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Showing posts from March, 2014

Angry Orchard Traditional Dry Hard Cider

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My experience with ciders so far has been interesting. I didn't think I would like any of them, but there have been at least one or two that were really good. In fact, I might even like them more than some beers. This is my second Angry Orchard, and the first one was pretty good.

It's clear and gold like the color of straw. Like many of these ciders I've had before, the overwhelming fragrance is unsurprisingly apple. The surprising thing is that there isn't as much of an aroma emanating from the beverage; normally, the smell is very noticeable as soon as it is poured into a glass.

First sip is telling. It tastes sweet and cold. I don't mean that it is actually all that cold (although, yes, I did pull it from my beer fridge). The cold is like when you chew a, Ice Breakers hunk of gum - it's more of a taste of cold than actual cold. I'm not really sure what causes it, but that's what I'm tasting.

A big swig brings a tip-in of gentle apples and carbona…

Angry Orchard Green Apple Hard Cider

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I had a few Woodchuck hard ciders recently, and I was generally unimpressed. I mentioned it to some of my friends, and the first thing they responded with was, "Why didn't you have Angry Orchard?" Well, here you go, guys.

The color is a very pale yellow. Aside from the color, the beverage is as clear as water. The aroma is very similar to other ciders I've had - very apple with a hint of alcohol that makes it smell slightly of very fresh wine. It is not entirely unappealing.

First sip is surprisingly good. It's a lot sweeter than most of the previous ciders I've had. It's got a slight tart taste at the end, and it reminds me of just sinking my teeth in a green apple more than any of the others I've had, either.

I'm going to give this a swig.

Tip-in is nothing but apple juice. I would say that it is entirely possible that they just swapped out the cider with straight apple juice when it starts. It gets very, very sweet right in the middle - almost …

Woodchuck Granny Smith Hard Cider

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This is the last of my sample pack. The others have been a mixed bag - mostly okay, but not fantastic. This last one is based on Granny Smith apples, and I'm not sure that's a good thing. Granny Smiths are good for baking, but I'm not sure they will be good for drinking. Let's see what this thing is made of.

The color is a pale gold that you might expect from a weak light American lager. It's a little disconcerting to drink something so... yellow. The aroma is strong and apple. In the other Woodchuck ciders, I could smell the hint of alcohol or grapes or something that had changed when they allowed the beverage to ferment, but here there is none of that. It just smells like apple juice.

The first sip, however, gives a hint of the underlying alcohol (not much in all of these, mind you) before wiping it away with the tartness of the Granny Smiths. It's a lot simpler than the other Woodchuck ciders - and it is very, very different. They don't seem like they ar…

Woodchuck Amber Hard Cider

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Woodchuck has given me four different kinds of cider. Well, I bought them, but they made them. The first was overdone by trying to be different. The second and third were carbon copies of each other, and that really kind of upset me. I really got the feeling they were lying to me by labeling them differently. But, I got the sampler, so here's the next one.

This beverage is not amber. I'm used to beers saying things like "black lager" and at least being really dark. I'm used to amber beers being... amber. This is gold with a touch (just a touch, mind you) of orange. The last Woodchuck cider I had was more amber than this. So, unless they actually used the substance amber in the brewing process, which I'm pretty sure they did NOT, I don't know why they would apply this name to it. The aroma is sweet apple with a bit of sparking grape or maybe alter wine.

First sip is actually different than the last two. I had started to think that Woodchuck was just toying…

Woodchuck 802 Hard Cider

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I got this Woodchuck Hard Cider sampler pack. I want to taste what the different varieties of cider are like to see if any of them might be decent replacements for beer on a particular night. I've had some in the past, and they have been both good and bad. This is my third Woodchuck after the Fall and Winter versions failed to be very good.

The color is a slightly darker apple juice with a very slight red tint. As with the others, the slight carbonation doesn't mean there is going to be a head on this.  The aroma is almost identical to the Winter cider I had just the other day.

The first sip tells me they just switched the labels in order to create a different beverage. Seriously, couldn't they have at least used a different kind of apple? I mean, there are so many damn types of apple in the world that they HAVE to make different flavored cider, right? Or am I nuts? How can you start with a Granny Smith and wind up with the same tasting cider that you would if you used a R…

Woodchuck Winter Hard Cider

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I tried a Woodchuck cider before, and it was not a great success. I've had some success with other ciders, though. I really hope this one is one of the good ones.

