Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Netflix Instant Queue Movie Review: "Butter" (2011)

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Director: Jim Field Smith
Year: 2011
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Iowa's renowned butter sculptor Bob Pickler (Ty Burrell), after 15 years at the top of the butter carving world, has been convinced it's time to retire. There's only one problem: his overbearing and ambitious wife Laura (Jennifer Garner) seems to have delusions of grandeur. She decides she will take the reigns and enter the local butter carving competition herself to keep the title in the Pickler family. Her main competition a ten year old foster child by the name of Destiny (Yara Shahidi). Destiny has a lot of natural artistic ability, but Laura will stop and nothing to win and have her sculpture on display at the Iowa state fair. 

This is an off-beat comedy but still manages to get lots of laughs. There is definitely a political undertone to the film that kind of pokes fun at right-wing mid-westerners and their culture. It also seems to have a social agenda about foster children. Not only does this movie go into detail about how Destiny is bounced around from place to place, but she also has the stereotypical drug addict mother who she's never met. Also, she ends up with a very stereotypical white couple with activist leanings (played by Alicia Silverstone and Rob Corddry) who have had trouble conceiving and turn to fostering. Destiny even describes this couple as "the whitest people I've ever met." For these reasons, this movie won't be for everyone, but if you go into it with an open mind, you're sure to get some laughs here and there. Just remember, it's all satire.

Butter sculpting is such a weird and interesting subject for a movie. If it were a real "sport," it would obviously take a lot of artistic talent, and yet the act itself seems so....redneck-y. Jennifer Garner plays an unlikable, two-faced bitch pretty well. Ty Burrell needed more screen time. In this film, he's not a funny, lovable character like he has been as of late, but instead, he is a complete pushover. Yara Shahidi, for a 10 year old, does a really good job with what she's given. Hugh Jackman has a very small role in this movie, but in this role, he's quite funny and performs his character well.

Overall, this is a movie that we weren't entirely sure about but ended up pleasantly surprised!

My Rating: 6.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 33%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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