In Defense of David Aames (Character Study – Vanilla Sky)

Oh, look at us doing something new! We have been toying with the idea of dedicating posts to certain characters, and we’re flexing our fingers by trying it out with David Aames! If you’re looking for our Vanilla Sky movie review, look no further! This post may or may not make more sense if you read this after you read the movie review. But it will definitely make more sense if you have seen the movie first.

Go ahead. We’ll wait.

Okay! You went? You watched the movie? Great!

***Spoilers beyond this point! In fact, the spoilers are so spoilery that we’re actually putting in a read-more!***

Last chance:



Continue reading “In Defense of David Aames (Character Study – Vanilla Sky)”

Vanilla Sky

Ready to get metaphysical? Time for a wild ride, as Buttered Popcorn dives into the mysterious, exciting, poignant and disturbing world of Tom Cruise’s 2001 winter offering, Vanilla Sky

Smartass Summary: The one with the bomb soundtrack.

Slightly less smartass summary: Tom Cruise gets plastic surgery.

Ok ok, REAL summary: Guy with daddy issues learns who his true friends are.

Overall opinion:
Buttered Popcorn loves this movie! It’s full of drama, romance, and emotional intensity, and the plot has twists and turns that will make your jaw drop. You’re invited to follow David Aames (Jr.) through his “brilliant journey of self awakening”, during which he learns much – about himself, about his friends, about the nature of life and death. And it’s all framed by visually stunning scenes and absolutely amazing music! In other words – watch it!

Go ahead… We’ll wait.

Seriously, because we’re gonna spoil it soon, so if you haven’t watched it yet, go on over, grab the movie and watch away. We’re telling you now, you won’t regret it.

***Spoilers beyond this point! In fact, the spoilers are so spoilery that we’re actually putting in a read-more!***

Last chance:



Continue reading “Vanilla Sky”

Jack Reacher

We were in a Reacher-y mood, so we decided to stick with him! Time to tackle the first installment of the Reacher film franchise – Jack Reacher, based on the Lee Child book Oneshot.

Smartass Summary: The one from those books!

Slightly less smartass summary: Guy tries to keep a promise, but lady lawyer distracts him.

Ok ok, REAL summary: Bad guys commit multiple murders, good guy commits multiple murders back. But it’s okay because it’s for JUSTICE.

Overall opinion:
Buttered Popcorn likes this movie a lot! There’s plenty of action, plenty of humor, and lots of kickass ass-kicking! (Did you see what we did there?) There’s a mystery to be solved, and that keeps us interested, waiting to see what’s next. But most of all, the bad guys get theirs, and the good guys don’t pull their punches. In other words – it’s great!

***Spoilers beyond this point!***

Fun moments:
You thought Jack Reacher: Never Go Back had great humorous moments? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet! (Or maybe you have, we hope you’ve seen this movie!) Here are a few of our favorite funny moments from the film:

​“So you’re Jack Reacher.” We love the part where Reacher, Rodin, Emerson and Helen have their rapid-fire conversation outside Barr’s hospital room. The conversation itself is pretty damn hilarious, but we love the part when, after Emerson and Rodin leave, Helen turns to Reacher and says, “So!” but before she can say anything else, he walks away from her without a word.

“I don’t mind the sight of blood.” Heh.  Heh heh heh.  Just… go watch the movie and get the punch line, because it’s PRICELESS.

“Remember.  You wanted this.” This fight is the BEST thing to hit movies in decades! One of the best things about Reacher, even in the books, is that the bad guys are always underestimating him. They’re always counting on greater numbers to get them victory, but Reacher is a better, smarter fighter and he always  gets the job done. The fight with Sandy’s “brothers” outside the bar is classic book-Reacher, and anybody who’s read the books will recognize his signature style – sizing up the situation, understanding human nature, and kicking the SHIT out of the bad guys.  This fight is particularly funny, because of Reacher’s casual confidence, and the way he tells his opponents exactly who’s going to fight and who’s going to run.  It’s just tons of fun to watch him work!

“Am I stealing your car?” Another big and hilarious fight in the film takes place at Jeb’s house. Two goons try to take Reacher out and end up doing more to help him than to hurt him. It’s physical comedy without being slapstick, and it’s great to watch! But our favorite part is when Reacher disarms a third contender, and “encourages” him (by nearly breaking a finger or two) to give up his car.

“Fine as frog’s hair, and rarer, too.” Basically every interaction between Reacher and Martin Cash, the feisty gun-range owner, is comedy gold. And all his little witticisms are the best. Check them out – play ball!

Deep Themes:
There are a few deep issues we can see in Jack Reacher – from vigilantism to the concept of freedom and choice, to the morality (or lack thereof) within the legal system.  Here are a couple we’d like to highlight.

