Monday, June 22, 2015

Little Beers & Little People

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Okay… first & foremost, I have to tell you about this movie that I had never heard of… and I’m a little angry because of it. That movie is 2003’s “Tiptoes” which is a smaller independent film… but with a cast featuring Academy Award winners Matthew McConaughey & Gary Oldman… along with peak Kate Beckinsale… Patricia Arquette’s crazy ass… and two of my favorites Peter Dinklage & David Alan Grier… yet I’ve never heard of it. HOW??? Well, let me tell you why… it’s a horrible movie. No, not the premise or message or anything… just the execution of the “story” and… wait, wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me set the stage for this movie first… it’s the story of a well-to-do man (McConaughey) with an amazing apartment… and a superhot artist girlfriend (Beckinsale) who just dropped the bomb that… wait for it… she’s pregnant! So… the man becomes INCREDIBLY worried… not about being a father or something typical… but because he comes from a family of little people… and he’s afraid that his genes may lead to their progeny being little… oh & they’ve never met or really mentioned each other’s families apparently. Anyway, here’s a list of the actors & a basically synopsis of the characters that they play:
Matthew McConaughey – He plays an apparently wealthy firefighter trainer who’s concern over bringing a little person into this world, despite being a major part of a benefit for little people to start the movie, turns pretty f**king dark… where he destroys (the world’s weakest) wall in the doctor’s office when he finds out it’s going to be little… grows increasing distant for the first few months of the child’s life… and then basically kicks out his wife & child at the 2nd act. How will the 3rd act end? My guess is horribly…
Kate Beckinsale – She plays an artist who makes horrible, horrible life decisions (“you can just say artist, $teve”) and even worse art… and frankly, I don’t know who dressed her for this movie… but even though she’s Peak Kate Beckinsale, I’m barely even aroused by her because of her wardrobe choices & hairdos (there’s one that’s a mix of Bram Stoker’s Dracula & Princess Leia) and that’s not even to mention the RIDICULOUS stuff that she says… here’s an example of some of the awkward sentences that will be spoken in this movie: (to her fiancé McConaughey) “You had a circle jerk with a bunch of midgets… I’d love to see that.” Ugh… That’s some sexy pillow talk… (slide whistle down) I also still have no idea what the tattoo is on her arm but… my money’s on Anne Frank & Izzy’s is on Shirley Temple… either way, she’s getting judged justly & harshly.
Gary Oldman – Gary Oldman is an American treasure! “Ugh, $teve… Gary Oldman is English.” HE’S EVERYTHING!!! HE’S A F**KING CHAMELEON!!! The man could play a live-action Easter Bunny and I’m all in… you are too. However… this role… is just a ridiculous stretch. I’ll explain it slowly, please try to keep up with me. He plays… McConaughey’s brother… wait, there’s more… his TWIN brother despite 12 years real life age difference… and the makeup & abs make it look more like 30 years difference. Oh wait… there’s more… he’s also… a biker, WAIT!!! One more little thing… he also wears glasses. They want you to believe that Gary Oldman is Matthew McConaughey’s twin badass four-eyed biker brother… how crazy is that? Crazy, right? Yeah… HE’S ALSO A F**KING MIDGET!!! (Mind exploding!!!)
Peter Dinklage – This… may be my favorite. The great Peter Dinklage plays… Gary Oldman’s friend… who is a very proud & chauvinistic French Marxist biker… and everything that comes out of his mouth is f**king gold. However, I have a theory. Hear me out. I believe that Mr. Dinklage was supposed to play Gary Oldman’s character… and that originally there weren’t two biker characters, just him. Why do I think this? Well… I’m thinking that he was signed on… but in order to get funding for the movie, they wanted more name recognition (made in 2003 before “Game of Thrones”) so they brought in Gary Oldman… and thus the role was split. Furthermore… he doesn’t really do anything in the movie except bang Patricia Arquette’s character, spout French obscenities, have health issues for exposition about the struggles of little life… and has cornrows in one legendary funeral scene (that I assume was filmed separately from the rest, just on the way it’s shot). There’s no real reason for him to be in the story for progression.
Patricia Arquette – An extension of Peter Dinklage’s awkward addition is this character… who was THROWN OFF A BUS (no reason given) in the middle of the desert, I assume to die… and luckily right behind the bus… are two little people on big bikes to pick her up… and she & Peter Dinklage bang a lot… she has so little to do with this movie that I don’t think she changes clothes for any scene in this movie… just one outfit over the course or a year-plus.
David Alan Grier – He’s a showman & host of the little people fundraiser… and then is found banging Gary Oldman’s girlfriend later in the movie… it’s more of a cameo than anything else… for this Tony nominated actor. Good to see DAG in movies though.
The big question: Would I recommend that you watch this movie? Just to give you some perspective, when the two-hour cut of this movie was given to the studio, the director Matthew Bright was IMMEDIATELY FIRED and hasn’t worked in Hollywood since… and then the studio made some serious cuts & edits to get it to 90 minutes and… I think that’s why there’s a lot of loose threads & seemingly idiotic decisions… maybe that extra 30 minutes had some development points that were cut out… but yeah, probably not. It’s an interesting movie to watch with friends and basically make fun of… but yeah, if you want to see well respected actors do ridiculous things… and I loved little actors getting roles including the legendary Ed Gale as McConaughey & Oldman’s father… but yeah, it’s pretty bad. Watch while a little buzzed… and yes, you’ll have to rewind a few times because you thought you missed something… and you didn’t…
Sunday morning, we brewed a Chocolate Stout which we may later barrel age… but even if we don’t, we’ve made the same recipe in the past (with hazelnut extract) and we usually drink the keg in about three weeks… so it’s just a good recipe. Here are some pictures…
Another cool thing we found out at NHC was FastFerment which is a cool plastic conical fermenter with a reservoir in the bottom to collect the yeast during fermentation, a built-in thermometer to keep accurate track of the wort temperature during fermentation, and quick & easy switching of attachments for bottling, kegging and anything else that may need to be done. We are really excited to use it… but we ran into a problem when we added our wort into the FastFerment… and there was a little leak where the metal thermometer stand meets the plastic of the carboy/structure. It wasn’t much… but even at the miniscule rate, over the course of several weeks, it’ll basically drain anything above the leak (about two gallons of the five) AND there’s more possibility of infection (if wort can get out, other things can get in). So unfortunately we had to transfer to the standard glass carboys… but I’m sure we’ll get a new FastFerment quickly… or I might just have to work all the points where metal meets plastic with some epoxy or something. We shall see… here are some pictures of the process…

Next, we kegged our Dunkelweizen… which is the dark roasted German wheat beer recipe & due to a few scheduling things (graduation, graduation parties, weddings, NHC, etc) we weren’t able to really do a secondary fermentation, just kept it in primary for five weeks… so we’re curious how it’ll turn out… but if it’s anything like the sample from the hydrometer, it’s right on course for a 5% wheat beer and it tastes delicious…

More fascinating beer & movie related things to come this week… including movies so good that I decided to see them a 2nd time!!! Yes, one of the ultimate compliments to movies made nowadays… watching it TWICE!!! IN A THEATRE EVEN!!! Until then, have a great week everybody!!!

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