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Avery’s Salvation Belgian-Style Golden Ale & Terminator: Salvation

Hey there, Drinkers!

Are you ready to get saved? FROM ROBOTS?! I hope so, because in today’s BAAM we’re not watching Saved! but rather Terminator Salvation while drinking Avery Brewing’s Salvation Belgian-Style Golden Ale. Why robots and not pregnant teens? One word: Explosions. So strap in, grab a beer and travel through time for today’s review. Let’s get started.

In 2009, The Halycon Company rebooted the Terminator franchise the only way modern moviemakers know how to reboot an action franchise: with Christian Bale. But gone was the setting of pre-apocalyptic America and in its place was the post-Judgement Day world. I remember when Terminator Salvation came out I was SO excited to finally see the world that had only been hinted at in previous movies. No longer was Skynet just going to be a few skin-clad Terminators and a bunch of early 90’s computers. Instead, we were going to see something bigger and darker. And to the film’s credit, it does do a decent job of showing that. The film, while mostly centered on the human element, does give us a few glimpses of Skynet’s world along with a few obligatory shots of a decimated Los Angeles. Realize I haven’t mentioned anything about the narrative (yet). That’s mostly because this film is more visual than anything else. From a purely visual standpoint, the film is actually quite exciting. The camerawork and editing is top-notch and the visual effects are of the same high quality we expect from our other blockbusters. And interestingly enough, the film creates a distinctive visual style that many other action movies lack. With long, uninterrupted shots and a heavy focus on its character’s faces, the film is actually quite visceral and strives for human connection. Unfortunately, the writing and narrative make that…well let’s say challenging.

Human. Machine. Themes.

Human. Machine. Themes.

The real problem with the writing in Terminator Salvation is that it’s just. so. deliberate. Where am I? What happened here? Who are you? I’m John Connor, leader of the Resistance. We have to find John Connor. On and on and on! The whole movie is just a series of single, expository lines with a few general platitudes about ‘Humanity’ interspersed throughout. And imagine all of this delivered in Christian Bale/Batman-lite gruff speech. Yikes. There is exactly ONE good line in the whole movie and it’s “The devil’s hands have been busy” and that’s about as good as it gets. Similarly, the narrative is fairly lockstep predictable with the expected nonsense that comes with blockbuster movies and time-travel. Nonsense like why don’t the robots kill their #1 target, Kyle Reese, when they have him captured? Or how do the human resistance still have warplanes? A lot of major decisions don’t really make any sense or aren’t explained, so you’re left just shrugging your shoulders and waiting for the next explosions to kick off.



Overall, the movie is fine. It’s not terrible but it’s not great either. For what could have been a big, dramatic reboot of the franchise, I think this film falls a little short. Sure it looks pretty, but it don’t talk too pretty.

Did I mention robots?

Did I mention robots?

So was our beer the Salvation of the evening? I think so. Avery Brewing’s Salvation Belgian Style Golden Ale is a solid Belgian that can carry you through most movie-watching experiences, good or bad. Pouring a true golden color with a two-finger head and some nice lacing, beer is visually everything you would expect from a golden Belgian. With the pour, you’ll get that classic Belgian yeast aroma along with some mild hints of citrus, grass and malt. And that same goes once you take a sip. Lots of yeast with just little drops of sweet, citrus, grass and malt all tied together with some very fine, light carbonation. It’s actually a very easy beer to drink (quickly) despite the 9% ABV, though I wouldn’t say the beer does anything special. But I find that can be the case for a lot of Belgian-style ales, so maybe I’m biased. But overall a solid beer from a great Colorado brewery.

So there you have it, Drinkers! An evening of pure Salvation. We had an action movie with a passing grade and a solid Belgian-style beer to help us muscle through the dialogue. Not a bad evening by BAAM standards. As usual, thanks for reading and please feel free to suggest any future combos.

And as always keep drinking, my friends!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:Avery-Salvation
Terminator Salvation:
Strong, well-defined visuals
-Sub-par writing & narrative
-Helena Bonham Carter & Common are both in this movie

Avery’s Salvation:
-Lovely golden pour
-Strong notes of Belgian yeast
-Solid brew but nothing extraordinary



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Wychwood’s Scarecrow Ale & Batman Begins

Hey there, Drinkers!

