Weekend Roundup and Bottle Shock review

Happy Monday all!

Hope you enjoyed your weekend. Mine is relatively good, though I spent a good portion of my weekend at an orthopedic center for my swollen knee joint 😦 It might’ve been spurred on by an extra intense Zumba-jam on Saturday morning. The physician said it could’ve been a torn cartilage which may require surgery and ordered an MRI done that day. I’m going to have to return to the clinic Tuesday, so please pray that it’s nothing serious!

Anyway, suffice to say I didn’t make a trip to the cinema this weekend. Did any of you see The Avengers again? Seems like it’s still enjoying repeat business and is mighty enough to sink the Peter Berg’s Battleship, ehm. This is the second movie starring Taylor Kitsch that would likely never make its $200 mil back, ouch! I’m not saying it’s his fault but that’s gotta put a dent in his career.

Anyway, I’ll post my full review of Chronicle tomorrow, but here’s my mini review of:

BOTTLE SHOCK (2008)

I’ve been wanting to see this in a while as I’m a big fan of Alan Rickman. I also love films that are set in a wine country, despite my distate for alcohol, ahah. I even saw Letters To Juliet for that very reason.

The story takes place in the gorgeous Napa Valley, which my hubby and I visited just last year. The cinematography makes it look like an extended commercial for the place, full of stunning aerial shots of the winery and beautiful close-ups of the branches and grapes. I didn’t know it’s based on a true story until the opening credits, but apparently it’s loosely based on the Judgment of Paris event spurred by Steven Spurrier, a British wine merchant and an advocate for French wine. Played by the always excellent Alan Rickman, Spurrier carried out two blind taste tests that set the California-produced wines against the then superior French wine.

It starts off rather slow as the scenes alternates between Spurrier and his American businessman friend (Dennis Farina) and the scenes at Chateau Montelena where Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman) perfects his chardonnay. But as soon as Spurrier flies to Napa, the story picks up rather quickly and becomes quite interesting.

Jim and his mischief-maker son Bo (Chris Pine with Thor‘s hair cut) didn’t always see eye-to-eye, and thrown into the mix is a free-spirited intern Sam (Aussie Rachael Taylor) and his BFF Gustavo (Freddy Rodriguez), the son of a Mexican farmworker who’s got ‘wine in his blood.’ Now this movie wish I actually like wine and if you are a big fan of them, it certainly makes you want to open up your best bottle as you enjoy this movie.

Even though the story is quite predictable, the film maintains its charm from its actors and the dynamics between them. Rickman is pitch perfect as a British snob who’s about to get the biggest surprise of his life, and Bill Pullman is always convincing as a kindhearted everyman who gave up his law practice to follow his dreams. I like the scene when he first arrives and is helped by Jim when he gets a flat tire, it shows the contrast of two very different people whose lives are about to collide in a way neither could ever dreamed of.

The best scene in the movie involves Rickman and Pine as Spurrier is about to fly back to Paris and is told he could only carry one bottle of wine on board. His inventive way to solve this problem is quite entertaining to watch. Rickman doesn’t disappoint as always, I know he’s got comic timing and sense of irony on top of being a great villain. Chris Pine has this affable, goofball vibe about him that goes with his heartthrob good looks, and the sort of love triangle between his character and Taylor and Rodriguez aren’t over the top.

Final Thoughts: I quite like this one, it’s not brilliant storytelling or anything, but it’s got a heartwarming message about family, friendship and following — and not giving up on — your dreams. It’s worth a watch just for the Napa Valley scenery alone.

Three and a half stars out of Five
3.5 out of 5 reels


So what did you see this weekend, folks? Anything good?