* Hi there, drinkers. Please enjoy this week’s BAAM courtesy of Anne from We Recycle Movies, a blog I highly recommend. If you’d like to submit a guest review, please let me know in the comments. Happy Passover!
Gabe is observing Passover this week, which means that he cannot drink beer. Fortunately for all of you, Episcopalians do not have to follow dietary restrictions during Lent, so I was totally free to write a guest blog. I was so excited that I decided on a double feature. I even went with a Passover theme! First up were The Prince of Egypt and He’brew IPA, celebrating the animated history of the Jewish people. After that came the combination of The Ten Commandments and Saison de Lente, which turned out to be an epic undertaking. Two bombers and 5 hours of movie watching later, here is my review:
The Prince of Egypt is an animated re-telling of the book of Exodus. The story follows Moses. I’m pretty sure we’re all at least vaguely aware of his story: baby in the bulrushes, Egyptian prince, Jewish prophet, Let My People Go, Ten Commandments, Foundation for Judaism. Obviously, since this is a kids’ movie, they felt the need to change some things. In the first half of this film, Moses is basically that annoying-but-charismatic frat guy who kept bugging you in college: he races chariots, drops water balloons on priests, and goads Ramses a lot. Prophets: they’re just like us!
Since it came out in 1998, it is of course a musical. And I have to say right up front, most of the music aged well. The only song that really bothered me was “Believe.” The first time I heard it, the song came across as uplifting and hopeful, but it gets overused. Eventually I was just hoping the little Jewish kids would stop singing and start schlepping. Jerusalem is a long walk from Egypt!
Our second Passover movie, The Ten Commandments, is a three and a half hour long epic from the 1950s, in the same extremely long vein as Ben Hur, The Robe, and King of Kings. Charlton Heston plays Moses as a kind of Biblical action star. He spends the first half of the movie shirtlessly seducing at least 3 women and conquering countries. Once he becomes a prophet, he starts wearing robes and yelling in a booming voice. He’s definitely more forceful and vengeful, and when we get to the creation of the Ten Commandments and the golden idols, Moses throws those tablets down with FORCE. Prophets: they’re just like Arnold Schwarzenneger?
It was a solid spectacle, but I felt the length. The first act dragged (we get it, Moses is hunky and charismatic and Ramses is not). The second half was pretty action-packed though, what with all of the plagues and Red Sea partings and pillars of fire and whatnot. The special effects didn’t age well, but it’s a 50 year old movie so really the fun of it is trying to figure out how they pulled it off with no CGI. I honestly don’t know if this is the best family Easter or Passover celebration though, if only because sugar-high kids hopped up on chocolate eggs and maccaroons will not be able to sit through all three and a half hours
Overall, it was fun to re-watch both movies. You have to admit that the book of Exodus adapts into a pretty great story, especially if you leave out those pesky 40 years wandering the desert. It’s got romance, drama, secret identities, plagues, and acts of God. Now, onto the beer!
First up was He’Brew’s IPA, which I have to say wasn’t my favorite. I get that IPA’s are supposed to be hoppy, but the hops overpowered every other taste in this beer. It pours amber and clear with a solid head and lacing. As it got warmer it got more citrus-y, but overall it was still too flat and bitter for me. I like my IPAs like I like my films: full of character. (nnnnneeeerrrrrrdddd)
Saison de Lente was next. This beer is clearly not brewed by Catholics, because if it was it would have a sad little kid poking at a piece of fish on the label instead of an Easter egg. Anyway, it poured with little head, cloudy and straw-colored. Smelled yeasty but spicy. It tasted spicy and yeasty as well, though not as flavorful as I would have liked. It did get better as it got warmer. I enjoyed it more than the IPA, and it was more drinkable, but still mostly just ‘eh.’
So there you have it, drinkers. Thank you to Gabe for allowing me to write this week, and thank you for introducing me to good beer. Before I knew Gabe, I thought beer just tasted like beer, which is to say like guilt and sourness. Now I know that beer can taste like citrus or spice or cinnamon AND hops, which it turns out do not taste like guilt or sourness. Hooray for Gabe!
Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
The Prince of Egypt:
-Standard 90s animated movie with biblical themes
-Cannot. Get. That. Song. Out. Of. My. Head.
-When you believe, somehow you will! Now you will! You will when you belieeeeve!
The Ten Commandments
-Charlton Heston was the Ryan Gosling of the 50’s: no shirts
-This is the most action-packed biblical adaptation ever
-De Mille made himself the voice of God. No one was surprised
He’Brew Hop Manna:
-I either need to learn more about IPAs or drink less sucky ones
-Gabe should probably re-review this and get back to me (Why? Because I’m Jewish?)
-I don’t like my beer tasting like a pinecone
Saison de Lente:
-Not made by Catholics
-Spicier and more drinkable, but still kinda blah
-Two bombers in one night is two bombers too many. I can’t feel my face