Category Archives: Special

Halloween Crossover Special: Alesmith’s Horny Devil & Idle Hands

Hey there, Drinkers!

Guys, I did it again. I’m sorry, but I did…I watched another terrible movie. In celebration of Halloween and in keeping with BAAM tradition, We Recycle Movies and I found a terrible slasher movie and shared a spooky beer. Only this movie was real bad. Not even redeemably bad. Just good ol’ fashioned bad. So if that’s something you’re interested in, keep reading! If not, be kind and ready anyway, because you’re a good person. Up for our 2014  Halloween Special is Alesmith’s Horny Devil Belgian Strong paired with the forgettable 1999 Idle Hands. Let’s get it started!

Since 2012, BAAM and WRM have been teeming up to watch some not-so-classic holiday slashers while softening the blow with high ABV beers. And while this year we sadly didn’t have time for our usual double (or triple) feature, today’s pairing is in the same spirit. Our spooky movie? The understandably forgotten 1999 film Idle Hands starring such actors as Seth Green, Vivica A. Fox and a pre-super hot Jessica Alba. Anne from WRM effectively summed up this movie when she it was a horrible attempt to unify the popular genres of the 90’s: stoner film, self-aware slashers and edgy teen comedy. Such a combination is really only going to produce two outcomes. The first result looks something like Scream, which is, by most accounts, a good movie. The second possible result would look exactly like Idle Hands. Idle Hands is unequivocally a bad movie. In a nutshell, oh hero stoner/slacker Anton has his right hands possessed by the devil. Said hand forces him to murder pretty much everyone around him. Oddly, Anton seems to take most of the murder in stride, especially when his two (murdered) best friends come back as zombies to help him fight his own devil hand. He also doesn’t realize that his parents’ corpses are in the living room for, apparently, several days.

Dat. Hair.

Dat. Hair.

But let’s really sink our fingernails into this movie. What makes it so bad? Is it the stupid concept? Maybe. What about the cast? Oh just awful. And their acting? Yikes! Our lead, played by Devon Sawa (recently seen in Nikita), is really just annoying. He overacts an underwritten role and his character is painfully clueless (as opposed to the charmingly stoned sort of clueless the writers were going for). Even Jessica Alba, who is a real actress, was terrible. In addition to her awful 90’s haircut, her line reading is painful. Not to mention her inexplicable attraction to the blood-soaked Anton to whom she has never spoken. And then there’s Vivica A. Fox who is in the movie for a grand total of 5 minutes. Apparently, she’s from a secret order of druids (?) who are dedicated to casting out the devil hand. Maybe. It’s unclear? Regardless, she’s one-note, underserved and makes no sense, much like this entire film. I know I’m skipping a lot here but I’m really trying to protect you from this movie. The faster you forget that it exists, the happier your life will be.

Bonus: Fred Willard is in this movie and he dies immediately. Take that as you will.

IH4

Helpful stoner zombie friends!

And what about our devilish beer? Is it weird to say “thank God” for Alesmith’s Horny Devil? I think not. Alesmith, which is one of my favorite SoCal breweries (and was featured in last year’s BAAM Halloween Special), knows how to make an exciting beer and the Horny Devil is no exception. This Belgian-Style Strong hits all the notes you want from this type of beer. It pours a lovely orange-amber with a beautiful 1-2 finger head that leaves behind some nice lacing. Off the nose, you’ll get the classic aromas of Belgian yeast, banana and citrus. And with your first sip, those aromas will pull through with the addition of some notes of wheat and candi sugar. All of this is nicely balanced against the wicked 10% ABV. Really just an overall fantastic beer that I have to recommend.

So there you have it drinkers. A movie you should forget about and an outstanding beer to aid in the process. Special thanks as always to Anne for enduring yet another awful movie with me. Be sure to check out We Recycle Movies for her take on the film. And if you like what you read, you should tune into her extraordinary series My Year With Katea 52 week blog series about Katherine Hepburn. Needless to say, Anne is really smart.

