Breakfast With Hunter Movie Review

"Breakfast" for Hunter S. Thompson means a tray full of uneaten food and a large glass of ice filled with Chivas Regal.

With the meal out of the way, we can sit down to the rest of this documentary, a rough and unpolished chronicle of a few years in Thompson's life, roughly 1996-1998, during the planning and making of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Director Wayne Ewing must be great friends with the notorious writer, as he appears to have unhindered access to the minutiae of Hunter's life. In addition to the various meetings (lots of honorary dinners, lots of speeches in his honor, a handful of public appearances), we go behind the scenes -- most notably to bear witness to his squabbles with Repo Man director Alex Cox, the original director of Fear and Loathing, who wants to have a cartoon opening to the movie.

Ewing also trots out archival footage, including Thompson's famous run for sheriff of Aspen, Colorado. Later we're on the set of Fear and Loathing (you can see similar or identical footage of Hunter's cameo on the Criterion Collection DVD).

Do we get to know the real Hunter through viewing Breakfast with Hunter? Possibly. More than ever before, at least -- the mushmouthed creator of gonzo journalism isn't known for his accessibility, so every little bit helps. Unfortunately, this fairly low-grade video comes off as a slightly more professional home movie about the man and less a Crumb-style documentary (the reigning gold standard of oddity documentaries). The camera jumps around, the sound is atrocious, the editing is random. Hunter's greatest hits are explored (including a fun bit when he discharges a fire extinguisher at Rolling Stone publisher and legendary blowhard Jann Wenner), but that nugget of true Thompson is still hard to dig out. Still, we know it's in there, somewhere.

Perhaps then the DVD extras will help the disciple de Hunter to find the real Thompson within. In keeping with history, he and Ewing offer a commentary track, but Thompson jets after about 30 minutes. (Note to self: Never "take a break" for any purpose when interviewing the skittish.) Countless outtakes explore various lesser known works, the nature of gonzo journalism, and more (including what actually happened to Oscar Acosta, Hunter's attorney, who disappeared in the 1970s). P.J. O'Rourke, oddly, appears in nearly all of these.

Comments

Breakfast With Hunter Rating

" Good "

Rating: NR, 2003

Advertisement

More John Cusack

John Cusack Brands Hollywood A "Whorehouse" Where "People Go Mad"

If any young actor is dreaming of becoming a big star in Hollywood, it would be a good idea to not listen to what veteran...

'Maps To The Stars' May Finally Earn Moore An Oscar

Julianne Moore is one of the greatest actresses never to have won an Oscar, even though she's been nominated four times and has a mantle...

Maps to the Stars Movie Review

As it explores Hollywood's inbred underbelly, this film becomes increasingly deranged and also rather dark and creepy, but it's so fiercely entertaining that it's impossible...

Grand Piano Movie Review

Spanish director Eugenio Mira combines slick filmmaking with a dark and nasty plot as this fast-paced thriller unfolds almost in real time. So even if...

Advertisement

'Maps to the Stars': The Movie That Took 20 Years To Write [Trailer + Pictures]

Ok, so David Cronenberg's latest movie Maps to the Stars - which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May - will more than likely...

Maps To The Stars Trailer

Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore) is an actress struggling with her insecurities and desperate to reprise her late mother Clarice's star role in the remake of...

Reclaim Trailer

Steven (Ryan Phillip) and Shannon (Rachelle Lefevre) want nothing more than to have a child of their own. After some deliberation, the couple decide to...

The Prince Trailer

Paul (Jason Patric) used to be a major figure in the Las Vegas crime world - known by his rivals as 'The Prince - before...

Advertisement