Tag Archives: robin williams

Bootlegger’s Rustic Rye IPA & Hook

Hey there drinkers,

Off the fantastic suggestion from my brother (accompanied by an appropriately amusing reddit thread), tonight’s film is the childhood throwback Hook. And while tonight’s Bootlegger beer was initially going to be paired with another pirate-themed movie, Hook just seemed like too good of an opportunity to pass up. So let’s fly into tonight’s combo, shall we?

RUFIO! RUFIO! RUFIO! RU-FI-OOOOOOOO. Do I really need to review the rest of this movie?

Okay, fine let’s talk. I think everyone has a few formative movies from their childhood. For me, that list includes movies like Back to the Future, Hot Shots Part Deux (I know, right?!) and the 1991 Steven Spielberg Peter Pan re-imagining Hook. Not to be on-the-nose about these things (though the film is), there is something magical about Hook. It is so full of fun and imagination that it is hard to not fall in love. The make-believe feast scene is still arguably one of my favorite cinematic moments ever. You have Robin Williams (in one of his more bizarre roles) trading absurd insults with a 10 year old boy with a remarkable hairdo, followed by the flying of brightly colored mush food. It’s awesome. But seriously, there’s a lot to love about this film. Most obviously, at least as an adult, is the realization that Dustin Hoffman plays Captain Hook. Doesn’t that blow your mind? And really he’s the best part of this film. Hook is evil, funny, truthful, deceptive, paranoid, insecure and hawkish. Not to mention he desperately wants to start a war with a bunch of kids whose biggest crime is that they splatter the occasional pirate with eggs or with the aforementioned brightly colored mush food. And his sidekick Smee (Bob Hoskins) is also incredibly amusing and adds another layer of depth to Hook’s egomania.

Rain Man

And as much as I love this film, I feel like I should share a few of my complaints. For one, it’s really really long. Coming in at about 2:15 hours, the film trudges along at times. It doesn’t take long for us to realize that Robin William’s character Peter Banning is a terrible father, but it takes forever for the film to move beyond that. Also, the film takes forever to build up Banning’s transformation into Pan but the actual moment of change is shockingly fast. And no sooner does Banning become Pan than we’re suddenly at the climax of the film. As a result, it can get easy to tune out in the middle of the film as you wait for the more awesome scenes to come around. And finally, as I kind of mentioned earlier, the film is painfully on-the-nose with the Peter Pan references. While most kids probably don’t get the wordplay, the film’s dialogue is about 35% obvious foreshadowing (“Gotta fly!”), with another 10% revolving around the famous Pan line “to die would be an awfully big adventure.” As it turns out, life turns out to be a grander adventure but you get the idea. To the sophisticated (re: awake) viewer, all of the obvious referencing starts to grate on your nerves and can pull you out of the otherwise fantastic experience. But overall, these are minor gripes when you stack them against a film this is, for all intents and purposes, pure entertainment that really never gets old.

I should also mention this cast:
Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Bob Hoskins, Julia Roberts & Maggie Smith
And cameos by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Carrie Fischer, Glenn Close & a very young Gwyneth Paltrow

One of the most beloved side-characters of all time. And he barely speaks!

And our Bootlegger beer? Well this Rustic Rye IPA was actually pretty tasty. I was a bit full from dinner, so drinking an entire bomber by myself proved more difficult than anticipated but I don’t blame the beer, I blame my beer-gluttony. Anyway, for those who have never tried a rye beer, I suggest you give them a shot. Just like how wheat beers are brewed with a higher percentage of wheat to barley, rye beers are brewed with a significant amount of rye. The primary result of this added ingredient is unexpected smoothness while still upholding the original, intended flavors of the beer. Since this beer was technically an IPA, the final result is a very well-balanced beer that still retains that classic IPA hoppiness. Now obviously it can’t be as hoppy as other “truer” IPA’s, but you still get the effect, which makes it a good intro to the IPA genre. As an added incentive, this Rustic Rye IPA sits comfortably at 6.5% ABV, making it easy and socially responsible to drink…more or less.

