Tag Archives: Nicolas Cage

Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew & The Cotton Club

Hey there, Drinkers!

Tonight we have a great beer, a terrible movie and a few chuckles in between. In celebration of the history of jazz, we’re drinking Dogfish Head’s Mile Davis tribute beer Bitches Brew with the 20’s throwback film The Cotton Club. If there’s only thing I impart on you tonight, it’s that tonight’s pairing is indicative of how beer (and friends) can make the world a better place. My friend Mike and I sat down with what turned out to be a terrible movie but through the power of beer, friendship and force-of-will, we made it through. And now it’s time to share that experience with all of you! Let’s get swinging!

Tonight’s film had so much promise. Directed by the legendary Francis Ford Coppola, the 1984 The Cotton Club sports a tremendous cast that one would assume could act. One would be mistaken. I’m almost tempted to not say much about this film because I truly have no idea what happened and it really doesn’t dignify discussion. But I’m going to talk about it anyway. Here’s what I gathered on the plot: I think Richard Gere gets involved with a Harlem mob boss (or mob bosses?) and I think there’s also some drama with some tap dancing brothers. Honestly, that’s about as much I got out this film. It has no narrative, no structure, no character development and, most importantly, no purpose. Characters and scenes seem to be thrown together almost arbitrarily. We’re not sure of the connection between each story line or why we should even care about any of the characters. On top of that, many of the actors seem to be reading their lines directly from the script, with almost no thought or care. Some of them try to put on a 1920’s gangster air, but even that seems like they stole their characterizations from other, worse films. Notably, Nicolas Cage (right?!) mumbles and laughs his way through at least three different accents. And then you have Diane Lane showing up all pouty and getting Richard Gere’s man-panties all in a bunch FOR NO DAMN REASON! GAH THIS MOVIE MAKES ME SO ANGRY!

Who are you and why are you in this movie?

The only positive thing I can say about this movie is that the costume design is impeccable. As I told my friend while we “watched” this “film,” I got the sense that Francis Coppola got so involved in his costume design that he forgot about the rest of the film. While the action on screen bored me to death, I thankfully had some pretty sweet outfits (and hats…so many hats) to ogle. But seriously, that’s the only good thing about this movie. Hats.

Did I mention the hats?

So thank God I had some Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head to keep me happy. Brewed in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Miles Davis album (yes I know it’s a different era of jazz but just cut me some slack), this tasty imperial stout is infused with honey and gesho root. The end result? A deep, black beer with a dark chocolately head. A beer with classic, smooth stout flavor but sweetened ever-so-slightly with honey. It’s a big, bold flavor that finishes smooth and carefully masks the 9% ABV. It really is a great beer. I’d say it’s a stout for real stout lovers. For newcomers to the genre, it may be a bit overpowering but it’s definitely worth at least a taste.

So there you have it, folks, beer to rescue! An honest-to-God awful movie rescued only a great beer and a good friend (the better to lambast the film with!). Steer clear of this movie, but be sure to pick up the beer. I think it’s only a limited release each season, so get to your local purveyor of booze and grab a bottle or two! But seriously, this movie was so bad. I really regret it. I’m so sorry everyone.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew:
-Deep, dark pour with rich, chocolately head
-Great roasted malt flavor with a hint of honey
-Big n’ bold. Not for the mild-mannered drinker

The Cotton Club:
-Good cast, terrible acting
-Utterly incomprehensible
-Hats

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Abita Amber & Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

Hello Drinkers,

For our first adventure, we’re taking a trip down to Louisiana; home of the Abita Brewing Company and the location of Werner Herzog’s 2009 Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. Tonight, I was sipping on one of my favorite beers, an Abita Amber. I haven’t seen Bad Lieutenant before, nor have I sent the 1992 Harvey Heital incarnation, but if there’s one thing I took away from this evening, it’s that Nicholas Cage is still a badass.

Where the Abita Amber is mild, refreshing and smooth, Bad Lieutenant is a rocky (the crack variety) and uneven. While the film is ostensibly about the non-traditional methods to which Nicolas Cage’s character goes in order to catch a murderer (played by XZibit….yeah…), it comes off more as a vehicle by which Cage can show off his pent up rage and frustration with the string of awful movies he’s done recently. He calls an old lady a “selfish cunt” after he removes her oxygen supply. You get the idea.

When Nick Cage isn’t teaching old ladies a lesson, he’s snorting miscellaneous drugs, extorting kids and generally having a grand ol’ time in the Big Easy. Much to my delight (not that I didn’t delight in the unending insanity of Cage’s character), Abita Amber is actually a featured extra throughout the film. Cage’s step-mother (?) uses Abita Amber as a way around her alcoholism! Since this caramel-colored beer is fairly light, refreshing and smooth, it’s easy to see how she can knock back a few without any trouble. Who knew beer was such a healthy alternative to a serious addiction!

Atleast it's not vodka.

So what’s the moral of tonight’s little adventure down South? One: Nicolas Cage has still got it. Forget what the critics say, give Nick Cage a crazy character and he’ll knock that sh*t out of the park. Lesson number two? Drink more beer. It helps you ignore the larger problems.

I see you eyeing my beer Mr. Cage...

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:

Abita Amber:

Light caramel color.
Mild mouthfeel.
Brief but refreshing finish.

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans:

Vehicle for Nicolas Cage does drugs and swears a lot.
XZibit (of “Pimp My Ride” fame) is a drug-dealer. Shocker.
Eva Mendes is a prostitute. Shocker.

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