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Bottle Rocket

3.7 out of 5 stars 520 customer reviews

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(Dec 22, 1998)
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Editorial Reviews

Newcomer Owen Wilson, in a star-making performance, co-wrote the screenplay about three best friends who attempt to escape their suburban boredom through a life of crime. But these bickering, bumbling thieves are no match for the local "godfather" (James Caan) who leads them into the biggest heist of their careers. Co-starring Luke Wilson and Bob Musgrave in their film debuts.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Musgrave, Owen Wilson, James Caan, Luke Wilson, Andrew Wilson
  • Directors: Wes Anderson
  • Producers: Polly Platt, Cynthia Hargrave
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 22, 1998
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (520 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767821408
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,906 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bottle Rocket" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Released in 1996, this is Wes Anderson's first feature movie and the beginning of a great career that has also included the fantastic quirky comedy-dramas "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums." "Bottle Rocket" isn't the equal of those films, but it is a great start to Anderson's career, and a fine little comedy. It also marked the beginning of the stardom of Owen Wilson, who co-wrote the script with Anderson and plays the most noticeable and memorable part. The film was shot in Texas, Anderson and Wilson's home state, based on a short film they had made two years earlier.
The movie has the type of laid-back and character-driven humor that won't appeal to everyone. This is comedy that doesn't target laughs or build up elaborate set-ups as most comedies do. Instead, the humor is continuously slow-pitched to you in the form of weird but likeable characters, off-center attitudes, and situations that seem familiar to us but are played in unreal ways and thus become extremely funny. All together, it's an extraordinarily enjoyable and pleasant movie that strolls through its story with no particular rush.
Owen's brother Luke Wilson, who had so far appeared in every Wes Anderson film, plays Anthony Adams, who gets out of a voluntary mental hospital after recuperating from a breakdown. His friend Dignan (Owen Wilson) has big plans for both of them -- a life of easy and enjoyable crime! Dignan doesn't have any good ideas, but tries to make up for it with endless enthusiasm and an outrageously optimistic view of life. Unfortunately, when things inevitably don't go well for him and his friends start criticizing him, he can fall into pretty bitter depressions.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Taking a trip into Wes Anderson's head is like going into a parallel universe where most things are the same, but the nature of reality is just slightly warped. And that formula holds true for "Bottle Rocket," his first collaboration with actor Owen Wilson (who also stars), an absurdist crime caper.
Anthony (Luke Wilson) has just been released from a mental hospital after being treated for exhaustion ("You haven't worked a day in your life. How could you be exhausted?"). He hangs out with his idealistically weird pal Dignan (Owen Wilson), who has mapped out his life over the next 75 years. Dignan, having seen a TV special, has decided to become a master criminal.
First they recruitt the timid Bob (Bob Musgrave) as the getaway driver, as he is the only one who has a car. They practice for a while on smaller-time burglaries, such as robbing a bookstore -- then hiding out at a motel, where Anthony falls in love with the pretty South-American maid (Lumi Cavazos). However, the guys find themselves in hot water when they bump into a REAL crime boss (James Caan).
Wes Anderson's touch is a little rough in his movie debut, but it's that slightly unpolished touch that makes his offbeat style a delight here. For example, Anthony "escapes" from a hospital that he can leave anytime he wants. That unnecessarily complex opener sets the tone of the rest of the movie, of thrillseeking young men who are just a little out of sync with the rest of us.
Don't expect stupid puns, toilet humor and bad sex jokes. "Bottle Rocket" shares the dry, funny, erratic humor of Anderson's later movies. Not to mention a thousand funny little lines ("Bob stole his car!"). Anderson and Wilson avoid being self-consciously cool, in favor of being earnestly quirky.
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Format: VHS Tape
This movie grabbed my attention the first time I rented it at my local videostore for it's low key atmosphere and entertaining storyline. The highly persistent (if not entirely insane) Dignan, played by Owen Wilson has got to be one of the most memorable character portrayals in any movie I've ever seen. The slow pace of the movie makes everything just right (you won't be blown away by special effects, unless you consider an altogether cerebral script pyrotechnic) but you will come away from this movie with a sense of adventure and a deep desire for one yourself. The fact that this movie is practically a remake of an earlier project adds even more to its appeal. The caper scenes are hilarious, the dialogue will make you think as well as laugh, and you will come away from this movie with a new appreciation for film making in general. It's not all about explosions after all. And you will find yourself scaring the hell out of your friends when for no reason at all you start screaming "Ka-Caw, Ka-Caw!". If you like this movie check out Rushmore, also directed by Wes Anderson.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Bottle Rocket is a film by Wes Anderson, who, along with actor Owen Wilson wrote this fantastic film full of smart humor and unique directing. Everything done in the film is intentional, such as the outfits worn and the colors used in the background. Anderson's unique visual style along with Owen Wilson's hysterical comedic delivery make this film an absolute keeper. It stars 3 would be criminals who hold up a bookstore and then run off and hide in an unknown remote hotel. The trio leaves at a burst of catastrophe which involves one of the characters brother who has trouble with the law. The end result is a final commission from a big wig thief (James Caan) whom Owen Wilson's character idolizes to rob an old factory. The story drags a bit at the hotel sequence, but the hysterical finale makes it all worthwhile. I must mention as well that the characters are great and very unique in that each of their personalities has something massively easy to remember.
The dvd has no extras, and seeing as the film is spawned off of a 30 minute short of the same name, it would have been great to see some extras treatment. Comparitively, the commentary track and extras that were piled onto the Criterion Collections "Rushmore" dvd make you wish even more that "Bottle Rocket" could have gotten at least something(Anderson and Wilson's commentary in "Rushmore" open the eyes of the viewer to so many great things that most likely would have gone much more for this one!). Yet as it stands, I think we are lucky this film is on dvd at all.
The music is wonderful, completely unique, and adds to every scene.
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Topic From this Discussion
Criterion Blu-Ray Version of "Bottle Rocket"!!
I haven't seen this movie yet, but I own all of Wes Anderson's Criterion releases, so this will be in my collection as well. I can't wait to see if there's going to be other Wes Anderson movies on BR, The Life Aquatic and The Darjeeling Limited would be absolutely wonderful.
Aug 6, 2008 by Julien Lavoie |  See all 2 posts
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