Monday, January 25, 2016

SF Beer Week - Part One

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
The other night we watched… an interesting movie called “The Ice Pirates” starring Robert Urich, incredibly young versions of Anjelica Huston & Ron Perlman… and I’ve now found a movie that stars that Bruce Vilanch guy you used to see on Hollywood Squares. This story is set in the far far future… in space… where water is the most valuable substance of all... which makes sense in a way. Well, a pirate crew led by Captain Jason (Urich) goes around stealing ice (cuz you know… water) and they stumble upon an adventure involving a space princess… and they try to help her find her father… and there’s a lot of robots, bad jokes, time warps, space herpes, swashbuckling, random N-bombs, more robots, space prairie dogs, a steamy “sex” scene in a Holodeck & more. Seriously though… the steamy sex scene… is apparently in a Holodeck that rains a torrential downpour… so essentially making it the most expensive make-out session of all time… you know… in this future world where that’s the equivalent of dry humping in liquid platinum or something. Anyway, this is billed as a space comedy (a few years before Mel Brooks proved it can actually be done with “Spaceballs”) but… it really isn’t funny. Like… I’m not even sure where you’re supposed to laugh half the time. I mean… it’s interesting just from a “What the… What am I watching? Was coke really THAT big in 1984?” kind of viewing… or “Holy sh*t! Is that Ron Perlman?” but other than that… might wanna pass on this one. It’s 80’s crap… but then again, maybe that’s your thing. If so, have at it. Probably not going to be watching this again.
Next up was a pair of superhero movies from last year… with vastly different public reactions. First up, I finally watched “Ant Man” starring Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Michael Pena, and others. This was the Marvel movie that seemed to be in development limbo for the longest time with the likes of directors / writers like Edgar Wright (“Shaun of the Dead”) and Adam MacKay (Will Ferrell’s career) all being involved… but then backing out. Same with the star that would play the titular role… so there was a LOT of questions in whether this movie was going to be worth a watch. Rest assured, it totally is. So the story is about a sort of Robin Hood-esque bank robbing character named Scott (Rudd) who has just been released from prison… and is going straight… and wants to see his young daughter… but it’s hard to get a job when you’re a convicted felon apparently. Well, while doing a heist at the home of a mysterious rich man (Douglas), he stumbles upon a special suit that allows the wearer to shrink in size, yet retain their strength & abilities… maybe even enhances them (that part was very vague & inconsistent throughout the movie). The man who owned/developed it had used it during the Cold War… but feared that it would get in the hands of the wrong people. Well, smash cut to the technology getting into the hands of the wrong people who have taken over his company in the meantime… and now he has to recruit Scott to wear the suit & save the world. I’ll admit, it’s kind of an odd story… but what really sets this movie apart is the GREAT banter between the characters & how it’s executed… and there are also some very interesting (borderline nauseating) action sequences while using the suit and switching between the sizes. I would HIGHLY recommend checking this movie out! Yeah, I’m sure you’ve probably seen it already… but yeah, check it out if you haven’t. I was late to the party… and this will NOT be the Death of Superhero movies.

