As I patiently await the arrival of Bottle Rocket on Criterion Blu-Ray, I think about the day-long Bottle Rocket tour I took a few years ago. Since most of the film was filmed here in Dallas, I figured I should venture out sometime and see where it was shot. Just my luck, it was on an overcast day, the type of day you normally see in a Wes Anderson film.
I hit up the hotel where Bob, Anthony, and Dignan hide out, the bookstore they robbed, the school where Anthony talks to Grace, Bob's house, the street where Anthony and Dignan discuss the "Things Dignan's Not Supposed to Touch" list, and the location of Hinkley Cold and Storage. I never knew where the mental hospital, the prison, the Lawn Wranglers' hideout, the country club, the fireworks stand, the drug store, or the Mexican night club were, so I didn't try to find them. But still, I saw a lot in one day.
The weird thing is, as much as I love the film still to this day, I tend to forget that the film was made here. Dallas is not some small little town who has a single claim to fame. I'm sure more people from around the world come here looking for places filmed for the TV series Dallas than Bottle Rocket. But for me, there are times when I'm reminded that it was filmed here. Any time I pass by the Texas Ice House (the location of Hinkley Cold and Storage), I usually remember. When I park my car in Northpark Mall's parking garage, I remember how the bookstore used to be on that ground. When I went to a band practice at Bishop Manor, I think I passed by the Lawn Wrangers' hideout. In other words, there are reminders here and there.
As far as the film itself, I find it to be one of my favorite Wes Anderson films. Something about the subject matter (post-education guys trying to find their way in the world) still speaks to me, and the humor and music are fantastic. Hearing about all the struggles going into the movie and the subsequent limited release are definitely nice reminders that not everything is easy and peachy keen. I'm glad this special edition of film restores all of this and more.