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Bottle Shock (2008)

April 4, 2010

This film tells the story of how California wine became respected among wine connoisseurs.   It details specifically one family’s winery, the Barretts of Chateau Montelena, and the organizer of the blind tasting, Steven Spurrier.

The film seemed rather disjointed and choppy.  The scenes with Gustavo were especially out of place, such as the part where he breaks off a truckers antenna, or when he has a fling with Sam.  He should have either been given a more central part in the film, or left out entirely.  And I wonder if they ran out of time post-production, because it seemed so unpolished in the end.  In most movies, if the editing is good, you don’t ever notice it.  But in this film the editing was so poor it was distracting.

I love wine, and I wish I could have the knowledge of wines that a taster would.  This movie could have been so much more educational, talking about the process or grapes used to make the award-winning wine.  But instead it glossed over the specifics, going instead for the father-son relationship between the Barretts and the friendships of Bo, Sam and Gustavo.  Honestly by the end I really didn’t care much for any of the characters.

For such a talented cast, I was disappointed with the way the movie turned out.  It could have been so much better with a finely tuned script, better editing, and better direction of the actors.  But it ended up looking very much like a low budget indie film that ran out of money in the last 2 weeks.

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