Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Brewvie Review: The Book of Eli

eI'm starting a new feature here on Confessions, one that will likely migrate over to Beer Tap TV in some video-ized form in the not too distant future. I wanted to give it a test run here to see what kind of reaction it gets though, so consider this a beta test.  Let me know what ya think, from the title to the format to what/not to include, etc.  Sound good? 

If you follow the movie reviews I post on my Facebook page (via the way cool Netflix review app) you know I like to watch all kinds of movies. Well, I got to thinking... why don't I combine two of my fave things:  movies and craft beer.

For a number of reasons Fran and I don't usually see many films at the theater. I know, it's the only place you can get a dump truck full of that delicious popcorn you can only seem to get at the movies, but you can't get one single beer. And that's a deal breaker for me. Instead we rent movies from Netflix where we can watch from the comfort of our couch, pause the movie when we feel like, get up and use a clean bathroom, grab a brew from the fridge, etc. So it's ironic that the first entry in this new feature will be about a movie we actually saw at the theater a few weeks ago...

The Book of Eli

I went in expecting a lot. For starters, it has my name in the title. Secondly, it's "a post-apocalyptic tale in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind." Post-apocalyptic stories come from my favorite genre. Movies, books, comics, video games... if it's about the end of the world, I'm all over it.  

Directed by the Hughes brothers (they of the awesome flick, From Hell, starring Johnny Depp), this movie stars Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson, and Jennifer Beals. Great cast. Well, Eli (Denzel) has been strolling across a destroyed U.S. for some 30 years. He walks tall and carries a very big knife... and a very special book that will supposedly help restore the world. This world is lawless, where people must kill or be killed.  Sounds like one of the Mad Max flicks, right?

Well, it kind of is. And it's also kind of like The Road, a book written four years ago by Cormac McCarthy. Great book, so read it if you haven't. Unfortunately, BoE is too much like The Road. In it a man - along with his son - walk across a a destroyed U.S. searching for something too. It was made into a movie, but only released - in November - to very few theaters.  The limited release was odd considering it has an all-star cast including Viggo Mortensen, Robert Duvall, and Charlize Theron. Anywho...

As much as I wanted to love The Book of Eli, it was merely OK. Perhaps it was the inconsiderate A.D.H.D. addled cell phone user sitting below us, or my bum knee that only hurts when sitting in a theater chair, or the central theme of the movie (which revolves around the book; saying more will give it away), or lack of beer... but I was less than impressed. There are some great action scenes (not enough), and some great character interaction (Oldman always plays a great bad guy), but in the end it was just too slow.

Fran actually enjoyed it more then I did.  However, without giving anything away... there is one potential twist that only reveals itself at the very end. I say "potential" because we're not 100% sure that it occurred. If it's actually there, and not just some figment of our imagination, it will bump this film up a notch. A second viewing will be needed to determine this however, and that will only occur when the Blu-ray  arrives in my mailbox. Until then... on wth the rating. To keep things consitent with my Facebook page I'll be using the 5 star Netflix rating system.

The Book of Eli gets a score of:

Food isn't the only thing craft beer can be paired with. I plan on experimenting with just how far to push that theory. So, along with the movie rating I'll be providing a perfectly paired beer, and how many bottles of said beer it will take to get through said movie.

Beer suggestion for The Book of Eli is: 

For end of the world mayhem nothing quenches a road weary warrior like a 10.5% ABV Belgian brew!  This Quadrupel from Lost Abbey is packed full of malts (Two Row, Wheat, Medium and Dark English Crystal, Special B, Chocolate Malt) and a smack of hops (Challenger and East Kent Golding) that will surely shake the dust from your boots. 

Number of bottles of Judgment Day required to get through this movie: 2

Since this bitchin Belgian will age incredibly well for many years to come (even unto the end of the world), and it tips the scale with a double digit alcohol content, you only really need one. However, you always want to be prepared for when that final day does come. So suck one of these down during the film to ease any bodily pains you might have, or silence the idiot who can't seem to keep his yap shut, and stash the second bottle in a safe place. It will make for a savory trading trinket that will be nothing short of liquid gold in the apocalyptic future.

Until next time... I'm Eli the Mad Man of Beer telling you to believe in hope, and of course... stay frosty!

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