So there you have it folks, an evening with everyone’s favorite bootlegging pirate, Captain Hook and his favorite bootlegged liquor: beer. Actually, I think pirates are more into rum but just work with me here, okay? Anyway, the movie is still a classic and is tons of fun even when you’re all grown up. And since you’re a grown up, why not reminisce about your childhood with a solid, smooth rye IPA? I can’t think of a good reason why not, so better get to it. Time is running out. Tick tock tick tock.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Bootlegger’s Rustic Rye IPA:
-Golden orange color with modest head
-Aroma of hops, caramel & rye
-Remarkably smooth and well-balanced

-Beautifully and lovingly imaginative
-A bit long & bloated


Filed under Review

Tusker Lager & Jumanji

Welcome to the Jungle, Drinkers!

Do you ever really need an excuse to watch Jumanji? I doubt it. But in case you felt the need to justify watching a 1995 Robin Williams and Kirsten Dunst avoid gunfire and wrestle alligators (no, I’m sorry, crocodiles), then grab yourself a Tusker Lager and prepare yourself for a confusing evening. That’s what I did! I haven’t enjoyed either of these in years, which made the evening even more surprising, exciting and altogether bizarre. Let’s get hunting, shall we?

For those who need a refresher, Jumanji is the terrifying tale of the world’s more sadistic children’s game. This magical board game lures in unsuspecting children with drums and then, upon the roll of the dice, unleashes unholy jungle-themed horrors into this mortal world. Essentially, Jumanji is a portal to hell in a completely accidental and allegorical way. The film begins with the younger version of Robin Williams being sucked into the board game, not to return for another 26 years when Kirsten Dunst and her baby bro unwittingly continue the game. With an uncanny ability to convince others, (and an ability to avoid all symptoms of PTSD) the two children get Robin Williams and his old flame to continue the game in order to dispel the jungely evils that the game has released. I’d like to point out that at this moment, the only things the game had let out were about 10 monkeys (that seem to multiply and learn to drive by the end of the film), a few giangantor mosquitos and a lone, male lion. I’m not animal control expert, but that doesn’t seem that hard to manage, does it? Regardless, shit continues to get real as the film progresses until Robin Williams’s character learns to be a man, face his fears and a roll a three. Jumanji!

I'd trust this man with my life. Wouldn't you?

Okay, enough exposition. How was the movie? It was fine. But for a movie that I assume that was geared towards kids, it’s wholly terrifying. The CGI in this film is actually quite good, so seeing a young boy get sucked into a board game is not something you shake off easily. Yes, the fantasy and the unnerving comedy of Robin Williams in the face of almost certain death does seem apt for a kids movie, but at other times it seems too dark or too twisted. Maybe that’s just my “adult” eyes judging this film, but it’s a film that does not inspire much confidence in adults. Our two “adult” heros are repeatedly described as being trapped in their childhoods while all the “real” adults bumble about helplessly.  I mean, I guess that’s no different than most kids movies… except that a crazy man in a hunting outfit can drop a bunch of coins on a counter and illegally purchase a silenced automatic sniper rifle. Other than that it’s a fairly standard kids movie that is both exciting and scary at the same time.

Remember when Kirsten Dunst looked the same as she always has?

So what was our Jumanji beer? It was East African Breweries’ Tusker Lager which all the way from Nairobi, Kenya. I actually first saw this back in high school when I spent a month in Tanzania (Kenya’s neighbor to the south). And no, I didn’t have one back then! Come on, guys! What do you take me for? Anyway, this lager is perfect for beating that Kenyan heat and is one of better light beers I’ve had. Though, to be fair, I haven’t had many light beers at all. Tusker pours a clean, straw color with minimal head. The beer smells a bit sweet and grainy, which is a good way of describing the beer. Though it is light and crisp, you get hit with strong notes of honey-like sweetness, fruit and grain. It’s incredibly easy to drink and very refreshing, making it the perfect beer for the summer which is only…4 months away…

And I’m actually kind of glad that this beer was so light when you think about it in terms of the film. Had I been a drinking something heavier, I think the darkness of the film would have gotten to me. I mean, a small New Hampshire town, that is inexplicably filled with vandals and the homeless, is easily overrun by a bunch of monkeys. Oh and the local police does nothing to stop the man with a gun walking through a store with what is a clearly a military-grade firearm. It’s scary stuff! Fortunately, the lightness of the beer helped remind me that this movie was supposed to be fun. And so fun was had in a bizarre, 1995 Kirsten Dunst kind of way.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Tusker Lager:
-Clear, straw color
-Sweet, fruity flavor
-Not much body, but that’s okay.

-A bit dark & creepy for a “kids” movie
-New Hampshire law enforcement is a bit lacking
-I want to watch Hook now.

1 Comment

Filed under Review