And always keep drinking, my friends!
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Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Alesmith’s Horny Devil:
-Well-balanced Belgian
-Notes of banana, citrus, wheat & sugar
-10% ABV, so you may want to share

Idle Hands:
-Makes no real sense in terms of character, geography or life
-Young (bad actress) Jessica Alba
-Seth Green is the best part of this movie. Seth. Green.

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Christmas Crossover Special: Black Christmas, Black Phoenix & The Beer That Saved Christmas

Hey there, Drinkers!

Tis the season for gift giving, sleigh bell ringing and black beer drinking. And once again in celebration of the holidays, I’ve teamed up with Anne from We Recycle Movies to watch some terrible holiday-themed slashers while drinking a few good beers. Since Anne’s blog is all about sequels and remakes, we watched the two iterations of Black Christmas while sipping on Bootlegger’s Black Phoenix (it’s black…and phoenix’s live again…nevermind) and also The Beer That Saved Christmas (aka the beer that saved us the pain of watching these movies). So sit down, enjoy those chestnuts roasting over that open fire and prepare for a black Christmas!

Let’s begin at the beginning. The original Black Christmas was released in 1974 and subsequently….actually I don’t think it did anything after that. To horror fanatics, I think it ranks as a sort-of spiritual predecessor to Halloween, as the films are surprisingly similar (albeit that Halloween is a much better film). But beyond that, the film doesn’t hold much water. Or blood. The film, which follows the deadly targeting of a sorority house, very rarely elevates itself beyond creepy but usually relegates itself to the mundane. The film slowly meanders between its uninteresting characters and largely ignores the murders, which is very odd for the genre. Occasionally the film veers off-course entirely and does very little to reincorporate itself into the central plot. The scariest parts of the movie are actually its phone calls. A’la Scream, the girls of the house are harassed by unnerving, sexual and animalistic calls that the police generally disregard until the end of the film. For the most part, there is very little that really captivated me with this movie but there are two points that are worth mentioning. One, the film very directly deals with the issue of abortion. Our heroine finds herself unintentionally pregnant and makes the difficult decision to have an abortion, a conviction she firmly holds on to throughout the film. Second (SPOILER ALERT), you never find out who the killer is. There a few suspects but they are all cleared/killed by the end of the film, and with only two shots of the killer himself (all shadowed and highlighting only his eyes), you never actually learn who the killer is or his motivation. A fact that I found infuriating. But maybe some people find that genre-defying. I found it lame.

One of two shots of the killer

One of two shots of the killer

And the 2006 remake of Black Christmas? Yeah it’s pretty terrible. In this version, the film takes the mythology of the original and over-explains everything. See in the original, the mystery killer keeps mentioning the names “Billy” and “Agnes,” two characters we never meet. In the 2006 version we know right away who our killer is: Billy. Billy is a yellow-skinned cannibalistic killer who is raped by his mother, who gives birth to his oddly man-like daughter Agnes. Oh and Billy made Christmas cookies out his mother’s skin. Whatever. Anyway, all of this story is WAY over-explained in stupid flashbacks that mostly serve to gross us out while cheaply delivering plot. The rest of the film follows the various murders of these sorority sisters and the occasional douche-y boyfriend that gets caught in the way. And while this film provides our bad guys with “motivation,” the film really isn’t any better than the original. Actually, it’s probably worse. The acting is terrible, the kills are kinda silly and the bad guys are just really lame. It does feature Katie Cassidy before she was Laurel Lance on Arrow (great show, not a good actress), so that’s a fun fact. And finally, it’s simply not scary. Yeah it’s a little gross but that’s only a small factor when it comes to successful horror movies. Overall, I’d say don’t waste your Christmas on these movies. Maybe watch something a little more wholesome.

blah blah this movie blah blah

blah blah this movie blah blah

And ours beers? Pretty solid actually. The first we had was Prairie Artisan Ales’ The Beer That Saved Christmas (that’s a mouthful) . This brew is an Old Ale, a style of beer I didn’t even know about. Apparently, these beers can be very fruity and malty, which is pretty much how I’d describe this one. Pouring a deep, almost rust-colored brown, you’ll get a sweet, malty nose and lovely tan head. When you taste it, you’ll get a very interesting and bright pop of flavor. I tasted a nice mix of cherry, red wine and oak barrel (this beer is barrel aged). What is most interesting is that big splash of character almost immediately disappears into a smooth, light finish. And for a 10% brew, you get almost no booziness. It’s hard to say that this beer was extraordinary but it certainly was interesting. If you’re looking for something different this holiday season, I’d say give this one a shot.

