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Butter Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Runtime: 91 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Studio: The Weinstein Company/Anchor Bay Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: December 4, 2012
  • List Price: $29.99

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3/5]

Director Jim Field Smith (TV’s Episodes) tackles this thinly veiled political sendup mixing he 2008 election campaign with the more recent Republican campaigns, Butter is a mildly amusing comedy starring Ty Burrell (TV’s Modern Family; Goats), Jennifer Garner, Olivia Wilde (Tron: Legacy), Hugh Jackman (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan; X-Men: First Class; Kate & Leopold), and newcomer Yara Shahidi, the film’s focus is on the quirks of the Midwest, Iowa in particular, and the unusual hobby of butter sculpting.

The story kicks off when Bob Pickler (Burrell), successful butter sculptor who has won the local competition several years in a row, bows out of the competition. His ambitious wife, Laura (Garner), with her eyes on using Bob’s success as a butter sculptor champion as a steppingstone to a political career for her husband refuses to let the competition go. Laura decides to enter herself even though she’s never actually sculpted. Her entry is met by the surprise competition of a young black girl in foster care with an incredible talent for art and sculpting, Destiny (Shahidi), and her husband’s immensely sexy mistress, an exotic dancer and prostitute named Brooke (Wilde). As the competition really heats up, Laura stoops to dirty tricks to defeat her talented young rival Destiny, and she seeks out the help of former flame, car dealership owner Boyd Bolton (Hugh Jackman) to help her.

The relaxed, almost dark comedy of Butter is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it never reaches the level of shock value the screenplay from first-time screenwriter Jason A. Micallef was trying to achieve. Some jokes exposing the silliness of racial prejudices and uncomfortable sexual situations notwithstanding, Butter is more laid back than it wants to be. Ty Burrell is underutilized even if his hapless, sex-crazed house mouse of a husband character is just perfect. Jennifer Garner is spot-on as the tightly wound, bible thumping, power wife, but it is Olivia Wilde who really hams it up, and also looks like perfection, as the sleazy and completely out of place sex pot determined to undermine the Pickler marriage. Cinematography is also a plus, really capturing that middle-American “Iowa State Fair” kind of feel with the sunny outside shots and scenes of flat parking lots,  car dealerships, and perfectly groomed homes.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Butter was shot on Super 35 mm film, and there are just a few moments where it looks ever so slightly gritty, but in general, this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement is a fine effort. It has a clean image with a natural and fine grain structure, lots of textural information, and good contrasts levels. The dark scenes are nuanced and midtones are richly saturated. Flesh tones look natural as well.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

A lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack is offered that is serviceable, but nothing really special. Atmospheric effects like chirping birds and such help really capture the Midwestern feel.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

Standard definition extra content in the form of a mildly amusing gag reel and some unnecessary deleted scenes are all that are offered.

The supplements:

  • Gag Reel (1.78:1; SD; 00:05:15)
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes (1.78:1; SD; 00:09:04):
    • Pickler Home Video
    • Destiny Needs Toilet Paper
    • Laura’s First Speech
    • Destiny’s Party & Painted URL
    • Jill Dislikes Laura & Boyd Needs Laura
    • Destiny Auditions Butter Ideas
  • DVD – Standard DVD of the feature film is included.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Jennifer Garner is a not so subtle stand-in for Michelle Bachman in this offbeat, mildly amusing comedy with an all-star cast. The screenplay is hit and miss, but does manage to provide a few laughs throughout, mostly due to the strong performances from the players and the odd atmosphere obtained by director Jim Field Smith.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Butter on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

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Purchase Butter on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

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Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]


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1 COMMENT

  1. After watching the trailer for the movie one more time I remember vaguely being interested in it but never hearing much else about it. It does look like it’s really funny and your review helped a lot. I just added the film to my Blockbuster @ Home movie queue and it should be here via mail in just a few days. I love how it has a fantastic cast and it’s nice to see Alicia Silverstone even if it is in a limited capacity. My DISH co-worker saw the film and he said it is just a quirky movie like American Beauty. I think that means that this movie won’t be for everyone and that’s ok. I’m still looking forward to seeing it.

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