Arts & Culture » Film

Bottle Rocket




Of all of Wes Anderson's films, his "Bottle Rocket" of a debut remains his best. It's nestled firmly in my all-time Top 10 "? a positioned only cemented by Criterion's new double-disc release, which puts Sony's previous bare-bones release to absolute, unquestionable shame.

Anderson's simple tale of suburban Texas boys (brothers Owen and Luke Wilson comprise two-thirds of the trio) dreaming of lives as robbers is infinitely charming, and its dialogue sports a rhythm all its own, without being "showy" like a "Juno." Its buoyant spirit is summed up not by a line, but an action: when Luke's character is told he is loved, and he does this dance of joy across the room. It's a transcendent moment.

Criterion being Criterion, it's no surprise the film looks better than ever. Ditto that it delivers in the extras department. Heading up that second disc is a new documentary on the making of the film, allowing all the principals to discuss its miracle of genesis, its torturous previews, its death on the box-office vine, and its miracle of rebirth.

Of most interest to fans, however, will be the original, 13-minute, black-and-white short from which the movie was spawned. After years of hearing about it, it's finally available for your eyes. But keep your expectations way low; it doesn't even feel like Anderson, so it's hard to see what producers ever saw in it. No matter "?  just be glad they did.

"?Rod Lott


Latest in Film

Readers also liked…

Add a comment