Hey there, Drinkers!
My family is off skiing and I’m working 10 hour days, so I think that means it’s time for another BAAM. And this time around, we’re hitting the slopes with little bit of Bond action and some northwestern beer. Ignoring the fact that there’s only about 90 seconds of skiing in our movie and our beer actually has nothing to do skiing (though, in my defense, the titular Red Chair on the label does look like an old ski lift), tonight is exactly what we needed. Good beer, classic 007 action and some good ol’ fashioned objectification of women. So let’s dive in, shall we?
And yes, “dive in” is proper word play as tonight’s film centers largely around water despite 50% of the film taking place in Egypt. BOOM! CLEVER-BOMB!
For those unfamiliar with Bond film canon, the 1977 The Spy Who Loved Me is the 10th Bond film and third starring the mostly adequate Roger Moore. When nuclear submarines begin to disappear, Bond is tasked with tracking down who is responsible. Meanwhile, the subtly named Russian spy Agent XXX is assigned the same mission. When their missions (and sex parts) cross paths, they team up to take down a crazy-aquaphile who wants to blow up the planet so he can live underwater.
It’s a thin plot. Don’t worry about it.
Though the film showcases some pretty amazing locales, including some very dramatic night-scenes at the Giza pyramids, it’s first half largely moves us between different sexcapades for our hero. Seriously, I don’t remember Bond having this much sex in other films. Usually it’s one or two hotties but this time around I feel like Bond was macking on everyone. Of course his main squeeze, Soviet spy Agent XXX aka Anya Amasova is the fairest of them all in her ever-revealing outfits. And, of course, she’s the worst spy in the world. I’m pretty sure she does nothing cool in this movie, despite being Soviet Russia’s “top agent.” In fact, she’s so bad that Bond regularly chastises while she performs basic tasks…like driving. Silly superspy women, am I right?
What else is there to say about this film? It does have the requisite number of explosions and exotic locales. And it does have its fair share of sweet Q-made gizmos (hello there, submarine car!) but it never seems to all come together. The film is frustratingly long and feels overly segmented. The first half of the film is in Egypt in pursuit of some microfilm and then, suddenly, we’re at sea onboard a submarine-swallowing freighter in the throes of a nuclear power struggle. It’s a bit jarring and silly, even by Bond standards. Not to mention that Bond’s way-too-forward sexual advances almost made me feel uncomfortable. And this is in a Bond movie we’re talking about, where sexual exploitation is pretty much expected. So that says something. Finally, I just have some questions I want to ask our antagonist Mr. Stromberg.
1) Why do you need to try to kill Bond with literally every vehicle type? Motorcycle. Car. Helicopter. Submarine. Mini-submarine. Giant boat. Shark. Can’t you pick one and stick with it?
2) Why does your main henchman have metal teeth? And why is he indestructible? Where did you even find this guy?!
3) Why does your escape pod have extremely expensive champagne and casual reading literature? Do you retire there often?
4) Why is there a bottle of Tabasco on your table next to the crystal goblet that probably cost you $100,000? I’m really just curious.
And how about our totally (un)related beer?! Well, for one, I always love me some Deschutes. They’re a great brewery and I recommend you check out their brews. And tonight’s beer, the Red Chair Pale Ale, is a testament to this brewery’s chops. I’m typically not a fan of pale ales as I find them too bitter without some of the complexity found in IPA’s. But the Red Chair was a nice change of pace. Sure, it had that strong hoppy bitterness you expect from a pale ale, but it is supported by some nice maltiness that balances the flavor profile. In fact, as the beer warmed, I found that the bitterness mellowed out in favor for a smoother, maltier flavor. Very intriguing, I know. Overall, this copper-colored beer, which sported a minimal head and a modest 6.2% ABV was a smooth, delicious drink. Very easy to enjoy and very easy to have more than one. A real winner.
So that’s it, folks. A good beer, afine movie and a good end to a Wednesday. I should point out that no matter how blech this Bond film was, it was still a Bond movie and thus, by definition, I loved it. They’re just so easy to love. Which can also be said of our Red Chair. Easy. Fun. Lovable. Like any woman Bond lays eyes on (other than Moneypenny. No one likes her).
Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Deschutes’ Red Chair:
-Clean, copper color
-Little head, dissipates quickly
-Nice balance of bitter hops & smooth malts
The Spy Who Loved Me:
-Beautiful scenery (and ladies)
-Too much womanizing, even for Bond