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Bottle Rocket
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Bottle Rocket More at IMDbPro »

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16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Charming + wonderful beginning

Author: savage miser
16 June 2002

This is the FIRST Bottle Rocket, not the full length. This version begins after the breakout in th '96 version, and ends after the boys RECAP the bookstore robbery to Bob. This is interesting to watch for hardcore Wes fans, and if Criterion loves us, they will release a DVD including this original on it. Especially worth seeing is the "I bought the gun" scene, where Dignan flips out in a vulgar rage which only Owen Wilson could have executed the way he did.

The Bottle Rocket '96 trailer includes a shot of Anthony breaking into a car to steal a wallet, but the scene is cut from the actual movie. That scene is present in the short version.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

an interesting start

Author: belchizadeck from bridgeport, ct
8 October 2000

It was rather interesting, as a huge fan of the feature, to finally get a look at the original 13 minute short, which the director himself says he cannot watch without cringing. I didn't cringe at all, in fact I was elated to see the bare bones of a simple plot, simply worded and simply acted. It was great to see what two years, a great production crew, a great cast and 6 million dollars can do to a movie. Unfortunately it's hard for me to separate the original from the feature, but one can definitely see the potentially unique voices in this piece.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

promising though a bit derivative

Author: themadstork from Virginia
22 December 2004

The owner of our local video store was nice enough to let me borrow his copy of the short when I rented Bottle Rocket. It's very clever but honestly nothing to write home about. Witty dialog with a lot of pop culture references and a certain charm, but it just doesn't have that endearing quality that Anderson and Wilson's longer films have. It actually seems more like something Quentin Tarantino would do than Anderson and Wilson. If you're a fan of Bottle Rocket and you get a chance to see this it's probably worth it. If nothing else it's interesting to see how it started. On the other hand if you never see it you shouldn't feel like you're missing too much.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

moves like a good little bebop number, but only hints at what would come

Author: MisterWhiplash from United States
20 February 2009

At this point, I wager, Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson weren't entirely sure how their Bottle Rocket feature would turn out. As a means of getting support for it they made this short film which won over James L. Brooks at Sundance and got them a movie deal at Columbia pictures. Their plan worked... except that their short film had only the smallest of substance- heavy on style, of course, even in the grittiest possible for anything by Wes Anderson- and they spent more than a year or so writing and rewriting the feature until they got it to where it worked, brilliantly.

So, as someone who loves the 1996 Bottle Rocket, I have to say that this one was just alright. But alright in that sense that does get you excited about a couple of things. For one thing the Wilson brothers, however airy their delivery, already have an interesting rapport going on, and certain scenes are identical to how it came out in the feature such as the robbery of the house, or of the shooting of the cans with the guns (the Charlie Brown music is an especially funny and awesome touch). I also liked how they introduced the book-store into the story, how the bits and pieces of visual information were kind of "stolen" shots probably taken when no one was looking in the aisles and around the corners. It overall is something slight, but it works for a 13 minute short with a sort of abrupt ending.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The beginning of Anderson & Wilson

Author: rbverhoef ( from The Hague, Netherlands
6 March 2007

'Bottle Rocket' is the first project written by Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson, starring Owen and his brother Luke. This short, shown at Sundance, made sure they got to make the feature film 'Bottle Rocket' (1996). Of course they came with 'Rushmore', 'The Royal Tenenbaums' and 'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou' next.

This short, shot in black and white, is sort of the same as the first fifteen minutes of the feature film version. It shows three friends named Dignan (Owen Wilson), Anthony (Luke) and Bob (Robert Musgrave) preparing for a heist, not much more. Before the real deal they practice once, buy guns, and then it's show time.

The dialogue and natural acting makes this an above average short film. The writing is pretty clever and most moments will make you smile. Most of the time it is quite exciting to see one of those "first films" from established directors; 'Bottle Rocket' is no exception.

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely mind blowing and truly unique.

Author: (BSpears) from New Jersey
20 February 2000

This is the type of film that should be popular among film goers. Yet, none of my friends have ever seen or heard of Bottle Rocket. The dialogue is very well written and the characters are amazingly funny. I am glad that the commercialization of the film industry and American society as a whole has left room for films like Bottle Rocket. It is not exactly film art; but, damn close.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Wilson brothers are great

Author: BlackVelvet88
27 July 2006

This short was great. It's actually the first and only Wes Anderson work I'd seen, so I didn't know what to expect. But it was surprisingly well-made. Obviously not the best, but for a low budget screening, the cinematography was good, the dialogue was pretty good, and especially the main actors were good. Sure, they weren't Humphrey Bogart or Robert De Niro, but I thought they did great for first timers. Honestly, I was surprised that it was their first time. Of course, I did have an admiration for Owen Wilson before.

Overall, this short was better that I expected. I know Anderson's work now and I know the writer side of Owen Wilson. I'll see even more when I see the feature length version - this film made me want to see it.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A well done movie

Author: Robert Turo from United States
16 March 2005

A simple movie that went far beyond what could have been expected. I have been fascinated with Wes Anderson ever since. The Wilson brothers shocked me in that they were so easy going through the whole film. Never before have I been so intrigued about a movie that involved so little detail, which in itself proves there was great detail and a great effort in keeping the detail. The laughs are there, but it's no Happy Gilmore. That's a big reason why I like it. I would recommend this film to anyone who is quirky and who likes to see a young, raw Owen Wilson. Wes Anderson has gone on to make other wonderful pieces of filmery, but you gotta love his first effort purely for its simplicity.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

One of the funniest, clever movies I have ever seen...

Author: anonymous from Phoenix, Az
11 January 1999

I happened to see this film on impulse, and now I own it and have seen it many times over. The humor is subtle and intelligent and the performances are very genuine. If you have not seen this film, you are missing out on a great one. Pay attention to the dialogue though, or you might miss some of the laughs.

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A solid directorial short debut.

Author: Charlie Brownlee from United States
29 January 2017

Bottle Rocket is Wes Anderson's first short film and his debut as a director and writer. It was unveiled at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival and was later remade into a motion picture by Wes Anderson.

I take inspiration from this short film because it's good source material. Lots of low-budget short films and movies take themselves too seriously and end up looking terrible, but films like Bottle Rocket (along with Clerks and Napoleon Dynamite on those lines) know their boundaries and limitations, and that's what makes them great.

The acting by Luke and Owen Wilson and Robert Musgrave isn't terrible and is actually pretty good. The cinematography is beautiful, even in B&W. Wes Anderson does one of the best jobs at making any film of his look colorful, even if there is no color.

I suggest this film to anyone interested in filmmaking or the history of movies. After all, one of our greatest movie directors came from this one short film.

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