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Classics with the Classic

Extra Butter with Bart Wilson presented by Tiffin Drive-In Theater Archives for 2023-07


Director Christopher Nolan (director of The Dark Knight trilogy, Dunkirk, and Inception) is back with his new biopic, Oppenheimer, that follows the scientist who created the atomic bomb. Many of the events portrayed in the film are well-known by the public, so I really want to focus on the story conveyed, acting, special effects, and editing.


The story that Nolan tries to tell can best be compared to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I say that because J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) is excited to create something completely new with various parts that will be used to end the war against Japan. He feels a sense of purpose when he is approached by Leslie Groves (Matt Damon), the head of the Manhattan Project, when being tasked to create this bomb. It isn’t until we get to the moment when Oppenheimer tests the bomb that he comes to the realization that his creation will kill thousands of people. This is relatable to the building of Frankenstein which entailed piecing together a monster and bringing it to life only to find out how dangerous the creature really was.


Like Frankenstein, Oppenheimer begins to regret his choice to help the government, and this leads to conspiracy theories that he is a communist because of his prior engagements as a professor at Berkley. This involved Oppenheimer attending communist gatherings and having an on and off relationship with known communist Jean Tatlock (Florence Pugh). Also, his wife, Kitty Oppenheimer (Emily Blunt), was part of a communist group until she abandoned those ideologies later. It’s as though Nolan drew from the Frankenstein story. Instead of using pitchforks and fire to stop the creation of the monster, people levied accusations about Oppenheimer once he created the monster. I really find that fascinating but when you read about Oppenheimer’s history this is exactly what happened. Before these accusations occurred, Oppenheimer was a highly respected scientist serving on the Atomic Energy Council. That Council was led by Lewis Strauss (Robert Downey Jr.) who shared information about the potential threat of Russia setting off a nuclear bomb. Strauss also offered Oppenheimer a job to be the director of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.


I know that is a lot of information but that’s how it felt the story was conveyed by Nolan. I do want to say that the acting in this movie is phenomenal. Cillian Murphy was meant to play J. Robert Oppenheimer and I couldn’t see anyone else taking on that role. The supporting cast did an amazing job as well by taking Murphy’s performance to the next level. The editing and special effects are something to be revered when watching this film knowing that no CGI was used. The sound design made you feel like you were there in Los Alamos when the bomb went off for the first time.


This film is why cinema exists to this day. We need to be able to be wowed once in a while when heading to the theater to remind ourselves that these experiences are possible when a film is put into the hands of an outstanding director. Nolan hit this way out of the ballpark and deserves his first ever Oscar win for Best Motion Picture. The same goes for Cillian Murphy to win the Oscar for Best Actor. If you have not seen this film, do yourself a favor and buy your ticket now.

Rating: 5 out of 5 

Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1

The 8th installment of the spy action thriller Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1 hit theaters over the weekend. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie (Mission Impossible: Fallout and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) brings another gut-wrenching story that deals with the dangers of modern-day technology.


Once again, we find Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) accepting a mission that could either get him or his team killed. Hunt will need to team up with a thief, Grace (Haley Atwell), who is connected to a key that has access to an ultimate power. Every world power is in pursuit of this key, but the biggest threat for Ethan is that a person from his past, Gabriel (Esai Morales), is back to attain the same key. Gabriel receives help from hired assassin, Paris (Pom Klementieff), to take out the competition. Ethan will need to rely on his team, Luther Stickell (Vingh Rhames), Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), and Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) to prevent a catastrophic technological takeover. How much will Ethan risk obtaining this key?


With so many previous installments of a franchise you start to think, “Will this get old for audiences?” I can say that no it does not get old. This film builds upon what came before it and makes it even better than some of the older entries. I really enjoyed the story this time around because it’s a lot darker and it feels like every action and reaction can have severe consequences. It keeps you on the edge of your seat while biting your fingernails. The action in this was well done from the high-speed car chases to the hand-to-hand combat sequences. Tom Cruise steals the show once again with his acting and stunt work throughout the film. He just continues to get better and better in these action films. It truly is amazing that he can still do insane stunts being over 60 years old. The rest of the cast were great, and their roles were equally important. Each person served a purpose throughout the film. The only problem I had was with some of the green screen work and CGI. You could tell they were on a sound stage and not on site. It wasn’t a big issue, but it was noticeable throughout some of the action sequences.


