Monthly Archives: October 2012

Halloween Special: Devilish Beers & Halloween Resurrection

Hey there, Drinkers!

On this Halloween, BAAM and We Recycle Movies revive our tradition our providing asinine commentary on holiday slashers whilst drinking beer. Pretty good, schtick, right? On the menu we have the dubious Halloween Resurrection and two arbitrarily-chosen yet thematically appropriate beers. And when you’re done reading this fine review, I suggest you hit up WRM for Anne’s perspective on the experience. Most likely it’ll just be her judging me. But let’s get to it, shall we?!

Due to some unfortunate scheduling mishaps, Anne and I didn’t get to both of the films we wanted to but that’s okay, the 2002 film Halloween: Resurrection is what we wanted to see anyway. Briefly starring Jamie Lee Curtis, the film follows a group of teens (shocker!) as they spend the night in Michael Myers’ childhood home as part of an internet reality show created and produced by none other than Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks. Yup! Needless to say, Michael Myers isn’t too happy with this and thus proceeds to murder pretty much everyone for no apparent reason. Alternating between sneaky kills and brazen slashing, Michael Myers is probably the least thematic cinematic murderer. He pretty much just kills people, regardless of how scary it is to us viewers. And that’s pretty much the movie. Yup.

To discuss this movie further would be to shame all the other movies I’ve discussed here on this blog so I don’t want to dwell on it much longer. I do want to note that Katee Sackhoff is in this movie as someone other than Starbuck, which is upsetting. Her name is also misspelled in the credits. Oops! Also, there are boobs. Not Katee Sackhoff’s. So that kinda puts on the same level as a bunch of other slashers. But what else is there to say? Oh yes, very little of this movie makes sense. Michael Myers, as per usual, defies the laws of physics and biology.  The reality TV/POV camera conceit is only used when convenient and is largely ignored. Hmm what else? There are so many little things that frustrated Anne and myself but we just don’t have time for them here. But a good example can be found when our protagonist escapes Michael Myers and his house, only to go back inside so she can try to leave through the front door…which she knows is locked. Yup. That’s the movie we watched. Don’t bother with this one folks. It ain’t worth it.

And our beers? Well those were pretty non-spooky as well. Our first brew was Hermitage Brewing’s Fruit Crate Pumpkin Ale. Despite a promising, reddish amber pour, this beer was kinda nothing. There was virtually no pumpkin aroma or taste. In fact, I don’t know what this tasted like. A bland golden ale that was just a bit bitter? And not even good, hoppy bitter. Just bitter bitter. It’s hard to classify this as a bad beer. It was more of a “meh” beer that really does nothing at all. You can skip this one.

And, sadly, our second beer was a bit of a let-down as well. Rabbit Foot’s Diabhal is a self-described Belgian style ale brewed with honey, but even that’s a generous description. I didn’t get any of that classic Belgian yeastiness . Instead, I was hit over the head with crazy honey flavor. For me, honey should be used sparingly to impart mild sweetness. But this Diabhal tasted like boozy honey with maybe a hint of sweet fruit. It was sweet on sweet and not in a awesome Halloween candy kind of way. There was almost no malt or hop flavor in fact. As Anne noted, this beer seemed more closely related to a honey wine (mead) than it was beer. Lame.

So there it is folks, a bad movie with some disappointing beers. Can’t win them all I guess. I’d say it’s hard to know what a good beer is unless you’ve had a bad beer or two, but the more I think about that statement, I realize how stupid that sounds. Hand me an Old Rasputin any day and I’ll be happy man. Screw the rest!

Once again, a special thanks to Anne from We Recycle Movies for taking the time out of her insane schedule to enjoy some mediocrity with me. Please go check out her blog and show her a little BAAM love.

Happy Halloween! And as always, keep drinking, my friends!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Fruit Crate Pumpkin Ale:
-Nice amber color
-Almost no pumpkin flavor
-Sadly a nothing beer

Diabhal:
-Super honey sweetness
-No Belgian yeasty flavor
-If I wanted honey wine, I’d buy honey wine

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Guest Review: Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale & Sleepy Hollow

Tonight’s review comes courtesy of my brother, Jesse. Since he’s a dedicated BAAM reader, he decided to pick a beer I’ve already reviewed…for a second opinion! Enjoy! Or don’t. This really isn’t his thing anyway.

Greetings, drinkers!

Tonight you are in for a treat, as your intrepid, indefatigable author has handed the reins to me, his older, significantly better looking brother.  Will I crash and burn and take down BAAM with me, or will my prose be so enlightening, so utterly indescribably wondrous that you, the faithful BAAM reader, will abandon Gabe for the charms of his senior? 

