Tag Archives: Boston Beer Company

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.


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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Samuel Adams’ Dunkelweizen & Space Jam

Welcome to the Jam, Drinkers!

I know it’s been awhile but we’re back and we’re drinking! It’s Beer Week here in Los Angeles, which means that there are tons of cool events to be going to throughout the area for the next ten days. And while none of them are movie-related (as far as I know), we’re sticking to tradition and pairing Sam Adams’ Dunkelweizen (from their Fall mixer) with the 1996 “classic” Space Jam. If you’re not in LA, settle in and enjoy tonight’s review. If you live in LA, turn off your computer, go to your favorite bar and drink something local. Game on.

Man oh man have I not seen this movie in a loooong time. The 1996 Ivan Reitman-produced, Michael Jordan-starring, semi-animated film Space Jam brings up some old memories and some conflicted emotions. I think most people my generation saw this movie when they were young. It was one of those gimmicky movies that really captures its time. A time when you could slap Michael Jordan’s name to something and it was an instant success. A time when the Chicago Bulls were relavent (zing!). A time when a film’s plot was ancillary to the amount of fun it could provide. Because really, there’s almost no plot. For a two hour movie, there’s maybe 15 minutes of story. The rest is either hijinks or a basketball montage. To be fair though, I didn’t really expect much other than those two things, but if that’s all you’re going to do, at least do it well. Specifically, I feel a bit cheated by the Looney Toons. I love the Looney Toons. I still find the original cartoons hilarious. But maybe due to an updating in the writing staff or just because they’ve aged poorly, our favorite Looney Toons aren’t very funny. They feel like parodies of themselves. Bugs doesn’t even sound the same. All the cartoons say and do what they’re supposed to, but it all just feels stiff. It doesn’t have that fresh, insane energy of the original cartoons. Bugs doesn’t even dress up as a woman bunny! He has a girlfriend instead. YAWN. Atleast Taz and Wile E. Coyote are still pretty hilarious but that’s because they don’t talk. And why don’t they put Road Runner on the court? (S)He’s so fast!

I’m not feeling the love.

But I’ll ignore most of my gripes with this film simply because it’s not trying to be anything more than entertaining to kids. So we can just look past Michael Jordan’s odd willingness to sacrifice his freedom for some cartoons he’s just met (cartoons that forcibly remove him from reality and demand training), the mushy rules of cartoon basketball or how almost none of this film takes place in space. Ignoring those, and many other complaints, I just want to point out a few weird thing. One: the strange frequency of references to the film industry (union contracts, agents, likeness fees, Teamsters, etc.). I don’t think I got that when I was younger. Two: the oddly stoned alien (“I’m ready for another trip!”). It’s just a bit blunt…see what I did there? And three: Bill Murray. Did you remember that Bill Murray was in this? As himself? Zombieland premonition! But seriously, it’s hard to take this movie seriously. It’s meant for kids in the simplest of interpretations. It does little to be treat its audience intelligently and does not age well with the audience that saw it when they were seven. And, sadly, I have the suspicion that today’s youth would be too fond of this one. Sorry, Mike!

About as odd as it looks.

And was tonight’s Dunkzelweizen a slam dunk (now you’re getting it)? I’d say it was a decent two-pointer (sports knowledge!).  It was nothing special but it’s solid beer for an average night. This Sam Adams beer, fresh out of their Harvest Collection, is a darkish wheat brewed with Belgian yeast. The end result is kind of what you’d expect from that description: a medium-bodied wheat beer with some classic banany yeast flavor. There’s some fruity sweetness in there that’s balanced against the darker malts, making this beer fall right in the middle of the road in almost every regard. So while it doesn’t do anything special, it’s still a pretty good beer for when the evenings start to chill. But since I’m in LA, that won’t be for awhile.

So that’s the game breakdown, folks. We had a once-funny, now-frustrating film with a solid but ordinary beer. Not the best way to get back into BAAM but it’s hard to complain when you have a beer in your hand, a movie on your screen and Michael Jordan crushing Bill Murray’s hoop dreams. Very hard.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Samuel Adams’ Dunkelweizen:
-Pours hazy, medium brown
-Classic Belgian-yeast flavor
-Solid but unremarkable

Space Jam:
-Childhood classic, but the shine has faded
-Michael Jordan+Bugs Bunny=hijinks
-All kinds of Hollywood & NBA cameos. Charles Barkley anyone?

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