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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
I am a little surprised that so many other people failed to see the merits of this movie. First, this was not a typical predictable Hollywood movie with a predictable ending. Second, it was not a re-hash of some old story line with the same old actors. It is a very well written comedic coming of age movie. Few movies take the time or effort to develop complex, flawed and...
Published on April 30 2004 by James R. Mckinley

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3.0 out of 5 stars Cliches beneath the quirks
If Robert Downey Jr. and Groucho Marx were to have an intimate moment and spawn a child, that child would be Jason Schwartzman...or if Dustin Hoffman had a sense of humour and were a few inches taller (Jason's 5'3"). He's genuinely funny, as is Bill Murray, and they both have that underlying sadness (and I don't mean to imply a drug problem) that renders their...
Published on Aug. 25 2001 by Robert Bezimienny


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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, April 30 2004
By 
James R. Mckinley (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rushmore (DVD)
I am a little surprised that so many other people failed to see the merits of this movie. First, this was not a typical predictable Hollywood movie with a predictable ending. Second, it was not a re-hash of some old story line with the same old actors. It is a very well written comedic coming of age movie. Few movies take the time or effort to develop complex, flawed and genuine characters, but director Wes Anderson apparently understands the value of doing so. The emotionally stagnating business tycoon Herman Blume is played brilliantly by Bill Murray - the disappointment he feels with his banal life and idiotic children is wrenchingly palpable. But Rushmore Academy student and quirky prodigy Max Fischer enters Herman Blume's dull life, renewing his enthusiam. The movie is both thought provoking and hilarious. Particularly enjoyable are Max's adaptations of "Serpico" and "Platoon" for the high-school drama club. Hands down this was the best comedy produced in the 90's. With the decade that produced MTV sex and bathroom joke frat boy movies, this film offers an intelligent script, cast of characters, and an excellent soundtrack.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, April 7 2004
By 
Rodrigo Llamozas (the last cubicle at the end of the hall...) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rushmore (DVD)
A story about an overachieving high school student and a depressed millionaire fighting for the love of a preschool teacher sounds too bizarre to be made into a Hollywood movie, right? Well, not for Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson. They came up with one of the smartest, most captivating screenplays in recent years and paired that with Anderson's fantastic and very personal style of directing, and with great casting for the lead roles. The result? Rushmore, one of the best movies you'll ever get a chance to see.
Max Fisher (Jason Schwartzman) is a high school student. He goes to Rushmore. He has it all figured out - he is an average student at best, but his extra-curricular activities can not be contained. He's the president, or founder, or director to almost every single group, club or association in the school, ranging from calligraphy and debate to sword fighting and go-kart racing. And, most of all, he's the head of the Max Fisher Players theater troup.
He meets Herman Blume (Bill Murray), a tired, depressed man who happens to be a millionaire . He has two annoying sons who go to school with Max. They hit it off and become friends - Max finds someone to look up to (other than his barber dad) and Blume finds someone that sparks the interest he lacks for everything else in life.
Enter Miss Cross (Olivia Williams). Max falls in love with her at first sight, but of course, she pays no attention to him, so he recruits Mr. Blume to help him win her, but in the process, he too falls in love with the teacher. What follows is a hilarious battle of wits between the two as both try to get the other out of the way.
Although this story alone would make a good movie, Anderson's writing and directing take this film to the next level. The setting of the film manages to remain contemporary while not being truly current (if that makes any sense). The supporting characters surrounding the leads are also interesting and capture your attention from the first moment (especially Wilson's brother Luke, the great Brian Cox as Max's principal and Seymour Cassel as Max's father).
Another key element of the film is its music. Anderson is one of those directors that 'gets' music and knows how to use it in his movies. I promise you that after watching this movie, you'll want to get the soundtrack to it.
Rushmore is truly a hidden gem, one of those great movies that almost no one saw at the theaters, but that has gained a somewhat large cult following . There is a great Criterion Collection DVD that you should check out to truly appreciate this work of art.
On a final, side note, Anderson and Wilson are the same team that brought us the also incredibly fantastic The Royal Tenenbaums (for which they were nominated for an Original Screenplay Oscar), also starring both Wilsons and Murray. As for Jason Schwartzman, he is another member of one of the most prolific Hollywood movies, the Coppolas - he's the grandson of Carmine Coppola, nephew of Francis Ford Coppola, son of Talia Shire, and cousin to Sofia Coppola, Nicolas Cage and Roman Coppola.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Superb, March 2 2004
I wish there were more movies like this one. It's totally off-the-wall, but has intelligence and a warm heart. At first, I wasn't sure if this movie was going to be my cup of tea: The kid and his friends just reek of weirdness.