 

Freedom is in the eye of the beholder.
When Reacher tells Helen that her client is innocent, she decides he must be delusional.  She tells him, “It’s the way you live, the way you move around.  You’re just not cut out for the real world, are you?”  Reacher’s response is to have Helen look out the window at the people still working  in the building across the street.

“Look at the people. Tell me which ones are free. Free from debt. Anxiety. Stress. Fear. Failure. Indignity. Betrayal. How many wish they were born knowing what they know now? Ask yourself, how many would do things the same way all over again? And how many would live their lives like me?”

When we heard this speech in theaters, it had the exact effect we think the writer was going for – it made us reflect on our own lives, our assumptions about other people, our obligations, our debts, and the worries that plague us every day. Helen probably wasn’t too pleased to be reminded of her massive student loan debt from that law degree!  It made us wonder – what would it be like to live a life like Reacher? No luggage, no baggage, only responsible for oneself, and bound only by an internal sense of duty that transcends societal norms, legal boundaries, and even the discipline of the service to which he has (until recently) dedicated his life. For most adults, it would probably be impossible without breaking a few laws and going into bankruptcy. But even so – we’re pretty sure 99% of people watching the film would have said, “Yes – I wish I was born knowing (at least some of) what I know now.” It’s some pretty toothsome food for thought!

 

The Cult of Nice is BULLSHIT.
Reacher is not a nice guy. He’s a good guy, but he’s not nice. And, believe it or not, world? THAT’S OKAY! Culturally, many of us have reached a place where it’s taboo to be angry. It’s socially unacceptable to insist on your own rights. Hell, it’s socially unacceptable to send back your food at a restaurant when it’s wrong. Being “mean” is the worst thing you can do.  Some people behave as if it’s worse than actually committing a crime. In fact, if someone attacks you and you bite back, YOU are the one who has done wrong. YOU need to rise to the occasion and “be the better person”.

For Reacher? That’s a bunch of bullshit. We can see he’s not about being nice when he first meets Helen Rodin and (quite hilariously) walks away from her before she can get more than a single word out. He’s not exactly sweet to Sandy (though he does try to help her), and he never pulls his punches, physical or verbal, with anyone he meets. And as for people actually trying to attack him?  Hey, get out of his way! He will not allow himself to be run over by anyone. And that’s what we like so much about him.

As Tom has said in interviews, there’s a sense of “wish fulfillment” in these movies, and it comes from the fact that Jack Reacher will not let people get away with… jack. (Sorry, we punned, we will sit in a corner for a few hours as penance.) People experience unfairness and injustice all too often. Sometimes, the innocent are “proven” guilty, and sometimes, people perpetuate crimes against each other and get away with it – either through loopholes, or because the laws we have just don’t cover all the bases.  In our lives, your lovely hostesses at Buttered Popcorn have been stolen from multiple times – had a cell phone ripped out of our hands, had our house robbed, had chained bikes stolen from our backyard, had cars (plural) stolen. And the law was not able to catch the criminals in any of those cases.  It’s not the fault of the police and/or detectives.  They do their best, but sometimes, that’s just how it is.

That’s when it pays to be Reacher. “He doesn’t care about proof. He doesn’t care about the law. He only cares what’s right.” He will get the bad guys, and he will show no quarter.  That fiery sense of injustice, where you are looking someone in the eye and you know they’ve wronged you, they know they’ve wronged you, and they have that smug satisfaction because they know they’ve gotten away with it? Yeah. Reacher doesn’t have to deal with that crap. EVER.  He’s the kind of guy we’d all love to be once in a while, and that’s why we love watching him deal out his own brand of justice! Think you’re going to get away with murder while Reacher is around? Think again. (Heh. Just ask the Zec.)

Favorite Quotes:

  • “I’m just a guy who wants to be left alone.” (Reacher to Sandy)
  • “Weird meeting you.” (Emerson to Reacher)
  • “Always the bullet.  I don’t understand.” (The Zec)
  • “I’m sorry, could you please put a shirt on?” (Helen to Reacher)
  • “Am I stealing your car?” “Use it as LONG as you like!” (Reacher and Sandy’s “brother”)
  • “You think I’m a hero?  I am not a hero.  I’m a drifter with nothing to lose.” (Reacher to Charlie)
  • “One look at this guy and you know he’ll do anything to survive.  One look at me and you know I’m not bluffing.” (Reacher to Helen about The Zec)
  • “I mean to beat you to death and drink your blood from a boot.” (Reacher to Charlie)

Favorite Character: Jack Reacher! Duh! Here’s a few (more!) great things about Jack Reacher:

  • He’s funny.  Reacher has great sense of humor, and a great sense of comedic timing. And of course, it’s kind of funny just seeing him calmly beat down his enemies, after casually explaining precisely how they’re going to go down.
  • He’s kind.  Yes, we said it.  And yes, we remember saying that he’s not concerned with being nice.  Being nice and being kind are different, and Reacher shows his kindness in the way he cares about people – even when they’ve wronged him.  He wasn’t nice to Sandy.  He intentionally played head games with her and insulted her, because he knew she was plotting against him.  But he also warned her to leave town when he recognized that she was in danger.
  • He’s fair.  Reacher had every reason to believe that Barr was guilty.  Barr got away with murder before, and Reacher is determined that it won’t happen again.  But when the evidence points to a different answer, Reacher doesn’t let his dislike of Barr, nor his anger that Barr got away with his former crime, blind him to the truth.  Barr is innocent in this case, and Reacher will fight to prove it.  That’s just the kind of stand-up guy he is!

Behind the Scenes Trivia:

  • Tom Cruise read all of the Reacher books that were available at the time, while prepping for this role.
  • Tom did all of his own driving for Jack Reacher.  Director (and screenwriter) Chris McQuarrie had the unique challenge of finding ways to show the audience who was driving, rather than trying to hide the fact that the actor wasn’t in the car.
  • During the car chase, Reacher’s car stalls out after he exits a tunnel, and Reacher must struggle to get the car back in gear before the police catch him.  This moment was unscripted.  The car actually stalled while they were filming the sequence, and Tom was urgently trying to get it started again so that they wouldn’t waste the take.  McQuarrie loved the moment so much, he decided to keep it.
  • All the footage from Alexia Fast’s performance as Sandy in “the auto parts store” was lost, and she had to be called in to do the whole scene over again.  Tom and McQuarrie said she had a great attitude and never complained about having to re-shoot.
  • Rosamund Pike was pregnant during filming, and they were forced to run a very tight schedule so that they could film all her scenes before she started to show.  During the scene where her father and Emerson are in her apartment, she is already showing, and uses her long sweater to hide it.  Near the end of the movie, when Reacher, Cash and Helen are talking after the dust has settled, the shots behind Helen were filmed by a body double.  Rosamund had already left the set to have her baby.

Pic Spam! Here’s a bunch of pics we liked!  (We capped them all ourselves!)

“I need some sleep.”

 

Aaaawkwaaaaaard!

 

Are we fighting now?

 

Yes! Definitely fighting now!

 

“What’s wrong with your eye?”

 

“I believe you.”

 

::SIIIIIIGH::

 

They’re not ready for this.

 

“You think you’re gonna walk.”

 

Watchability level: HIGH!
Buttered Popcorn recommends that you watch this movie! It’s funny, it’s full of action and great fight scenes, and the mystery behind the crime is always there, driving the action, and keeping us wondering! And you get to see Tom Cruise doing lots of dry humor, which tickles us lots!

Re-watchability level: HIGH!
First of all, Jack Reacher slamming phones down and threatening to drink people’s blood from boots? We could watch that on repeat all day long. But seriously… No, wait, we were totally serious. Anyway!! This movie has a nice twist that makes re-watching a must! Watching again, you will be able to see the actions of some characters in a new light, and that extra flavor is what re-watchability is all about!

Final Verdict: Jack Reacher is BADASS! Badass is good!
So! Take yourself to Amazon, or wherever you prefer to buy movies and grab this movie up. Then melt that butter, pop that popcorn, and prepare to have yourself an ass-kicking, finger-breaking, throat-punching good time! And if you’re in the mood for some equally action-packed reading, check out the novel series that started it all. Lee Child has written nearly two dozen Reacher books and stories, so there’s plenty to tide you over until we get a third movie! Click the images below for more information.




Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back has recently come out on BluRay and DVD!  We loved it in theaters (of course), and it was great seeing it again in the comfort of our own home.  We hope you’ll enjoy reading our true and correct opinions on this flick.

Smartass Summary: The second one from those books!

Slightly less smartass summary: Guy tries to make it with a chick, but work interferes.

Ok ok, REAL summary: Bad guys try to kill the good guys, but somewhat ruthless hero gets the bad guys instead.

Overall opinion:
Buttered Popcorn likes this movie a lot! There’s plenty of action and adventure, with a nice balance of humor and a touch of tender feelings. One of the talking points of the movie is that we will get to see a different side of Reacher, and we do. But never fear! He’s still the hard-hitting badass that we fell in love with in the first Reacher movie, and there’s plenty of bone-crushing, jaw-breaking fighting to feed your Reacher needs!

