Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Rum Diary

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 14, 2012; Digital Download Release Date: Feb. 7, 2012
Price: DVD $30.99, Blu-ray $35.99
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


The Rum DiaryJohnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) acts in his second movie adapted by a Hunter S. Thompson novel in The Rum Diary, following 1998’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

In the comedy film, set in the 1950s, Depp plays New York journalist Paul Kemp, who travels to Puerto Rico for a freelance job with a local newspaper run by down-trodden editor Lotterman (Richard Jenkins, Let Me In). Depp quickly finds himself caught between a beautiful woman (Amber Heard, Drive Angry) and her fiance (Aaron Eckhart, Love Happens), a shady American businessman who wants to turn the island into a capitalist paradise for the wealthy. While partaking in several bottles of booze, Depp is assigned to write favorably about the scheme and must decide whether to go along with it or to take down the businessman.

Written and directed by Bruce Robinson (Jennifer Eight), The Rum Diary also stars Michael Rispoli (Kick-Ass) and Giovanni Ribisi (Avatar).

The Rum Diary Blu-ray boxThe R-rated movie got a mixed reception by critics and worse by audiences, leading to the film grossing a poor $13 million in theaters. (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas similarly suffered at the box office, grossing only $10 million.)

The Baltic Times‘ Laurence Boyce said of The Rum Diary: “There are some good things including a great soundtrack and strong performances from the likes of Giovanni Ribisi and Michael Rispoli, but it is a disappointing and overlong affair.”

Like other critics, Toronto Star‘s Peter Howell hailed Depp’s performance, but said, “even he can’t completely save the picture.”

The DVD and Blu-ray come with two special features:

  • featurette “A Voice Made of Ink and Rage: Inside The Rum Diary
  • and documentary “The Rum Diary Back-Story.”

Here’s the appropriately crazy-looking trailer:

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.