But, I was hopelessly drawn to them in minutes, and interested in what they were going to do or say.
Bill Murray excels in this movie. Forget "Lost in Translation", THIS film contains his best work. He truly shows an emotional scale that ranges from A to Z.
The supporting oddball characters are mercilessly intriguing. Just when you think they're coming out of left field (or from another planet), they show their humanity. End result: you end up liking them...a lot.
The music is right on target, especially Cat Stevens. The instrumental portions are appropriately playful and memorable.
I loved this movie. It's a masterpiece.
The packaging is superb, and the DVD contains enough bonus material to make this one fine purchase. Yep, it costs a lot, but the old adage is true: You get what you pay for.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very unusual high school movie, March 1 2004
By 
James Ferguson (Vilnius, Lithuania) - See all my reviews
This promises to be a more satisfying DVD than the mass-market edition as it offers many bonuses along with the very engaging movie. Rushmore took me by surprise when I first saw it. Jason Schwartzman's character, Max Fischer, has to be one of the most original high school protagonists to come along in a long time. He finds himself a square peg in a round hole at a prep school, concocting one fantastic scheme after another which livens up the otherwise dreary academic experience of Rushmore.
Bill Murray provides a remarkable performance as a self-made millionaire, Mr. Blume, whom young Max solicits for his grandest scheme yet, a multi-million dollar aquarium to please the young teacher he is so smitten by. This soon evolves into a very comic love triangle, with Max opting for some rather dark attempts at getting back at Blume for stealing his love interest. The object of affection is a very fetching Olivia Williams.
There are so many odd turns in this movie that it continually catches you by surprise. Most notable are the plays Max stages including a theatrical version of Serpico and one of the Vietnam War. But, probably the most touching scenes are those between Max and his father, played by Seymour Cassel. Max tries to distance himself from the lowly station of his father, a local barber, but eventually is able to reconcile himself with his father.
Max finally accepts that Miss Cross maybe a little too old for him, and places his affections in the more suitable Margaret Yang, having now been kicked out of Rushmore and finding himself having to face the trials and tribulations of public school. The movie is underscored by a fine soundtrack that includes Rod Stewart's Ooh La La, when he sang for the Faces. This is a great movie, ranking up there with Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Dazed and Confused as one of the best high school movies of all time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delirious Joy--Enhanced!, Jan. 16 2004
For everyone who agrees that Rushmore is on par with any and all the other "greatest movies of all time", the Criterion Collection DVD will more than pay you back in value for the extra cash you throw down.
Granted, the play's the thing, ....Also granted, some Criterion titles are all prestige and no payoff (Seven Samurai anyone?). But this is one of the very few instances where the potential of DVD technology has been fully and briliantly exploited. You can read the list of special features for yourself in the product description. Let me assure you that the technical enhancements make this transfer look glorious even on a regular television, and the content of the commentary track and other extras truly add to the Rushmore Experience.
If you love this movie, the Criterion Collection version is worth the investment. And my local video guru tells me that it's now out of print, so if you've had it on the back burner, don't put it off much longer.
On a personal note, if Bill Murray doesn't finally win the Oscar this year for Bob Harris that he earned for Herman Blume in 1998, Hollywood should fall into the ocean.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bravo, Anderson and Wilson!, Dec 29 2003
By 
This review is from: Rushmore (DVD)
I struck up my acquaintance with the work of Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson with the later The Royal Tenenbaums. I was not disappointed when I finally sat down to watch Rushmore. Anderson and Wilson have the extraordinary gift of being able to write characters and stories that are as deeply human and believable as they are absurdly surreal.
Like Tenenbaums, Rushmore is a film about vulnerable people finding their way through conflict to resolution and reconciliation. From my Christian point of view, I like to see it as GRACE. In the world of Rushmore, there is even hope for a washed-up old failure like tycoon Herman Blume (Bill Murray).
The filmmakers place in their world characters who are poles apart from one another: Rich and poor; English, Scottish and American; young and old; western and eastern. Somehow events conspire to show the characters their commonality; something breaks; and through the cracks we see glimpses of healing.
Performances are incredible. I have never been a fan of Murray, but after this, I can see myself fast becoming a devotee. Schwartzman veers brilliantly between suavely sophisticated and grimacingly geeky. Seymour Cassel is a talent I would like to see more of: His brief appearances here and in Tenenbaums are to be treasured. There is even an amusing turn from Mason Gamble, who doesn't seem to have aged a bit since Dennis the Menace.
