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Bottle Shock (2008)

Alan Rickman , Bill Pullman  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (440 customer reviews)

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Bottle Shock + A Good Year (Widescreen Edition) + Sideways (Widescreen Edition)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman, Chris Pine, Dennis Farina, Freddy Rodriguez
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Surround), French (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: February 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (440 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,242 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bottle Shock" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

"Bottle shock" describes what can happen to wine as it travels from place to place. Set in 1976, Randall Miller's widescreen docudrama concerns the real-life showdown between California's wineries and their French counterparts. Napa Valley's Jim Barrett (Lost Highway's Bill Pullman) has been plugging away for years with minimal success. A former attorney, Barrett runs Chateau Montelena with his wayward son, Bo (Chris Pine, the Star Trek prequel's Captain Kirk), who would rather do anything than assist his stern father. Bo's co-workers include Gustavo (Six Feet Under's Freddy Rodríguez) and Sam (Transformers' Rachael Taylor), who long to produce the perfect chardonnay. Naturally, the young men compete for the favors of the beautiful blonde (the movie's least interesting angle). Across the Atlantic, Steven Spurrier (Alan Rickman) struggles to keep his Parisian wine shop going (cheapskate American Dennis Farina is his only regular customer). Then Spurrier conceives a contest to attract customers; surely, his beloved French growers will put those upstart Yanks in their place. He flies to Napa to look around, and persuades the Barretts to compete. Miller and his wife, screenwriter Jody Savin, previously worked with Pullman and Rickman on Nobel Son, but decided to release Bottle Shock first. Though comparisons to Sideways will be inevitable, the filmmakers take more of a historical look at California wine country. The "Judgment of Paris" changed the face of the business forever, and they've found a lively way to recount the tale. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Beyond Bottle Shock



Little Miss Sunshine

Stills from Bottle Shock (Click for larger image)


Product Description

1976. Napa Valley. One small American winery and its workers are about to show the French that the world's finest wines will now come from the other red, white and blue. Based on an inspiring true story and starring Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman, Chris Pine and Rachael Taylor, Bottle Shock is an 'intelligent, affectionate, beautifully acted movie' (The Hollywood Reporter) that pours out the laughs.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crowd pleaser December 12, 2008
Before a (then) little known Paris wine tasting in 1976, most people had no idea that California was producing world class wines. That changed when a British ex-pat in Paris organized a wine tasting of the best French versus the best Californians - against all expectations, California won both best red and white and nothing in the wine world has been the same since.

This drama/light comedy follows the true story of the travails of the winning white (Chardonnay) winery leading up to the competition. There is lots to enjoy here including a struggling small business story, an evolving father-son relationship, the comeuppance of an arrogant industry, and of course, a love triangle. The movie is well cast (and very well acted) with Bill Pullman as the business owner father and Alan Rickman as the snobby Brit amazed to find that good wines can be found this side of the Atlantic.

In the final analysis, this is a feel good movie, suitable for the whole family with the proviso that kids under 10 might get bored in places.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Worth Seeing! February 1, 2009
I saw this movie when it first came out, and then put on a tasting party based on the wines they drank in the movie. People had a great time watching the movie while drinking some of the same wines from the famous tasting (newer vintages). It is true that a lot of artistic licence has been taken, so if you care about the real facts, read The Judgement of Paris (excellent book). However, there are some hilarious lines, Alan Rickman is fabulous, and the scene of the tasting itself is a must for anyone that cares about wine. Personally, I would fast forward through the love-triangle scenes ("Jules and Jim" this film is not). Any wine lover who doesn't see it because of the negative comments about it not perfectly following the facts will be missing out on a very enjoyable film.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wine lovers and ex-hippies will love this!!! January 30, 2009
I saw this movie on a trans-Pacific airline trip and it is fabulous! If you survived the seventies and love wine, this is for you. Of if you're just an Alan Rickman fan, you'll like it, too! Really a fun, fun movie and makes me want to spend a year's salary to buy a bottle of 1971 California Chardonnay!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light delight March 30, 2009
I'd never heard of this film, which was offered on a recent flight overseas. Given the other movies offered, however, it looked appetizing enough, and I'm glad we tried it out.

