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-   -   Review Wanted: BOTTLE ROCKET DVD (https://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-reviews-recommendations/70913-review-wanted-bottle-rocket-dvd.html)

Jepthah 02-26-00 03:09 AM

I am in the minority in that I think this one is a brilliant film, much better and funnier than RUSHMORE. I already saw and loved the movie, so I'm not asking for a review of it per se, but rather the DVD's qualities (or lack thereof).

I noticed that unfortunately it appears to be a rapidly thrown-together disc, from the outside packaging...this is a shame. I hope Columbia/Tri-Star and Wes Anderson don't treat it like a bastard stepchild and someday re-do it with extras. But how is the current bare-bones disc?

NOFX 02-26-00 05:33 AM

Bottle Rocket will never get the Rushmore treatment, nothing close to it whatsoever. Just be happy with what it has now, cause it's not gonna change.

Still a great movie, no matter what.

[This message has been edited by NOFX (edited February 26, 2000).]

Patman 02-26-00 09:34 PM

This is definitely a quirky movie, and it's great that it has an internal voice of its own (mainly Dignan's). http://talk.dvdtalk.com/ubb/smile.gif

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PatCave ;HT Pix ;Pat's DVDs

TELawrence 02-28-00 05:56 PM

Personally I find it revolting to even compare Bottle Rocket to that sack of human waste otherwise known as Rushmore.

Sadly the DVD version of Bottle Rocket not only won't get any special treatment but got less treatment than the Laserdisc version I watched year(s) ago as the Laserdisc had "Directors Commentary" which was generally excellent. But then again Laserdisc always was the true film lovers media and DVD isn't nearly as well respected.

Anyway, fantastic film, bare bones DVD.

zombie 02-28-00 09:44 PM

True, while many DVD "marks" pick on lasderdiscs, there are way too many laserdiscs with special features that the DVD doesnt have. Like DAWN OF THE DEAD, 2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY, ORIGINAL GANGSTAS, BOTTLED ROCKETS, and many many more. Since it was released by the same companies, i do not know WHY they cant include the same features on DVD like on the laserdisc, like the audio commentaries.

Thor 02-28-00 10:18 PM

geez, telawrence, what did RUSHMORE ever do to you?

Anyway, it looks swell, even though it's totally skimpy. And I've watched it more than any other DVD I've owned, so I'm content I've got my value out of it.

Jepthah 02-28-00 10:33 PM

It's not a 'flipper,' is it?

The Zizz 02-28-00 11:54 PM

Jeptah: It is 2-sided, I think, but that's one side for each format (WS and P&S).

I'm going to have to be in the minority in that I thought Rushmore was great while Bottle Rocket was just ok.

TELawrence 02-29-00 12:38 PM

Rushmore wasted two hours of my life that might otherwise be spent watching a good movie. While I certainly respect anyones movie preferences, apparently I don't understand liking Rushmore. Of course it has recently been made into a Criterion (which implies that it is somewhat masterful) but then again they also made Armageddon into a Criterion so obviously thier standards seem to be slipping.

Anyway I would love to hear an explaination of what makes this movie good because I completely missed it - and I'm being sincere about this. Someone please explain what I missed.

Thor 02-29-00 07:53 PM

Well, I'm tempted to turn around and ask what makes it so "bad", but here's what I thought made it good.

First of all, I enjoyed the story. While the characters aren't entirely sympathetic, they felt particularly real, and I was able to relate to parts of all of them.

Second of all, I liked the photography. I thought it was quite a well-shot film.

Third of all, I thought Bill Murray gave a great performance. There's so many scenes (him on Miss Cross's doorstep, him on the diving board, fighting with his sons, him on his cell phone blocking the kids playing basketball, etc.) that I thought were wonderfully done.

Fourth of all, I thought Max's plays were hysterical.

Fifth of all, I really liked the tone. It wasn't unrealistically sappy or caustically nihilistic, which seem to be the two most prevalent modes of moviemaking these days. It was bittersweet, but real.

Sixth of all, I loved the music. The Who montage was excellent (it seems that the Who brings out the best in filmmakers), and the choice of The Faces "Ooh La La" - a bittersweet song about growing up - at the end was totally inspired.

There's other things I could mention (the dialogue, some of the other acting, the fact that it was set in Houston and I used to live there and enjoyed picking out places, and so on), but those are some of the things I liked about it. I admit it has a couple flaws (there's some horribly matched edits, and Sara Tanaka's acting is pretty poor), and I can understand that not everyone would connect with the characters, but I can't imagine putting it in the same league as ARMAGEDDON. I mean, it's not a "laugh out loud" comedy, that's for sure, so I can see it frustrating somebody's expectations.