As for Bootlegger Brewery’s Black Phoenix, this brew held up as a solid coffee stout with a nice little twist of chipotle spice. Pouring a deep black with minimal chocolate-lacing, you get a well-balanced mix of roasted malts, coffee flavor and a hint of chipotle. None of these flavors hit you over the head and the 6.7% ABV keeps this beer under control. For a beer with some many potentially big flavors involved, I found this coffee stout to fairly mild-mannered and easy to drink, which makes it a good alternative for those looking for something a little lighter when you’re perusing the stout aisle at your local beer store.

So there you have it, Drinkers! A Black Christmas! As per usual with these holiday specials, the movies were pretty awful but the beer and the company really made the night a winning combo. Be sure to show Anne some love and check out her review of the movies which will probably hold the same level of disdain as my own review. Thanks as always for reading and have a happy holiday season!

And as always keep drinking, my friends!
Prairie-The-Beer-That-Saved-Christmas-Oak-Aged-Old-AleTonight’s Tasting Notes:

Bootlegger’s Black Phoenix Chipotle Coffee Stout:bootlegger
-Clean black pour
-Very malty, nice hint of coffee
-Spicy little twist

Prairie’s Beer That Saved Christmas:
-Big, bright opener
-Mild, smooth finish
-Surprisingly not boozy

Black Christmas (1974):
-No killer reveal
-Meandering
-Shag carpets

Black Christmas (2006):
-Too much exposition
-Gratuitous grossness
-Sad remake to a sad original

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Halloween Crossover Special Pt. 2: Angry Orchard’s Crisp Apple & Army of Darkness

Hey there, Drinkers!

DON’T HATE ME! CALM DOWN! Yes, today’s BAAM does not technically include a beer but remember that this is a SPECIAL. Meaning: unusual, unique or different (in a good way). So before you judge me for being a terrible beer blogger, just turn off your brain for a bit and keep reading. And then read future posts because you still love me and this blog. Okay, now that that’s settled, let’s dive into the dramatic conclusion of my Evil Dead Halloween Crossover with We Recycle Movies.

A few days ago, we left off with the bizarre and campy Evil Dead 2, which left us with Bruce Campbell’s Ash transported to a medieval land. Well, the 1992 follow  up Army of Darkness ostensibly picks up immediately after that moment. But, in classic Evil Dead fashion, we are first treated to a two minute recap of the franchise while also completely ignoring the events of the previous films. Quite the feat, if you ask me. So with the canon reset and our location updated to a medieval desert/forested bog/department store, Army of Darkness moves forward. And that’s kind of the best way to describe this plot: it moves forward. The narrative is mostly a thinly-linked string of events with little-to-no continuity and a ton of sweet effects. Seriously, the stop-motion and puppetry in this movie are really on point. As Anne from WRM noted, Army of Darkness might be the greatest homage to Don Chaffey’s Jason and The Argonauts ever.

So many skeletons. For real.

So many skeletons. For real.

For the sake of clarity, we’re going to ignore the pervasive continuity and logic errors that plague this film/make it amazing. What I do want to talk about it is how this film is a major departure from the previous two films. Where the first film was simply a low budget horror homage film and the second a low budget camp horror, Army of Darkness discards much of horror’s tropes for those found in fantasy and adventure films. Aside from the obvious set and wardrobe adjustments, much of the visual style and dark tone are gone from this movie. There are no jump scares, the film is generally brighter than its predecessors and, most noticeably, the franchise’s signature ghost cam is largely absent. It actually only appears twice whereas it appears about 264 times in each of the two previous films. In terms of tone, this final installment fully embraces its camp absurdity. Bruce Campbell’s Ash is pretty much just Bruce Campbell with a healthy dose of crazy thrown in for good measure. He spouts off one liners, trash-talks everyone and makes out with random women. Because he can. The movie also just let’s Bruce Campbell play. And I have to say, he’s quite the slapstick actor.

