The world is eagerly anticipating the final episode of Breaking Bad; this site has been no different. We’ve posted reviews of each episode from the final half-season and have even done some other Breaking Bad–themed posts. If you weren’t aware, the show is about one man’s rise to power in the, apparently, very profitable business of cooking and distributing Hillbilly Heroin, officially named crystal methamphetamine. It got us thinking about other drug-related television shows and movies, so this week’s Number 1 is all about drugs.
Dan’s Pick – Dredd
Slo-Mo is a drug that makes the brain see time running at 1% of its normal speed. Now in reality this would make an absolutely horrible drug to be on because who on Gods good Earth would want to experience most things in super slow motion? It works in Dredd because it helps set up some pretty cool torture and action scenes and that’s really about it. When Lena Headly’s character Ma-Ma skins and throws three rival gang members from the 200th floor, one can only imagine the sheer terror going through those poor bastards minds while experiencing all of that pain feeling that it’s lasting for days. Although this particular drug is used to make bullet time even more bulletier it is pretty cool seeing the reaction the human body has when explosions are happening near by and blood is going everywhere. So again I can’t stress this enough, Slo-Mo is an absolutely horrible drug that no one should ever, ever, ever even think about being on unless you’re Sting going for his marathon style sex-a-thon, but for the purpose of Dredd it’s an absolutely amazing drug.
Mark’s Pick – Less Than Zero
I could have taken the easy way out and chose a stoner comedy like Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, Pineapple Express, or any of the Cheech and Chong films, but I chose to go to the more dramatic side and select Less Than Zero.
The movie may not be a masterpiece but the performances of Robert Downey Jr. (probably not acting) and James Spader are much better than the movie as a whole. Saying Downey Jr.’s character has a drug problem is an understatement. When we meet him, he’s already in a lot of debt – $50,000 to be exact – to his dealer (Spader), who is as slimy as they come. They were perfectly cast, but the film falls short because Andrew McCarthy and Jami Gertz were not the best choices for their roles, especially McCarthy.
The movie has an anti-drug theme, and in no way resembled the book, but I think they got enough right with Downey Jr.’s and Spader’s character and the culture itself to make it a fine film. Also, if you don’t cry at the end, I don’t even know…
Anthony’s Pick – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
More often than not, when movies tackle the topic of drugs, unless it’s marijuana, they take on the “Drugs are bad, mmmmmkay?” route. Not Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Hunter S. Thompson’s comic masterpiece, originally published in Rolling Stone Magazine, is probably a collection of half-truths, but if it’s not, it’s probably the single greatest couple of days that anybody has ever lived through. Dr. Gonzo and Raoul Duke ingest basically anything that they can get their hands onto in order to see Las Vegas from a different perspective. Imagine if Charlie Sheen hung out with a fat Samoan instead of Bree Olsen. Not that he would want to make that trade, but just picture it. Also, imagine he did way more drugs.
I wouldn’t call Terry Gilliam a great director, but when given good source material, he can bring an interesting style that is all his own. The marriage of Gilliam and the novel is perfect; the quirky visuals bring a nearly impossible book to adapt onto the screen as if it were lifted right from the page. Gilliam is able to mimic the frantic feel of Thompson’s prose to achieve one of the best adaptations in film.
What’s the best drug-centric movie? Vote in the poll below or comment with your answer.