Here, we meet again Alan Rickman (best-known for his role in the Harry Potter film series, as the snarling and sinister Snape). This time, however, he's Steven Spurrier, an amusing British dirty blond, the middle-aged proprietor of a failing Paris wine-tasting "academy," ahem, business. His exceedingly poor French pronunciation earns him a snub from even the sommelier at classiest City of Light annual vintners' event: He is nearly rejected at the door, and upon indignantly showing his ticket, is seated at the last table in the rear, by the swinging dining room door.

We also get another surprise performance from Dennis Farina, most famous for his hardened cop character in Law & Order. Here, as Maurice, Farina plays a gauche New York transplant to Paris, an acquaintance of Spurrier who proposes that the latter stir up business by hosting a wine tasting to pit French wines against the best that California has to offer. The thinking is that California will naturally lose, big time.

But everyone in France, at least, is astonished by the outcome. Along the way, viewers also witness fine character acting by California winery owner Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman) and his post-Woodstock generation son, Bo (Chris Pine).

A thoroughly enjoyable romp through a 1976 true-life story---or a story at least based on true life. American ingenuity wins, again.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, great gift February 25, 2009
I think this is such a wonderful story, totally brought to life by the filmmakers. A copy of the movie + a bottle of wine makes a perfect gift for wine lovers. Watching the tale of the opening of the wine industry with all the beauty of the California wine country is a delight. And it's funny and romantic too.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this although it was an opportunity missed September 11, 2009
By KTFaye
It was one of those movies where I REALLY wish it had a better director and/or writer. There was a interesting story to tell there, but the director and scriptwriters muddied it up.

There are good solid performances all around. Alan Rickman was his usual fine self as the Brit living in France who comes up with the idea of the event. He's droll, dry, and sarcastic. Renting the film is worth it for his performance alone. Bill Pullman is very stoic and tightly wound as Jim Barrett, the winery owner who has staked everything he owns on the little-winery-that-could and is having a financial melt-down. Chris Pine, dressed in classic mid-70's garb and hair, is the ne'er-do-well useless son who is finding his place in the world. Freddy Rodriquez, a favorite of mine, is very good as Gustavo and just about steals the story. Dennis Farina plays himself, but "himself" is always an interesting guy <g>

The film is set at a time when all of the wineries didn't have big showrooms and didn't even charge for tastings--and wine is a whole $6 bucks a bottle! But the basic story is a good one, and although they have fictionalized much of it, the wines were made and they did win. Following that, a small article in Time magazine brought Napa and its wines to a wider consumer base.

The problem is that the screenwriters included a fictional character to support a unnecessary fictional love story. Also problematic is that the script actually makes the secondary characters more interesting than the lead characters. For example, there is a secondary storyline about the winemakers assistant, Gustavo (although oddly, the winemaker who actually created the winning wine isn't even mentioned - what's with that?).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars We loved Bottle Shock the year it was released
We loved Bottle Shock the year it was released. It was funny, interesting and informative. We were speaking of it with friends who had not seen the movie. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Donna Quilling
5.0 out of 5 stars Great acting, wonderful & true story
Fabulous film!! Great acting, wonderful & true story. Takes place in the mid seventies and period correct attention is evident throughout the entire movie. HIGHLY recommended!
Published 10 days ago by Gary
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful movie towatch. If you are an Alan Rickman fan
A delightful movie to watch. If you are an Alan Rickman fan, this is a must see.
Published 12 days ago by T. Asbury
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie! If you are headed to Napa
Must watch! Great movie! If you are headed to Napa, it is especially fun!
Published 18 days ago by Tjp
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie
Published 22 days ago by Gerry
5.0 out of 5 stars Great acting and an interesting plot
A little movie with a big heart. Great acting and an interesting plot.
Published 23 days ago by Jon Delong
5.0 out of 5 stars Wine lovers favorite
I love this movie!
Published 23 days ago by Jolene M French
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is a great movie
Published 25 days ago by NancyPants
4.0 out of 5 stars Go Napa
True story, fairly interesting.
Published 1 month ago by William M.Kuzenko
5.0 out of 5 stars Vino and Viticulture
For any wine lover especially those in California, this enjoyable movie shows how the California wine industry got started. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Aunt V.
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