Bruce Campbell's never-empty "Boomstick"

Bruce Campbell’s never-empty “Boomstick”

I have a lot more to say about this movie but there’s actually too much. What I will say, in summation, is that this movie is great fun. I mean, it’s a pretty terrible movie, but it’s one of those classic great terrible movies that will have you and your friends yelling at the screen in delight. But make sure you watch it with friends. Otherwise you’ll just be bored. And lonely.

Army-of-Darkness

Double the fun!

And how about BAAM’s first non-beer? Well, I have to admit that Angry Orchard’s Crisp Apple was a bit of an impulse decision. Anne had a few spares in her fridge and it seemed appropriate, given the molesting trees in the first two movies (though they were absent in AoD…woops!). But it did make me feel better when I found out that the Boston Beer Company (the makers of the Sam Adams) are also the owners of the Angry Orchard label. That makes it better, right? Anyway let’s talk about this drank.

Angry Orchard is one of several cider labels that have become popular in recent years and the Crisp Apple is, as far as I can tell, their flagship. Since I was drinking out of a can (what have I become?!), I can’t comment on the color but I’ll say that the mouthfeel was light and highly carbonated. The nose strongly suggests apple (who knew) and the same goes for its principal flavor. There were some hints of booze in there, as most ciders do, but for the most part it was like drinking apple juice with the added benefit of alcohol. I will say that it was not overwhelmingly sweet and allowed for a healthy balance of apple and booze. I guess it’s worth noting that this was not a traditional English “dry cider” but it was quite crisp nonetheless. So for those who want something very easy to drink and aren’t the biggest fans of beer (though you should be), the Angry Orchard Crisp Apple is not a bad option. And now it’s time for a beer.

So there you have it, Drinkers. The odd conclusion to our Halloween Special. A classic, crazy movie with a little something different for me. Be sure to check out Anne’s perspective over on We Recycle Movies. If you like these holiday crossover specials, be sure to let us know and we’ll keep ’em coming. And even if you don’t, we’ll probably still do them. Sorry!

And as always keep drinking, my friends.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:angry-orchard-crisp-apple
Angry Orchard’s Crisp Apple:
-Light, crisp, refreshing
-Strong apple flavor with a hint of booze
-Not too sweet, which is good

Army of Darkness:
-The oddball conclusion to the Evil Dead franchise
-No longer a horror movie
-Fully embraces its camp, becoming absurd

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Halloween Crossover Special Pt. 1: Alesmith’s Evil Dead Red & The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2

Happy (early) Halloween, Drinkers!

In the first of two installments, BAAM has teamed up yet again with We Recycle Movies to bring you another holiday special review! In part one of this devilishly delightful dual review, Anne from WRM and I watched the first two films from the original Evil Dead franchise while sipping on AleSmith’s appropriately thematic Evil Dead Red. Part two will cover the conclusion to the Evil Dead  trilogy and will be posted next week. So, without further ado, let’s dig up some corpses and get into it!

vlcsnap_2013_03_10_04h13m10s247_large

Hey look! It’s makeup!

Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead  (1981) marks a special time in horror movie history. While it by no means created many of the stereotypes and cliches we now associate with the genre, it quite definitively solidified the tropes that are now almost laughable (as you can see from my review The Cabin in the Woods). It also walks the delicate line between true horror and classic camp. For those familiar with the franchise, The Evil Dead is now camp royalty but when apart from history, this film is more an astounding feat of independent filmmaking. Yes, the acting is poor, the writing even worse and it pretty much has no story, but I don’t really think that’s what this movie was made for. Rather, this film is much more about its visual style. The camera work, while quite jarring, is unique and perfectly captures (and enhances) the tone of the film. The same goes for the editing as well. It may not always make sense, or even be that pretty, but it services the rest of the film so well that you actually will find yourself nodding in approval, rather than shaking your head in disgust. The disgust comes from the blood, so don’t worry.

