Tag Archives: steven spielberg

Port Brewing’s Anniversary Ale & Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Hey there, Drinkers!

Sorry for the long delay but the anniversary of our nation’s founding threw my schedule a little out of whack. But with the 4th safely behind us, I thought it was high time we celebrate another anniversary: the 25th release anniversary of Who Framed Roger Rabbit while sipping on Port Brewing’s (10th?) Anniversary Ale. So let’s get celebrating, shall we?!

25 years ago, Robert Zemekis and Steven Spielberg released the incomparable, technically-stunning Who Framed Roger RabbitFor the unfortunate ones who have not seen this film, it’s essentially a 1940’s noir set in a fictional Hollywood in which cartoons are real. It’s a bit of an odd concept (one originally created in the form of a novel actually) but the murder mystery that drives the film is quite clear and easily understood, so the film remains grounded and on-course despite its inherent zaniness. In fact, the noir story in and of itself is quite compelling. The murder mystery is captivating and well-paced and the subplot regarding the reconfiguration of Los Angeles travel (the birth of freeways) is also well-integrated. Moreover, what I learned only a few years ago, the film is a purposeful parable and critique of Los Angeles gentrification and minority-community dispersal. In the film, greedy men and studios wheel and deal to remove Toon Town and remake Los Angeles in their image. In the real world, the creation of the now-infamous LA freeway system split and destroyed historically African-American communities that are still reeling from the negative impact to this day.

zany AND poignant!

zany AND poignant!

Aside from a strong story with a pertinent subtext, Who Framed Roger Rabbit is simply an excellent example of great filmmaking. From a technical standpoint, the hybrid of live-action and hand-drawn animation (no CGI here, folks!) is simply incredible. The forethought in the scene-blocking, the complete dedication of the acting…it’s all truly remarkable. Not to mention that the animation is simply just good. It feels like a classic Looney Toon cartoon! From a world-detail standpoint, everything we see on-screen feels like it belongs in the world. The period-setting is accurately done and the cartoon elements feel about as real as they should be. It would have been easier (and probably cheaper) to say “ah it’s just cartoons so no one will really care anyway” but fortunately, that was not the case. The detail of what we see lends such authenticity to the story that you can’t help but love the film more. Third, from a business standpoint, seeing Warner Bros and Disney character side-by-side on film is really remarkable. I don’t know how those deals got made but I’m just impressed. And finally, the film is just really damn funny. Aside from all the easy toon-related gags, there’s a good amount of subtle or below-the-radar humor that I’ve only picked up on from having seen the movie many (MANY) times. Also, being an Los Angeles resident also lends a little bit of humor to the mix, as the film relentless pokes fun at the modern day city. How about them Brooklyn Dodgers?!

Chuckles...technically challenging chuckles

Chuckles…technically challenging chuckles

So in case you haven’t picked up on it already, I really love this film. As a kid, as an adult, as a film-student, as an Angeleno…everything about this movie is truly wonderful. Go watch it!. It’s on Netflix.

Seriously, go now.

Oh and the bad guy Judge Doom is still terrifying. Just FYI.

What have you done with Doc Brown?!

What have you done with Doc Brown?!

And while not “zany,” I have to say that Port Brewing’s Anniversary Ale was quite the treat. Released every spring and summer, this year’s iteration of the Anniversary Ale is a super-hopped strong pale ale. Yes, “strong” is actually a type of beer. Pouring a hazy golden orange reminiscent of summer wheats, this beer smacks you with powerful hoppiness and a mild-mannered head. There are also hints of sweet citrus in there but you’ll most get those once you take a sip. Despite the hefty 10% ABV, the beer does not come off as too boozy. Rather, you’re hit again with that strong hoppy flavor accompanied with notes of grapefruit and a little bit of grain. All of those flavors mellow out as it warms, so this one I’d suggest you don’t let sit out too long. But other than that, it’s actually quite easy to drink if you like hops. And finally, I think I could classify the texture or mouthfeel as chewy and/or sticky. Neither of those words make a beer sound appealing but it’s actually a pretty accurate description for how the beer feels on your tongue (hence it’s called mouthfeel). The Port Brewing website also describes the beer this way, so I’m not completely out of my mind. But overall, this is a very good beer that I’d recommend to any hop-head.

So there you have it, Drinkers. Another successful adventure! What better way to relax like an adult than with cartoons and beer? A seriously good movie for all audiences and a great beer for the educated drinker. I think I’ll be enjoying both again in the future.

And as always keep drinking, my friends!
Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Port Brewing’s Anniversary Ale:
-Nice hazy, orange pour
-Super hoppy deliciousness
-“Chewy” mouthfeel but that’s a good thing

Who Framed Roger Rabbit:
-Amazing technical feat
-Utterly hilarious
-Captivating story with real-world touchstones



(and yes I realized I missed many “hoppy” pun opportunities. sue me.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Review

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