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Rushmore: The Criterion Collection

review by Zach B.

 

 

Rated R

Studio: Disney/Criterion

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: 39.99

Features: Audio Commentary by Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman, "The Making Of 'Rushmore'" documentary, MTV Movie Awards Shorts: Armageddon, Out of Sight and The Truman Show plus an introduction, "The Charlie Rose Show" with Wes Anderson and Bill Murrary, Cast Audition Footage, Wes Anderson's Hand Drawn Storyboards with a flim to storyboard comparison, Graphics section, Theatrical Trailer, Color Poster insert: A Map of Rushmore's key events

Specs: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Digital English, English Captions, 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.

Disney then put "Rushmore" on video and a barebones DVD on June 29th, 1999. The film, I think, deserved a lot more in extras, as I was disappointed with that release (heck, the plot summary on the back was really shallow). But my prayers were answered (and I was really excited) when Disney gave the movie to Criterion. If anyone could create a definite release of such a fantastic film, Criterion would be it. Finally, on January 18th, 2000, Criterion released "Rushmore: The Criterion Collection". They did encounter a little delay before, but let me tell you, it was worth the wait.

For those unfamiliar 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).

As you can see below in the features section, this disc is jammed pack with great things. The interactive menus are creatively done in true style with the movie, and everything fits perfectly together. The sound is obviously not so much of a big budget movie, but the 5.1 track is excellent, as the sound elements are crystal clear. The beauty of this transfer really shows too - things are bright and pop out. If you liked "Rushmore" just a little, this is a must own disc.

 

Rushmore is presented in an anamorphic transfer, with the aspect ratio being 2.35:1. This high definition transfer was overlooked by Wes Anderson, Rushmore's co-writer and director. The picture quality truly stands out - you really don't notice any artifacts, scratches, or lines. Things just come right at you, it's really easy to see and on the eyes. This is a perfect example on how transfers should be done. A scene early on in the movie, where Max meets with Cross for the first time on bleachers near the school is a marvel to look at. You can see all the detail, just everything. The trees in the background, little things on their clothes, it's just really nice. My compliments to Anderson and the team who did the transfer.

 

A 5.1 Dolby Digita