***Spoilers beyond this point!***

Fun moments:
One of the best parts of a Reacher movie is the humor! Jack will literally break every bone in your body, but there’s something about his dry looks and casual attitude that makes us smile. What are our favorite moments from Never Go Back? Let’s see.

“You’re under no obligation to say anything, Major.” This scene was hilarious! There’s just something wonderful about Reacher sitting there staring, deadpan, at Col. Morgan while he asks question after question. Priceless!

“I’m used to being alone.” Reacher trying to connect with ANYONE (with the exception of Sgt. Leach) is just the funniest thing EVER. When Sam is trying to process the murder of her benefactors, and the fact that she is still in danger, and she says, “I feel sick” – Reacher’s matter-of-fact “Just put your head out the window” makes us giggle every time. When he brings dinner for Sam and Maj. Turner, and Sam blithely shuts the door in his face, when he tries to apologize and make nice with Turner – it’s the most awkward thing in the _universe_. All of it brings a smile to our faces – especially since Tom Cruise is one of the most personable people alive. Tom acting like he doesn’t know how to behave around a teenager ought to be proof positive of his amazing acting chops (if 30+ years of stellar work wasn’t good enough for ya).

“You’re very intense, you know that?” When Samantha objects to wearing a uniform and going into hiding at an elite private school, Reacher takes her aside, looks deeply into her eyes, and says, “Do you want to live? Do you?” He demands cooperation, and when he’s done, Sam says, “You’re very intense, you know that?” It’s such a fun moment, especially if you know anything at all about Tom Cruise “lore”. Many people have described interacting with him as “intense”, and it tickled us pink to see this in the film. It’s nice to see a serious actor who can laugh at himself.

“What kind of car would my lawyer be driving?”  Just… You know what, we’re not even gonna give it away.  We went and got a screencap and everything and just… please watch this movie.

Deep Themes:
Once again, most people don’t expect there to be a ton of depth from an action movie (especially, for some reason, from a Tom Cruise action movie). But we have noticed that there are always themes that are meant to touch our hearts, or get us thinking (especially in Tom Cruise action movies). Never Go Back touches on many themes, from patriotism and duty to opportunistic avarice, to the relationship between parent and child. We’ll highlight two themes that we thought were handled nicely in the movie.

 

Family is what you make it.
Never Go Back presents us with three characters who have been thrown together through an elaborate chain of circumstances. When the action begins, Turner and Reacher have communicated sporadically for several weeks, it seems, but they have never met face to face. Samantha comes into the picture after the bad guys target her for her possible connection to Reacher.

The last thing any of them wants is to be stuck together. All three characters are firmly entrenched in lives that allow them independence and autonomy. Even Turner, who must follow strict military codes, is in charge of her own unit. Their independence and self reliance makes working together quite a difficult (and often hilarious) challenge.

Reacher is stilted and awkward when dealing with Sam (and only slightly less so with Turner). It’s obvious he’s used to dealing with adults, either in the military, or in situations where he doesn’t have to talk at all. And he has long ago left the rigid formality of military life, so despite their common background, connecting with Turner has its own difficulties.

Turner is only slightly better with Sam. She’s accustomed to obedience and order, and she clings to her military training even as her world is being torn apart. Sam’s defiance, and Reacher’s reckless disregard for protocol, tend to keep her off balance. And of course, Samantha has been thrust into the temporary custody of two strangers, both of whom expect her to follow instructions and lay low while the adults take care of things, when she has been taking care of herself for years.

What we see as the movie unfolds are three independent, hard-headed puzzle pieces who gradually, awkwardly, sometimes painfully shuffle themselves into a fairly well-fitting whole. Samantha learns to trust her impromptu caretakers, and they learn to trust her. Reacher and Turner come to a better understanding of one another, and each begins to trust when the other’s particular method may be better suited to a given situation. The three of them grow on each other (and on the audience!). By the end, as director Ed Zwick says, you find yourself wanting their little family to work out.

 

You’re allowed to change your mind.
During Reacher’s railroad trip to jail, we meet Cpt. Anthony Espin, who had served under Reacher while he was still in charge of the 110th. We learn (pretty darn fast) that Espin has a huge chip on his shoulder against Reacher. Apparently, Reacher held back Espin’s promotion for six months, accusing him of jumping to conclusions. Reacher offers something like an olive branch when he says, “I’m sure I jumped to conclusions.” Of course, a few minutes later, any truce that may have been brewing is completely off the table.

What’s great about all this? Buttered Popcorn loves the fact that both men are able to re-evaluate their opinions of one another. Espin begins as an antagonist, resenting Reacher, hunting both Reacher and Turner. And Reacher has been an antagonist to Espin, kicking his ass and getting him in a little bit of trouble for letting two prisoners escape. But when the chips are down, Espin doesn’t let his personal resentment blind him to the truth, and Reacher doesn’t let his own misgivings stop him from following Turner into trusting the younger officer. And in the end, thanks to their willingness to see each other in a new light, justice is served!

