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Rockets Redglare! (2004)

Steve Buscemi , Willem Dafoe , Luis Fernandez De La Reguera  |  R |  DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Steve Buscemi, Willem Dafoe, Matt Dillon, Jim Jarmusch, Julian Schnabel
  • Directors: Luis Fernandez De La Reguera
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Undecided Films
  • DVD Release Date: November 16, 2004
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00069FLBI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #328,142 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Audio commentary featuring Steve Buscemi and Luis Fernandez de la Reguera
  • Complete Sundance Film Festival Q&A with Steve Buscemi and Luis Fernandez de la Reguera
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Rockets Filmography
  • Weblink
  • Scene Access

Editorial Reviews


Rockets Redglare was a brilliant actor, seasoned con artist, best friend and bad influence. Though he never held a day job, Rockets counted actor (for directors such as Jim Jarmusch, Gus Van Sant and Steve Buscemi), model (for Julian Schanbel), bodyguard (to Jean Micheal Bisquiat), stand-up comedian (including a comedy show with Steve Buscemi and Mark Boone, jr.) and drug dealer (to Sid Vicious) among his crowning achievements, resulting in a life that even the highest-paid Hollywood screenwriter could never concoct.

Rockets' story is told with a little help from his friends including Steve Buscemi, Willem Dafoe, Matt Dillon, Jim Jarmusch, Julian Schnanbel, Gary Ray, Nick Zedd and Rene Heras.

Rockets appeared in over 30 films including Stranger Than Paradise, In The Soup, Big and Desperately Seeking Susan. Interviews and archival footage of his stand-up performances take us into his world where irreverent comedy and a lust for life is simultaneously his triumph and downfall. He has traveled through some of the darkest worlds of decadence that have ever existed in New York City and struggles to find humor and dignity within. His fight to survive the emotional consequences of a traumatic childhood and live, despite the physical damage from years of alcohol, heroin and methadone, is his ultimate battle.

Jennifer M. Wood, MovieMaker Magazine - April 2003

"In his new documentary, Luis Fernandez de la Reguera probes the identity of a man who was, by turn, a brilliant actor, seasoned con artist, best friend and bad influence."

"Don't miss! The titular local legend - a character actor for Jarmusch and Lower East Side mainstay - receives a fittingly affectionate, posthumous tribute."

"The film's greatest asset is Redglare's own skill as a raconteur. With an unbridled honesty that just skirts the maudlin, he makes us understand what drives a man to schedule his sleep around his drinking habits while letting his weight balloon. It helps if you were born the smack-addicted child of a junkie mother, watched your gangster father and uncle murder a man before your eyes and went on to be sexually abused at an early age by your landlady. At least she paid him for the privilege. Addicts always exaggerate, but if only half of Redglare's accounts are factual, his was an odyssey like few others."

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest. Unblinking. Unforgettable. November 2, 2004
I saw this documentary at a sold out screening at Sundance last year, (the DVD has footage of producer Steve Buscemi and first time filmmaker Luis Fernandez de la Reguera taking questions from the audience at that same screening, a rare personal look at Steve Buscemi, for fans.)

To me, a great documentary should transcend the typical format of talking heads and spliced file footage and make you feel, on some deep level, some insight on what it means to be human on this planet. For me, this was one of those films.

Although this film was obviously made with more love than money, it shows that what matters isn't the budget but the heart and sweat of the filmmaker.

What could have been a very depressing story (and typical morality tale)of a bad childhood leading to an adulthood of drugs and self destruction, instead focuses on Rockets charm, talent, humor, lust for life, and counter-culture irreverence. The film's not about judging, it's about compassion and understanding, warts (or should I say pus) and all.

I'm afraid some people won't like the film or "get it." I read a review where the critic didn't understand why someone would make a film about someone who, besides his independent film acting career, "never amounted to much." Statements like that make me crazy.

To me, life isn't about the so-called achievements one can type up in a resume, it's more about the relationships with other people you develop in your life. Even with a hellish life, odds stacked against him, Rockets never lost his humanity and managed to make an indelible impression on others. Watching the film, it's obvious how much the people involved in the film deeply cared about him, and after seeing their efforts maybe a little of that will rub off, and you will care about him too.

I'd like to thank the filmmakers for telling his story.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not sure what to think of this movie. May 29, 2008
This movie really grated on me while i was watching it. I tried to feel so much compassion for Rockets but the movie made me feel none. I love Steve Buscemi and Wilem Dafoe and even there love for this man couldn't get me to care. I enjoyed this movie but overall i think the message they were trying to get across never showed up to me. The whole movie i would be thinking why are these people friends with him. As much of a wonderful man i am sure Rockets was this movie does not show it and at the end it leaves you with a overall "what the hell?!?!?!?!?!" kind of feeling. So i honestly would and have told people to see this movie but i always warn them that they will probably hate it and me for telling them to watch it.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful

"Rockets Redglare" is a documentary tribute to a man (known only as Rockets Redglare) who was a standup comic, a character actor, an alcoholic, a drug addict and a beloved friend of such cinema stalwarts as Steve Buscemi, Jim Jarmusch, Willem Dafoe, Matt Dillon and many others. In fact, Rockets appeared in many independent features including "Stranger Than Paradise," "Down By Law," "Mystery Train," and "Basquiat," as well as more mainstream works such as "Big" and "Talk Radio" (he's the killer who shoots the talk show host). "Rockets Redglare" was planned and filmed before Rockets' death, making it one of those rare posthumous documentaries in which the subject gets to tell his own life story.

Although there are a number of interesting moments scattered throughout the film, I must admit that I began to wonder early on what it was exactly about this man that made anyone think him worthy of a full-length documentary. Frankly, except for some harrowing moments Rockets recounts from his childhood (his mother and father were both criminals and drug addicts), his life doesn't seem really all that interesting, and the insights he provides into life aren't particularly witty or insightful. With no voiceover narration to provide any real cohesion or focus, the film feels slapdash and aimless, relying strictly on Rockets himself and his buddies, Dillon, Buscemi, Dafoe etc. to flesh out the storyline. Although everyone keeps telling us what a wonderful and likable person Rockets was, the charm really doesn't come across all that well on screen, so I guess we`ll just have to take their word for it that that was indeed how he was. I guess you just had to be there.
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