Wolfchild 02-29-00 10:39 PM

Hate to make this thread stray any farther from Bottle Rocket, but....
Thor, I agree with you, the soundtrack to Rushmore was pretty nifty http://talk.dvdtalk.com/ubb/smile.gif

I must mostly agree with TELawrence though; for a very-well respected film, I felt Rushmore was one of the worst and most off-putting movies I've sat through in a while. I guess some of us just don't 'get it' with this movie. And I don't think it's because I can't handle 'difficult' films; I just watched Breaking The Waves last week and thought it was great. But that Rushmore...

Nothing the obnoxious Max does is ever very realistic, most of it doesn't make much sense and he has got to be one of the most unsympathetic characters there ever was. And yes though it is shot competently enough I didn't see anything outstanding in the photography and it's just plain boring. Miss Cross was pretty, I guess that was a plus. Note! I am not trying to take anything away from anyone who enjoys this film - just don't ask me to sit through it again!

Okay, sorry, back to Bottle Rocket.

Thor 03-01-00 04:35 PM

What I find "sympathetic" about Max is his ambition and his bigger-than-life dreams. He may not be kind, he may not even be talented, but he's going after so much in life with a gusto few dare, and I find that uplifting, regardless of his faults.

I also think the movie is very much one about his personal growth; he certainly has a lot of faults, but I believe that by the last act, he's learned a lot about being a better human being, as is demonstrated by him seating Mr. Blume next to Miss Cross, by casting Magnus in his play, by acknowledging his dad's career, and some other things, without sacrificing any of his ambition.

You're right, though; some people don't get it. I don't think it's because it's that "difficult" (it's actually a pretty straightforward film), but that it doesn't provide a lot of the things people look for from a movie (and the fact that it's been marketed as a rambunctious comedy doesn't help). I don't begrudge people who don't get RUSHMORE anything or think less of them (I've certainly hated movies others regarded as masterpieces); I just wish they could see this movie from my eyes and get the joy that I get out of it.

But have I mentioned that I think BOTTLE ROCKET is great too? "On the run from Johnny Law. This ain't no trip to Cleveland..."

Gil Jawetz 03-02-00 10:29 AM

Wait a minute!! Bottle Rocket LD has commentary? I have it and it doesn't say anything about that anywhere? I gotta check that out!

BTW, both these films are among my favorites of the decade.

TELawrence 03-02-00 01:14 PM

Thor thanks for the input, I can appreciate many of the elements you mentioned however it seems to me that Wolfchild and I probably see it in a similar light. I'll address each thing you mentioned.

You liked the characters.

Murray was interesting but under-used (in compariosion to Max). The girl was simply tinder. But overall, Max is the character that ruined this movie for me. While I can appreciate, hard working dreamers that don't succeed, he is an unlikable, obnoxious, know it all, punk ass kid that does nothing other than annoy. When he's not doing his best Will Hunting impression, he's either brooding in the corner, planning someones death, scheming against other school kids, or directing a play?! Phulleazzzee! Next thing you know he'll be working at a Barber shop or trying to open an aquarium!

The cinematography/picture was fine. Then again with todays equipment you'd be hard pressed to screw that up.

The tone wasn't unrealistic or sappy? I'm not even touching that one.


Difficult films are my forte. Some of my favorite films include Breaking the Waves, A Pure Formality, Happiness, anything by Neil Labute and Gregg Araki. The more I squirm the better! Did I squirm watching Rushmore? Absolutely because I couldn't wait for it to end. I was absolutely bored to tears! It was sooooo boring, lifeless and dull.

Oops gotta go that's all for now...

Thor 03-02-00 01:42 PM

I guess that's what it comes down to: for all his faults, I like Max Fischer. Was he screwed up? Undoubtedly. Does he have the potential to be an incredible person once he works through his issues? Yes, and that's what I like.

As opposed to, say, any character in a Gregg Araki film (of course, I've only seen THE DOOM GENERATION, but I consider that the worst film of the decade, except for maybe LOST IN SPACE).

My comment on tone was simply that RUSHMORE didn't have a blindingly optimistic ending or caustic nihilstic ending, which are the typical filmic answers; it was mixed (I would call it cautiously optimistic), which is how I tend to see life and rarely how I tend to see life reflected in the movies. I certainly don't see RUSHMORE as being "sappy" by any stretch of the imagination; for me, "sappy" is bland characters blandly falling in love with happy, bland consequences. I never said that RUSHMORE wasn't "unrealistic", just that it wasn't "unrealistically sappy". (I'm more than willing to grant that the premise isn't likely, although the same could be said in spades for BOTTLE ROCKET, but the premise and the tone are two very different things.)

ripthorne 03-03-00 06:23 AM

I personally didnt like it. I guess I just didnt "get it" or whatever there is to "get". I traded it for Pulp Fiction.

