It’s beer and a movie #10, which means it’s time for a celebration. And you can’t celebrate without beer, am I right? Well tonight I’m celebrating with the Italian beer Birra Moretti (actually brewed and bottled by the Heineken company) and watching the original 1969 The Italian Job starring a much younger Michael Caine who still sounds old and British.
Initial things to bear in mind about The Italian Job: First, there is no Mark Wahlberg or Ed Norton. So sad. Second, you really have to remind yourself that this movie was made in 1969. I point this out because just looking at visual style and production value (the bang for your buck), this movie seems to rival most other contemporary heist movies. About 5 or 6 very expensive cars get destroyed on camera and entire Italian cities are shut down. No tricks. With broad, sweeping shots the camera literally shows entire sections of the city clogged with staged traffic. Five cars (3 mini coopers, 1 jaguar and one other schmancy lookin’ one) are filmed crashing down cliffsides. No cuts. No computers. Just a car and a cliff and gravity. But I’m getting away from the actual substance of this movie.
This heist movie is ostensibly about a heist, though the build up is a bit vague and confusing. We’re not given a real explanation as to why they are stealing this money or why they’re financial backer lives like a king inside a British prison. Seriously, the amount of leniency they show this guy in prison makes me want to go to England, commit a crime and go to prison just so I could upgrade my living situation. He’s got a private bathroom, table service at dinner and wears a very fine suit. But again I digress. This movie doesn’t really make much sense but that’s not the point. The point is to watch 3 mini coopers drive through places they should not be driving. That and to see Michael Caine bang about a dozen women in the opening 15 minutes of the movie. Ballin’.
What The Italian Job did big, Birra Moretti stayed quiet. Not to say that the beer was bad, it just wasn’t all that good. Birra Moretti is a lager, meaning it is lower in alcohol and has a lighter body, but that doesn’t mean it has to taste like nothing. If Moretti had a flavor, I would describe it as light and sweet, but that’s a bit of a stretch. Its more distinguished characteristic was its light and fine carbonation which made a uninspired beer a bit more exciting. All this being said, Birra Moretti claims to be hail all the way back from 1859, which is impressive and for that I give them a small raise of the glass (filled with another beer however.)
So that’s how we ended beer and a movie night #10. There were some disappointments, some surprises but most importantly there were explosions. And that’s all we can really ask for.
Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
The Italian Job:
British prison really isn’t that bad.
Watching cars get tossed off cliffs is awesome.
Everyone but Michael Caine is a getaway driver. Literally every character in this movie.