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May 20, 2005

Discussion: Bottle Rocket

Bottle Rocket

Lately, everything is coming up Psychonauts. I've already started thinking about what I want to write about the game, which will probably fill several posts. Before I get started on that, though, let me touch briefly on this early Wes Anderson movie.

I'm actually a fan of Wes Anderson, having seen everything he's done except for his most recent movie, which I think has just recently come out on DVD. Although I wasn't a huge fan of Tenenbaums, I'm generally a fan of his work and Bottle Rocket was no exception.

Bottle Rocket described the interaction between a few slightly off-kilter characters in their quest to become genuine heist-pullers¹. Their leader is Dignan, a young man with a dream and no sense of reality. Like many of Anderson's movies, it's a difficult movie to describe and in some ways hard to recommend to anyone but your equally off-kilter friends. I really liked it.

I guess what I'm noticing at the moment is that I'm drawn to the quirky these days. While I can appreciate the fun of a lot of different games, the ones that really draw me in are the ones that aren't necessarily the big sellers (though to be fair, some of them are).

The latest and greatest case in point is Psychonauts. As I mentioned, I'm going to be writing this up quite a bit more, but I want to go ahead and say to everyone: Get out there and buy this game! It deserves your support, not only because it's different, but because it's great!

This isn't like one of those quirky movies that I think would be good for more people to see -- it's a great game that people claim they've been crying for. "Oh, it's all licenses and sequels, yawn", and yet, the sequel to the execrable Champions of Norrath sold about as many copies last month, and that was a game that ranked more than 10% lower than the 90%-ranked Psychonauts and came out four months ago².

I've been playing Tim Schafer's games for as long as he's been making them. I can only hope that, like Wes Anderson, he'll get to keep doing them. You can help! Please help!

¹Side note: this is exactly the sort of fake hyphenated word which you can create in English and makes sense, but which I expect has an actual term in German.
²Yes, I have used nearly every form of emphasis in this post.

Posted by Brett Douville at May 20, 2005 09:58 PM


Reading this I realized that I hadn't done my part! I'm a fan of Tim's, and I just completely let it slip. But, I now have righted that great wrong. Thanks for the reminder.

Posted by: Jeffool at May 21, 2005 03:50 PM

Yay! Preserving greatness, one purchase at a time.

Posted by: Brett Douville at May 21, 2005 05:46 PM

Wes Anderson is one of my all-time favorites. His collaboration with the Wilson brothers is sublime. One of the best exchanges in Bottle Rocket:
Anthony: Grace (9 years old) thinks I'm a failure.
Dignan: What? What has she ever accomplished in her life that's so great?

Posted by: Jen at June 1, 2005 02:31 PM

There were so many times in this movie that I laughed out loud, which is really rare for me these days, as movies generally fail to surprise. This one was really a gem that way.

Posted by: Brett Douville at June 1, 2005 09:52 PM