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Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride
DVD disk
10.05.2007 By: Sturdy
Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride order
Director:
Tom Thurman

Actors:
Hunter S. Thompson
Johnny Depp
Sean Penn

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
This is a short documentary chronicling the life of Hunter S. Thompson on film. We see some candid interviews with the famed author as well as interviews with some of his more famous actor friends.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Iíve always thought that Hunter S. Thompson was one of those guys youíd have to actually meet in order to really appreciate his genius. When I read his work, I acknowledge his talent and I enjoy his writing, but Iíve never really taken it past that. Heís just another talented and original author until you find out about him and the almost mythical persona that followed him.

However, this is a review of the movie, not the man. BUY THE TICKET, TAKE THE RIDE is a decent intro for those that arenít familiar with the author, but tends to falter as a film and a documentary. The key point is that itís supposed to be about Thompson on film, but the director continually gets sidetracked trying to tell his life story. Perhaps thatís because there are only two films about Thompson. Unfortunately, that misguided focus and the inability to stick with it gives us a film that feels like it doesnít know what it wants to say. I think the film would have been better served if they just made it about Thompsonís life and interviewed people that knew him and grew up with him. Instead, they interviewed famous actors that spent all their time heaping praise on the guy.

One note I will make about the film is that I found it odd that the director showed some of the outtakes of Gary Busey. I can only assume that Busey said or did something to piss him off because those scenes had absolutely nothing to do with the film other than to make Busey look like a jackass. They were funny, but unnecessary.

Anyway, the point is that unless you havenít seen WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM or FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, youíre not going to see anything in this film that you didnít already know. Chances are good that after watching Vegas, you did your own research on Thompson (like I did) and learned all of the basic facts about him. Therefore, a documentary that barely touches on the life of Thompson and allows itself to get sidetracked will easily bore you.
THE EXTRAS
None.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If you know a lot about Thompson, youíll be pretty bored with this film. If not, then I recommend picking this up for a quick rundown of the manís life and work. Either way, itís worth a rental just for the scenes of Gary Busey being an ass.
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