Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Brewvie Review: A Six Pack

It's been a few weeks since the last Brewvie Review, but not for a lack of film watching. We've seen a number of flicks in the last month, but nothing has struck my fancy enough - good or bad - to write a full review about. Truth be told, I've drank a lot more brews over the last month then I've watched movies. Between the Super Bowl party we had, our trip up to Golden, CO, to interview Cody Christman - the Beerdrinker of the Year, attending the Old Chicago's "I Love Beer" mini-tour launch party in Denver, shooting a commercial for Old Chicago's World Beer Tour (which will go live very soon), and taking part in the 6th Annual Firkin Rendezvous at Bristol Brewing Company last Saturday...

So, instead of focusing on one movie, let's do a six pack of 'em... quick shot style!

Extract - 2 1/2 stars. A complete and total snoozer starring Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Gene Simmons, and the super hot Mila Kunis. It's directed by Mike Judge (he of Beavis & Butthead fame). And it's still a yawner. You'll spend more time trying to figure out what's on tap at the bar Ben Affleck's character owns than caring what happens next. Watch this with a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon (Any Liquor Store, In Your Neighborhood) by your side cuz watching this makes you feel as bored and bland as that so called "beer."

The Uninvited - 3 stars. Not bad. A remake of the 2003 Korean chiller Janghwa, Hongryeon, starring a bunch of actors/actresses you don't know and will probably never see again. A few chills and a nice little twist at the end saves this from being a total waste of time. What to drink? At least one bottle of Stop Making Sense, an 11% eis bock, from Trinity Brewing Company (Colorado Springs, Colorado). This will do a few things: first, due to the high ABV it will actually help make sense of the movie, and two, due to the high ABV... you're just not gonna care if it's good or bad.

Love Happens - 3 1/2 stars. A romantic comedy with the always smokin' hot Jennifer Aniston and the guy who looks like Jon Bon Jovi (Aaron Eckhart). Cute. Not one of my favorite romcoms, but still worth watching. For this particular chick flick try sucking down a few bottles of  Hot Monkey Love, an 11% Old Ale from Pratt Street Ale House (Baltimore, Maryland). You know why.

Zombieland - 2 1/2 stars. WTF is the deal with the hysteria over this flick? It's getting 4.5 stars on Netflix. Sorry, I just don't get it. Typically I love these kind of movies (Shaun of the Dead is epically classic) because killing zombies is always a good time. It has a great cast including Bill Murray, Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin, and Jesse Eisenberg. Has some funny scenes (not nearly enough), and a great list of rules to get you through a a zombie apocalypse. Sadly it's just not all that entertaining. It would make for a great party game though. Eat a Twinkie and a drink a brew every time a zombie goes down. A case of Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand (Longmont, Colorado) will work nicely.

Surrogates - 3 1/2 stars. A sci-fi thriller starring Bruce Willis, James Cromwell and Ving Rhames. Set in the near future where humans hibernate at home while living their lives vicariously through robot surrogates... wait. Don't people who play World of Warcraft kinda do that?  I kid!  Sorta. While not a WoWer myself, I do play City of Heroes, so I get it. Surrogates is just the kind of movie that begs for any brew from Lazy Boy Brewing in Everett, Washington.

Orphan - 4 stars.  In this thriller-chiller a family's baby dies during child birth. Hoping to patch the emotional hole in their lives they decide to adopt 9-year-old from an orphanage. Good plan! Boy, do they regret that decision. This was pretty damn good actually.  As the huge twist plays out you'll be going ICK and DOUBLE ICK. Stars a few folks you've seen in other flicks like Peter Sarsgaard, CCH Pounder and Vera Farmiga. The one you want to pay attention to though is Isabelle Fuhrman who plays 9-year-old Esther (pictured left). Creeptastically amazing! One beer is perfectly suited for this movie, and chances are you can't get it. It's the collabrew between New Albanian Brewing Company (New Albany, Indiana) and The Livery (Benton Harbor, Michigan) called... Le Douche Mental Imperial Belgian IPA. The name says it all.

Up next... Law Abiding Citizen!  Ooooooh yaaaaa!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Brewvie Review: Whip It

What do you think of that title?  Brew + movie = brewvie. Get it?  Erik came up with it, and I think it's brilliant. So, is it a  "hellz ya" or "keep trying"?  Either way, don't steal it... it's trademarked.

