Wes Anderson first illustrated his lovingly detailed, slightly surreal cinematic vision (with cowriter Owen Wilson) in this visually witty and warm portrait of three young misfits. Best friends Anthony (Luke Wilson), Dignan (Owen Wilson), and Bob (Robert Musgrave) stage a wildly complex, mildly successful robbery of a small bookstore, then go “on the lam.” During their adventures, Anthony falls in love with a South American housekeeper, Inez (Lumi Cavazos), and they befriend local thief extraordinaire Mr. Henry (James Caan). Bottle Rocket is a charming, hilarious, affectionate look at the folly of dreamers, shot against radiant southwestern backdrops, and the film that put Anderson and the Wilson brothers on the map. —The Criterion Collection
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Anderson was interested in filmmaking and performance from a young age, shooting crude Super-8 movies and staging elaborate school plays. As a philosophy student at the University of Texas at Austin, Anderson found a kindred spirit in classmate Owen Wilson, who shared the director’s passion for playwriting and watching classic films of the ‘70s. The two became roommates and lingered at UT; as Anderson honed his skills at a local public access television station and Wilson performed in local stage productions. The duo then set out to shoot a full-length script they wrote, titled Bottle Rocket, recruiting two of Wilson’s brothers, Luke Wilson and Andrew Wilson, to perform. Despite Andrew’s production connections in Austin, however, the team eventually ran out of film stock and funds, and they had to edit their footage into a 13-minute short. The black-and-white production eventually found its way to fellow Texan filmmaker L.M. Kit Carson, a family friend… read more
I used to hold this up as the only Wes Anderson film I liked without reservation, but upon viewing it again last night my conclusion is that Wes Anderson has always been "Wes Anderson" and so this is (mostly) just as contrived and precious and cutesy and self-conscious and nerdily hipster as everything else he's done (though the big bungled heist scene is hilarious).
The charming moments of Bottle Rocket make the film likable, but the lulls between those moments keep it from being lovable. For a debut it has some strong performances and a glimmer of the writing… read review
This is one of the great first films and although he’s made more good movies afterwards, this is Wes Anderson’s best film. Shot on location in Texas, it shows a regionalism missing in most American… read review
(Wednesday, May 27, 2009 9:20pm)
I have to say that “Bottle Rocket” is one of my favortie films of the 90’s. I have seen this movie plenty of times and i have to say that I loved it ever since… read review