Which brings up another point: this movie (and this franchise) are not for the feint-of-heart. While all of the gore and other general creepiness is more humorous than upsetting, there is still a shocking amount of blood and guts and other mysterious body fluids. All of which end up on Bruce Campbell’s strong-chinned face. But like the film’s visuals, the movie’s shock-value also serves a purpose and services the story…sometimes. Yes, it’s all absurd, but at least it knows that about itself.

Yup...super gross

Yup…super gross

Since we’re on the topic of self-awareness (and gore), let’s talk about Evil Dead 2 (1987), which is arguably the strangest sequel ever. Okay maybe it’s tied with Mad Max 2 but that’s besides the point. Ostensibly taking place immediately after the events of the first film, Evil Dead 2 weirdly resets the franchise by boiling down the first movie into a two minute prelude that negates much of what actually happened. From there, the film takes a wild twist into campy insanity. Where the first film didn’t laugh too hard at itself, Evil Dead 2 fully embraces its own absurdity while still clinging to its recognizable visual style. What that translates to, essentially, is more blood, more guts, more demons, more possessed hands and more overall craziness (like when the entire cabin starts dancing and laughing).


As is probably quite obvious from the above clip, this movie be CRAZY.

Overall, what is important to take away from these movies, aside from their solidifying insanity and overzealous blood usage, is how visual style (and crafty production design) can really sell a movie. Without its distinctive style, it’s entirely plausible to believe that the Evil Dead franchise could have sunk into oblivion.

Groovy

Groovy

And what about your unusually appropriate beer, AleSmith’s Evil Dead Red? I have to say that AleSmith has unofficially become the preferred brewer of BAAM. I’ve reviewed five of their beers (including the Evil Dead Red) and not only are they all delicious, they generally pair very well with movies. And the Evil Dead Red did not disappoint. Pouring a spectacular, clear red with a thin khaki head, this brew was everything I wanted out of the style. It’s nose promised a complex mix of malt and fruit while its flavor was a striking balance of hop and malt. Most interestingly, this beer is decidedly hoppy but does not feature the kind of bitterness you find in most West Coast IPA’s. Rather, the hops are well balanced against mild-mannered malt notes with a few hints of sweet citrus. Truly a well-rounded and well-crafted beer. Looks like AleSmith has done it again.

So there you have it, Drinkers! Part one of our two-part Halloween special with our friend Anne over at We Recycle Movies. She’s a professional smart person, so be sure to check out her review of The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 for a better review. Be on the lookout next week for our review of the franchise’s bizarre conclusion in Army of Darkness.

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

alesmithevildeadred__84643.1380219397.1280.1280

Tonight’s Tasting Notes: 

The Evil Dead:
-Doesn’t really make sense
-Very bloody
-Striking visuals in every department

Evil Dead 2:
-Makes even less sense
-Even bloodier
-Really goes hard on the camp

AleSmith’s Evil Dead Red:
-Striking red pour
-Hoppy but not bitter
-Remarkably balanced & complex
*Bonus: ABV clocks in at 6.66%

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BAAM’s Two Year Anniversary Special: The Apple

Happy anniversary, Drinkers!

Today’s post celebrates BAAM’s second birthday! I can’t believe it’s been two years since I started this silly little drinking adventure but here we are: with developed palettes and terrible taste in cinema. In celebration, I invited a few friends over to share some beers and introduce them to the horrendous 1980 film The Apple. Since there were a few different beers on hand for the event, I’ll just give a brief overview of each one while also providing a more in-depth review of the film…if there’s any depth to be had. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Now since most of you are normal, well-adjusted people I am going to assume that none of you have even heard of  The Apple so I’ll summarize. The Apple is a musical allegory for Adam and Eve set in a a futuristic dystopian 1994 in which a music mogul has taken control of the world due to the overwhelming popularity of his song “Bim.” The lyrics to said world-dominating song are as follows: “Hey hey hey, Bim’s on his way.”  Ostensibly the film follows the disparate lives, successes and failures of couple Bibi and Alphie who choose different paths after they are offered a major record deal with music mogul Mr. Boogalow but we all know that’s just a bunch of crap. This film is mostly just an excuse for expensive musical numbers.