My final verdict on this film is that I like the story, action, and stunt work. I still believe Mission Impossible: Fallout is better by a smidge, which isn’t bad at all. Fallout is probably the best film out of the whole franchise. So, should you head to the theaters to see this? YES! You are crazy if don’t see this in theaters. Do yourself a favor and go see this with your family or friends. Of course, that’s if you choose to accept this mission.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Insidious: The Red Door

It’s time to enter the further once more in Insidious The Red Door. This is actor Patrick Wilson’s directorial debut while starring in the film. Let’s take a deep dive in the fifth installment of the Insidious franchise.

It’s been 10 years since josh (Patrick Wilson) and Dalton (Ty Simpkins) Lambert were hypnotized to forget the further. Now, we learn that Josh is divorced from Renai (Rose Byrne) and is also dealing with memory loss that started a couple years after being hypnotized. This has hindered his relationship with his family making Dalton resentful towards him. We then segway to Dalton attending college as an art major. During move in day, he meets Chris Winslow (Sinclair Daniel) who will eventually be someone he confides in while dealing with the resurgence of old memories. Those memories come back during art class because he is asked to dig deep into his past and remember a dark time as an inspiration to paint about. This technique though undoes the hypnotism. That results with him drawing the red door. As he continues developing his drawing, he adds more pieces to the puzzle of what really happened 10 years ago. The only problem is that while his memories are coming back an old entity also returns to reclaim what they believe is rightfully theirs. Can Dalton take on this old nemesis, or will his father need to remember the past to protect him?

As I watched this film over the weekend, I experienced a lot of well-timed jump scares. The ominous cinematography, well-done acting, and great visual effects pulled you into the movie. The only problem I had with the film was the story. I think the story dragged a bit too long to get to the climax. Once it got there, the writers seemed to fumble it a bit. I thought the final act would be somewhat longer and scarier but won’t say anymore to give it away. I was disappointed by that because the buildup was well done. It wasn’t as juicy as the previous films, and it pains me to say that. I loved the first two Insidious films and I felt like this one was kind of an afterthought.

Overall, I would say save your money and wait till this comes out on demand. Then you can do a binge watch of the first two films capping it off with this one. I enjoyed the jump scares, and the acting was well done, but the climax didn’t satisfy my horror fanatic’s heart.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Indian Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Grab your satchel and whip because it’s time to go on another adventure with Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. The film is directed by James Mangold who is best known for Logan.

In this last installment, the story begins with young Indy (Harrison Ford) and his friend Basil Shaw (Toby Shaw) stealing a piece of the Antikythera (built by mathematician Archimedes) from Nazi archaeologist Dr. Voller (Mads Mikkelsen). The Antikythera is believed to have the ability to manipulate time by allowing anyone to travel to the past. Fast forward years later, we see an old Indy dealing with retirement and a looming divorce. That’s until Shaw’s daughter, Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), discovers where Indy hid piece of the Antikythera. What Indy doesn’t know is that the U.S. government has been seeking her out for selling artifacts to the highest bidder. Now that the government is on their tail Voller reappears to continue his quest to repair the Antikythera and change the course of time. This leads to a chase around the globe to prevent the possible chance of history being rewritten.

I had a lot of fun watching this film from the acting, storytelling, and action. Of course, the big standout is Harrison Ford who did not miss a beat when reprising his role as Indy. He still felt like the same Indy back when Raiders of the Lost Ark came out. The story was interesting and a lot better than the last film. Many of the action sequences did have CGI effects, but it wasn’t terrible. There are some moments that had plot holes which pulled me out a bit. I do find it difficult to give this movie an honest rating because this franchise is loved by everyone, especially me.

So, this film for me probably ranks second to last in the franchise, but that’s because the earlier movies (except Crystal Skull) were so well done. Dial of Destiny is a well-executed Indy movie that has all the characteristics of an old Indy movie. I do recommend seeing this at least once in theaters with your family and friends.

Rating: 3.8 out of 5

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