BROTHERHOOD OF THE POPCORN | REVIEW

The Cliffhangers are a bunch of old guys, all from different forms of life and all with one thing in common, they love movies. The group meets bi-weekly on Saturdays at a home cinema in Hollywood and has been doing so for over 35 years to watch and celebrate the classic American films of Hollywood. President of The Cliffhangers, Woody Wise, emailed me and asked if I would like to review a movie about The Cliffhangers, called BROTHERHOOD OF THE POPCORN. Of course I would love to review it, we will pretty much review anything, time permitting, at Salty and so Woody sent me a disc, from the US of A. I put it in the “Must Review ASAP” pile of movies, an ever increasing pile of movies I struggle to keep on top of and last Friday night Woody and Buzz, nay nay, Woody and The Cliffhangers got their screening. The movie is made by Predator Productions with the assistance of Streamline Films and runs for 84mins. You will have to enquire at the BROTHERHOOD OF THE POPCORN website about screenings – it is doing festival rounds in the U.S. but there may be ways.  

 

BROTHERHOOD OF THE POPCORN MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
BROTHERHOOD OF THE POPCORN | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

I have to say, as soon as I got it and read about it I just wasn’t overly interested, I pictured a home video quality movie about a bunch of old timers hanging out and talking about old movies. I live in a fast paced world, if it doesn’t grab me immediately I become bored, disinterested and move on. I passed it over a few times as my Friday night’s are my movie nights, I want to be riveted to the screen, with my wine, and my nomnoms. But I agreed to view BROTHERHOOD OF THE POPCORN and as for my thoughts on the film I was pretty close, but I failed to realise one thing, The Cliffhangers are me in 20-30yrs and their charm, passion and knowledge are so enchanting I immediately fell in with the nostalgic group and wanted my name on the waiting list. Sadly, the only way to become a member is generally when another member passes away. My other logisitcs nightmare is that they are in the U.S. and I am in Sydney :).

We all long for a group like this, a group with a passion and mates that can allow us to bond, it is what keeps people going, connection, and these guys have it. They meet at Woody’s house every fortnight, have a breakfast, watch a double-feature, a cliffhanger serial, and also have lunch. They talk about everything from movies, family, wives, stars, surgeries, their health, their diet, their retirements, their kids, their pets, their loves (and although the rules state that members cannot talk about religion or politics) they somehow end up talking about that, too.

 

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BROTHERHOOD OF THE POPCORN | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | THE CLIFFHANGERS GATHERED FOR BREAKFAST

 

It is just one damn cool club of people sharing one passion, and also something that must be so damn cool, people keep turning up every couple of weeks at Woody’s. Woody’s home cinema is very nostalgic and old school and his collection of old movies is beyond impressive, so much so he became friends with Peter O’Toole after he tried tracking down a decent copy of a movie, and Woody had it. There is a touching moment in the movie where Woody reads out a letter from Peter O’Toole and you can tell O’Toole shared that passion for old movies and nostalgia.

Sure you don’t think a documentary on a bunch of movie-loving old timers could keep you interested for 84mins but it honestly can, besides their love of movies and their passion and genuine nice-guyness, they also have personalities and life stories as interesting as the idea of The Cliffhangers.

 

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BROTHERHOOD OF THE POPCORN | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | THE CLIFFHANGERS

 

Woody is The President of The Cliffhangers, owns the house and cinema for the Brotherhood and also volunteers at The Warner Brothers Museum in Burbank, CA. Cliffhanger member, Dennis Penna, was a famous Rockabilly Music Artist in the 1950’s. His biggest hit song was the ballad, BETTY, which he wrote for his girlfriend at the time. He is also a published author, as well as a producer. James T. Walker, is an Emmy Award Winning Animator at Warner Brothers. At the height of his career he started suffering from Parkinson’s on only his right hand side – this stopped his animation ONLY BRIEFLY, he taught himself to animate with his left hand and now has a book out called Drawings From The Left. All the rest of The Cliffhangers also have interesting tales and regardless of Emmy wins or Fish Truck driving, when in the Brotherhood they are all equals with mutual admiration and respect. I long for this kind of group when I am older.

Rounding out this motley crew of old time legends is film maker Inda Reid, who directs the documentary. Director, editor, and actress Reid has won Best Film and Best Documentary at The Temecula International Film Festival for THE MAKING OF THE NUTCRAKCER (2009), a documentary about Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet. She captures this story the way it should be, with heart and personality, and genuine affection. You just can’t help but ending this movie with a smile on your dial! I just need to win lotto, buy a house, and set up my own Brotherhood!!

Best of luck to The Cliffhangers!!

 

4 Pops