Every Sunday, Gill delves into his archive of over 800 movie reviews and randomly selects three for your enjoyment! Here are this week’s…
The Rum Diary
It’s not for everyone, and sort of destined to be a cult film, but I thoroughly enjoyed The Rum Diary – though people looking for another Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas will be sorely disappointed. This movie delivers exactly what it promises in the combination of star Johnny Depp, writer/director Bruce Robinson (the man behind Withnail & I and How to Get Ahead in Advertising) and the writing style of Hunter Thompson. The film is rather like Withnail & I in tone, but every word of dialogue is pure Thompson, and Depp channels it all quite well. The setting of Puerto Rico in the 60’s is brilliantly realized, and since the entire movie was shot on celluloid stock with mostly natural writing, the film is gorgeous on a visual level as well. As I said, it’s not for everyone, but those looking for a truly interesting combination of talent and a story of wicked and witty depravity will no doubt find something to enjoy in The Rum Diary…even if the ending is a bit unconventional. Special note should be given to Giovanni Ribisi’s performance, as well, which is terrific.
3.5 out of 5
Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid
Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid is a pretty corny movie, but it’s the style that makes it worth watching. Steve Martin plays a hard-boiled detective embroiled in an intricate case…where all the people he meets are played by famous actors from the black and white age of cinema using clips from their films! Seeing Martin interrogate James Cagney or tease Humphrey Bogart is loads of fun, and what the movie lacks in the script department, it more than makes up for with its ingenuity. Forget movies like Kung Pow: Enter the Fist – Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid is the original edit-a-modern-star-into-old-movies romp.
3.25 out of 5
The sad fact of the matter is that this movie failed to make an impression on me beyond John C. Reilly’s performance. Cedar Rapids reminded me of Up in the Air in terms of tone – the somewhat melancholy story of a man and his work-related travels – but Up in the Air was so good that I found Cedar Rapids kind of forgettable. John C. Reilly’s wildboy businessman character was fun, but again, didn’t break any new ground. Isiah Whitlock Jr.’s constant references to his performance on The Wire are pretty funny, but overall, this is only a so-so comedy that won’t surprise you, but might entertain you.
3 out of 5
See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!