The price of success

The price of success

If you watch this movie, which I recommend you do, you’ll realize that about 80% of the film is an incomprehensible, fever-dream of musical sequences that only loosely relate to the plot. The other 20% is filled with bad acting, shiny spandex and face paint. But this is not a movie you watch to understand. You watch The Apple to be confused and then to rip on it. In fact, heckling is encouraged in my book. If you watch this on your own, you won’t have any fun. So be sure to bring a friend when (not if) you watch this masterpiece of garbage. I guarantee you won’t regret it. GUARANTEE!

The film's namesake Apple

The film’s namesake Apple

And the beers we sampled? It was a nice mix, representing my beer-drinking history and geography from Boston to Los Angeles. I even had a few more beers that we didn’t get to but that’s fine. Just more beer for me and more BAAMs for you! Here’s a quick breakdown of what was consumed.

Sam Adams’ Summer Ale:
-Required summer drinking for any Bostonian
-Light wheat flavor, easy to drink
-Noticeable lemon-y notes that some may find overpowering
images (2)

 

 

 


Eagle Rock Brewery’s Populist IPA
-The IPA that made me fall in love with IPA’s
-Fantastic local Los Angeles brewery with real care for their craft
-Super hoppy but fairly soft on the palette

populist (1)

 

 

 

 

 

Stone’s IPA
-A solid, San Diego IPA
-Hop-forward aroma and taste but not unforgiving
-A great entrance into the IPA world
images (3)

 

 

 

 

 

So again, I want to thank each and every one of you sticking with me these past two years. BAAM has always been a great excuse for me to try out great beer and watch random movies, but it’s your comments and support that make it thoroughly gratifying. So cheers to another successful year of BAAMing!

Remember: drink local, drink with friends and watch bad movies.

And as always keep drinking, my friends.

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We Recycle Movies Guest Review: Die Hard Trilogy

Hey there, Drinkers!

Sadly, there’s no new BAAM this week but there’s a good reason. And no, it’s not because I was too drunk to write anything. In fact, I wrote quite a bit. As a favor to my friend and fellow film blogger Anne, I’ve written a guest review for We Recycle Movies. WRM is dedicated to the fine art of Hollywood remakes and sequels. My contribution covers the original Die Hard trilogy of awesome. And how they get progressively less awesome as the series continues. And once you’re done reading my sweet review,  I highly recommend that you check out all of her previous posts. Especially if you want a little bonus film education. Lord knows I could use one.

Here’s the link to the review:
http://werecyclemovies.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/special-guest-post-from-gabe-die-hard/

So thanks for reading, Drinkers. BAAM should be back to its regularly scheduled drinking next week. But until then…

…keep drinking, my friends.

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Guest Review: Passover Double Feature

* 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!

Shalom, drinkers!

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!

Moses: Prince of the Bros

How to Cure a Hangover of Biblical Proportions

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!

What part of Exodus is this from again?

What part of Exodus is this from again?

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 HurThe 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!

YOU SHALL NOT PASS!

YOU SHALL NOT PASS!

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!hebrew-hop-manna

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:Saison de Lente
-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

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Valentine’s Day Special: Alesmith’s My Bloody Valentine Ale & Valentine

Hey there, Drinkers!

It’s that time of year again! The time when we give the people we love chocolates, flower, teddy bears and other a host of other heart-shaped paraphernalia. It also means it’s time for the glorious return of the awful slasher movie review from both myself and We Recycle Movies. If you remember last year, we watched both versions of the terrible mining-slasher My Blood Valentine. But sadly (or thankfully), there are a limited number of Valentine’s Day-themed murder movies out there, so Anne & I settled for the only one we could find: Valentine. And in keeping with the theme, I also grabbed two bombers of Alesmith’s My Bloody Valentine Ale (wish I had those last year…). So with our beers in hand, our movie before us and our attention elsewhere, we begin our evening!