The humour is subtle, yet hilarious to those with whom this brand of quirkiness resonates. For me, its funniness comes from the fact that the comedy is not arbitrary---no banana skins for banana skins' sake---but is made part and parcel of the characters, who they are and how they develop.
I know this is a film I will watch over and over, simply because it resonates me on the deepest level as a human being---contra the critics who say that Anderson and Wilson's films lack heart and warmth. My favourite films have always been about vulnerable people who find courage and a means to healing, and Rushmore does that with the best of them.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rushmore--Good Film, Poor Ending., Dec 2 2003
By 
Nobody! (The Infinite Beyond) - See all my reviews
Rushmore, the creator's second film, showcases Anderson's orderly and painstakingly precise directorial style. The lighting ideal, the colors vibrant, and the music perfectly compatible, Wes Anderson emerges from Rushmore as perhaps the greatest director in the business today. The greatest thing about Anderson, even besides his proficient directing, is his intelligent writing of Rushmore, co-written by Owen Wilson. Rushmore tells the story of Max Fischer, a poor kid who goes to an exclusive private school, Rushmore, because he wrote "a little one-act about Watergate" when he was in the first grade. His mother's dying wish was for him to attend Rushmore Academy, and thus, Max was accepted. The problem with Max, however, is that, though he is very involved in the school and has started a countless number of extracurricular clubs and societies, he puts none of his attention on his schoolwork and his, consequently, put on academic probation and then asked to leave. In the process he meets Blume [Bill Murray], a jaded tycoon, and Miss Cross, a teacher at Rushmore--both who are fascinated with Max's precocity and ambition. They, however, fall in love with each other, despite Max's love for Miss Cross. This starts an infuriated Max to revenge Blume, who stole his girl, in many strange--if not exaggerated--ways. The music of Rushmore is comprised of nothing but British Invasion--The Who, The Creation, The Kinks, and John Lennon--and fits the defiantly youthful disposition of Max impeccably.
Unlike most comedies, Rushmore never falls into shoddy writing--because of the confidence of the writers, they can pull off any situation or line that they so choose. When asked how he's already got it "pretty figured out," Max replies, "The secret, I don't know...I guess you've just gotta find something you love to do and then do it for the rest of your life. For me, it's going to Rushmore." A line as fanciful as this is harder to construct than one might think, and in the hands of an unskilled writer the relation of such an idea would seem dishonest or untruthful. But, because the wording is just right, the line comes about very nicely. Though the writing is very good, Rushmore fails to make a succinct statement or to really relay a perceptible point, in the end. Though it can easily be surmised that the ending is meant to be an optimistic one--Max performing another of his plays and finding an age-appropriate girlfriend--the film does not close properly and thus incites confusion in the viewer. Max takes little interest in the girl and treats her poorly since his meeting her, and is even reluctant to call her his girlfriend, in the closing scene. The film, then, ends on a strange note--even the closing music [The Faces' "Ooh La La"] is cagey and mysterious--and you are unsure as to how you should feel. The Royal Tenenbaums, Anderson's next film, closes in a less ambiguous way: Though Royal has died, he has, indeed, finished what he set out to do. So, though Royal's death is sad, it is cheerful and nice, as well. Despite the objectionable conclusion, overall, Wes Anderson's Rushmore is a well-written and superbly directed film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A comedy like no other, Nov. 21 2003
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Wes Anderson followed up the wonderful "Bottle Rocket" with "Rushmore," a coming-of-age romantic-comedy-drama that actually seems halfway plausible. Wittily-written, well-acted, and solidly-directed with plenty of amusing quirks.
Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) attends the elite Rushmore Academy, and is perhaps the most unusual student there -- he's part of every club and team in Rushmore, but failing all his classes. He encounters an odd friend of sorts in the unhappy magnate Herman Blume (Bill Murray), who is impressed by Max. At the same time, he befriends the smart, pleasant teacher Miss Cross (Olivia Williams).
But Max's world is turned upside-down. When he tries to build a magnificent aquarium in honor of Miss Cross, he's expelled from Rushmore. Worse yet, he learns that she's having an affair with Blume, who's every bit as attracted to her as Max is. Will Max, having lost what defined his life (namely, Rushmore), be able to bounce back?
"Rushmore" is one of those movies that Wes Anderson does really well -- it doesn't fit neatly into any one category, it's smart, it's funny, and the characters are endearing in a weird, quirky sort of way (especially when engaging in a sort of revenge one-upping, for the love of the teacher). It somehow manages to be sweet and pleasant without being schmaltzy or boring.