The color is... these ciders are all pretty much the same color, am I right? I bet I could put them all side by side, and the variation in color would be so negligible that light source would probably have more of an effect. So, we wind up with a beverage that looks mysteriously like apple juice. Want to guess what it smells like? Nope - apple juice. Okay, apple juice with a bit alcohol.

First sip is pretty good. It's not too tart nor is it too sweet. It's got a bit of oak in there, and it definitely has a more significant alcohol taste than I would normally expect in one of these ciders. However, I suspect there is a bit more to this than meets the tongue. Time to go in for a gulp...

The tip-in is a pretty solid oak flavor. The middle reminds me of bark and maybe apple stems, but it's definitely sweet. The f…

A.C.O.D. (2013)

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A.C.O.D. stands for Adult Children Of Divorce. This movie follows a man through.. well, there isn't a whole lot that he's actually going through this side of his brother's wedding. As a result of the impending wedding, he has to get his divorced parent to deal with each other or at least tolerate being in the same room.

Adam Scott, who weekly co-stars on the NBC show Parks and Recreation, plays the son of the aforementioned divorced couple. He's now a successful restaurant owner, but that is really just a facet of his character that is ultimately unimportant for most of the movie. He plays a character very similar to the one he plays in Parks and Rec, but this one isn't as funny as that one. He certainly plays the role well enough, and it has its moments.

His father is played by Richard Jenkins as a guy who can't commit to anything and goes through wives like a guy with a cold goes through Puffs. He plays the distant yet overcompensating father well enough, but…

Homefront (2013)

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This is a Jason Statham movie, but it pretty clearly is not his normal fare. I mean, yes, it had Jason beating up on people, but that isn't a core part of the movie. Yes, it is necessary for the character to advance in the story if he has unmatched physical prowess, but that's getting a bit ahead of ourselves in this review, isn't it?

Jason is a single parent who quits the DEA after a bust goes bad. He was an undercover cop with what we can only assume is significant hand to hand training in the military or something. He brings the pretty much required loner personality of the troubled guy with a heard of gold. As they establish that his wife died a year before moving to Louisiana, it is okay for him to start dating now, right? Good, because he gets a lady friend pretty quick.

Kate Bosworth and Marcus Hester play the parents of a little fat kid who is the school bully. When he picks on Jason's little girl, she kicks his butt. This starts a feud between Jason and Kate, …

RoboCop 2 (1990)

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If you had a hit - really, an icon of the decade - aren't you obligated to come out with a sequel? This time, our evil corporation is augmented with a mad scientist. Well, a scientist more insane than the previous ones that went against all ethical standards to create RoboCop in the first place.

The desolate wasteland of Detroit is met with a financial crisis where they find they owe OCP, which I believe stands for Onerous Corporation of Poo-poo-heads, close to $40 million for various corruption, malfeasance, and mismanagement reasons. OCP has decided to make more RoboCops (better designed models - not more of the same one that is working just fine) to replace the striking police force that they themselves are managing. And the largest storyline is that of a new drug - Nuke - and the people who produce it.

We see the return of Peter Weller as the titular character, and if anything his acting is a bit worse in this film. The RoboCop walking movements are jerky, slow, and angular. Wh…

RoboCop (1987)

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Remember RoboCop? I think we all have a place in our hearts for the original movie, don't we? Well, I decided to revisit it to see if it was as awesome as I remembered.

Peter Weller - who until RoboCop had only been known for his role in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension - plays the cyborg with a badge. As most of his scenes require him to act robotically, move robotically, and speak robotically, it is pretty much a cakewalk. The portions of the movie where he is human, he pretty much doesn't have to do a lot of acting. When he is conflicted in his programming, he does this weird kind of limbs moving in slow motion almost randomly thing that doesn't really make sense in either a programming or human way. I guess the late eighties were where people didn't have any particular expectations about computers.

Nancy Allen has to play the partner who just met him, yet feels an unmistakable bond with him after he dies and can see him in RoboCop instantly…

Knights of Badassdom (2013)

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I've been looking forward to this movie for some time now. I mean, seriously, Peter Dinklage in a movie about LARPers? Who doesn't want to see that? That has awesome written all over it!

Ryan Kwantenis our main actor in here. Fresh from his role as the reliable and dim-witted brother in True Blood, Ryan plays a mechanic whose girlfriend breaks up with him. He does not take it well, as he had just written a death metal song for her, and he returns to his home to mope. In general, through the film, he does a very good job of essentially playing the straight man who is caught up in a world he is only loosely familiar with.