This week's movie is far different from the "manly man" flick that was Book of Eli.  My friend Terry will likely make fun of me for watching such a movie, but if you keep tabs of my reviews on Facebook you'll know that I'm not afraid to delve into the chick flick pile. Fact is, I often times like them. Not the sappy love stories you might find on Lifetime or Oxygen, but I do like romantic comedies. Something my more "manly" (those are fake air quotations by the way) friends can't quite seem to comprehend. Whatever.

So without further ado... on with the show!

Whip It 

No, not the Devo mega-hit from... oh my gawd, was it really a hit way back in 1980? Geezus. From the Netflix description: "Escaping her smothering mother's (Marcia Gay Harden) beauty pageant plans for her, small-town Texas teen Bliss (Ellen Page, of the great indie flick, Juno) joins an all-girl roller derby team in Austin and begins living a thrilling double life as Babe Ruthless -- a life that might catch up with her. Brew Barrymore makes her directorial debut and plays fellow teammate Smashley Simpson in this smart coming-of-age tale. Kristen Wiig, Juliette Lewis, Eve and Jimmy Fallon co-star."

Yes, that Jimmy Fallon, who plays rink announcer, "Hot Tub" Johnny Rocket. The names of the characters (Babe Ruthless, Smashley Simpson, Maggie Mayhem, Bloody Holly, Iron Maven, etc.) are priceless. This is an indie flick, so there aren't any mind blowing special effects, city-engulfing explosions or high intensity car chases. It's a movie about people in a small town. So if you're only into movies made for the A.D.H.A., and watching actors act isn't your thing... get out of your rut and expand your horizons!

Now, for those of you in the crowd turned off by the "coming-of-age tale" parlance pay particular attention to these words:  all-girl roller derby. So what you have here is some hot, tattooed chicks on roller skates... wearing mini-skirts and fishnets... beating the crap outta each other. What's not to like here people? By the way, woman's roller derby is huge again. If you don't believe me take a look at the websites for the L.A. Derby Dolls, Gotham GirlsDenver Roller Dolls, or our very own Pikes Peak Derby Dames!   

This was a really good flick. Drew Barrymore directs and plays a small role as a stoner, ska-chick who loves to fight. Kristen Wiig of SNL fame is one of the main actors, along with Paige. Fallon really is funny as the ring announcer. The guy on the far right in the above image is Razor, coach for the also pictured Hurl Scouts roller derby team. He's played by Andrew Wilson, the older brother of Luke and Owen Wilson. Who knew they had an older brother!?  He's funny, and of the three brothers... the better actor.

Whip It gets a score of:

Roller derby chicks. Check.  Jimmy Fallon. Check. Hilarity, hi-jinks and hip checks. Check.What more do you need? Oh ya, beer! For this particular pic I've picked a pickled pepper - oops, got carried away there. Sorry.

Beer suggestion for Whip It:

Number of bottles of Black & Blue required to get through this movie: At least 2, possibly 3

Get it?!  This 10% ABV Belgian Golden Ale is a multitasking, multipurpose, high alcohol biznatch! First, it will dull the pain when you bust your ass. What do I mean?  Here's what's going to happen. After watching this movie some guys are going to think they can actually do roller derby... because that's what guys do. So some of you are going to rummage through the pack rat pile of crap you have stashed in the garage, find an old pair of blades or skates, lace 'em up and try to stand up on them. You are going to fall down and bust your ass. Having a bottle of Black & Blue up in you will lessen that pain. Should you get brave - and good - enough to try and roll around the block it will soften those inevitable falls as well.  Be sure to down at least one bottle during the movie.

Secondly, it's got a ton of real, pureed blackberries and blueberries in it so this is a beer your non-beer loving gal (if you're unfortunate enough to have one of those) will actually like. And did I mention it has a high alcohol content? You know what I'm talkin' 'bout! That's right, fist pump. Come on now!  If that bow chicka bow wow plan somehow fails epically there's a backup use for the high ABV. We already know it will dull the pain of the inevitable skate injuries, but it will also dull the "pain" of this chick flick if you just aren't man enough to open your mind to it.  So have another!

Until next time... I'm Eli the Mad Man of Beer telling you to put on your helmet panty and always be ready for a hip check, 'cuz the last thing you want is a giner shiner!  Boooya!