The writing is humorous, but not the sort of snort-hee-hee comedy that most movies have. (The limpest humor in here is the "O.R. scrubs" joke, and then it's clearly meant to be lame). Max's particular brand of dynamic brilliance is outlined best in the Vietnam-based school play, a mediocre idea raised to amazing levels. And unlike most movies of any kind, it leaves you thinking. Are the places we WANT to be the best places for us to be? Or would we really be happier elsewhere? Are the people we adore the people we should be with?
Max is an unusual character -- smart and mature, but somehow not quite as mature as he thinks he is. He always aspires to climb higher and higher, and clearly sees no end to how far he can go, and Schwartzman does an excellent job without being obvious about it. Bill Murray does a fantastic job as the depressed magnate who doesn't like his life as it is. Williams does a less amazing job, but is good as the center that the other two revolve frantically around.
"Rushmore" is a different but fully worthy follow-up to "Bottle Rocket," and it definitely won't disappoint Wes Anderson fans. A wonderful movie by a fantastic director.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo Max, July 4 2003
By 
bridge (Munster, IN) - See all my reviews
"Rushmore" is the second film by director Wes Anderson, who has found himself a quaint, innovative style of writing and directing that works on many levels. This film is the story of Max Fisher(Jason Schwartzman), a teenage pupil at Rushmore Academy. Max is unique in that he isn't as rich as his other schoolmates; he's there on a scholarship that was given to him after impressing the head of the Academy with a play he wrote when he was 7(it was "a little one-act about Watergate). Max is also possibly Rushmore's worst student, but is its most extracurricular, frequently founding groups and putting on plays. Blume(Bill Murray) befriends Max, they seem to have some kind of unspoken connection that Blume can't find with his wife and kids. But they both fall for the same woman, a teacher at Rushmore, and both are determined to get her.
This is just the basic outline of the movie, there is so much more to it. There's a subtle glance here and there, there's a sadness in almost every one of the characters, and it all results in a very poignantly sad, funny, and sincere movie. The music is dead on perfect, ranging from The Who to Cat Stevens, and it all works magnificently.
The DVD has some wonderful cover art (it's nice to see more than the lead actor's giant heads on the cover) that fits perfectly with the quirky tone of the movie. There are some wonderful new special features, such as commentary from Anderson, co-writer Owen Wilson, and Schwartzman. The commentary from Anderson and Wilson is somewhat entertaining, whereas Schwartzman is only occasionally so. The main documentary about the movie seems somewhat rambling and without focus, but still works. There are some really interesting auditions from Schwartzman and others.
All in all, this is a wonderful DVD. We should all be thankful to Criterion for doing it again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo Max, July 4 2003
By 
bridge (Munster, IN) - See all my reviews
"Rushmore" is the second film by director Wes Anderson, who has found himself a quaint, innovative style of writing and directing that works on many levels. This film is the story of Max Fisher(Jason Schwartzman), a teenage pupil at Rushmore Academy. Max is unique in that he isn't as rich as his other schoolmates; he's there on a scholarship that was given to him after impressing the head of the Academy with a play he wrote when he was 7(it was "a little one-act about Watergate). Max is also possibly Rushmore's worst student, but is its most extracurricular, frequently founding groups and putting on plays. Blume(Bill Murray) befriends Max, they seem to have some kind of unspoken connection that Blume can't find with his wife and kids. But they both fall for the same woman, a teacher at Rushmore, and both are determined to get her.
This is just the basic outline of the movie, there is so much more to it. There's a subtle glance here and there, there's a sadness in almost every one of the characters, and it all results in a very poignantly sad, funny, and sincere movie. The music is dead on perfect, ranging from The Who to Cat Stevens, and it all works magnificently.
The DVD has some wonderful cover art (it's nice to see more than the lead actor's giant heads on the cover) that fits perfectly with the quirky tone of the movie. There are some wonderful new special features, such as commentary from Anderson, co-writer Owen Wilson, and Schwartzman. The commentary from Anderson and Wilson is somewhat entertaining, whereas Schwartzman is only occasionally so. The main documentary about the movie seems somewhat rambling and without focus, but still works. There are some really interesting auditions from Schwartzman and others.
All in all, this is a wonderful DVD. We should all be thankful to Criterion for doing it again.
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Rushmore (Criterion) (Blu-Ray)
Rushmore (Criterion) (Blu-Ray) by Wes Anderson (Blu-ray - 2011)
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