Saturday, October 31, 2015

Seven Stills & Two Docs

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Tuesday night, Izzy & I watched a documentary that I was personally really excited about called “Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films” which documents the legendary rise & fall of this film production company and the two Israeli men who ran it (Menahem Golan & Yoram Globus). Basically, they started out making Israeli films in the 60’s & early 70’s… then they made enough money to go to Hollywood and start films there… but they were essentially fantastic, charismatic & passionate salespeople who would basically sell a movie poster of an idea… and then make the movie around it after getting financial backing. Sounds like a great way to make movies, right? Hell, I do it all the time on this blog. Well… they start out with pretty schlocky films full of gore & LOTS of nudity… and of course most of them are panned, but they make money due to their meager budgets… and they put the money onto the next film… and they’d usually make DOZENS of movies a year. There are plenty of interviews from past actors, directors, producers & other business people like Robert Forster, Avi Lerner, Boaz Davidson, John Avildsen, Tobe Hooper, Gary Goddard, Molly Ringwald, Richard Chamberlain, Dolph Lundgren, Bo Derek, Elliot Gould, Michael Dudikoff, Alex Winter, Franco Nero, and even the many ladies who appeared nude on screen and Boogaloo Shrimp himself!!! They’ll talk about the history of legendary movies like “The Happy Hooker”, “Superman IV”, “Over the Top”, “Masters of the Universe”, “Breakin’ & Electric Boogaloo”, “Bloodsport”, “Delta Force”, “Death Wish 2-5”, “American Ninja” and a whole bunch of others that you didn’t know existed but now want to see if you’re into horrible movies like we are… like Lou Ferrigno in “Hercules”, Bo Derek in “Bolero”, Chuck Norris in “Invasion U.S.A.”, random sexy chick in something called “Lifeforce” and this musical called “The Apple” that looks like it’s “Xanadu” on a f**king acid trip! I highly recommend checking out this movie… because yeah, though a lot of people talk sh*t on the Golan-Globus method… it’s basically what the movie industry has been reduced down to now. How you ask?
·         Maximizing Profits – Ever wonder why Halloween is the time of year when all these ridiculously bad & modestly budgeted horror flicks come out? It’s because they can make a $2-5 million movie starring young, cute people… and they’re pretty much guaranteed a $10-15 million opening weekend. Or how about the kiddie flick that comes out on holiday weekends? And most of them being CGI now? Because CGI characters with voiceover is a LOT cheaper than trying to deal with prima donnas & coordinating hundreds of people to film.
·         Bigger = Better? – Bigger budgets, bigger names, bigger explosions, bigger titties, bigger everything… that’s how you get the better movie, right? Don’t agree with me? Explain the “Fast & Furious” franchise to me… or any of these cinematic universes that are coming out (Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Universal monsters, etc). How about “Pirates of the Caribbean”? Add more big names… add nine-digit budgets… only make 3-4 tentpole movies that’ll make or break your year, because there’s only so much money in the world.
·         Your Big Movie Pays off for the Other Movies – Can’t get funding for your Academy Award begging movie starring Robert Pattinson and a new unproven talent? How about a movie starring JGL from a pretentious French director? New Meryl Streep vehicle? A movie about playing drums starring some kid& the guy from the insurance commercials? Well… you’d better hope that Transformers 6 makes some money this summer!
Anyway, it’s a very interesting movie… check it out! And please, don’t worry… reviews will be coming soon for some of Cannon Films’ greatest hits... and we’ll probably talk about them on our podcast “Everything I Learned From Movies” coming out next week. Yes, I know… I said that before… but yeah, we’re actually finishing up musical intros (I don’t know music, but I know what I like) and our first episode “Tremors 5: Bloodlines” should be coming out VERY soon. I’ll keep you posted.
Wednesday night, Izzy & I watched another documentary about the movie industry called “Back in Time” which is about the making of & fanatic following of… what’s essentially a perfect film called “Back to the Future.” As you may know from past entries/rants including my Time Travel Movie List (gold medal winner) that I hold a special place in my heart for this movie. The original was one of a handful of VHS tapes that I had growing up as a kid, so I’ve probably seen it literally a thousand times or more in my life, and as critical as I am about movies… it’s airtight. Unimpeachable. Go ahead & try… I’ve probably got it covered. What’s Doc Brown’s backstory? Why is he hanging out with a 17-year old boy like Marty? Is he a vampire? What about Lorraine Baines-McFly? She had some slutty tendencies, right? Can even Confident George fulfill her desires? Do you think she contacted the real Calvin Klein once he kinda blew up in the early 80’s? “Hey, remember me? Lorraine? We went to the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance a few years back? We were gonna… park? I think about you every time I’m with my husband and our three kids… one of which I named Marty on your suggestion” which led to a restraining order. Probably not since it felt like she kissed her brother (spoiler alert) but… you never really know. Look… I could go on for days… but I’ll probably save it for a podcast.
Anyway, that’s just the original… and I hold the entire trilogy in incredibly high esteem… or at least I thought I did until I saw the kind of incredible fans of this movie that are interviewed in this film. Have you ever wanted a DeLorean? Of course you have! Everybody has & does! These are the people that not only have a DeLorean… but tricked it out to be an exact replica of the movie’s time machine version… and go to BTTF conventions… and run website forums around the movie… and recreate the town square of 1955 Hill Valley… and travel as a cover band… and have full-on musical productions inspired by the movie… and make 9-hole miniature golf courses based on the movie in their backyards. They’re in a WHOLE different stratosphere of fandom… and it’s pretty damn awesome. This movie goes over not just the production of the film (including the story of how it got greenlit & the famous casting change of Eric Stoltz as Marty) but then into all the fandom and how so many people were affected by this movie. There are some great interviews with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Claudia Wells, Lea Thompson, James Tolkan and many, many more. It’s extremely interesting… and I assume since you like good movie, you all love Back to the Future… so check it out. It’s currently streaming on Netflix as well and is a good way to spend 90 minutes.
Wednesday, Izzy swung by Seven Stills Distillery to pick up our new “fresh” barrels for aging our homebrew… but she also had a wonderful opportunity to help bottle some of their DELICIOUS spirits and learn the process a little bit. She’ll probably elaborate more on her blog (Untidy Venus) but in payment for helping them out for  few hours… they were kind enough to share some of their delicious products which we’d admittedly had a very hard time finding in stores… so we got to try some of the defect bottles…