For starters, Valentine is a crappy 2001 movie about spurned love and heavily features Denise Richards’ chest. Taking place over what we assume to be the days running up to Valentine’s Day, a group of girls (and a bunch of other randos) are murdered by someone in a cherub mask with a perpetually bloody nose. Unlike most other slasher movies, the killer has no weapon or choice and does not have superhuman walking speed/teleporting capabilities. Rather, our killer is, we assume, just an average psychopath. How refreshing…Actually that’s a lie, it’s not refreshing. Most of the murders feel arbitrary and the main spook device, a creepy Valentine’s Day card, is quickly abandoned in favor of…well nothing. The result is a fairly average movie with overly-extended suspense scenes that largely conclude with kills we don’t really understand.  Moreover, the low quality of the writing and acting doesn’t really engender any concern for these characters.

Heart-shaped DEATH!(and yes, that's Angel)

Heart-shaped DEATH!
(and yes, that’s Angel)

I’m actually wracking my brain to think of more things to say about this movie but it’s kinda of challenging actually. The movie is just bad for all the expected, boring reasons. Poor writing, poor story, poor acting, poor editing…the usual suspects. The production design was solid…except for the creepy lips-only video art gallery scene. That sh*t was weird.  The only real positives I have for the film are as follows:

1) Cherub-murder man does kill someone with arrows. So that’s fitting.
2) Denise Richards’ boobs are heavily featured.
3) Marley Shelton’s boobs are heavily featured.
4) Katherine Heigl dies in the first 5 minutes. No love lost there.
5) A guy gets his penis Maker’s Mark’ed by Denise Richards. Apparently she doesn’t like surprises.

And that’s Valentine. Don’t watch it. You can do better.

This is most of this movie

This is most of this movie

But My Bloody Valentine? This Alesmith brew was actually introduced to me last week while on a visit to the West Coast brewing powerhouse that is San Diego. In the past, I’d only had Alesmith’s IPA, which had quickly become one of my IPA favorites, so I was game to test out another one of their brews. According to the label, My Bloody Valentine Ale is the seasonal cousin to Alesmith’s Halloween beer, a brew I’ll definitely check out next October. This dark red ale pours a big head and leaves behind some very pretty lacing (foam left behind on the inside of the glass). Though I find that many reds lean more towards the malty side of the spectrum, this brew hits you with some serious hoppiness at the front that is well-balanced by a sweet, malty backbone. The end result is a very flavorful and full-bodied beer that is remarkable smooth, making it very easy to drink. Moreover, the ABV, which has been carefully brewed to 6.66%, makes this a beer you can sip on for quite some time without worrying too much about the drive home.

So there we have it, drinkers. Another Valentine’s Day BAAM come and gone. Though the bad movie may have killed the romance, at least we had a beer to easy the pain.

If you have any Valentine’s Day brews or films you enjoy on this holiday, let me know and maybe you’ll see them next year! But I’m not watching Valentine‘s Day. Screw that.

And as always keep drinking, my friends.

 

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Alesmith’s My Bloody Valentine Ale:alesmithmybloodyvalentine__11071.1359179413.1280.1280
-Deep, ruby red color
-Bright hoppiness supported by sweet malt
-Super smooth

Valentine:
– Inconsistent killer
-Flat writing & poor delivery
-Ending makes you scratch your head, but not in a good way

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BAAM 2012: A Review of the Reviews

Hey there, Drinkers!

WordPress sends out this cute little stats aggregator at the end of each year and I just thought I’d share it with you. 2012 has been a hell of year, both personally and for BAAM. This blog is officially 19 months old with a total of nearly 80 posts! I can’t thank you enough for your support and continued readership. And while suggesting New Year’s resolutions to strangers is a bit tacky, here’s a list of ideas that I would advocate you try out in 2013.

1) Drink local
2) Buy a growler
3) Try a new beer on tap
4) See a new movie in theaters
5) See an old movie in theaters
6) Rewatch a childhood favorite
7) Read this blog
8) Share this blog
9) Do all of the above with friends

Thanks again and I hope you all have a safe and fun New Year’s Eve!

And as always, keep drinking, my friends!

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 17,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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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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