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Bottle Shock

by Zach Oat August 5, 2008 2:49 pm
Bottle Shock

With a title that sounds so similar to Wes Anderson's Bottle Rocket, the wine dramedy Bottle Shock already sets my expectations pretty high. A quick Google search tells me that bottle shock (or bottle sickness) is a condition caused by too much oxygen in the wine, and can result in a one-dimensional flavor profile. I don't know about one-dimensional, but I have to say that this movie is already making me a little sick, for several reasons.

Let's see: A.) I'm not a wine lover, and in fact have the palate of a baby who hates wine, so seeing people drink a lot of it makes me slightly ill. B.) Despite not having spent a lot of time there, I hate the 1970s, especially the Doobie Brothers-loving, Southern-California, surfer-hippie culture aspect of it. C.) I'm wary of movies that celebrate how awesome America is by recounting our small past victories -- in this case, the first time a Californian vineyard beat all French comers in a blind tasting -- especially when we already know how they end. (See also: Miracle.) And D.) Dennis Farina annoys the living hell out of me. However, I am indifferent towards Bill Pullman.

That said, this movie is also intriguing to me, for several more reasons. 1.) I liked Sideways,, which was also about wine, although that had the inimitable Paul Giamatti to keep me interested. 2.) Aside from Dennis Farina, I love the cast to death: Alan Rickman's dry sarcasm seems to be operating at near Die-Hard levels; Freddy Rodriguez looks crazier than usual; the shaggy-haired surfer-winemaker is played by Chris Pine, a.k.a. the new Captain Kirk; and Eliza Dushku makes an appearance as a waitress -- it may be a small role, but I'll take Eliza Dushku where I can get her. Man, that sounded creepy. And 3.) By the end of the movie, the French get what's coming to them. That last one goes a long way, but my "making me sick" reasons still outnumber my "intriguing" ones -- so unless my desire to see the French suffer overwhelms me, I may be catching this one on DVD.

Reviews by People Who've Actually Seen It:
Variety
Rotten Tomatoes

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