HD Radio
Listen Online
What's Playing
Program Schedule
Support WGUC
Sponsorships & Advertising
Community Calendar
Cincinnati Spotlight

E-News
WGUC Reviews
WGUC Events
Contests
Hosts
Links
90.9 Store

Classics for Kids
90-Second Naturalist
Corbett Studio
91.7 WVXU
About Us
Contact Us



WGUC Reviews

Bottle Shock

Bottle Shock
Freestyle Releasing
Rated PG-13
Now Showing at: Mariemont Theatre.
Review by: Larry Thomas


It’s nice to find that good things still come in small packages. Cinematically speaking, that usually refers to low-budget independent films that possess charm, talent, and entertainment at a fraction of what the studios spend on catering a comic book action hero movie.

Such is the case with Bottle Shock, a based-on-a-true-story tale about the rise of the now-burgeoning wine industry in California’s Napa Valley. According to the story, this area was ignored as a wine producer to the point that the wineries were on the edge of extinction. When a Parisian wine merchant is inspired by a colleague to have a wine tasting in France pitting French vs. California wines, he visits California and finds that the wines are actually very good, if not exceptional. Even if you’re not familiar with how the story unfolds, you can easily guess, as it’s hard to walk down the aisles of any wine emporium without being intimidated by the sheer number of California vintages available.

In Bottle Shock, the charming British actor Alan Rickman plays the Parisian wine merchant. Even though he came to fame as the uber villain Hans Gruber in the first Die Hard movie, Rickman has, generally, balanced out his bad guy act with a series of smaller films that feature his quirky side. His compadre in this venture is Dennis Farina, a very competent character actor, and former Chicago cop, who is clothed in some of the ugliest suits any one person has been forced to wear. But, hey…it does take place in 1976, so it’s period dress-appropriate. And the farmer and vintner at the center of the story is essayed by Bill Pullman, another fine thespian who, when he gets the right role, can really shine. Here he plays a San Francisco lawyer who has given up his practice to follow his dream. In the process he loses his wife, and is on the verge of losing his farm. He is discouraged and bitter, and his slacker surf bum son is no help.

But things change, as you would expect, and all’s well that end’s well, as someone must have said before. The rest of the cast, who, for the most part, are not well known, all do fine jobs. The writing and direction by Randall Miller, with some TV and low-budget features to his credit, is good enough to raise his budgets, and his salary, the next time he makes a film.

In the movie business, everyone is looking for a “high concept” descriptive, which is a one-line summation of a film that everyone…or most people…will get. In the case of Bottle Shock, it should be…this is “the Breaking Away of wine movies.” It has the same energy and drive, and care for its characters as that Indiana-made film about bicycle racing possesses.

It’s also likely to inspire you to head to the nearest restaurant outside the theatre to try a bottle of wine. Not just the usual brand, but something new and different. And if you’re on the fence about buying a ticket to this movie, it is also well worth taking a chance. Salud!


Events
Archive
Trips

Listen Online

Windows Media
RealPlayer


Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter or our daily playlist!


An oasis in a hectic world
WGUC 90.9 FM | 1223 Central Parkway | Cincinnati, OH 45214-2890 • (513) 241-8282
©2014 Cincinnati Public Radio, Inc. All rights reserved. | Contact Us
 
SUPPORT
Make your contribution online
Become a Sustaining Member
Update Your Information
Text 2 Give
Gifts of Stock
Donating Vehicles
Planned Giving
Joseph-Beth Gives Back Program
Protect My Public Media
ABOUT WGUC
FAQ
On-Air Hosts
Our Staff
Our Underwriters
E-News Publications
Award-Winning Productions
Mission Statement
Our Board of Directors
Our Community Board
Jobs at Cincinnati Public Radio
EEO Statement
Volunteers
eTech Ohio
Privacy Policy
Cincinnati Public Radio's Revenues and Expenditures
MUSIC
What's Playing
Listen Online
Mobile
Purchase CDs
 
BBB Accredited Charity