Tonight we’re spending quality time with three things I love: beer, movies and Boston. I’m from Boston and I always love seeing the city on the big screen, even if its depictions are a bit blood soaked. And since we watched an Irish movie with our last Irish beer (Smithwich’s Irish Ale), I figured this time around we’ll stick closer to home. That’s why tonight’s combo is the ever popular Guinness Stout and the 1999 film The Boondock Saints. I’m not talking about the recent remake that looked like crap, so don’t even ask even about it.
First and foremost, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the word “fuck” or one of its derivatives so many times in under two hours. According to IMDb, its used precisely 246 times. So if bad language isn’t your cup of tea (or pint of Guinness, as it were) then I suggest you find another movie. Oh and lots of people die, so that’s something else to consider. But in all seriousness, this movie is pretty solid. The story isn’t complex and doesn’t try to be, but the characters are strong, likeable and driven by a higher moral cause: bad people should die. But really the star of this movie isn’t either of the Boondock Saints, it’s Willem Dafoe’s FBI Agent Paul Smecker. Smecker, (or Dafoe, they seem interchangeable really), is a gay-hating gay who listens to classic music while puzzling out crime scenes. He is erratic, morally-confused and totally awesome. Yes he comes off a wee bit crazy, but he absolutely commands every scene he is in and makes the film 100% stronger because of it.
In all honesty, what hasn’t been said about Guinness Stout? Everyone knows it, most everyone drinks it and I’d imagine that anyone whose tried it has enjoyed it on at least some level. Guinness makes stouts accessible to everyday drinkers. Stouts, which are very dark, almost chocolately beers, can be very heavy, complex and difficult to drink for casual drinkers. If I ever have a stout, I typically struggle to have a whole pint because they can be so intense. But a Guinness Stout is very simple and smooth while retaining that class chocolate flavor and thick, rich body. For those who want to experiment with darker beers, there is no shame in starting out with Guinness as a gateway beer (and I mean that in the best of ways).
So all in all, tonight was all about sitting, relaxing and not thinking too hard. The beer, and the movie, are both very good and entertaining without making you work too hard. While The Boondock Saints may be a bit on the bloody side, and Guinness may be on the dark side, neither is putting on airs or trying too hard. Rather, they simply want you to enjoy yourself.
Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
The Boondock Saints:
Irishmen love their F-bombs.
Boston is a bloody place.
Willem Dafoe is, in fact, crazy.