June 20, 2008

Bottle Shocked

posted by Scott in Guest Bloggers, Wine Industry

There aren’t that many wine movies, and for this I’m grateful. Don’t get me wrong, I love wine, but I’d much rather drink it than watch it. So rejoice that it’s easy to count the number of recent wine movies on your fingers (Sideways, Mondovino, A Good Year).

The fact that there are so few wine films makes it all the more surprising that one forthcoming flick would so blatantly rip off another. I’m talking about Bottle Shock, the soon-to-be-released movie about the 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting. Its poster bears an uncanny resemblance to the poster for Jonathan Nossiter’s Mondovino, which was released in the US in 2005.

bottleshock1_small.jpg                mondovino.jpg

Both posters feature a bottles-as-bombs motif which was clever the first time and boring the second. Visually, I actually like the poster for Bottle Shock better, but the concept is tired. I will go as far as to say the designer was lazy; he or she didn’t do his or her research or simply thought they could get away with being a hack. Shame!

I understand that some movie posters are bound to look alike. With so many films out there it’s likely to happen. But in this case, I’m not talking about your average romantic comedies that come out every other day. I’m talking about wine movies of which there have been less than a dozen made in the past decade. All I ask of Hollywood is for a little bit of thoughtfulness and maybe some creativity if you can bear it. I know this plea has been made before, often to little avail, but now we’re dealing with wine so it’s my turn to complain. Besides, things are going to be all the more difficult when someone buys the film rights to Wine & War and someone’s going to have to come up with an original idea for a poster.

Soon there will be more wine movies on the way. Let’s hope the posters don’t feature some war-clad sommelier throwing a grenade made out of grapes. Whoops, I just gave an idea to some aspiring designer. You can blame me.

Scott Rosenbaum is director of operations for the International Wine Center and wine buyer for the retailer DrinkUpNY.

by Philip · June 20, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Scott – there’s a thread on the forum about this: http://www.snooth.com/talk/topic/bottle-shock/

My favorite fact, was that Mike Grgich was going to be played by Danny DeVito (and he wasnt happy about it!). – thanks abithompson for that

by oceank8 · June 25, 2008 at 6:29 pm

I agree that it sounds like this movie is ripping off another movie. Maybe they are going for the next “Sideways” like following. On the other hand, I will definitely watch it and look forward to it. Thanks for the blog, you have introduced me to other movies I didn’t know about and I hope to add to my Netflix list!

by Agent Red · June 20, 2008 at 7:39 pm

Pssst. Don’t tell anyone, but be on the lookout for a Wine Spies promotion in connect with the Bottle Shock movie, in August!

by J. Todd Harris · July 13, 2008 at 5:41 pm

For the record, the bomb/bottle poster was a temporary affair we created for the Sundance Film Festival. The international sales company went with a very classy and subtle poster for sales starting in Cannes in May (visible on the apple trailer site at the address below). Over the past few months there’s been a spirited repartee internally about what our poster should be. We had about over 20 different possibilities, a few of which we seriously debated. So I can assure you that our designers were not “lazy.” The final poster is now up on imdb.com and it was the one our distributors and marketing team liked the most of the many selections. If you’d like to see some of the variations we considered, I’d be happy to share them with you; you can email me at jtoddharris@gmail.com. More important is the trailer which will be on our webiste (going live this week: http://www.bottleshock.com) and available now at:
apple.com/trailers/independent/bottleshock/.

It’s been whirlwind in the less than two years from the start of fundraising to the actual release, but what I can say, if Rolling Stone, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety critics are a reasonable gauge, is that we have produced a crowd-pleaser. We’re thrilled with the interest the film is generating and we hope you’ll go see when it releases in 12 cities on August 12 and rolls out nationally over the rest of the month.

Cheers!

J. Todd Harris
Producer, Bottle Shock

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