He lives with some guys who are seriously into LARP (Live Action Role Playing) and recreational drugs. Steve Zahn is the guy who hit it rich by selling replica weapons to LARPers and consequently owns the house and can bankroll their fun times in the woods fake casting spells and such. I always seem to like Steve in whatever supporting role he plays in a movie,…

Enemies Closer (2013)

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JCVD is not getting any younger. I don't know what it is with the action stars of my youth - they won't let go. Jean-Claude Van Damme has financial reasons, I'm sure, for wanting to ride his name as far as it will go, and I suppose I shouldn't begrudge him that right. He's not forcing me to watch his movies, I guess.

There was a glimmer of hope right off the bat. Tom Everett Scott appears well before JCVD, and I remembered him from That Thing You Do, where he was wonderful. The fact that I can't remember him in anything since then should have given me pause. It turns out, I HAD seen him in a few TV shows, but either his character was inconsequential or he just kind of blended in with all of the other supporting actors enough that I didn't notice him. In this movie, he does a very good job, I have to say. If the movie had not been saddled with some other issues here, he might have been proud of this work. 
I had no idea Orlando Jones was going to be in this …

Jimmy P. (2013)

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Benicio del Toro is definitely my favorite del Toro. I remember seeing him the first time in The Usual Suspects, and he was fantastic. I have seen him in other movies (like The Way of the Gun) where he also did a wonderful job. In this movie, he does a good job.

He plays a Native American who has been having problems ever since his head injury in an accident during WW2. He has headaches, he goes blind, he gets dizzy, etc. His sister helps him get into a specialty hospital where he can get a full neurological workup and - hopefully - the help he needs. A physical issue is ruled out quickly, and the attending physicians take the unorthodox step of calling in an anthropologist who can better understand how his past as an Indian (Native American) might have contributed to the headaches.
The visiting doctor, played by Mathieu Amalric, has experience with some other tribes, but this is his first experience with a Blackfoot. Unlike some of the other people Benicio has to deal with, this anth…

American Hustle (2013)

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The style of this movie is hard to really get a handle on. I know that we are expected to simply accept the world as presented to us so that we can all move on with the story, but I found many of the details - while correct - distracting. You'll see what I mean as this review progresses.

Christian Bale plays an overweight, balding low-level con man with a bad comb-over. He does a really good job with the role, but I found both his hair and his gut a bit distracting. This was the guy who played Batman. He played an emaciated guy in The Machinist. At some point, his organs are going to rebel and kill him. I understand that he's been under a doctor's care for his gaining and losing of weight, but so was Michael Jackson.

Bradley Cooper plays an FBI agent who gets leverage against Christian and uses the leverage to try to get whoever he can with Christian's unique skillset - politicians, mobsters, pimps, whoever. At one point, he wears a shirt open to the navel with medallio…

Smithwick's Premium Irish Ale

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From the makers of Guinness. Yes, the people who ruined a perfectly good bottle of delicious Guinness bring you this Irish Ale. Honestly, sticking "Premium" on something usually either means that you've decided to charge more for it, or you're trying to make an average beverage seem more upscale. I'm not going to go into this with any preconceived ideas, though.

The color is a darkish brown with red overtones. It has a head that goes down slowly and leaves a respectable amount of lacing on the sides. The aroma is more malty and floral than I would have expected for an ale. It's got a metallic smell around the outside of it that robs it of any warmth the floral scent might have given it. It's personality so far is restrained and unloving.

First sip isn't bad. It's more malty with a kind of caramel malt with nuts and bread - kind of stale bread. I'm not really sure what I expected from the beer, but this is not really a friendly, easy-drinking b…

Samuel Adams Cold Snap

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If I wasn't simply impressed with the high quality of Sam Adams' beer, I would have to be impressed with the sheer number of beers that they put out. This one is one of their many - I'm going to say 15,000 - seasonal brews.

The color is an excessively murky straw with a head that boils down to a thin film that does not like to stick to the sides. There are a few straggler bubbles still clinging, but they will give up soon. The aroma is orange with a bit of spice. It puts me in mind of a wheat beer rather than a white ale. At the same time, the spices are reminiscent of Old Fezziwig.

First sip is very wheat. You can taste the grains hard, and they fade away to citrus and spice. I have to say that my first impression is a good one. It's crisp and clean. It goes down fast, and it has enough taste to keep you interested while not being overwhelming. It might have a bit too much citrus. Maybe. Only a big swig will be able to tell us for sure.

Time to take one for the team.