Favorite Quotes:

  • “I’m the guy you didn’t count on.” (Reacher to Sherriff)
  • “You’re very intense.  You know that?” (Sam to Reacher)
  • “Let me know when you remember what that uniform stands for.” (Reacher to Moorcroft)
  • “Just put your head out the window.” (Reacher to Sam)
  • “I’m used to working alone.  I’m used to being alone.” (Reacher to Turner)
  • “You’re like something feral, you’ve got their  scent in your nose and all you want is blood!” (Turner to Reacher)
  • “I’m going to break your arms.  I’m going to break your legs. I’m going to break your neck.  What you hear is excitement.” (Reacher to The Hunter)

Favorite Character:  Jack Reacher! Duh!  Here’s a few great things about Jack Reacher:

  • He’s an ass-kicker.  He will FUCK the bad guys UP, and it is so gratifying to see them get taken down.
  • He’s a good person.  Much as he seems like a cold kind of an ass who doesn’t know how people operate, he is actually kind when it matters.  He might not know how to comfort you after a loss, or encourage you when you’re feeling self conscious, but he will destroy your enemies if he cares about you.
  • He’s smart.  Reacher is able to quickly synthesize all his experience, all his knowledge, and all the current circumstances, and transmit that into actions that help save his life, and the lives of those around him.  He had a few false steps here (he didn’t notice the guys following him while he was following Sam), but he more than made up for it later (salt shaker, people.  salt shaker.)

Behind the Scenes Trivia:

  • Cobie Smulders, Patrick Heusinger and Tom Cruise did stunt and fight training, and maintained a strict diet for several weeks before filming started.
  • Tom and Ed Zwick last worked together on The Last Samurai.  Zwick said that Reacher’s moral code, with his dedication to justice, and to “being there” for those in need of help, is similar to that of the Samurai.
  • Cobie Smulders visited with female soldiers as part of her preparation for the role of Major Susan Turner, and their experiences helped inform her presentation of a woman soldier on screen.
  • Danika Yarosh told interviewers that Tom Cruise was always willing to help her learn as much as she could about filming, including camera angles, lighting, and other details.

Pic Spam!  Here’s a bunch of pics we liked!

Getting the drop on the bad guys!

 

Getting the drop on the bad guys MORE!

 

Awwwkwaaaaaaard

 

You might want to tell her what she wants to know…

 

Is this feelings?

 

That smile!

 

Watchability level: HIGH!
Buttered Popcorn recommends that you watch this movie! It’s fun, it’s full of action and ass-kicking, it’s got just a touch of tenderness (just enough to give it the right flavor when Reacher starts shredding the bad guys).  And you get to see Tom Cruise AND Cobie Smulders make these great “I will murder you” faces (sometimes to each other).

Re-watchability level: MEDIUM
There are a few different reveals in this movie, but we’re fairly certain who our enemies are right from the beginning. Still, there are several moments where, on re-watching, you realize, “Heeeeeeeey! He WAS in on it from the start!” And watching this one again and again is like getting off a rollercoaster and running back to the line to start again. The humor between the characters, the fights, that viscerally satisfying moment where Reacher gets the bad guy – it’s SO great, watching again is just damn good fun!

Final Verdict: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is fun and exciting! Fun and excitement are good!
So! Head on over to your favorite video store and grab this movie up. Then melt that butter, pop that popcorn, and prepare to have yourself a fun time! And if you’re in the mood for some fun, equally action-packed reading, check out the books that started it all. Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series includes over 20 books (!!!) and several short stories. Click the images below for more information.




American Made – Preview

Tom Cruise’s next contribution to the movie-going public will be American Made. We at Buttered Popcorn are SO excited about the upcoming release that we are doing something new!   Okay, okay, everything we do is new, we’ve been open all of 24-hours, but you know what we mean.  We’re going to do a Movie Preview – a discussion of the trailer, and why we’re so excited for this new film.

 

Based on a True Lie:
We love the fact that this is based on a true story – or at least very loosely based, if we’re to believe the enigmatic tagline.  Tom Cruise will portray Barry Seal, a real airline pilot who is enlisted by the CIA to infiltrate drug cartels, gun running schemes, and other general mischief.  There’s something so special about watching a movie that’s based (however loosely) on a true story.  We look forward to guessing what’s real and what’s embellished, and we love the idea of never actually knowing.  (Or, obsessively searching for details about the true life story – it could go either way here.)

