Tom Thurman’s Hunter Thompson biopic is a terrific romp with the legendary author’s celebrity friends. The film loosely takes a timeline approach to telling the story of Hunter, all done through narratives from Nick Nolte, Johnny Depp, Anita (Hunter’s widow), Juan (Hunter’s son), Sean Penn, John Cusack, Ralph Steadman, Benecio Del Toro, Bill Murray, and an epically disingenuous Gary Busey.
Hunter’s story is one of celebration, paranoia, and excess. Surely you have read, or at least watched, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. You get a feel for the character of Hunter S. Thompson, which was carefully cultivated from the author himself. However, this movie gives a slightly different tale. It is the story of Hunter S. Thompson as a close friend and confidant to a legion of loyal friends. One of the things Hunter was known for was calling friends in the middle of the night to chat. Hunter kept almost exclusively evening hours. Aspen Sheriff Bob Braudis says it best in the film, describing Hunter’s passing, “Now, when the phone rings at 3 am, I know it can only be bad news”. If nothing else, you should watch the movie for the Gary Busey sequence. It gives you real insight into the Hollywood mind.
I saw the film when it was screened at the Denver Starz Film Festival a couple of months ago. It was awesome, and Hunter’s son was there to say a few words. I really enjoyed the movie. To be fair, I should tell the reader that I am a HUGE Hunter S. Thompson fan. I dare say I am the resident expert on the good doctor. I say all of that to say this: Starz is airing Buy the Ticket… beginning December 12th and into January. Check the schedule. You should watch it, because I am not sure which kind of release it will see. Likely, this will be your only chance outside of limited DVD distribution one day.