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review by Zach B.


Rated R

Studio: Disney

Running Time: 93 Minutes

Starring Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murrary, Olivia Williams, Seymour Cassell, Brian Cox, Mason Gamble, Sara Takana

Running Time: 93 Minutes

Written by Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson

Directed by Wes Anderson

Retail Price: $29.99

Features: Theatrical Trailer

Specs: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround English, English Subtitles, Chapter Search

Hot off the successful cult film "Bottle Rocket", Disney made sure the duo of Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson would make their next film for them. Anderson, director and co-writer, and Wilson, co-writer, came up with "Rushmore", which, in my opinion, is one of the best movies ever made (critics loved it tremendously, but some of the audience did not feel the same way). Rushmore did debut for one week in December of 1998 in New York (where I originally saw it) and Los Angeles so it could be considered for the Academy Awards™. It then went to a more wide release during February 1999, where it grossed a little over fifteen million dollars. Not bad, considering "Bottle Rocket" made less then a million.

For those unfamiliar with the story, Rushmore follows the story of Max Fischer (Schwartzman), a sophomore at the elite Rushmore Academy. Max is soon threatened with expulsion, due to him failing all his classes. Max is also on scholarship. But where Max does not succeed in school he does succeed in everything else: Max soon meets up with Herman Blume (Murray) The two become friends. Soon the madcap zaniness begins, with nice sediment and zany comedy.but slowly become enemies when they both fall for Rushmore's elegant first grade and recently widowed teacher, Rosemary Cross (a fantastic Olivia Willams).

Disney's DVD release of "Rushmore" is nothing to scream about. Even if you don't like extras, the Criterion edition is truly the way to go with an improved presentation.

While the Criterion offers an anamorphic transfer, the Disney version does not. Still, this transfer delivers for the most part. There is grain and dirt which pops up now and them, as well as some artifacts. Colors tend to smear a little too. Yet the detail is nice, and images are pretty solid. Still, the Criterion delivers an anamorphic transfer supervised by director Wes Anderson himself, with many noticeable differences.

The 5.1 Dolby Digital is decent, yet I do think the 5.1 on the Criterion sounds a lot better, clearer and louder. Anyhow, the music sounds soft (in a good way) and nice using all the speakers. The .1 LFE is kept to a mininum, but when used, it does provide a punch. Nothing, bad, nothing great. Still, go with the Criterion on this one.

Finally, while the Criterion made my dreams come true with some wonderful supplements, Disney only includes the trailer. Worse, the trailer is edited. Meaning this trailer is shorter than the one that was actually used. The trailer is in widescreen, and it does look pretty nice. The Criterion, though it's really grainy, has the extended trailer.

Rushmore is one of my favorite films of all time, and when this release came out, I was really disappointed. Luckily, Criterion saved the day with an improved presentation and a rich amount of supplements. Even if you don't like extras, for an extra 10 dollars at retail with the Criterion, you get a crisp anamorphic transfer and some improved sound. And it's worth it for this movie. Hands down, the Criterion is the one to get.

(5/5, NOT included in final score)




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