5.1 DTS-HD audio track is fine.This is not a big audio centric film and thus the track doesn’t have too much to do.

* Sony trailers.
* “The Rum Diary Back Story” includes footage of Hunter S. Thompson chatting about the novel.
* “A Voice Made Of Ink And Rage: Inside The Rum Diary”- Standard making of featurette that contains interviews with the likes of Johnny Depp chatting about Thompson, the film, etc.

February 2, 2012 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I’ve heard from one of my co-workers at DISH that this movie is disappointing because he was expecting it to be more like Fear and Loathing. I haven’t watched it yet since I avoid expensive movie theaters, but after reading your well-written review, I feel I must watch it in order to create my own opinion. DISH is showing it in HD so I’ll give it a go tonight, and who knows, maybe I’ll like it enough to buy the DVD. Thanks for your honest words!

    Comment by Toni | February 17, 2012 | Reply

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