 

You boys shoulda took the Caddies:
This movie looks so FUNNY. It looks stressful as all shit, but it looks like there will be a lot of humor in it, too, and Buttered Popcorn loves to laugh! We cant wait to see how the balance plays out in the film. But judging from the preview, were going to be rolling around in our seats when were not biting our nails at the government-intrigue-induced suspense.

 

It gets crazy from here:
This movie looks so stressful! There’s obviously lots of humor, and lots of action, but from the hints that we can see in images like the one above, we can tell that there are going to be some poignant moments, and some real tension.  CAN’T.  WAIT.

 

Tom Cruise wearing old school clothes:
Do we have to explain this? We didn’t think so.

Wish list!
We, like most people, are aware that previews can be big giant LIARS. How many times have you seen something in a preview that you loved, only to be disappointed when it didn’t show up in the finished movie? Well! We’re setting ourselves up for disappointment right now! Here are some clips we sincerely hope will not be left on the cutting room floor:

  • “Whatever you need, boss.”  That little “Oooooh-KAY” face must stay!  We can tell Barry doesn’t think this is going to end well, but he’s gonna tow the line.  It’s the government, after all!
  • “We can stop now.”  We kinda like the idea that Barry is narrating this to someone (as is seen in the theatrical trailer).  We’ll see how that plays out!
  • “You trust me, right?”  Okay, this is a repetition, and we’re pretty sure they’re not going to cut it, but it’s SO funny when Barry asks his wife, “You trust me, right?” and she looks at him in all seriousness and says, “NO!”

Favorite image: 
Here’s our favorite pic from the preview:

 

Music!
We loved the song from the theatrical trailer. The one from the standard trailer is great, too, but we are IN LOVE with the one from the trailer in theaters!  The song is called “What Makes a Good Man?” from a group called The Heavy.  We found it, bought it, and have now been playing it on repeat for about 85 hours with visions of Tom Cruise dancing in our heads.  Want to get hooked, too?  We’ll link to the song below.  We’ll also include a link to the song from the regular trailer.  It’s called “The Devil You Know” by X Ambassadors.

Final Verdict:
Of COURSE, we are going to see this movie.  We’ll probably end up watching it in theaters somewhere between 5-20 times, if we know ourselves.  Action, comedy, feelings, Tom Cruise wearing button-downs and long hair??  SIGN US UP!  The movie will be released in US theaters September 29th.  Mark your calendars, and join us for some fun!  We should have a review for the movie up within a few weeks of movie release.  In the meantime, check out the trailer music, and why not buy yourself some movie tickets while you’re at it?  Might as well be ready!

 

Theatrical Trailer song – What Makes a Good Man? – The Heavy:

Internet trailer song – The Devil You Know – X Ambassadors:

American Made comes out September 29th. No pressure or anything, just… GO SEE IT!
You can use these:




The Mummy (2017)

Welcome to Buttered Popcorn! Our first review is for Tom’s latest blockbuster, The Mummy (2017). We had a great time watching this flick in theaters (several times), and we can’t wait to share our true and correct opinions with the world!

Smartass Summary: The OTHER OTHER one with the airplane stunt.

Slightly less smartass summary: A guy gets two girlfriends, but would rather be rich and single.

Ok ok, REAL summary: Bad guy tries to take over the world, unlikely hero saves the world instead.

Overall opinion:
Buttered Popcorn likes this movie a lot!  It has action, humor, seat-jumping “scares”, and it even takes on themes of good and evil, life and death, love and sacrifice.  In fact, there are so many feelings in this movie, we think some people might have a hard time holding them all in at the same time.  But that’s okay!  At Buttered Popcorn, we love complexity, and we aren’t scared to cry and laugh and hide our faces in the same theater session!

***Spoilers highly likely beyond this point!***

Fun moments:
SO many fun moments in this movie!  Whether you’re watching Vail scramble after Nick Morton, screaming about how he’s going to die, or watching Nick Morton try to get everybody focused on the most important issue at hand – his own safety – there are plenty of places to laugh in this movie.  Buttered Popcorn’s personal favorites?  Let’s see.

“Oh my God, she’s in my head!”  When Nick tries to escape the church where Princess Ahmanet has just tried to eat his soul with the help of her zombie friends, and he peels away from the grounds, only to end up driving right back to the church (and to her).

“THAT’S your solution??” When Dr. Jekyll reveals that he plans to murder Nick in a ritual ceremony and let the Egyptian god of Death/Chaos into his body so they can murder Set (AND Nick.  again).  Nick’s confusion and alarm are THE BEST.

Deep Themes:
Again!  SO MANY deep themes in this movie!  We tried to treat them separately – selfishness vs. sacrifice, immortality, good vs. evil, do means justify ends? – but that wasn’t working so let’s talk about them all at once!