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

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I really enjoyed the Iron Man movies. No, the third wasn't really all that great, but it was fun. I liked Captain America, even though I'm not actually that big of a fan of the character. I did not like the Eric Bana Hulk movie, but I liked The Incredible Hulk movie that replaced it in the Avengers cannon. And yes, I really liked The Avengers.

The first Thor movie was fine. It wasn't spectacular, but it made sense in a weird magic way. I like movies that strive to make sense through the movie instead of confusing the viewers simply because it is possible to confuse them. but, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Chris Hemsworth reprises his role as Thor, and the character pretty much hasn't changed since the end of the first movie. He tosses his hammer a lot, he mugs for the camera, and he dramatically hits people and things to great effect. With superheroes, it's hard to really expand on the character, and that is the exact reason that Tobey Maguire gave as to why he …

Lagunitas Maximus IPA

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Lagunitas, as I've previously mentioned, is probably my new favorite brewery. Nestles in Petaluma California, they produce some shockingly good ales, and I am always eager to try their newest creation. This is the most recent I'm come across, so Maximus is up. This is 8.2% ABV, so it's no slouch, but alcohol is a side effect, not the intent, of all the fermenting hops.
The color is a slightly hazy amber gold. The head is thick and lashes itself to the sides like a 60's college girl tying herself to a tree to ensure that it doesn't get knocked down for the sake of "progress." The layer that remains across the top is relatively thick and full of life. The aroma is hoppy and floral with the added smell of freshly baked bread - which I wasn't expecting. Normally, I would associate that particular smell with malt, and malt does not normally take a front seat in the IPA roller coaster of taste and alcohol.
First sip is like they took a big sack and filled …

Philomena (2013)

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To start, I didn't even know how to pronounce the title of this movie. It's a two-man show (okay, a two person show) with this unconventional pairing of a former government employee and journalist looking for something to do and finding the story of an old woman who has been trying to find her son for 50 years.

We see the movie through the viewpoint of Steve Coogan, who plays the aforementioned former journalist. He was "resigned" after an email was incorrectly attributed to him, and he finds himself bitter and disillusioned when thinking about re-entering the job market. His cynical view of the world is challenged by his experiences in this movie, and the reality of other people's feelings, hopes, and dreams is impressed upon him as more important than he had previously thought. Steve does a great job with this mostly serious role while managing to make me laugh out loud a few times.

Dame Judi Dench plays an old Irish lady. Her story is horrific, while she takes…

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

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This is very much a middle film. Think Empire or Two Towers. Don't look for a build-up or new depth of knowledge on existing cannon, and don't expect a whole heap of resolution.

When I saw the first Hunger games, I hadn't read any of the books, and I feared it was going to be something terrible like Twilight. Well, it was much better than Twilight. The universe that they created for these movies is totally over-the-top in as many ways as possible. As a result, Jennifer Lawrence appears to be one of the few people you can relate to. From the wacky hair to messed up makeup to the overtly oppressive government, the world created here is terrible and jarring.

Jennifer reprises her role as Catniss. She's the level-headed girl who is torn between the men she may or may not love and who may or may not love her. In the first movie, she and her male counterpart from District 12 (the poorest and dirtiest of the districts) beat the system by falling for each other and agreeing to…

Lagunitas Hop Stoopid Ale

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Lagunitas is currently my favorite brewery. They can produce some fantastic beers. This one has a story on the label that rambles on for some time. The upshot is that they used hop extracts in this beer, and those are usually used by big companies that make crappy lagers. Those companies are not mentioned specifically, but I think we all know who they are.

The color is a slightly hazy dark straw with a twist of orange - some might call it an amber color, but they lack imagination. The head is thick and sticky; it takes a long time to go down, and it hangs on for dear life as long as it can. The aroma is hops and citrus. It's not a particularly heavy scent, and it's very simple and crisp.

A sip is a very hoppy ale. It's got enough malt in there to balance the bitterness, but it does certainly bite. The afterglow - yes, I'm going with afterglow, as it is after the finish and after where you would expect what Diet Coke drinkers know too well as the "aftertaste" …

Carrie (2013)

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I understand that this version of the movie is closer to the original Stephen King novel than the one that we are probably all familiar with from 1976. They say that, at least, but I'm pretty sure the 1974 novel did not include anyone uploading to YouTube or texting their boyfriend.