First up was Chocasmoke, which is whiskey distilled from chocolate oatmeal stout & peat smoked malted barley. The result is a fairly smooth whiskey (though 47% ABV burns a bit when you’re not primed for it) with great smoky & chocolaty notes… as a fan of whiskey AND stouts, I highly recommend it.
Then we tried their Whipnose Whiskey, which is made from a Double IPA in collaboration with Pacific Brewing Laboratory along with some maple sugar. This one had more notes of citrus & kind of a rye bitterness… but it was MUCH mellower than what I was expecting with the threat of so many pounds of hops used in the original brew and then being distilled. There’s little trace of that. Also a good whiskey… like there’s rarely bad whiskeys, am I right? They also gave us a few samples of their Bitters but we’ve yet to try those… we’re not much for cocktails usually. We’re far too casual with our drinking… like marathon runners instead of dashers.
Friday night, well… it’s been a while since I mentioned this… but Izzy & I got a few more barrels for aging beer from Seven Stills Distillery this past week… one of which will be aging our Scotch Ale that we started a few weeks ago… and another that we’ll be aging our latest Cider in until Big Ben & Lone Cicerone are ready with their latest brew that they want to barrel age. All of which will be fantastic I’m sure… but here are some pictures of the process of preparing the brew & the barrels for aging…
We’ll also be bottling our Barrel Aged Chocolate Porter soon from our first barrel… which is starting to turn sour a bit… so we’ll soon be preparing a Flemish Red or something like that to age in it for quite some time. That’s right ladies & gentleman… our first (intentional) sour beer is coming VERY soon… as well as our first Belgian beer… but more on that in the coming weeks. Until then, Happy Halloween everybody!!! Have a wonderful & safe weekend!!!

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