Ok, probably none of the above.  With that longwinded introduction out of the way, and with my sincerest apologies in advance, tonight’s pairing is in keeping with the traditional October theme of Halloween spooks… and beheadings.  That’s right, tonight we review Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow and Rogue Dead Guy Ale.  A fairly obvious pairing, but hey, this is my first BAAM.

You may be familiar with this story from your school years, or have seen Burton’s 1999 adaptation, starring Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane, a New York police constable sent to investigate a series of gruesome murders in the town of Sleepy Hollow.  The film also stars a silent yet terrifying Christopher Walken as the Horseless Headsman (in his head-inclusive scenes).

A dentist’s worst nightmare.

The movie certainly does not shy away from gore – Burton revels in the separation of heads from shoulders – yet I found the most cringe-inducing scene to be the bloody tree of death.  Beyond the gore, the scenery, lighting and muted color pallet sets the mood wonderfully for this entertaining thriller that still manages to not take itself too seriously.  As a non sequitur, Harry Potter fans will notice several side characters featured here: Miranda Richardson (Lady Van Tassel/ Rita Skeeter), Richard Griffiths (Magistrate Philipse/ Vernon Dursley) and of course Michael Gambon (Baltus Van Tassel/Professor Dumbledore).

Nearly Headless Nick can suck it!

And what of Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale?  It was a tasty, medium bodied ale.  While it has a strong hops undertone, it did not overpower the other flavors.  Smooth to drink, with a bit of sweetness behind it as well that reminded me of a Magic Hat #9 (though not as fruity).  I’d recommend Dead Guy for anyone seeking a unique beer that doesn’t veer too far away from what you expect out of an ale.  Finally, to those keeping track, yes BAAM has reviewed this beer before, but hey, I’m a guest blogger.  Cut me some slack.

Thanks for reading, BAAMers, and thanks little bro for the guest post!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Rogue Dead Guy Ale:
-Well-balanced combination of malt and hops
-22 ounces for twice the fun
-A bit derivate of a better Dead Guy Ale review (said the editor of the this review)

Sleepy Hollow:
-A fun, non-traditional horror-thriller hybrid
-Classic Burton feel, including the gore
-Fun for the whole family!
(fun blogging for the whole family, the editor additionally stated)

Once again, a special thanks to my brother Jesse for this review. Assuming he didn’t instill violent discontent in you, the readers, maybe we’ll bring him back in the future. Stay tuned later this week for another Halloween special featuring Anne from We Recycle Movies. Keep drinking, my friends!

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Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew & The Cotton Club

Hey there, Drinkers!

Tonight we have a great beer, a terrible movie and a few chuckles in between. In celebration of the history of jazz, we’re drinking Dogfish Head’s Mile Davis tribute beer Bitches Brew with the 20’s throwback film The Cotton Club. If there’s only thing I impart on you tonight, it’s that tonight’s pairing is indicative of how beer (and friends) can make the world a better place. My friend Mike and I sat down with what turned out to be a terrible movie but through the power of beer, friendship and force-of-will, we made it through. And now it’s time to share that experience with all of you! Let’s get swinging!

Tonight’s film had so much promise. Directed by the legendary Francis Ford Coppola, the 1984 The Cotton Club sports a tremendous cast that one would assume could act. One would be mistaken. I’m almost tempted to not say much about this film because I truly have no idea what happened and it really doesn’t dignify discussion. But I’m going to talk about it anyway. Here’s what I gathered on the plot: I think Richard Gere gets involved with a Harlem mob boss (or mob bosses?) and I think there’s also some drama with some tap dancing brothers. Honestly, that’s about as much I got out this film. It has no narrative, no structure, no character development and, most importantly, no purpose. Characters and scenes seem to be thrown together almost arbitrarily. We’re not sure of the connection between each story line or why we should even care about any of the characters. On top of that, many of the actors seem to be reading their lines directly from the script, with almost no thought or care. Some of them try to put on a 1920’s gangster air, but even that seems like they stole their characterizations from other, worse films. Notably, Nicolas Cage (right?!) mumbles and laughs his way through at least three different accents. And then you have Diane Lane showing up all pouty and getting Richard Gere’s man-panties all in a bunch FOR NO DAMN REASON! GAH THIS MOVIE MAKES ME SO ANGRY!

Who are you and why are you in this movie?

