Special Edition, The Criterion Collection
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Wes Anderson's dazzling sophomore effort is equal parts coming-of-age story, French New Wave homage, and screwball comedy. Tenth grader Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) is Rushmore Academy's most extracurricular student -- and its least scholarly. He faces expulsion and enters into an unlikely friendship with both a lovely first-grade teacher (Olivia Williams) and a melancholy self-made millionaire (Bill Murray, in an award-winning performance). Set to a soundtrack of classic British Invasion tunes, RUSHMORE defies categorization even as it captures the pain and exuberance of adolescence with emotional depth, and cinematic panache. Criterion is proud to present one of 1998's most acclaimed films in a Director Approved special edition.
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Easily Wes Anderson's best movie, this is Wes Anderson "for the rest of us." It is nowhere near as arch or twee as his later movies. It still has his quirky style and music usage, but the characters are actually relatable and the plot is relatively straightforward. It has a number of noteworthy performances, especially the central three, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray and Olivia Willliams. I've seen it a good ten times in the last 13 years, and it is a rewarding view each time.
This is an EXTREMELY impressive transfer. Criterion did a fresh 2k scan under the supervision of director Wes Anderson, along with a thorough clean-up of dirt and print damage. Detail is superb both in close-ups and wide-angled shots. Facial detail is outstanding, among the best on the format. So is cloth texture - some of the tweedy and hounds-tooth jackets are amazing. Colors are lush and vibrant but free of any bleeding or over-saturation. Black levels are stout and never waver, but still retain perfect detail near black. Grain is stable, light, and omnipresent. There is no edge enhancement, noise reduction, or anything untoward or artificial. This looks as much like the film as a Blu-Ray can, and I say this having seen it three times in the theater.
I did some comparisons between the Criterion DVD and the Blu-Ray, and the difference is literally like having Lasik surgery or something - practically every shot is crystal clear, and is competitive with the best high definition video out there today. This is not one of those discs where you won't be able to tell the difference between BD and DVD. It is an absolute slam dunk upgrade.
Better still, all of the comprehensive extras and commentary are carried over from the previous disc. So sell it, use it as a coaster, target practice, whatever. There is no need to hang onto it. It has been totally and utterly destroyed in quality by the new Blu-Ray.
filmmaking voice, after his very promising debut with 'Bottle Rocket'.
Quite simply one of the most original films about adolescence ever
made. An unlikely love triangle between a unique oddly brilliant 'cool geek'
teenager, his teacher and a local business tycoon that's
simultaneously funny, absurd and heartbreaking.
Jason Schwartzman is great, and Bill Murray may do his best work ever -
side-splittingly funny, but with a damaged, sad, sometimes dangerous
edge just under the surface.
As in all of Anderson's films, terrific use of songs as score,
wonderfully inventive transitions and visual framing. And a lot of fun.
The Criterion version has notably better
picture quality, and some terrific extras (the regular release is
pretty bare bones). It's more expensive, but worth it for a film
you're likely to return to repeatedly.
Can't wait to have a similar experience with The Royal Tenenbaums!
Rushmore is a sophisticated comedy, but easily accessible to the masses. A great movie for fathers and sons to view together as well. I should add that I can see teenage boys especially relate to the classmate banter in the movie (as well as the borderline ubiquitous references to "hand jobs", sigh. Cringe-worthy as a parent, but funny as hell when you can set that aside while understanding that teenage boys really do talk to each other in this way).
This is by far, one of the funniest movies I've seen, and very much worthy of being part of one's permanent collection. Show it whenever there's a group gathering, or cheer yourself up when you're having a bad day. :)
Highly recommended! Many happy (funny) returns!