Two weeks ago I got the great news that Ben Folds has a new album due out next month.
This week’s great news comes from the world of DVDs.
Wes Anderson’s first film, Bottle Rocket, will finally get the Criterion Collection release that has been rumored to be in the works for years. Three of Anderson’s other films — Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou — have already been released by Criterion, but his debut film had been relegated to a standard release with no extras.
For those unfamiliar with the Criterion Collection, it is the standard-bearer for deluxe movie releases dating back to the laserdisc days. Their DVDs are pristine visually and chock full of smart extras (see list of Bottle Rocket extras below).
As for the film, it is rougher around the edges than Anderson’s later work, but that’s a large part of its charm. It features Owen Wilson’s finest performance (ok, I know that might not be saying much given his later filmography, but believe me, he is brilliant here). His Dignan is among my favorite ever movie characters, a lost soul whose quest for greatness is hilariously poignant. This is also among the more quotable movies in recent years, though it’s tough to find others who know what you’re quoting.
So come November 25, I’ll have an old copy of Bottle Rocket to unload if anyone’s interested.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED DOUBLE-DISC SET SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:
– New, restored high-definition digital transfer supervised and approved by director Wes Anderson and director of photography Robert Yeoman
– Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack
– Commentary by director/co-writer Anderson and co-writer/actor Owen Wilson
– The Making of “Bottle Rocket”: an original documentary by filmmaker Barry Braverman featuring Anderson, James L. Brooks, James Caan, Temple Nash Jr., Kumar Pallana, Polly Platt, Mark Mothersbaugh, Robert Musgrave, Richard Sakai, David and Sandy Wasco, Andrew and Luke and Owen Wilson, and Robert Yeoman
– The original thirteen-minute black-and-white Bottle Rocket short film from 1992
– Eleven deleted scenes
– Anamorphic screen test, storyboards, location photos, and behind-the-scenes photographs by Laura Wilson
– Murita Cycles, a 1978 short film by Braverman
– The Shafrazi Lectures, no. 1: Bottle Rocket
– PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by executive producer James L. Brooks, an appreciation by Martin Scorsese, and original artwork by Ian Dingman