The only positive thing I can say about this movie is that the costume design is impeccable. As I told my friend while we “watched” this “film,” I got the sense that Francis Coppola got so involved in his costume design that he forgot about the rest of the film. While the action on screen bored me to death, I thankfully had some pretty sweet outfits (and hats…so many hats) to ogle. But seriously, that’s the only good thing about this movie. Hats.

Did I mention the hats?

So thank God I had some Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head to keep me happy. Brewed in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Miles Davis album (yes I know it’s a different era of jazz but just cut me some slack), this tasty imperial stout is infused with honey and gesho root. The end result? A deep, black beer with a dark chocolately head. A beer with classic, smooth stout flavor but sweetened ever-so-slightly with honey. It’s a big, bold flavor that finishes smooth and carefully masks the 9% ABV. It really is a great beer. I’d say it’s a stout for real stout lovers. For newcomers to the genre, it may be a bit overpowering but it’s definitely worth at least a taste.

So there you have it, folks, beer to rescue! An honest-to-God awful movie rescued only a great beer and a good friend (the better to lambast the film with!). Steer clear of this movie, but be sure to pick up the beer. I think it’s only a limited release each season, so get to your local purveyor of booze and grab a bottle or two! But seriously, this movie was so bad. I really regret it. I’m so sorry everyone.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew:
-Deep, dark pour with rich, chocolately head
-Great roasted malt flavor with a hint of honey
-Big n’ bold. Not for the mild-mannered drinker

The Cotton Club:
-Good cast, terrible acting
-Utterly incomprehensible
-Hats

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Firestone Walker’s Reserve Porter & Reservoir Dogs

Hey there, Drinkers!

Tonight we’re feeling a little reserved with Firestone Walker’s Reserve Porter and Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 film Reservoir Dogs. Is that pairing a bit of a stretch? Hell to the no! I pair what I want! So let’s dive in, drop a couple of F-bombs and start drinking!

Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs is, for those who don’t know, classically Tarantino. The shots are stylish, the dialogue sharp and the plot can be easily boiled down. That last one is especially true for this film. As we move back and forth through time, from character to character (another classic Tarantino maneuver), we piece together a botched heist and the subsequent mistrust between the surviving robbers. And that’s pretty much it. About 85% of the film is non-essential dialogue. Rather, we are treated to extended conversations about stuff that isn’t particularly important or enlightening. And while the dialogue is easy and natural, it does seem buckle under its own weight after awhile. For example, the opening sequence (shot at the diner down the hill from where I went to college) is an extended discussion of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” and the socioeconomic implications of tipping waitresses. While these are interesting conversations, we actually learn very little about our characters. I’m happy to go along with it for a time, since the writing is pretty good, but as the majority of the film continues along this same line, it gets a bit old after awhile.

Image

Yap yap yap yap yap yap

But dialogue and narrative aside, I really enjoy Reservoir Dogs. It has striking visuals, uncomfortably long takes and a 70’s soundtrack that keeps the mood light despite the amount of blood-per-capita the audience is treated to. I do have one lingering question, and its the same question I had when I first saw this film several years ago: who shot Nice Guy Eddie?! Does Mr. White kill both of them? I don’t get it! GAH!

Image

Stuck in the middle with blood

And how about our reservoir of Reserve Porter from the fine brewers over at Firestone Walker? I’m not sure what makes this beer a “reserve” but it’s not too bad. It pours a nice dark red/black and has a substantial caramel-colored head. The smell is pretty much the same as the flavor you get: simple chocolatey malt. Unfortunately that’s really all you get. It has a medium-body for a porter and the flavor seems to dissipate pretty rapidly. All in all, I found this porter to be a bit unimpressive. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t do much for me. I’ve never been one for porters and this one didn’t do much to sway my opinion. If I want a darker, fuller-bodied beer, I think I’ll stick to stouts. 

And there you have it folks, a reserved evening of beer and…dogs? Yeah, still unclear as to why it’s titled that way but I know better than to question Mr. Tarantino. Anyway, despite what I’ve said, it wasn’t that bad of a night. The movie was still pretty enjoyable and the beer was fine. Sure, the beer could have been better and Reservoir Dogs could have been a bit tighter but I’m all for a little relaxation. 

Thanks for stopping by and, as always, keep drinking my friends!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Firestone Walker’s Reserve Porter:Image
-Nice, dark color & caramel color
-Classic, dark malty flavor
-Flavor dissipates quickly. Too bad

Reservoir Dogs:
-Strong, deliberate visual style
-Lots of talking with little substance
-Plenty o’ blood n’ cussin’

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