This version stars the always interesting Chloë Grace Moretz as the titular character. You may remember her from such films as Kick Ass (as Hit Girl) and Hick. She plays the role very well, and she comes off as believable for the awkward teen just reaching puberty. It's been a while since I saw the first movie, and I have to admit to never having read the book, but I don't remember Carrie having such direct control over her telekinesis.

Julianne Moore plays the excessively religious, overbearing and controlling mother who routinely locks her daughter in a closet to "pray for forgiveness" and has strictly avoided all the birds-and-bees talk in favor of a mantra about the evil bits of a …

Samuel Adams Tasman Red IPA

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Sam Adams has really impressed me since I started this site a year ago. I used to think of them as kind of a brewery that put out a Boston Lager that was better than the average American lager, but it was relatively uninspired from there. I was wrong. Let's hope this one is inspired.

The color is super, super dark red. The head leaves a thick slathering of foam down the sides and across the top. It's really kind of impressive. The aroma is not strong, and it consists of a tiny malt, heavy hops, and some citrus. If the smell is similar to the taste, we already have a winner.

First sip is more malty than I expected. I really thought the hops would be the most prevalent taste in there, but the malt is probably just beating it up and tossing it in the corner. It combines with the citrus and something more earthy to just drive on down the gullet, smacking the walls the whole way down.

A proper draught find the taste start with a kind of crappy tip-in. It tastes like old shoes. The …

Southern Tier 2XMas Seasonal

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It's not Christmas anymore, but I got this beer before it started to go bad. It's another relatively high alcohol beer at 8% ABV. This is not my first beer from this New York brewery. I liked the first, and that bodes well for the second.

The color is a deep, deep red. It's like arterial blood red. The head doesn't stick as much as I would have expected. The thin film across the top prevents the beer from just being completely naked. The aroma is the most notable thing about the beer. It is strong as hellfire. The beer claims to be brewed with figs, orange peels, and spices, and I do not dispute that claim at all. The aroma is reminiscent of pumpkin pie, figs, and yes, citrus. That smell emanates from the beer in huge, invisible clouds.

The first sip is unexpectedly smokey. The overwhelming spice and fig is almost a background to the smoke. It's much better than I expected it to be, but the remaining taste is just a lingering spice. Actually, there is clearly some …

August: Osage County (2013)

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I am not the target audience for this movie. That became apparent about 20 minutes in, but I rode my way out. It's a heavy drama mostly about the relationships between a mother and her daughters. I understand that it was originally a play that has been adapted into a movie; honestly, I wouldn't have guessed. I remember watching 12 Angry Men and thinking that it was definitely a play, and they hadn't even changed the blocking when they made it a movie.

Let's start with the obvious: Meryl Streep plays the overbearing, self-righteous, self-centered mother almost too well. The audience goes through bouts of sympathy, revulsion, disdain, empathy, and about a dozen other reactions to her circumstances and manipulations. She's an inherently tragic character, as she was recently diagnosed with cancer, is a drug addict (prescription), and fairly quickly into the movie loses her husband.

Margo Martindale (who I last saw as Mags on Justified) and Chris Cooper are Meryl's …

Scenic Route (2013)

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Two friends are on a road tirip, and they take the scenic route. It turns out, that route is through the desert, where there isn't actually a whole lot of scenery. And... then they break down. So, it's a chance for two old friends to reconnect whether they want to or not.

A good portion of the movie is devoted to a character study, and it's a middle of the road one at best. Rather than concentrating on survival, the two guys bicker and argue for a while, but then they start to open up to each other. Josh Duhamel is the straight-laced husband and father who had dreams of being a rock star or something equally daft.

Dan Fogler is the guy who wants to be a writer but is stuck with writers' block and consequently doesn't have an income or a residence. It is in his truck that the two find themselves crossing the desert. He has a lot on his mind, and most of it is about Josh and how the two of them have grown apart since Josh left his fun girlfriend in favor of the woman…

The Bell Witch Haunting (2013)

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How many times are we going to do this? Another haunting. Another "found footage" style movie. Another ghost that kills on a whim, yet occupies itself turning on and off light switches at other times. Well, welcome to the Blair Witch Pro... I mean Paranormal Activi... wait, it's Bell Witch Haun.. no, that was the 2004 movie. This one is THE Bell Witch Haunting.

So, a family moves down from Chicago to Tennessee. Unfortunately, they move into a house that already has a resident - a ghost. That's right - a freaking GHOST! Oh, the horror! Well, the new residents don't know that there is a ghost right off the bat, even though we start the movie with a double homicide.

