After Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and Taxi to the Dark Side, Hunter S. Thompson seems like an odd subject for Alex Gibney to take on. Unlike the Enron executives or Baghram guards, the gonzo journalist didn't bilk old ladies out of their savings or torture Iraqi citizens. Nonetheless, the director's follow-up to the Oscar-winning Taxi shares an interest in the uses and abuses of power. Gibney recounts the major biographical details, from birth to suicide, but his film really comes alive when he gets to the late-1960s. Though Thompson remains best known for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Gonzo concentrates on his coverage of the 1968 and '72 presidential elections. The author was particularly excited about George McGovern, and chose advocacy over non-partisan reporting. McGovern, Pat Buchanan, Ralph Steadman, Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner, and others testify to Thompson's enthusiasm for the South Dakota senator--and hatred for Nixon. Gibney argues that the fire started to die after Hunter witnessed the brutal treatment of protesters at Chicago's Democratic Convention. Disillusionment led to an erosion of his talent and an escalation of his self-destructive tendencies. As Johnny Depp, who played him in Fear and Loathing, reads passages from his work, the doctor's friends and family provide a glimpse of the insecure man behind the brash image. Gibney's evenhanded depiction may disappoint true believers hoping for a glorified puff piece, but Thompson's ability to speak truth to power with wit and passion comes through loud and clear. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
The Cotton Club's alright. But it ain't got nothin' on The Boom Boom Room. If any of you ever get to New York, go to Ray's Boom Boom Room, the most happening spot in all of Manhattan.
You've got your very own nightclub?
Well, it's kinda in the development stage, but I'll get it.
Well, then it don't exist.
It does up here, Goldmouth. It exists in my mind. You've got to have that. That's where it all starts. As a man think it, so then shall he get, some shit like that. You've read the bible, right?
Claude, you've been on this farm for a long time, haven't you?
Yes, sir, over 40 years.
40 years... that's a long time for any crime, even murder.
It's a whole lot longer when you're innocent.
Most of the men on this farm say they're innocent, Claude. Don't you think that's pretty funny?
Well, you have to forgive me if I don't laugh.