Of course, it’s a monster movie, and the theme of good vs. evil is highlighted in this film.  There are three primary characters who are meant to get us thinking about these ideas: Princess Ahmanet, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and Sgt. Nick Morton.  And Jenny serves as a lens, helping us to see certain characters more clearly.

Princess Ahmanet is powerful and ruthless – destined to rule an empire.  She is cheated out of her destiny by the birth of a baby brother.  Sexism, people!  This is why we can’t have nice things!  She makes a pact with the god of Death, allows herself to be made monstrous, then goes on to murder her entire immediate family, with a side of attempted body-snatching as she tries to bring the god of Death into a human vessel.  Forget ruling Egypt, she’s about to rule THE ENTIRE WORLD.  Thousands of years later, as The Mummy, she is single-minded, vicious, and she is focused on herself.  SHE was cheated, SHE will get what she wants.  If that means killing infants and taking over an unwilling body, well, all’s fair in world domination.  Besides!  Those were different times, right?  Riiiiiiiight.

Let’s take a look at Nick and Henry.  The Mummy shows us two men – one (Nick) seems on the surface to be morally bankrupt, ready to do anything for a quick buck.  The other (Henry) seems on the surface to be a hero of sorts, out to save the world from evil.  He even has a cool Batman-esque lair where evil can be destroyed!  But the writers are showing us something completely different, and we think the way the film plays on these characters is pretty awesome.

Dr. Jekyll would have us believe that Nick is just like Ahmanet (ok, more like a lame, weak, human version, but still).  He’s selfish, amoral, and will apparently do anything to further his own gains.  And in some ways, that’s true.  Nick made love to a woman then stole from her while she was asleep.  Selfish!  He was ready to blast dirt over a major archaeological find so that he could come back and loot it for gold and black market sales.  Greedy!  There are times when he is completely incapable of looking past his own needs to see other people. Selfish! (Okay, we said selfish twice, so sue us.)   But we’re not sure his actions push him into the “evil” category here.  He also saved Jenny, and he felt disgust at the idea that Ahmanet would murder three people (including her own father and a newborn baby).  Clearly, his selfishness has its limits.  He wouldn’t do ANYTHING to further his own gains.

But who does Ahmanet REALLY sound like?  Dr. Jekyll has dedicated his life to eradicating evil.  He is completely single minded and ruthless in his pursuit of evil.  Just like Ahmanet and her pursuit of power.  He’s literally torturing Ahmanet on-screen (and presumably this has gone on for hours).  He’s ready to dissect Ahmanet, and intentionally let Nick be inhabited by an evil deity so that he (Jekyll) can contain and destroy Set (much to Jenny’s dismay, by the way.  We are NOT meant to think this is a good thing).  Jekyll even tries to justify his “plan” by saying that that Nick is “devoid of soul”.  Heeeeey now!  Nick’s not the most altruistic guy we’ve ever met, but soulless?  That’s a little harsh, Doc.  Being opportunistic and tricky isn’t evil, and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t warrant the death penalty.

But notice!  When it comes to himself, Dr. Jekyll is darn pretty lenient.  He has an evil entity living inside him RIGHT NOW.  Any moment, his “evil twin” may pop out and start killing people and causing mayhem.  Dr. Jekyll has made some anti-evil-twin medication for himself, which he does NOT carry on his person at all times for some reason.  He has some extra security measures in place (but if you’re not fast enough, it sucks to be you).  But other than that, he’s just roaming around free, with “chaos” waiting at the edge to sneak out any second.  Is he dissecting himself?  No, he is not!  Does he even see the irony of his behavior?  Guess not! For him, as with Ahmanet, the ends justify the means, and if some people get killed along the way, well… Sorry?  Sometimes, when dealing with such matters, sacrifices must be made, right?  Riiiiiiiight.

Meanwhile, Nick has already given Jenny the only parachute, and helped her survive when he knew he would die.  Oh sure, he said he thought there was another one, but we think that was just modesty.  Nick never even TRIED to find another parachute after Jenny was safe.  He knew he would die, but he did it to save her anyway.  And that’s all before he learns that he’s the chosen vessel for evil.  In the end, he risks everything to save the world (and, of course, Jenny specifically).  He sounds as if he has “NO interest in [sacrifice] AT ALL”, but when it comes down to the wire, that good man Jenny tells him is struggling to come out makes it to the top every time.

The Mummy has cleverly taken its characters and used them to show us that perspective is a huge part of what we consider evil.  They’ve shown us  that not all situations are etched in clear lines of black and white, but they have kept true to the idea that taking innocent life (even if that life is a little scruffy) is not okay, no matter what the reason.  And they’ve shown us that personal sacrifice is hard, it’s scary, and you might not be interested in it in the LEAST, but sometimes, when the chips are down, even the worst of us can rise to the occasion.

