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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Art > History > Biography > Counterculture > For No Good Reason (2012/Sony Blu-ray w/DVD)

For No Good Reason (2012/Sony Blu-ray w/DVD)

Picture: B+/B- Sound: B+/B- Extras: B+ Documentary: A

If you are a fan of Hunter S. Thompson or the Gonzo art movement then you are a fan of Ralph Steadman, easily one of the greatest living artists. His work is extremely prolific, political, and original captured beautifully here in this movie within a documentary entitled For No Good Reason (2012), is directed by Charlie Paul and starring Johnny Depp as himself. The film won the official selection at the SXSW Film Festival in 2014 and was the official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival with damn good reason.

In this film, we see the world of Steadman's art through Depp's eyes as he takes us through Steadman's art studio where he describes his first years in America (specifically New York), his friendship with Hunter S. Thompson, and his political artwork that has made him a popular subject in the art world. The Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas segment is also very cool with Depp reading some of the lines in his infamous Raoul Duke voice and animation that is very tripped out and cool. Did I also mention that Slash does some of the music?!

The film has some of the best editing that I've ever seen and is told in such a creative style that it is truly inspiring to watch. I have been a fan of Steadman's work for years but feel that this film has enhanced by appreciation for him by exposing me to some of his work I otherwise may not have been aware of and showing the man behind it all and his approach to creating art. There are also some great interviews with Terry Gilliam and tons of great old footage of Steadman and Hunter as young men causing mischief with moments that really priceless to behold. Steadman's art is both angry and beautiful whilst at the same time original and grotesque.

The narrative is masterfully told and I can't stress enough how much this isn't your typical documentary. There are some incredible animated sequences, opportunities for the audience to watch Steadman work from his first paint splotch to the final details, and priceless moments on film that perfectly capture a master at his craft. This truly is one of the best films of the year and quite frankly one of my new favorite documentaries.

The presentation on this Blu-ray is very clean and impressive with a 1080p high definition transfer captured in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and a lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 track that allows you to experience the film at home with the best quality on the market. The DVD of the film is also included in standard definition and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track that is great for the format but loses some of the details the Blu-ray brings us.

Extras are phenomenal on the disc including Commentary with Director Charlie Paul and Producer Larry Paul, Cherrywood Cannon Animated Short Film, Deleted Scenes, Extended Interviews and Toronto International Film Festival Q and A with Ralph Steadman and Charlie Paul.

Again, this film is not to be missed - especially on Blu-ray!

- James Harland Lockhart V



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