“You’re like paper, trash.”
“I’m like trash?”
“It sounds better in Spanish.”
You know, when I watched Bottle Rocket the other night, it was my second or maybe third time watching it through. And compared to the other Anderson films I’ve reviewed thus far, it’s really not that great.
But as I watched the trailer that I embedded above, I realized how many good parts are in the movie.
Bottle Rocket was the debut film for Wes Anderson in 1996, based on a short film he did with the Wilson brothers (Luke and Owen) in 1994. It’s an interesting film to say the least. Even having just watched it, I’m really not sure what it’s about. The tag-line reads “They’re not really criminals. But everybody’s got to have a dream.” I guess that fits as good as anything.
To be perfectly honest, I’ve been working on this one review for the past two and a half days, writing and then deleting what i’d just written because every other sentence was a contradiction. The reason for this? This is NOT a Wes Anderson film in the ways we think of Wes Anderson.
I even resorted to calling a friend and fellow reviewer Josh (wasinaso.wordpress.com) whom I’ve previously worked with on a review blog; nunsonabus.blogspot.com to discuss my frustration with writing this review.
My main frustrations lie in the fact that I just stated, this is not a W.A. film in the sense of how we think of W.A. films. While still being quirky and fun, there is a lot missing. The soundtrack for Bottle Rocket, along with a lot of my favorites, was done by Mark Mothersbaugh. The only problem? It’s not the fun odd sounds that Mothersbaugh is known for. There’s something missing.
The acting? Something missing.
The characters? Something missing.
The plot? . . .
That said, I can’t give any good reasons not to watch Bottle Rocket. It’s a fun movie that is really just great. While at the same time, being a not very good movie.
As I said before, frustrating. When I was talking to Josh about this movie, he even said, “Write about your frustration, keep it short, don’t try to convince people one way or another.”
So I’m doing my best not to convince you. Watch it or not. It doesn’t matter. Like EVERY single Wes Anderson film that has ever been released, you’ll either love it or hate it. There’s not a lot of ways to sugar coat it. I think of Wes Anderson films the way I view Tim Burton movies. Both are fantastic artists who have continued to grow throughout their careers while both having major setbacks from bad movies. But the thing about great artists is the fact that once you fall in love with their work, you’ll continually go back to see what they come up with next, even if it’s not that good.
This was Wes Anderson’s first film and it’s an amazing starting point. It introduced the world to Luke Wilson, Bob Musgrave and Anderson himself to the world. Plus it has James Caan (Godfather). That’s a pretty big name to get attached to a premier film.
So as a final closing, love it or hate it, Bottle Rocket is a fun movie. I enjoyed it.