As with the other entries in the found footage movies, the acting is supposed to be really natural and more "normal" than regular acting (people interrupting each other, talking over one another, long silences, etc). However, this movie had a bunch of people who didn't actually know what ac…

Sneaky Pete Imperial IPA

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This is an imperial IPA, also known as a double IPA, and it should have loads more hops (double, oddly enough) than a regular IPA and a dramatically higher alcohol content. This one is 10% alcohol by volume, and that is pretty decent for a beer.

The color is a very hazy and opaque medium brown. The head grips the sides and refuses to slide down. I like that stick-to-itiveness. the aroma is hoppy and floral - exactly what you might expect from an IPA.

A sip is hoppy. It's not quite like biting into a hop, but it's pretty hoppy; it's like it's biting into my tongue. I have yet to find a beer that is more hoppy than Heady Topper, but this is pretty darn hoppy. For a man who likes hops, that's not a bad thing. The floral notes are kind of heavy, though, and they could use some malt to cut them a bit more.

A proper drink (or quaff, if you prefer) brings a very gentle tip-in of a light floral taste. The carbonation nips at the tongue when it enters. It's not a bad st…

Freezer (2014)

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Is Dylan McDermott a big name? I hope so, because there is no other name that draws to this movie. There aren't many other people in the movie on the whole, come to think of it. It takes place almost entirely in a walk-in freezer, and that is where everyone is except for one guy who eventually shows up in it, too.

Our hero starts off with a bag on his head and his hands and feet tied in the middle of the freezer. He gets himself situated to try and deal with this awkward situation and finds himself dealing with the Russian mob who thinks that he has stolen money from them. He has to try to figure out a way to survive and also solve the case of the missing Russian money with no significant contact from the outside.

Dylan does an okay job with his role, but he is really kind of hampered by the script. The character just ignores opportunities for escape, chances to overpower people, and any thought of a trap for when the bad guys come in. Rather than jamming something through the fan…

Lagunitas The Hairy Eyeball Ale

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Lagunitas has pretty much become my favorite brewery. Sam Adams has been producing some fantastic beers, but I'm pretty sure Lagunitas has a higher positive review ratio. This beer is in a big bottle, and I hope it brings some big flavor with it. Knowing Lagunitas, it will bring it, and it will be spectacular.

The beer is an unexpected dark brown with a heavy red tint. The sticky foam on top settles to a patchy mass across the top with an exaggerated rim around the glass. The aroma is very faint - unexpectedly so. The little bit I can smell is floral and what really smells like heavy liquor. It's so hard to smell at all, that I could be entirely mistaken.

First sip is much more muted than any of the Lagunitas ales I've ever had before. It's almost malty enough to be a lager. It has a strange overarching taste that makes it taste almost like a barleywine (not that it would be mistaken for one). I hardly taste any hops at all, and that is very unlike a Lagunitas ale, that…

West of Memphis (2012)

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I have not seen any of the three HBO documentaries about these three men. I only had a vague notion that there was a horrible killing, and that three young men (all in their late teens) were found guilty of it with no real motive other than sadism and a love, love, love of Satan. I remembered the last part, as it was the only case I'm aware of that actually had some result from the satanism scares of the 70's when all the police were fearful of hidden cults that essentially didn't exist.

This movie starts by laying out the prosecution's case and the known facts about it. It sets up a pretty compelling argument for their guilt. Then, the film deconstructs each aspect by pulling in experts and some non-experts. Really, the non-experts confuse me the most. Why is Johnny Depp involved? Where did Henry Rollins come from? It seems odd to me that actors and musicians should come together to support three men convicted of killing three young boys.

It appears that a direct resu…

New Belgium Accumulation White India Pale Ale Winter Seasonal

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So, New Belgium has been pretty consistent. The first beer of theirs I tried was not good. The second was slightly better than average, but only slightly. The third was dead center in the scale. Hopefully, even though all of their labels are complete crap (seriously, get a new label designer), the beers will get better.

A hazy yellow beer has a sticky head that leaves LOADS of lacing along the sides as it goes down. It's lumpy across the top, and that makes it look... pretty good, actually. The aroma is Hops and flowers. Well, more hops than flowers. Really, pretty much hops. It's not shocking that an IPA is filled with hops, but the dour label wouldn't normally make me think that they were going to bring decent hops.

A sip brings hops, but the hops are almost geriatric. I have no idea where they got them, but they really seem like they were old and dusty when they tried to make beer out of them. The bitterness is there as well, and it's not nice, but it's also lik…