Butter (2011) Blu-ray Review, a movie directed by Jim Field Smith and starring Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Garner, Ty Burrell, Hugh Jackman, Ashley Greene, Alicia Silverstone, Rob Corddry, Kristen Schaal, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Phyllis Smith, Joe Chrest, Yara Shahidi, Dodie Brown, Dodie Brown, and Jody Thompson.
Release Date: December 4, 2012
Field’s dark comedy Butter is reminiscent of the indie hit Best In Show; in fact, I kept waiting for indie queen Parker Posey to pop out of the wings for a cameo. A biting satire about an obscure, Middle America past time, contestants are locked in an escalating arms race producing sculptures of Schindler’s List, the Last Supper, and Harriet Tubman’s Underground Railroad in order to claim the title of butter champ and all the power that comes along with it. Families purchasing 125 lbs of a fatty dairy product for practice while many in the country go hungry is just one of the film’s pause-inducing aspects.
Garner’s mean-spirited, uptight Laura Pickler delights throughout the film as we watch her step further and further away from the perfect Stepford Wife image she has crafted for herself during her 15 year marriage to her dissatisfied butter champion husband. Olivia Wilde is deliciously naughty as Brooke, seemingly the town’s only adult entertainment; she seduces and pulls out all the stops to crush Laura’s ambitions. Alicia Silverstone has matured beyond her Clueless roots to play a warm-hearted foster mom to Destiny. Yara Shahidi’s performance as Destiny is like a breath of fresh air after all the crazy antics of the adults around her. Hugh Jackman surprises the viewer as a smarmy dim bulb car salesman.
Micallef’s screenplay does introduce a number of racial references: Destiny refers to her new foster parents as the whitest people she has ever met, other towns people are “crackers.” Laura Pickler accuses Destiny of playing “the race card” after she carves a depiction of Harriet Tubman on a figurative Underground Railroad. The movie is funny enough without these cracks; they should have been scrapped since the film fails to adequately explore the implications of adopting a child of another race and overcoming prejudice in small town America.
Though it’s sometimes difficult to tell where the film will veer, overall Butter is a fun and entertaining slide through the world of competitive butter carving and the crazy characters of a small Iowa town.
Butter Combo Pack Blu-ray + DVD
Format: NTSC, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
Region: A/1 (DVD), Region-free (Blu-ray)
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Run time: 91 minutes
Butter is filmed in 1080P/MPEG-4 AVC encode with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The high-definition transfer is very crisp with deep and well-defined images. Skin tones, clothing, and most importantly butter look very realistic from the bright green of the high school’s football field to the rich yellow tones of the butter sculptures. Blacks were nice and deep, especially through scenes in the strip club and throughout Brooke’s bad girl wardrobe and hair. I noted no anomalies or banding throughout the movie; this is a clean transfer.
The disc’s DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is a good one though I did have to strain to hear dialogue in some scenes due to background noise. Most scenes had clean, intelligible dialogue and background sounds. They had a little fun with reverberation during scenes when the contestants make speeches. The crowd scenes during the contests, the strip club, and the car lot could have made more use of the subs, whereas more intimate scenes of whispered dialogue are crisp and clear from the center channels.
DVD Bonus Content
Deleted Scenes (HD, 9 min)
There are a couple of deleted scenes here where Destiny elaborates on her background as a foster child and her race.
Gag Reel (HD, 5 min)
This could have been longer; Wilde, Corddry, and Burrell deliver a few laughs with their flubs.
Blu-ray Bonus Content
There are no Blu-ray exclusives to this combo pack.
Where you can purchase this Blu-ray
You can purchase Butter on Blu-ray here: