Showing posts from 2014

Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale

The guy at the distributor spoke very highly of this beer. A friend said the name and then giggled. I had never heard of it before, but the guy at the good distributor (I was VERY happy to finally find a good one) said there were a lot of requests for it. I hope the people who made the requests knew what they were talking about.

It's got heavy carbonation to form a nice, creamy, sticky head. The color is an orange so dark that it's turning brown. The aroma reminds me of a Farmhouse Ale I recently had - earthy and a little spicy with oranges or lemon squirted in for good measure. The head leaves considerably lacing on the sides that has the tenacity of a dog on a chew toy.

First sip is delightful as just a sip. All too often, a sip is too complex to really take in as an effect of the overall beverage. In this case, the taste is simple enough that it doesn't overwhelm the tastebuds. American Pale Ales might be my favorites because of their honest character.

A proper swig bri…

Yazoo Americana Fest Ale

Yazoo is a local Nashville brewer who has brewed perfectly tolerable, yet unremarkable beers. I understand that this is a limited edition beer, and I don't know if that means that it's experimental and might be terrible or that it's the best that the brewmaster can do, and he has convinced the bosses to let him release a limited run of it. Let's find out.

The color is a semi-cloudy deep golden amber. The head is awful frothy. I don't mean that it's awful, but that it's very frothy. It sticks to the sides like one of those rubber sticky frogs that slowly cralws down a wall when you throw them. The aroma is floral hops and spices with a hint of citrus and very, very light malt that smells of bread.

First sip is really different that what I expected. It's sour at first, but then it turns into something else. I'm not sure what that something is right off the bat, but it's not unpleasant. I think this tastes like a wheat beer rather than an ale. I don…

The Expendables 3 (2014)

I freely admit to having liked the first Expendables movie. The second movie wasn't as good, but they both had mindless violence and ludicrous villains with outrageously off the wall stories that combined to be the epitome of what action movies were like during the heyday of great bad movies in the 80s and 90s. I had lower expectations for this movie based solely on the buzz that surrounded it.

This movie was made PG-13 to try and get a larger theater audience, and that means that the main reason to watch the movie - simulated violence and excessive gun play - all get neutered. Now, the animated blood from some of the Statham knife scenes was pretty terrible in the first couple movies, but at lest they tried. In this movie, they really don't do that, even though the introduce Wesley Snipes as another blade-wielder who gets in a bit of a rivalry with Jason.

Let's talk about the sheer number of people in this movie - it is unbelievable. I'm shocked that I recognize most …

Rhinelander Mystical Jack Traditional Ale

Named after the mythical jackalope, this beer comes from the midwest's Mecca of beer, Wisconsin. It comes from Monroe, so it's not from the heart of midwest brewing, Milwaukee, but it can claim some beer lovers around itself. The 7% ABV is high for a beer, but it is certainly not high compared to most of the beers I've had lately.

There is substantial head on this one. It froths its way out of the bottle as soon as you open it, and I'm not sure it ever really settles. Eventually, it starts to lose its energy to stay afloat and leaves heavy, heavy lacing on the sides of the glass. It is so strong and wonderful that I'm thinking about making it into a wallpaper for my guest room. The color is a deep mahogany (almost black). The aroma is strong - malty, smoky and nutty.

The first sip is smoke and mirrors. Well, maybe not mirrors, but it has a noticeable metallic taste along with a bit of nuts and raisins, and this makes it a very interesting beer. The label calling it…

Sloan's Batch 8 Fall Pumpkin Mead

This is not beer. I don't know why I expected mead to be more meaty, cloudy, and it should probably come with a viking horde to quaff it all over the place. This one didn't come with any of that. It's more wine-like in its presentation, and Robert Sloan, brewer of this beverage, insists that this is the way it is intended. We shall see if the way it is intended is the way it should be, or if beer is the natural progression that we should not allow regression from.

The color is that of a white wine. It is clear as a bell with absolutely no head. I have poured flat Coke, Pepsi, and even a beer or two, and I can tell you that this beats them all with its flatness. The aroma is an odd one. It smells more like wine than anything, but there is more... it's got a spiky sweet smell that adds more thickness to the aroma.

First sip is very sweet with a definite pumpkin husk overtone. It also has a distinct grainy taste about it that I might attribute to yeast. What is odd is the…

Sugarlands Shine Butterscotch Gold Moonshine

Let's face it, I'm not a moonshine guy. I farm out the reviews of rum and pretty much any other liquor that I can get to my friend Will. The moonshine results have been almost entirely negative. The only bright spot has been the FireFly Apple Pie, and that was pretty good. Will I find another diamond in the rough?

The color is essentially apple juice from concentrate. The aroma is strong, as I expected from another moonshine. It's actually a lot more gentle than others that I've encountered. The butterscotch is very noticeable, and the traditional 'shine smell of nail polish remover is definitely stinging my nostrils. But, my new friends at possibly the best liquor/beer/wine store in the world insist that this is a very drinkable beverage.

First sip does not burn nearly as much as others have. It's still not like eating a butterscotch candy or anything, but the burn is subtle. It hits the back of the mouth, and then the butterscotch soothes the throat as the me…

Angry Orchard Strawman Farmhouse Hard Cider

This is certainly not bottled like the other Angry Orchard ciders. The 750ML bottle has a natural cork and a whole lot more fizz than others of its ilk. The bottle is dark, and the scarecrow on the front is kind of creepy. The 10% ABV is substantial, and the wait is over. It is time to pour it.

The aroma is strong. It smells like apple wine - which I guess is what it is. It has more of a wine smell than any of the other ciders I've had, and I have had quite a few. The color is a hazy bronze/gold with a head that comes out pretty thick, but it dissipates about as quickly as a Coke does. The aroma has me put off a bit, as I'm not really a wine guy, and I'd say this smells like a white wine with apple juice added to it.

First sip is strong as hell. I mean, it's not a burning ball of fire like some of the moonshine that I've tried, but it has a very strong wine taste going on. I'm really surprised that apples can lead to something that tastes this much like wine. M…

Deliver Us from Evil (2014)

I wanted this movie to be good. It got better than 6.0 at IMDB, and that's why I gave it a chance. Look, it had Joel McHale, who I think has quite a bit of talent, Olivia Munn, who is similarly talented, and Eric Bana has been in some good movies - Troy, Munich, Lone Survivor, Black Hawk Down, Closed Circuit, and Deadfall. Yes, he was in that crapfest of a CG-enhanced Hulk movie, but we're going to ignore that for now.

This movie wasn't terrible. Eric is a cop - he's a super special cop - and his buddy is also a cop - another super special cop - played by Joel McHale. It's unclear where these guys learned their skills, but they clearly hold their own against seasoned soldiers, so they have to be pretty good, but it would have been nice to get more of their back story. I wish I could say why they are supposed to be so good, why they get their choice of assignments, or why Joel's character is obsessed with knives.

Olivia is Eric's wife, and she doesn't re…

The Homesman (2014)

This movie has like 50 producers and more importantly has an actor directing it. In fact, he wrote it, produced it, directed it, and stars in it. I normally refer to this as The Great Flaw, as it usually results in a movie that is too ambitious, and something suffers. In this movie, things suffer a little less, but things still suffer.

There is a mental illness that is afflicting women in the village that Hillary Swank is living in. Hillary, a lone woman with a farm and some cattle, winds up being saddled with the responsibility of taking the crazy women across the country during winter to a city where they can get help and (potentially for some) get reunited with family. Tommy Lee is just a guy she picks up to help her with the women for the trip. He reluctantly joins her, and he demonstrates a questionable morality.

Here's the deal with this thing: it's a well made, but tediously slow movie. It relies on very nice cinematography, good acting, and a very, very simple story. I…

Goose Island Matilda Belgian Style Pale Ale

I've had a few Goose Island beers before, and they've been prettygood. It made me choose to pick up this "high gravity" beer with a 7% ABV, a script that was meant to be on a wine bottle, and a label made from paper that I could use for a résumé. This is a very unusual beer from them, and a Belgian style is a bit of a gamble from most brewer.

A murky deep golden color is topped with a frothy head that leaves a good amount of lacing on the sides as it dies down to a thin blanket stretched across the top. The aroma is strong with this one. It's a spicy smell with pine and apple that puts me in mind of musty Christmas decorations.

First sip revels an echo of the aroma. As is often the case, the sip doesn't give a full story. When a beer is particularly complex, sipping it is just not enough time dedicated to letting the tastebuds filter out all of the complex tastes. The sip in this case is too much pine and I don't know where the musty taste is coming from,…

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

This movie has everything. It has action, humor, a solid story that is part of a much larger continuum, conflict, tough choices, and villains who seem unbeatable. I hate to start the review with such a glowing recommendation, as a lot of people will just read that part and not bother with the rest, but I'm willing to take that risk.

I didn't expect to like Chris Pratt in the role of Star-Lord, as I had gotten so used to him as the bumbling fool in Parks and Recreation. He never really had the physique to be the leading man, he didn't seem to have the presence, and he was hard to take seriously. How do you work around that? Well, you have him work out, give him a good character, and make the movie funny enough that his natural comedic ability has the opportunity to set the level.

Zoe Saldana takes a break from being awesome in so many damn movies to be an attitude-wielding bad ass in this one. From the drama of Out of the Furnace to the action of Star Trek and the wild ride…

Samuel Adams Double Bock

I had this beer a long while ago, and I remember really, really liking it. I started to drink it almost to the exclusion of other beers (much like what later happened with Guinness before they screwed it up.) This is a super lager, as far as I'm concerned. It takes the attributes of sweet malt and just piles it on more and more. It is to lagers what an IPA is to ales.

The beer is a very, very dark brown with an aroma that is strong and malty. It is a sweet and cherry malt, and the smell is so strong that it makes its way from the table beside me to my nose very nicely. The smell is growing on me. The head is pretty meager, and it goes down quickly to an incomplete blanket across the top. It leaves little lacing, but experience tells me that it used to be there.

First sip is as thick as a vault door. It is smokey and fruity with the cherry taste very noticeable. The malt is grainy and still really, really thick - like drinking a milkshake. Other flavors are too subtle for a sip, bu…

Labor Day (2013)

There's no real reason that this movie needs to take place on Labor Day. There is likely some metaphorical reason for it, but that's not a real reason, is it? In fact, I can think of at least three things it could be a metaphor for, but I may be thinking this through a little too much. Either way, it doesn't enter into the main thrust of the story at all.

Kate Winslet is a single mother who is afraid to go outside, deal with people, or pretty much do anything. She effectively seems busy quite a bit with not a whole heap actually getting done. She plays the character as very demure, introverted and kind of rabbity. When Josh Brolin comes along as the friendly and trustworthy escaped convict, it's self-evident that love will be in the air. But, will he get along with her son played by Gattlin Griffith? Oh look, he's a natural father.

I'm not big on romantic dramas, but this one wasn't as horrible as some. I could totally see this airing on Lifetime in the mid…

Rock Bridge "Rye You Lil' Punk" Rye IPA

Beer in a can? Well, the only other one I've had while writing this blog was Heady-Topper, and it was a pretty good beer. I generally avoid beer in cans, as my experience with cans is that the metallic taste tends to leach into the beer. Particularly hoppy beers, or very complex beers, can avoid this like heavy metal music can avoid tape hiss - just drown it out.

The frothy head eventually settles to a pillowy mass atop a dark and murky gold-tinted brown. It is one of the prettiest beers I've seen in a while. The aroma wafts a good distance, and it reeks of a delicate mixture of sweet malt and floral hops. It is a very enticing smell, and I'm very much looking forward to drinking it, but I'll start with a single sip.

That first sip brings a little pine, a little floral, a little sweet, a bit caramel, and possibly a tiny bit of citrus. The effect is nice and balanced, which is not entirely expected. I expect a beer that has a lot of hops to be off-balance when it comes …

The Two Faces of January (2014)

I saw an interview with Viggo Mortensen where he was promoting this movie, and they showed a clip. After Viggo described the character he was playing, and watching the clip, I had an idea of what the character was. It turns out, I actually had no idea what the character was like. I expected him to be more like all of the other characters he has played who are physically intimidating and have something menacing going on behind the eyes. That was not him.

The movie is very... pretty. For some reason, Viggo's shirt always looks pretty clean, and the landscape shots are very nice. Kirsten Dunst was done up like a 1950s wife going on safari with her husband, and it put me in mind of an Alfred Hitchcock movie like North By Northwest. I didn't even recognize her at first.

Oscar Isaac is the only other major character. He is a local con man who helps the couple out by translating and guiding them around Athens. He's also an American, so it seems to work out pretty well for everyon…

Founders All Day IPA Session Ale

Another Founders beer. The first was the excellent Dirty Bastard, and I am always afraid that a great beer is going to be followed up with a beer that demonstrates that they are human after all. Even Lagunitas had a bad beer (which is the exception that proves the rule of Lagunitas being the best brewery on the planet).

The color is a somewhat misty orangeish gold. The foam is not really all that thick, but it's pretty damn sticky. It leaves a lacing that covers the sides of the glass pretty well. The aroma is of floral and herbal hops with a bit of sweet malt lingering in the background. There is a slight musty smell coming from the hops, but it's not entirely off-putting.

First sip is very, very smooth. It has a dried flowers kind of taint around the outsides, but the overall impression of the beer is that it is possibly a bit too mild. A second sip to confirm this taste actually reveals pine as one of the overall tastes. I don't remember that from the first sip, but tha…

Samuel Adams Third Voyage Double IPA

Here's the thing about Sam Adams - when a waitress tells you that they have Sam Adams on tap, they are referring only to the Boston Lager. I don't know if they guys at Sam Adams are happy that the Boston Lager is so well known or sad that all of the other, excellent beverages that they make are completely ignored by the populace at large.

The color is dark copper, and the head is thick and luscious. It grips the sides firmly, and the lacing left on them shows the few bubbles who refuse to give up. The fluffy bed of foam sits atop the beer like a pillow. The aroma is of floral hops and some sweet malt. I am thirsty, and I really want to drink some of this, so let's stop fooling around.

First sip is floral and sweet. Jeebus, that tastes really, really good. I just want to drink this whole bottle right freaking now. Instead, I'll opt for a big swig to let me taste all the layers of goodness.

Tip-in is that same sweet floral taste that made me want to drink this whole thin…

Schlafly Tripel Ale

I've had this kind of beer, and they should share similar characteristics. As the others have gotten better than average ratings, I expect to like this tripel pretty well. I don't think I have had a Schlafly beer before, so this is a treat the whole way around. I'm loving my new beer distributor.

The color is a murky gold with a head that reaches to the stars. When I cracked the bottle, the bubbles just cascaded right down the side of the bottle. This is indicative of a bottle conditioned beer, and that would also go hand-in-hand with the murkiness of the beer. The aroma is fairly faint, but I smell hops and malt. Who'd have thought? I can also smell some citrus hanging around with the malt, and the malt is very bready - like a dinner roll.

First sip is a strong ass beverage. It's tart and bitter with orange, apple, and spices mixed in. It actually reminds me of a Magic Hat #9 with orange and apple instead of apricot. There's also a noticeable burn of carbonati…

Southern Tier Crème Brûlée

I'm looking forward to this one. I enjoy the rare crème brûlée when I happen to be in a snooty enough place to buy it, which is not often at all - I may have had it five times in my life. I don't know what exactly to make of a beer that claims to be anything like that delicious desert and also has a picture of a cow on the front. Milk stout?

The color is black with almost no head to speak of. I was really surprised how little carbonation there was overall, and I started to fear that this was another skunked beer, but I got this from City Sliquors and I have been assured that they rotate their stock regularly (unlike the last place). Also, it doesn't have the skunky smell about it - instead, it's aroma puts me in mind of a coffee house with its dark roasted malts and sweet vanilla highlights. Honestly, I think I could use this as an air freshener, it smells so good.

First sip is a very interesting one. It is much more sweet than I had expected; this is very clearly a ty…

Shine On Georgia Moon Apple Pie

The problem with moonshines I've had to date is their unrelenting burning alcohol taste, but they try to cover it up with flavoring. The thing is, I've had a few straight White Lightening versions from different makers, and it is not a solid base for anything. The fact that they can add something and make it as good as the FireFly Apple Pie is astounding. I'm thinking that Georgia might know the same secret.

The color is murky, pale yellow. It looks like a watery Limoncello. It does not, however, smell like one. Instead, it smells rather predictably like cinnamon and apple with a hint of lighter fluid. The smell alone reminds me of the excellent FireFly Apple Pie that I had a while back, and that certainly sets it up for a win. You may notice a slight discoloration on one side of the label - that's because these damn jars are so hard to pour from.

A sip tells the story of a very potent, but a flavorful beverage. I fear that this one is going to require ice in it, thoug…

Casino Jack (2010)

Kevin Spacey performs the crap out of this role. He almost carries the movie on his back - almost. He plays Jack Abramoff during the peak of his dealings with paying people off, stealing from people, and generally doing terrible things for which he inevitably gets thrown in jail.

Barry Pepper plays Michael Scanlon, Kevin's friend who takes Kevin's orders and is just as deep into taking as much money being a dirty, evil lobbyist as he can. The problem is that he tries to be a full supporting character, but Kevin is just larger than the rest of the film at all times. As a result, his performance goes almost entirely unnoticed.

Rachelle Lefevre, Kelly Preston, and Maury Chaykin are stuck in the same boat, as they can't really do much more than set the stage for Kevin to come in and do his thing. They do a good enough job, but the script is written to feature Kevin, and Kevin is just too much person for this role and everyone around him. I wish I could pinpoint what the proble…

Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale

Blue Moon is an underrated brewery, but that doesn't mean every beer they make will be a hit. After all, even the platinum standard for breweries - Lagunitas - has the occasional bad beer. Blue Moon hasn't demonstrated that they are up to the standard of Lagunitas or even the slightly lower (but still very respectable Gold Standard of Sam Adams. Let's give their latest a shot at the crown, though.

I'd start with the color or something, but I'm actually going to go with the aroma first. Why? Freaking clove, man. It is pouring out of my stationary beer like I have set fire to a bundle of cloves in there. I feel like I should be eating ham with this beer. Nestled within the clove cloud is a sweet malt that peeks out a bit. The color is a brown-tinged copper with a little bit of haziness going on. The head is small to begin with, and it leaves a very thin blanket across the top when it sits.

First sip is more than clove, that's for sure. There's pumpkin, spices…

Blue Moon Cinnamon Horchata Ale

I was genuinely surprised when I liked Blue Moon's Belgian White as much as I did. I've had a fewmore, and even the worst is not that bad. This is a Horchata ale, and that can mean a lot of things. In this case, it means that long grain rice was used in the brewing process. How will sharing an extra ingredient with Budweiser work out? Let's find out.

The color is a dishwater hazy yellow color of a regular wheat beer. It's somewhere around the color of light straw, and the head is exceptionally short. The aroma is nearly non-existent, but I detect grainy malt and a pinch of cinnamon. There is also the telltale wheat beer citrus (specifically lemon) hovering around the outskirts of the smell.

First sip brings a very simple, mild, almost milky beverage that tastes unsurprisingly of cinnamon. The sweet malt makes the whole thing seem really smooth and silky. It doesn't have enough flavor to really stand up to anything as a sipping beer, but it might be a good one to kn…

Maleficent (2014)

Disney has piles of money and can produce any movie they want to. They have their pick of a million different properties that might delight parents and children alike. Why they feel the need to retell the same stories over and over again, repackaged as all new, I'll never know, but this is the retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story from the perspective of the Wicked Witch.

This movie takes CG to where it has been many times before - butting in where it doesn't belong. Rather than using forced perspective on wider shots, someone decided that it would be a good idea to CG the three fairy godmothers when they were small (they get bigger - don't ask). As a result, they don't look magical as little fairies, they look like tiny little CG imaginings with unusually stiff faces and oddly proportioned bodies.

Maleficent herself suffers from CGness every time she takes to the skies. The CG wings aren't enough - it used to be that you would fake the wings with the computer and…

Joy Ride (2001, 2008, 2014)

The basics for this franchise are rooted in utter simplicity and improbability. Truckers are a misunderstood, generally feared, and easy group to pick on (who hasn't complained about a truck on the road every now and then?) So, these movies cast a shadowy evil trucker as the bad guy who, like most of these kinds of movies, has supernatural powers that are never explained and an appetite for death and dismemberment that cannot be sated.

Joy Ride (2001)

This is an odd film from its very inception. It was written by two guys, one of whom was J.J.Abrams. Released as both Joy Ride and Roadkill, it stars the late Paul Walker and was actually released after his rise to stardom in The Fast and The Furious (the first one). It also stars Steve Zahn, who is a very good actor in his own right and has been in such good movies as That Thing You Do, Dallas Buyers Club, and the Knights of Badassdom.

Paul is the poor kid who is making good by having gotten a scholarship to a good college and he hop…

Southern Tier Pumking Imperial Ale

I usually avoid beers that appear to be trying too hard not to be beer, but it's Halloween, and nothing says All Hallows Eve like a pumpkin. And the king of the pumpkins? Must be the Pumking. Southern Tier has brought us a very good ale and an uninspired Xmas beer. Let's see if their autumnal beverage can reflect the goodness of the former while avoiding the excesses of the latter.

The head (what there is of it) flees the top of the beer like an ISIS fighter upon seeing a drone overhead. What is left is a wisp of bubbles that hang around trying to look inconspicuous, clinging to the walls and reaching out to the stranded island of friends floating in the middle. The color is cloudy and more brown than gold. The aroma is a bowl of spices and a slice of sweet pumpkin pie with a flaky crust of bready malt. It smells pretty good.

First sip is stronger than I expected. You can definitely taste the pumpkin and the spices, and they overwhelm the beer. The issue, I think, is that it t…

Sex Tape (2014)

Do you remember the Sandra Bullock movie The Net? I remember watching it and thinking how stupid it was that anyone could believe the premise, which was laden with technical faults to the point of near aneurysm. Well, this movie takes the prolific technology of the iPad and iTunes and iCloud and pretends that none of us knows how it works. I mean, if we knew how it worked, there would be no movie, would there?

Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel are a couple whose life went from constant sex to multiple children and no spark. So, to restart their love life, they decide to make a sex tape with an iPad. Wait, you may say, don't most iPads have pretty crappy cameras? Why wouldn't they opt for a phone that would be more mobile and easier to use? Look, let's not go nuts with the nit-picking just yet. The insanity will come later.

You see, Jason keeps two iPads at a time, and he gives the many, many, many old ones away as presents. He describes the sync method that he uses as "rea…

A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)

Do you like Family Guy? I'm not a huge fan, but I expect people who are fans would really like this movie. It has a certain amount of very juvenile humor coupled with generic nerd and hypochondria with a bit of slapstick humor and jokes that are glancingly funny and get hammered into the ground by a script that assumes everyone loves hearing the same joke over and over again.

There is one version of the movie poster that proudly proclaims that it is "from the makers of TED" and that should have been a clue that this was not going to be a particularly cerebral kind of comedy. This was substantially better than Ted, but it suffers from some of the same flaws; this is even despite the large number of decent actors who are involved in it. The underlying problem is that, like Ted before it, this movie made money, and that just encourages these people to make more.

Seth MacFarlane has an almost Woody Alan style of neurotic acting that is enjoyable for some people. I feel it ge…

The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh (2012)

When the credits rolled on this movie my wife succinctly summed it up with, "Well that was a waste of time."

This movie drowns itself in silence. The main character is on screen for almost the entire movie, but he has fewer lines than his mother who is dead before the movie starts. As a result, there is a lot happening on screen that has almost no audio to go with it - it's a shame I paid so much for my sound system. The movie's attempt to be artsy more than communicative results in what winds up being a very dull experience that simply does not get across the horror that we are supposed to be feeling.

Aaron Poole plays the grown son of the woman who owned the house that this movie takes place in. He is generally somber and seems annoyed at the sheer volume of religious artifacts in the house. I don't blame him, as they aren't even all from the same religion, so it's kind of hard to understand what the mother even believed in, as she speaks of the importa…

Neighbors (2014)

There is a point in your life when movies about college hijinks stop being the free-for-all fun that they used to be where the glimpse of a nipple, the shaking of a rear, or the quaffing of copious amounts of alcohol start to lose their appeal. At some point, the struggle between the fraternity and the evil dean is a little simplistic and hard to justify. This movie is about the people who recognize that the real world has to take over at some point, and they are dealing with a frat moving into the house next door.

We are supposed to root for Seth Rogan and his wife (played by Rose Byrne) who have a newborn daughter and have to deal with this frat that just moved in. The problem is that they demonstrate none of the qualities that stable people in the real world have. They are terrible parents who leave their daughter unattended for huge swaths of time, they are irresponsible to the point that you have to wonder how they could have bought their house in the first place, and they do dru…

The Guard (2011)

This movie is the very definition of a sleeper. I don't remember hearing about it when it came out, even though it had Don Cheadle and Brendan Gleeson in it. Don is kind of hit and miss (although not nearly as much as Cuba Gooding, Jr.) but Brendan is usually pretty good no matter what. He reminds me of Brian Cox in that respect.

The movie is about an Irish police officer as he goes about his daily business. This business includes things such as frequenting hookers, covering up for teens who did stupid things and need a little help, and various other tasks that would not normally be ascribed to a law enforcement officer. I don't know that I would call this a buddy cop movie, but I can't think of another way to describe it.

Don comes along as the American with an on-again-off-again Southern accent who is in pursuit of a bunch of drug dealers that he, as a member of the CIA, has been tracking. He is trying to help the local constabulary find and apprehend the aforementioned b…

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

I entered into this movie with relatively high hopes. I mean, I loved The Transformers as a kid, and I was stoked to find out that I wouldn't have to see Shia LaBeouf in these movies anymore. The addition of Marky Mark isn't necessarily a good thing, but it HAS to be an improvement over Shia. I was unprepared for the movie that I got - it was disappointing to the point that I may just choose to not watch anything else from the franchise.

I'm not even sure who their target audience is anymore. This movie is rated PG-13 (just like the previous ones) for some simulated violence, sexual language, and more cursing than I remember from any of the other movies. The real draw for Transformers is that they transform from robots into cars and planes and other stuff that is fairly common - so they are "robots in disguise." The previous movies generated a lot of complaints due to the strange and complicated nature of the robots making most of them look nearly identical and s…

Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)

I remember watching Mr. Peabody and Sherman as part of the Rocky and Bullwinkle show. The thing about both of these cartoons is that they are layered in subtext and have a whole lot of jokes that go over kids' heads that adults can enjoy. This movie had some of that, but there wasn't much. They relied on puns for laughs more than anything else.

The story is nonsensical and irrelevant. I mean, we're starting with a genius dog who adopted a boy and also invented a time machine. Suffice to say that some people have a problem with a dog as a parent, there are issues at school, and the hijinks ensue when Sherman and his female companion take the time machine for a quick spin. I'm not sure I recognized any of the voices other than Stephen Colbert as Sherman's female friend's father and Patrick Warburton as a Greek soldier.

The odd thing is that they seem like they are trying to teach actual history at times, and they are pretty clearly making stuff up or perpetuating…

Scotch…in the Caribbean (The Balvenie)

Alright, the title was a stretch I’ll admit, but I think you’ll see what I’m on about soon.

First off though, I feel I may owe an apology to Lost Spirits Rum.  In retrospect, I feel I've made an error in my initial process…I tried to treat their rum the same way you drink Scotch.  I don’t drink rum straight, and I’d say most people don’t.  My beautiful wife and I took Lost Spirits with us to a local Polynesian BYOB restaurant and they serve a "Hawaiian Tea" that’s basically orange, pineapple, and lime juices mixed with a little brewed tea.  Perfect for rum!  Lost Spirits still has that…distinct…odor about it, but it went rather well in that mix.  So, still it’s on the expensive end for what I can only give an average rating to for rum.

Now then, next up I want to introduce you to my favorite Scotch.  Before we go into this I really feel it necessary to explain why I became such a fan of Scotch. In a word:  craftsmanship.  There are few distilled spirits, in my mind at le…