You might want to rent it before you buy it. I bought it because I loved Rushmore and figured this movie would be great as well.

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--- I HATE dead people.
--- Say my name bitch!
... because he just ate a cow STUPID!

TELawrence 03-03-00 03:29 PM

I believe that the only equal to Natural Born Killers in it's ability to generate insanely baised opinions of it, is The Doom Generation. I've never seen Ebert react so violently against a film as T.D.Gen and as you've stated, you believe, 'it's the worst film ever.' Anyway we obviously differ and that's fine, Thanks for taking the time to explain why you liked Rushmore.

Tafellappen 03-04-00 01:38 PM

I thought Rushmore was one of the greatest films I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. If you thought it was horrible, you didn't get it.

Patman 03-04-00 09:46 PM

It took me 2 viewings of Rushmore to get it, but I'm glad I did. Bottle Rockets took only one viewing for me to get it, since I had been exposed to Wes Anderson's Rushmore earlier. But if character interplays don't interest you, you won't get it.

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PatCave ;HT Pix ;Pat's DVDs

theWitcher 03-04-00 11:12 PM

Does the Bottle Rocket LD actually have a commentary?

The only place I've heard any reference to one is in TELawrence's post.

I'd be interested in finding one if that is the case. The DVD is fine, though.

Gil Jawetz 03-06-00 11:42 AM

I wish that people would move the Rushmore discussion elsewhere.

As for the original topic:
BOTTLE ROCKET LD DOES NOT HAVE A DIRECTOR COMMENTARY TRACK.
I checked it this weekend. It's important that misinformation doesn't go out like that. Otherwise people will spend good money on things they don't really want.

As for an assertion in another forum that Bad Lieutenant LD has commentary, I'm doubtful. I'll check it some night this week and get back to you.

TELawrence, what makes you think that the LD has commentary?

TELawrence 03-06-00 03:47 PM

Perhaps I confuse the voices in my head for directors commentary....

Thor 03-06-00 11:01 PM

On your DOOM GENERATION comment -

actually, the most vitriolic I've ever read Ebert get is about a movie called FROGS FOR SNAKES. Check out the movie review on his site for a good chuckle. I hate reading his good reviews, but his bad reviews always crack me up.

ripthorne - I've seen BOTTLE ROCKET six times now. The first time, I thought I'd never watch it again. I basically got forced to the second time, and it kicked in for me. From then on, I've loved it, but I can definitely understand you not liking it on a first view.

buskerdog - Considering that the original post went out of its way to mention RUSHMORE, I don't think it's that far afield. certainly not as far afield as, say, the debatable existence of a commentary track on BAD LIEUTENANT's laser disc.

TELawrence 03-07-00 12:34 AM

I honestly don't know why I thought there was commentary on Bad Leu or Bott Rocket!? Are there any extras on the either LD which has interviews or something? I'm positive I heard two things, one about each movie that I specifically remember which provide some semi-illuminating info on the movies.

1. Bottle Rocket - Why is it called Bootle Rocket? The director said, "I was asked by another director at a film festival (he used the name of the festival and director) if I knew why I named the movie bottle rocket. I answered, not really other than the use of bottle rockets in the film." The director said, "Because a bottle rocket is this little rocket which longs to fly but never gets very far before it blows up. Dignan and Anthony are both bottle rockets..."

2 - Bad Lieutenant - The Director (or someone else) explained how the final scene was shot live on location and nobody knew that it was being filmed. They apparently shot it from across the street through one way mirrors or something. (One sentence Spoiler) Anyway When Kietel is shot while sitting in the car. (End Spoiler Here) The crowds reaction (or lack thereof) is real. I found that fascinating in that you see 'real life' and film crossing over into one another in a seemingly unmolested and shocking experience. Just way too cool...

If they didn't come from the LD I don't know where else they would have. I'm NOT trying to mislead people rather inform on unsual aspects of the film and perhaps information they did not know. Anyway....

Carry on.

Gil Jawetz 03-07-00 12:19 PM

I wasn't trying to sound harsh, I just don't want people to buy stuff and then be dissappointed. These are both fine films, although they couldn't be more different. I would love a Bottle Rocket commentary track and I would LOVE the inclusion of the 20 min. B&W short of Bottle Rocket that got the studio attention to get the feature financed. I wrote to Criterion about this (yeah, good luck) and maybe one day it'll turn up, kind of like "Some Call it a Slingblade" did.

Bottle Rocket is a wonderful film and it deserves any attention it gets. Bad Lieutenant is a difficult and disturbing film containing one of the great performances of the last 10 years and, since the DVD does have commentary and is very cheap people have the opportunity to better understand Abel Ferrara's intentions.


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