Next up was this year’s re-reboot of “Fantastic 4” starring Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara & Jamie Bell as the titular group… and Toby Kebbell as Victor Von Doom… spoiler alert… he’s the bad guy. You TOTALLY wouldn’t have seen it coming based on the name. Even if it was an M. Night Shyamalan movie. Instead this movie was directed by Josh Trank (“Chronicle”) and… apparently this movie flopped SO F**KING HARD in theatres… and there was SO MUCH TURMOIL through the production of the movie & his interaction with the actors… that he may never have a big Hollywood movie ever again… and apparently he seems okay with that. It was odd hearing about the development of this movie… but yeah, regardless. You try to watch this movie with fresh eyes. I mean… could it really be worse than the two previous Fantastic Four movies? Or that late 80’s version that I’ve also seen? Both are hard to imagine. Well, the story is about these four SUPER smart teenagers from different background coming together with a sort of government braintrust to develop teleportation technology that… apparently two of these high school kids figured out on their own working in junk yards & stuff. Okay… so they come together to develop it… and there’s this mysterious dirt that comes back on things that are teleported… and it goes to a planet in another dimension (wait… stay with me). Then the government wants to step in to take over the project… because it’s risky. Fact. Well, the kids are unsupervised… have a few beers… and decide that THEY should be the first people to travel to the other dimension… so they start up the teleporter, go check it out… lose one of the team members there… HUGE fiasco… that leaves them with superpowers. The story goes from there… but honestly, the movie wasn’t as bad as everybody made it out to be. Was it enjoyable? Not really. The effects were kind of cool. Probably the biggest problem… was that some of the character motivations & decision making… is just f**king stupid. Also, I REALLY think that Kate Mara was FURIOUS throughout the making of this movie (and given the director’s challenges, very possible) because there is ZERO charisma or chemistry from her AT ALL in this movie. She’s basically a b**ch throughout… and I’m not sure that’s what her character is supposed to be? In the comics, Sue Storm was the binding agent that held the team together, right? It’s been a while… but yeah, stupid decisions being made by supersmart teenagers… but I’d still give it a glance. I don’t see them popping up in Avengers or any crossovers any time soon… if ever. Still, for the subject matter… what can you REALLY expect? Fantastic 4 has always been… a bit of a fantastical stretch for disbelief (GAMMA RAYS!!!) so trying to set it in a live-action true-ish atmosphere is gonna be tough. If this version didn’t do it… then I don’t see it really doing a Christopher Nolan reboot type of reimagining… and after losing tens of millions of dollars, I don’t see it ever getting funded either. Oh well… Marvel will be just fine… as will the respective actors & actresses in this movie. Probably not the director though… sorry Josh…
This weekend was also the start of SF Beer Week 2016 (scheduled a little early due to the Super Bowl clusterf**k over the next two week, BTW congratulations to the Denver Broncos & Carolina Panthers!!!) and Izzy & I are taking it pretty low key this year. See… almost everything involved with SF Beer Week is either SUPER expensive considering what’s being offered… or LOTS of people in a little space… but we’re trying to get involved in a few key, fun things. We stopped by BevMo to get some beverages to enjoy throughout… and that’ll be elaborated on our podcast later this week… but there were a few others things.
Our first adventure was going to Sessions at the Presidio on Sunday experience the Battle of the Guilds, where professional craftbrewers from San Francisco, San Diego & Los Angeles all came… set up their jockey boxes with some special beers… and basically for $4 per 10 ounce pour, you get to try their beverages… and vote for the city to win… the Battle of the Guilds. We met some great people, tried some great beers… it was a little odd where it’s essentially professional quality beer in a very homebrew presentation with the jockey boxes… yet also in a fairly elegant environment at a nice place like Sessions. Overall, I highly recommend it… and we made it out of there for about $20 for two of us & had a great time.
Later on Sunday, we FINALLY kegged our Barrel Aged Scotch Ale for the upcoming SF Homebrewers Guild / Seven Stills Distillery Barrel Aging Competition this coming Sunday. Basically, after trying this… and trying some of Izzy’s Unicorn Drool (barrel aged cider from a month or so ago), we’ve basically decided that everybody else is playing for 3rd Place… because we’re going to win this thing. We’ll show off the trophy next week… but in the meantime, here are some pictures of the kegging process…


We also transferred our Imperial Stout to the then-vacant barrel… so in a few months (possibly around mid-to-late April, wink wink) we should have The Return of $teve’s Birthday Cake!!! Until then, we still have about a case of our first batch from last year to please our palettes. Mmm… come on by & we may share some…
Well, a busy week still going on… but plenty of great things to report on in the coming days. Stay tuned! The San Francisco Homebrewers Guild / Seven Still Barrel Aging Competition is going to be hella fun!!! Also, a GREAT way to end SF Beer Week!!! Let me know if you’d like to check it out. I think we may have a few extra tickets. Have a great day everybody!!!

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