Hey there, drinkers!
Now that I’m back from the East Coast (aka Sixpoint Brewery and Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project drinking-trip) and have somewhat reliable internet, BAAM is back! Tonight’s combo actually comes from a friend of mine. A few weeks ago, a good college friend came down to Los Angeles with a “thanks for letting me crash at your place” gift of four bombers of Rogue brews (she’s from Portland). The only condition of her lovely gift, other than being able to stay at my place, was that I pair the beer with the uniquely bizarre 1988 film BeetleJuice. So, being the awesome friend that I am, I happily drank all 22 ounces of the beer with a quizzical smile on my face as I tried to figure out what Beetlejuice was all about. So shall we?
Tim Burton’s 1988 Academy award-winning film (it won for makeup, but a win is a win!) is, simply put, the story of a dead couple trying to rid their home of new, obnoxious tenants. Unsure of what to do, they kinda-sorta ask this weird dude named Beetlejuice to help them out. Michael Keaton, in one of his most bizarre roles (other than Batman…thanks for that one, Tim Burton!), performs some low-grade shenanigans and the two previously frustrated parties make amends. But the plot is mostly irrelevant as that’s not really what the movie is about. Sure, the movie makes a hint of sense, but the film’s primary purpose is to serve as a forum for Tim Burton’s now tired but distinct visual style. Using asymmetric angles, bright colors and creepy stop-motion animation, Tim Burton successfully creates a thoroughly realized world that we can all appreciate for its quirkiness. But really, the movie has almost no point whatsoever. It’s mostly just an expensive way for Tim Burton to show off his artistic sensibilities. The supposed danger that is Beetlejuice is never explained and he does not serve as the focal point of the film. He’s mostly there to be silly, like most other parts in this film. For example, a young Winona Ryder plays a My Chemical Romance-esque goth girl and Alex Baldwin is skinny. Catch my drift?
It’s all just too weird to handle. For me, Beetlejuice is one of those films is that mostly remembered for being stylish. If you’re really in the mood for some Tim Burton, go watch The Nightmare Before Christmas or Edward Scissorhands. Don’t even both with Mars Attacks!, I already took care of that one for you.
And our other Dead Guy? Well, this isn’t BAAM’s first rodeo with Rogue. In fact, this is BAAM’s third booze-fueled rodeo with the Portland brewery, so I guess they’re doing something right. The Dead Guy Ale pours a very nice honey/amber color with about an inch of head and smells pretty much like how it tastes. With a strong, malty backbone, the Dead Guy is actually a remarkably well-balanced beer. It’s quite smooth and easy to drink despite holding onto that distinct malty flavor. The fact that it’s 6.5% ABV (just above average) also helps to make this beer a real crowd pleaser. I found that it wasn’t too dark to keep casual drinkers away and wasn’t too light to earn condemnation from beer snobs like myself. And so, despite its name, I found the Dead Guy to be quite lively…I couldn’t help myself. I’m sorry.
So that’s it, drinkers! A baffling, if not stylish, film and a simply tasty beer to help you get through it. The quiet buzz I got from drinking 22 ounces by myself helped wash down this bizarrely empty film. And before any of you Burton-lovers come down on me for being a hater, I invite you to take a look at his next film. Frankenweenie. Or Planet of the Apes.
-Beetlejuice (Michael Keeton?)
-Betelguese (Winona Ryder?)
-Betelguise (What just happened?)