How are of you doing? I’m doing SUPER! Thanks for asking! Why, do you ask? Because I’m watching Batman Begins and drinking beer! It takes very little to make me happy. But seriously, it’s been awhile since we’ve done this. Probably too long. And while our guest review and our Halloween special were pretty amaze-balls, sometimes it’s nice to get back to basics. One beer. One movie. One me writing a review. And speaking of basics, let’s dive right into Batman 101.

Many years ago, all the way back in 2005, a one Christopher Nolan introduced the world to a re-imagined superhero who had been sorely mistreated by the 1990’s. Batman Begins provided a fresh, dark and grounded Batman and launched an absurdly successful franchise as a result. Now, in my opinion, this film is the best of “Dark Knight” trilogy simply because of this fact (sorry TDK fans). Though the film is, by definition, a bit bombastic, it still manages to keep its feet planted firmly on ground. Well, except when Batman is flying around but that’s not what I mean. Rather, the film manages to keep itself simple, clean and unpolluted by the potential energy of Batman’s legacy. The gadgets are pretty standard, the plot clear and the enemies fairly sensical. Actually, I think the decision to stay away from Batman’s more iconic adversaries in this film is one of its best features. While familiar to hardcore Batman fans, baddies like Scarecrow and Ra’s Al Ghul (and a cameo by Victor Zsasz) are largely unknown to the broader public, allowing the director more freedom in their reinvention and affording the ability to escape preconceived notions. It also means that they’re not stupid and gimmicky like Mr. Freeze/Fries.

No, I will not CHILL OUT!

And while I mostly have nothing but praise for this film, I do want to point out an inconsistency I noticed after seeing this movie about 34 times. Gotham is generally presented as a city with no moral compass and no legal order. The mob seemingly owns the police force and the justice system. It’s open. It’s blatant. That’s the point. But there are still people who are fabulously wealthy. The city still seems to operate normally. People still become cops or lawyers and are fighting for something. It’s just unclear what, considering the level of corruption. People haven’t abandoned this city? And really no one can do a thing about it? Falcone operates so openly that it’s insane to think that the city, the state or the federal government is literally powerless. Of course I’m just being nit-picky but what else are you going to say about a movie that you otherwise find expertly well-made and supremely entertaining? I mean, really. The story is great. The action is great. The casting is great. The pacing is great. And, on top of that,  Joffrey Baratheon is in it! What else do you want? Explosions? We got tons of explosions! Liam Neesom being a baller? Plenty of that too! Seriously. I mean The Dark Knight was good but this…this is great.

There are even ninjas!!

So we know the movie kicked ass but was the beer up to snuff? Sadly, it was a little lackluster. The Scarecrow golden pale ale brewed by UK Wychwood is a light, mild-mannered ale. Aka the opposite of Batman. It pours a simply golden color with minimal head and a standard grassy aroma. That aroma is followed by a similar taste that is only lightly balanced with a hint of bitterness. Sadly, the little flavor there is dissipates pretty quickly, leaving you with the impression that this is really just another light beer. It was easy to drink and I’d prefer it over the other crappy beers most Americans drink, but it’s still nothing to go out of your way for. I don’t think I’ll be grabbing another one of these any time soon.

When I think about it, the movie and the beer do have one thing in common: Batman totally kicks the crap out of Scarecrow. Actually, that’s not entirely true. Yes, Batman knocks Dr. Crane around a little, it’s actually Rachel Dawes whose is badass enough to taser that fool in the face. Though I guess it wasn’t enough to keep him out of the other two movies. But I’m okay with that. I like Cillian Murphy (did you see Sunshine?). But I digress.  Sometimes you get a great movie with a dud beer. But it never hurts to keep experimenting. Check out new beers. Watch unfamiliar movies or go back to old favorites. Never stop exploring. Never stop drinki….wait. Disregard that last comment.

Anyway, thanks for reading and be on the lookout this weekend for another terrible holiday slasher special featuring Anne from We Recycle Movies.
I’ll give you a hint: murder turkeys.

And as always, keep drinking my friends!

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Wychwood’s Scarecrow:
-Simple golden color
-Basic grainy malt flavor with minimal bitterness
-Flavor dissipates quickly

Batman Begins:
-A dark, fresh start for America’s most troubled superhero
-Remarkably grounded despite the high-flying action
-The best in an unbelievable franchise


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