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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 3 August 2009
Bottle Shock is based on the true story of Steven Spurrier a wineshop owner who in 1976 single handedly brought Californian wines to the world, it may sound quite boring and I nearly didnt rent it but I'm so pleased I did. And although it's been compared to 'Sideways' it stands up on it's own.

Alan Rickman plays a snobbish wine expert quite ignorent to any other wines except from the French. He travels to California to discover that quitely the Americans have been producing very good wine unnoticed for years. He therefore moves from vineyard to vineyard tasting wine, meeting great people and taking bottles to be entered in his wine competition in which world known (French) wine experts judge.

It is a very upbeat kinda feel good film shot on location with breathtaking scenery of the Napa valley in CA. It's funny, heart warming and an all round great film that deserves to be more widely recognised, with a great cast including Chris Pine, Dennis Farina and a good performance from Bill Pullman playing the man struggling to follow a dream, and not forgetting the great Alan Rickman who is brilliant as always.

I would say get this even on a whim because I'm NEVER usually into these sort of films, I was left very very suprised. See for yourself.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2010
This movie has been compared to 'Sideways', but it is not trying to cash in on Sideway's success. Rather it tells the true story of how Californian wines came to be among the world's very finest. So 'Bottleshock' is a story about the wine industry and real people rather than wine industry being used to tell a story about fictional people. All the characters in the story are real, the events pretty well match up to what actually happened. I found it charming and moving with some excellent observations about the French, the English and the French, which made it amusing. Alan Rickman is always good value. Chris Pine made this movie before hitting the big time in Star Trek, and his talent shines through. Dennis Farina and Bill Pullman are two other cast members who bring their characters to life. Not a classic movie, like say Amadeus or Chariots of Fire, but simple tale well told. Thoroughly enjoyed it as a good night in video.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 29 October 2010
After a history of dominating the wine business France received a shock when the much berated wine of California beat their revered wine in a blind testing set up by an english wine seller based in France. Alan Rickman plays the snobby wine seller who changed the world of wine forever. Funny and entertaining, watch this with a glass of wine and your feet up.
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Bottle Shock is about wine. Grapes. If you don't like wine, don't watch it. If you are a fan, you'd enjoy this one. It is about French arrogance, manifested by no other than a British gentleman. Is it possible? Not only is it possible. This is based on a true story.The film chronicles the events leading up to the famous 'Judgment of Paris' wine tastings, told through the lives of father and son, Jim and Bo Barrett. A former real estate attorney, Jim gave up his law partnership to pursue his dream of creating the perfect hand-crafted chardonnay. His business, Chateau Montelena Winery, however, is struggling, and he's fighting off the creditors.
Meanwhile in Paris, unwitting British wine shop owner, Steven Spurrier (played marvelously by Alan Rickman) hopes to revive his own failing business by sponsoring a wine competition which will pit the traditional French powerhouse against the California upstarts. Chateau Montelena became a brand name not only in Napa but in the entire world.
Unforgettable line: "Why don't I like you?" , the suspicious Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman) asks the snobbish Steven Spurrier.
"Because you think I'm an ass," Spurrier replies haughtily. "And I'm not really. It's just that I'm British and you're not."
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VINE VOICEon 7 September 2010
Simply put a good film. It's not a lost classic or a Citizen Kane, it's just an enjoyable film with a good cast. Alan Rickman as ever is superb, funny, dry and it's a film I've watched and enjoyed a couple of times...I've just this minute watched it a 3rd time on TV. It's not going to tax your brain or leave you guessing, just a good way to spend some time, and surely that's what films should be.
One reviewer suggests you'd get more out of it if you were a patriotic American, I disagree strongly, there's no message like that throughout the film, it's about the coming of age and acceptance of the wine making industry in the U.S. - It's a historic statement the wine tasting of 1976 ... this isn't Indepenence Day, it's not done in a flag waving yehaww here come the Yanks to save the world...of wine, it's gentle humerous film that runs at a gentle pace. At the time that 1976 wine tasting opened the worlds eyes that there is more than French wine, which to me has always been the lesser of all the wines be they from Chile, California, Spain or Italy. But I'm not a wine expert, I just know what I like, and I'm not a film expert either.
Good, enjoyable, fun film with a decent story.
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While based on a true story, the film takes some liberty at embellishing the facts with romance and family feuds, but this does not detract from it being highly instructive for wine lovers.

The 1976 competition itself should have been given more time in the movie in my view, as it was the event that justified making the movie in the first place and changed the world of wine ever since.

Also, the movie does not make it clear that the competition was only for Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvigons/Merlot varieties, and as such can in no way be interpreted to be an overall match between Californian and French wines.

Finally, one can not help but notice somewhat of a pro-Californian bias in the movie, but this is perhaps inevitable given the nature of the real historical events. I would like to see a film of the 2006 rematch, which California, again, won hands down, in fact by an ever greater margin.
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on 12 January 2010
Even if your interest in wine , apart from drinking it, is only minimal,you will find it difficult not to enjoy it.
If you like the suave Englishman, Alan Rickman,and beautiful sunny vineyards, even better.
Essentially it is the story of the underdog, the American wine farmers,proving that they were serious contestants in the international wine market, so much so that they made the French sit up and perhaps gave encouragement to many other countries which probably had not the courage previously to challenge the establishment.
This may sound a bit boring or serious,but the story is set largely around one farming family in the Napa Valley , California and the ups and downs of their fortunes There are some tense moments and a real feeling of pleasure in their ultimate success.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Reminded me of the ambience that Ridley Scott created with A Good Year A Good Year [DVD] [2006] and I would think if you enjoyed that then you would enjoy this.
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on 20 September 2013
Good story (based on a true one), central character just on the right side of overplayed (perfect for the tone of the film) by Alan Rickman, the boxing matches between dad and son jarred a bit but I guess were based on truth; great views of California vineyards and a good sense of period. Did the huge success of Napa Valley wine really come down to a mildly eccentric Englishman, a bunch of arrogant Frenchmen, and a dozen or so volunteer couriers at an airport? Great fun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2013
just in case it helps, I have a Sony S3100 blu ray player, an this disc plays perfectly. it should work in most players
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