- Studio: Magnolia Pictures
- Release Date: Jul 4, 2008
- Summary: From Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney and producer Graydon Carter comes a probing look into the uncanny life of national treasure and gonzo journalism inventor Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. A fast-moving, wildly entertaining documentary with an iconic soundtrack, the film addresses the major touchstones in Thompson's life--his intense and ill-fated relationship with the Hells Angels, his near-successful bid for the office of sheriff in Aspen in 1970, the notorious story behind the landmark Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, his deep involvement in Senator George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign, and much more. Narrated by Johnny Depp. (Magnolia Pictures)… Expand
- Director: Alex Gibney
- Genre(s): Biography, Music, Documentary
- More Details and Credits »
80Subject's career being inextricably tied to two extremely entertaining U.S. decades, Gonzo has a wealth of delightful archival footage to draw on, both directly involving Thompson and evoking the cultural landscape around him.
80A tender, even-tempered elegy to a writer who at his peak could ingest staggering (literally) amounts of drugs and alcohol and transform, like Popeye after a can of spinach, into a superhuman version of himself--more trenchant, more cutting, more hilarious than any political journalist before or since.
60I think Gonzo, which is wonderfully rich in historical footage, needs some skeptics, some voices suggesting that maybe, just maybe, Thompson was part of the problem, not the solution, when America flirted briefly with revolution (or was it merely anarchy?), leaving consequences that continue to resonate today -- and not always to our advantage.
Positive: 4 out of 4
Mixed: 0 out of 4
Negative: 0 out of 4
TomW.9Absolutely brilliant shows insight to work of Thompson and its impact on our society.
SerrinA.8First matinee, opening day, on the world-famous 4th of July: theater one-third full. Audience primarily domesticated primates along with bats and gila monsters. While leaving home, did not know if there'd be two other guys in there or if it'd be sold out. Mandatory viewing for the HST fan satisfying Life Completion Requirements. Suggested viewing for the HST-curious. Was mildly surprised by how well regarded he was by mainstream famous figures interviewed (McGovern, Carter, Buchanon, etc). Of course, nothing boosts one's popularity more than a visit from the Grim Reaper. The 'declining years' segment of the film demonstrated that he was out of steam and knew it, suggesting that 'out with a bang' was the most logical option for The Doomed. When looking up reviews, was also surprised by the 'sexual content' and 'nudity' warnings. Was expecting 'drug content' and 'language,' to be sure, concluded that there must be an interview where he's simply outside, walking around naked while talking to camera. Turns out he enjoyed the classical Underground Literary Bad Boy Party Life of the era, a la Philip K Dick... an amusing scene comes to mind where he's simply showing some pictures to a couple of guests; they're asking questions, he's pointing at things--perfectly average example of 'entertaining guests.' The guests just happen to be naked ladies (and in grievous contrast to HST's standard attire). Will concur with official professional reviewer observation above regarding tried-and-tawdry pop song selection. Would wager HST listened to most of them once... but as far as I'd know, they were among his favorites and should best shut up. Damn! Out of ibogaine.… Expand
As a long time fan of Hunter S Thompson and Ralph Steadman - who I was introduced to at about 16 or 17 by their book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Having come from a very disturbing family - with it's equally destructive consequences, instead of being equipped with a great range of life skills, almost every shred of self esteem had been torn from me, and thus the only people who I could have hung out with were similarly affected people into drugs, motorcycles and generally very self destructive life styles; When I read the part where Thompson describes going way too fast into a cloverleaf on or off ramp, stoned off his **** on everything, and doing a huge power slide all the time, and having this motorbike cop come pull him over and come up to him white with fear, and how he **** his way out of it with "just being a bit tired"....
I mean I was a seriously **** up kid who was in with a bunch of other seriously **** up people - all doing drugs, and I was stoned as I read the book... and I was thinking that this was "seriously inspirational // comedic reading".
However the drugs stopped being a back door to reality and about some 15 or even 18 years after getting drug free I reread that book and I thought, "What a crock of drug **** bullshit".
In the following sentence I will use the word shit - and by that I mean "nurturing, interactive relationships, etc., I guess tho, at that time I read it, when the only shit you get to eat, is dirt flavoured crumbs, a real bread crumb of brighter significance is better than nothing, and it's better than dirt flavoured crumbs.
So in one respect HST, and Ralph Steadman were great influences for both good and bad - or perhaps significant points in an unmanageable life.
I saw the show on TV last night.... and I watched the start of it.. and had to tune out for a while because of the drug **** bullshit that was going on.
Then I tuned back into it, and I saw that HST was another man, from another time, with his own agendas and politics. I also saw just how **** up a lot of American culture is that this drug **** idiot (HST) was, and how many people were prepared to put up with his shit....
I also saw that as he got older and lived more and more on his ranch, with the booze, the other drugs and the **** around - along with the guns and crap... just how much he was like the drug **** idiot who lives a few doors down the street from me. The guy wakes up and takes a slab of pills and has a skin full of piss and staggers around glassy eyed on welfare and just out of his mind and talking shit And seeing Thompson walking around in his later years with the bottle of booze in his hand........
As one of the critics said, "He lived on his celebrity status for the last 30 years of his life".
I felt it was really sad that he went out as a cop out and the end of it was really sad.
About Hunter talking about how he wants his ashes to be shot out of the top of a huge monument, and how at the Final Send Off, that is just what happened. I thought that the Logans Run "crystal in the palm" was part of the monument....
6 months before he shot himself, I wrote him a letter - he never answered.
It was sort of good that that part of my life has ended. There was a sense of permanent closure. I was appreciative of his taking on Nixon and many other things, but where people need to escape from reality - through drugs, sex and some kind of mood or mind altering experiences, then they are not really living - they are just wind up shells, who spend their time going through the motions.
I am glad that he lived and that he made his contributions - but take away the hype and the drug **** pop cult bullshit of his time, and how he slowly fizzed out into obscurity....
I am not sure if I am influenced by or contaminated with his persona......
The movie, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, it's one of the few movies I do own, and that was done exactly as per the book.... Johnny Depp and HST - and Ralph Steadman - that was a work of genius in the replication of the story and images, into a moving picture.
Too bad the drug **** life style - although it does have it's funny parts, it's all bullshit, it's all a futile waste of **** time and opportunities.
I felt the song by Warren Zevon - "Send Lawyers, Guns and Money" played at the shooting of his ashes into the sky - was a sad, but fitting closure to Hunter S. Thompson's life and the documentary.… Expand
JayHiggins6Well done documentary about an interesting but very unlikeable person. Thorough in it's research, excellent archive footage and well edited. Although Hunter S Thompson is interesting, I am not enthralled with his life.… Expand
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