Not bad for a popcorn movie, eh?

Favorite Quotes:

  • “Respectfully? I am NOT interested in archaeological jargon right now!” (Nick to Jenny)
  • “THAT’S YOUR PLAN??” (Nick to Henry)
  • “The OLD gods?” (Ahmanet to Jenny)
  • “Where’s your sense of adventure?” (Nick to Vail)
  • “What did I tell you?  We are not looters.  We are liberators of precious antiquities.”  (Nick and Vail)

Favorite Character:  Nick Morton.  Duh!  Here’s a few great things about Nick Morton:

  • He looks like Tom Cruise
  • He is gloriously selfish, but shows his nobility early in the movie, when he saves Jenny from the crash at the cost of his own life.
  • He grows.  He showed heroism early on, but for the most part, he does NOT care about anything except how he’s going to stay alive.  In the end, he abandons safety and vaults himself into the unknown.  He risks everything, and sacrifices his humanity FOR humanity.
  • He’s a hero.  See above.  And he even went and found his BFF and brought him back to life, even though zombie!Vail has been trying to sell him out to Princess Scary-Face for the whole damn movie.

Behind the Scenes Trivia:

  • Annabelle Wallis and Tom Cruise (and the film/stunt crew) did the zero-gravity sequence on the famous “vomit comet” over two days and in a whopping sixty-four takes!
  • Jake Johnson, who plays Nick’s friend Vail, told Director Alex Kurtzman that he did not want to do any stunts, or go anywhere near horses.  Encouraged by Tom, he trained for almost five months, and did all his own stunts.
  • Sofia Boutella was a professional dancer before she turned to acting, and was a regular background dancer for Madonna.  Kurtzman was impressed by the way she carried herself, and how she could command respect through posture alone.
  • Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe have been friends for over twenty years.  This is the first film they have worked on together.

Pic Spam!  Here’s a bunch of pics we liked!

Come to me, my chosen.
Certain sacrifices must be made.

 

I’m not embarrassed, Nick.

 

The Chosen One

 

She will not stop.

 

You can do this!

 

WTF?

 

No, I’m serious!  WTF??

Watchability level: HIGH!
Buttered Popcorn recommends you watch this movie!  It’s fun, it’s touching, it’s kinda creepy, it has good messages without being blatantly preachy, and it has a poignant ending without being bitter or disappointing. And you get to see Tom Cruise make that “what the FUCK?” face like… MANY times (see above).  How can you go wrong?

Re-watchability level: MEDIUM.
There are not too many mid-movie plot twists in this one, so watching again will not give you a hugely different insight into the actions of the characters than what you saw the first time you watched.  But you WILL notice more things on second (or third, or fourth) watching, and devouring movies in full is always great!  There were many little details we missed at first, and it took pondering the movie over three separate watchings to really solidify some of the themes.  Plus, you will get to see tiny girls violently abuse Tom Cruise, and you will get to see Tom Cruise kick zombie ass, and do both smart stuff and dumb stuff, and there’s this one time he’s practically naked, so… there’s something for everyone!  Why would you not want to see that more than once?

Final Verdict: The Mummy is fun!  Fun is good! 
So!  Head to the theaters while it’s still available, melt that butter, pop that popcorn, and prepare to have yourself a great time!  And if you’re awesome, like Buttered Popcorn, you will want to pre-order a copy so that you can watch every frame individually and salivate over each second of this great flick.  Check out the soundtrack as well! Watching movies while driving is not safe, but listening is fair game! Click the images below for more info.




What are we doing here?

I just love making movies.  I love to entertain an audience.  ~ Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise loves to entertain us, and we at Buttered Popcorn love to be entertained!

Once upon a time (last week), I took a look at the decades-long catalog of Tom Cruise movies, and realized – if you watched one Tom Cruise movie per week, it would take over nine months to watch them all.  A friend dared me to do just that, and I decided to do it!  Sort of!

Buttered Popcorn loves to savor Tom Cruise.  We love to watch the same Tom Cruise movie 142 times in a row, and devour every image, every line, every single sound of the film, and cry over every perfect little piece.  We know ourselves, and we will not stick to one movie a week, so we won’t even lie like that.  But we will be reviewing every single Tom Cruise movie we can find!  And after we cover every Tom Cruise movie, we might even review someone else’s film.  Maybe.  (Seriously, at the rate he’s going, by the time we finish reviewing everything up to the time of writing, he’ll have about 20 more movies for us to chew on, so… we won’t hold our breath.)

Join us for some fun movie talk, pictures, and whatever else we can throw up here as we celebrate the work of an icon!  Pop that popcorn, melt that butter, and let’s have some fun!