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