100 Word Review – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Based on the psychedelic ramblings of Hunter S. Thompson, this was never destined to be a comfortable film to watch.

Journalist Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and his psychotic “attorney” Dr Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) drive to Las Vegas to cover a car race. With a boot full of drugs, what could go wrong.

Having seen this film several times, I’m still not certain how it ends.

Directed by the king of weird, Terry Gilliam (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Brazil, Twelve Monkeys) this film falls somewhere between a nightmare and a psychotic break. It is also remarkable and incredibly clever.

100 Word Review – The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)

It’s a shame that this film is best known for being Heath Ledger’s last and not for its own merit. 

Doctor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) with his daughter (Lily Cole) and the rest of his theatre company (Ledger, Verne Troyer, Andrew Garfield) travel through modern London performing their strange show, ever followed by the mysterious Mr Nick (Tom Waits).

Written and directed by ex-Python Terry Gilliam (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Twelve Monkeys, Brazil), it is coated in his trademark style of combining the mundane and the bizarre to create something magical. Co-starring Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law.

100 Word Review – Benny & Joon (1993)

This might be my favourite Johnny Depp film. 

Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson) is mentally unwell. Her father Benny (Aiden Quinn) struggles to protect her the way he feels he should. Then they meet Sam (Johnny Depp), an awkward man with an obsession for silent stars like Buster Keaton.

Masterson is wonderful as the emotionally delicate Joon who is fighting for whatever independence she can get.

This film is perfect. It takes a sensitive and dark subject matter and normalises it, adding in the quirks we would expect from any Rom Com. Look out for co-stars Oliver Platt and Julianne Moore.