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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wednesday Movie Night: Bottle Rocket (1996)

I enjoy Wes Anderson movie, and I can't think of a one I haven't liked. The stories may not always be the best plotted or fascinating, but there is something about the characters, color, and music that always strikes me as memorable no matter which movie it is. For a first movie Anderson was already showing many of his filming patterns as well, though as the movie goes on it becomes clearly more defined the style he would take on. Anderson's style has become one of the distinctive in the film world, and Bottle Rocket is a little more relaxed but still Anderson.

Summary: Dignan, Anthony and Future Man are aspiring thieves. They start with minor robberies like Anthony's mother's house. They want to take on larger crimes though. The bookstore doesn't t prove to be too lucrative of a robbery once they spend all their money up at a motel. For Anthony though this motel stay will be worth it as he meets a housekeeper that he falls for. Dignan though convinces them that they must go back into burglary, and he sets them up with con-man, Mr Henry, who will help them set up a bigger heist.


Acting: Owen Wilson was not only the star as Dignan, but he also was a co-writer. Dignan is the funniest of the trio, and the way Wilson's humor works with the movie fits in well with the atmosphere of the movie. Luke Wilson is Anthony. Wilson fits the character well as the character who is caught up in wanting to choose love over money or even the lifestyle. His girlfriend is portrayed by Lumi Cavazos. Cavazos is a quiet presence in the movie, but I do feel the chemistry between her and Anthony. There is also humor that translates well between their growing chemistry. Andrew Wilson is Future Man, or the guy they seem to mainly use a getaway since neither Dignan nor Andrew has a car. Wilson is good in the movie, and sort of reminds you of Danny McBride. James Caan at the time was probably the biggest draw of the movie in 1996 since the other actors were just starting out. Caan also doesn't appear until almost an hour into the movie as Mr. Henry. He doesn't have to do much to make the movie though.

Filming: The movie becomes more prominently Wes Anderson as the movie goes on. You start out with a catchy beginning, and from then on each moment of the movie is timed well. The color is also better coordinated as the movie goes on. The colors are brighter, and match each other better to create some scenes that look a lot like paintings. It seems that Anderson favored shooting during the evening because many more of the scenes become shot in that time of the day as the movie progresses. There is also the notable folk music that is included in Anderson movies.

Plot: There is a lot of dialogue in the movie, and for some expecting just a straight up heist movie it might annoy them. Instead this movie focuses on a crew of guys who seem to be aspiring to be huge heist artists, but they seem to not know how to do it. There are also a lot of humor filled moments in the movie. I enjoyed the bookstore scene, and I felt the chemistry where there was love was well captured. I also like how Anderson always included females in his movie that have distinct personalities. There is no forgettable female in his movies. The thing is I can't think of a movie of Wes Anderson's that I've seen yet where he includes a female who isn't wrapped up in a romance. There are males in his movie that don't always get involved with a woman, but I can't think of any female roles in his movie where a woman didn't depend on a romance for her story line. Just food for thought.

Bottle Rocket ranks as one of my favorites from Wes Anderson. It's quirky without being too formulaic. I could tell there were Wes Anderson traits throughout the movie but they weren't thrown in my face to the point where I felt that the director felt he must do certain things to translate that. Plus the story is a good story about these guys trying to find something in life that they have an interest in, it just happens to be the wrong thing.

Rating 9 of 10.


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