Sunday, January 29, 2012

Resident Evil: Extinction and Deschutes Jubelale

So I move on to the third Resident Evil movie with a sigh of relief.  It's not that the other two are that bad, because they're not.  I just have seen them SOOOOOO many times.  And the Resident Evils are not a re-watch and re-watch type of movie like Dawn of the Dead.  I know earlier in prior posts I claimed my favorite as the original, but after watching them again in order, I have changed my mind, the third one is!  It wasn't always this way.  The first time I saw Extinction I hated it.  Zombie birds was a huge turn off, as were the super mutant zombies, and the remote control Alice.  But this movie had a certain likability to it.  I decided to pair it with another new favorite of mine...JUBELALE!!!!  Not to be confused with Jubel the 10% abv bomb that just kicks ass.  This is a more toned down seasonal perfect for when the weather gets a bit chilly and you need a little something to warm you up.
So this film starts out with Alice on the road alone.  She goes to save a woman and her baby that she hears on her radio only to find herself in a trap with a ganged of strange inbred street people!  But it's Alice, so ass kicking ensues and everyone is dead....except Alice of course.  Great start to the movie.  This is also where the idea is planted that Alaska is infection free.   I know I'm a bit biased after living there for three years, but it really would be a great place to be in a Zombie Apocalypse.  The first movie starred Alice the normal woman who transformed into Alice the highly trained killer.  The second movie is Alice the highly trained killer transforming into Alice the semi mutant bad-ass.  In this movie Alice goes from semi mutant bad-ass to full faced super-motherfucking-mutant-bad-ass!!!!  She actually gets all telepathic in this movie.  It gets weird.  That's your heads up.

Deschutes puts out quality beer after quality beer.  This is no exception.  It's their winter ale and it's awesome.  It pours a deep cloudy opaque brown with dark red hues and a nice light brown head.  The aroma is strong toasted malts with some high alcohol fumes.  It's very rich with grassy hops, spice, and clove.  The flavor is similar to aroma but stronger.  It's boozy and slick, full of malt that fades to an earthy bitterness.  It's strong at 6.7% abv and plenty  bitter at 60 IBUs.  There's a hint of coffee under all that rich toasted malt.  It's unique in a way that few beers are.  This is the winter ale that other winter ales wished they were but they don't have the balls.  If a hefeweizen is your idea of extreme then don't buy this beer.  It will leave you naked and crying on the bathroom floor.  Me.....I have two cases of it.  So I can take it.
The zombie birds i think took up more of this  movie than they needed to.  In fact if they had left them completely out it would have been better.  At least it wasn't as bad as "The Rage" or whichever Zombi movie was the "Killing Birds" one.  I think it was four or five.
I do like those curvy blades that Alice has.  Those are pretty sweet.  I originally hated the idea that Alice had super mental powers but it was pretty sweet.  They (Umbrella Co.) actually shut her off (she stands frozen) and they can see things through her eyes for some reason.  This is actually sweeter every time i see it.  It was a really cool effect.  She is able to break satellites thousands of miles away with her mind.  Despite the fact that this movie relies on non traditional zombies to try and set this film apart it still works.  The "Boss" zombie is the research scientist that gets bit with a mutated virus and becomes some kind of mutated super zombie.  He's even stronger than ROBOZOMBIE and rabid hairless lion zombie.  I think by the end of this film you'll be glad I'm done with my descriptions of the various Resident Evil zombies.   This movie also had a lot of very likable characters.  Otto (Simpsons reference) the bus driver, Carlos (the S.T.A.R guy from Apocalypse), Claire, and the cowboy guy all grab at your heart.  It's entertaining and though it doesn't fit the mold of what I think a zombie movie should be I still think it deserves it's due credit.

The Beer:
Aroma – 9/12
Appearance – 2/3
Taste – 17/20
Palate – 3/5 
   Overall – 7/10
Total = 38/50


The Movie:
Production – 5/5
Plot – 4/5
Gore – 4/5
 Zombies – 4/5
  Overall – 4/5

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Resident Evil: Apocalypse and Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale

So going in order my next film is Resident Evil: Apocalypse.  This is the second movie in the series and again stars Milla Jovovich as Alice: Super zombie killer woman.  This movie, like those before and after it, are decent enough but lack that umph that would make them great.  They’re a good movie to watch with non zombie lovers as they’re watered down enough to feed the masses.  I however am not the masses.  Interestingly enough, I picked a beer that is (I assume) also watered down for the masses,  Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale.  I saw it cheap and had heard surprisingly good things about it.  So here it is.
The movie opens up with the same scene that the first movie ended with.  Almost frame for frame exact if I’m not mistaken.  You can see her vagina briefly but that's neither here nor there..............anyway.....The idea is that the virus that decimated “The Hive” is now above ground and causing the same sort of havoc in Raccoon City.  Alice isn’t the only badass feminine zombie killer.  For those men who prefer brunettes to blonds we have Jill Valentine!
She is a kick ass ex S.T.A.R. (Special Tactics and Rescue Services) team member.  Everyone is trying to clear the checkpoint and evacuate the city when the Umbrella Corporation orders the gates sealed and live machine gun fire to push back the crowd.  At the same time a S.T.A.R. team drops down in the center of the city to battle the undead and help any survivors they can find.  Everyone is trapped with no way out…….or is there?  During the evacuation, the daughter of one of Umbrella’s lead scientists was left behind.  He solicits the help of the remaining survivors to rescue his daughter in return for their release.
But you can’t have zombies without beer…can you?  On to the Blue Moon!  It only takes a google search to find out that Blue Moon isn’t Blue Moon!!!  It’s Coors.
So I guess not only do they do Rocky Mountain refreshment, but now they’re dabbling in the age old art of Belgian beer brewing.  Who knew!  So for those that don’t know the difference between a Trappist ale, an Abbey ale, and plain old Belgian beers (dubble, tripel,…ect) I will explain.  There are only 7 trappist breweries (6 of which are in Belgium); Achel, Chimay, La Trappe, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, and Westvleteren.  In order to be a trappist beer they need to be brewed in a monastery, monks need to play a role in production and policies, and profits need to go to the monastery and/or social programs.  If you brew trappist style beers somewhere that’s not a monastery, or brew under license to an existing abandoned abbey then you can be labeled an ABBEY ALE!  So far there are eighteen certified Abbey Breweries and guess what…..Coors isn’t one of them.  Look for this “Certified Belgian Abbey Beer” logo to ensure you have the real thing.  This label screams "HELLO I'M A BIG FAT SNOB.  I'M BETTER THAN YOU.  PERHAPS YOU SHOULD GO DRINK SOMETHING LESS AWESOME THAN ME."
So I popped open this “Abbey Ale” to see what all the fuss was about.  It’s 5.6% abv (a little low for dubbles in my opinion) brown color with hints of red that I would expect from the style.  But, it's crystal clear?  I hope they didn't cold filter a belgian dubbel!!!  There's no cloudy yeast goodness!!!  The head is a frothy light brown color that doesn’t kick with that fizzy mouse like head that I expect from most Abbey Ales.  This was my first warning of things to come.  The smell was simple.  Sweet brown and raw sugars crushed with a light caramel malt.  There’s not a whole lot there and the unique trademark Abbey aroma is one of the major draws of this beer style.  It should be distinct and slightly shocking while at the same time being reassuring and pleasurable.  Tell me what you think that’s a metaphor for.  The taste followed the aroma, thin, uninspiring.  Slightly sweet, bits of caramel, slight husky gruff but virtually no bready Belgian character.  No smooth yeasty flavor.  It’s absent of everything that makes a Belgian a Belgian and yet they have the audacity to name it an “Abbey Ale”.  It’s thin with too low carbonation and no Belgian flavor.  If you had told me this was Blue Moon’s “Winter Ale” I would give it about a 3.5 but you kick me in the knee and tell me it’s an Abbey ale…’ve slid significantly to the left.
Now to something slightly less disappointing (only slightly).  Not only does this movie include the same terrible CGI laden giant hairless brain lions but now we add something even dumber.  ROBOZOMBIE! 
Here is a zombie (used to be that reporter and almost survivor from the first movie) that has been transformed into ……again……ROBOZOMBIE!!!  He has giant metal feet and a Gatling gun hand.  So what does a super robot zombie have for a weakness…..why of course!!! LOVE!
So in the final battle Alice uses love to beat ROBOZOMBIE.  You had it……then just like that… lost it.  It must be what Dam Marino felt like never winning a Superbowl.  The movies not all that bad.  it's mediocre.  But it does have one of my favorite zombie movie scenes in it.  This black guy is driving down a zombie infested road, just ramming them down with his car, when he becomes distracted by a couple of half naked stripper zombies and crashes.  It's pretty funny.  I hope I didn't spoil it for you.

The Beer:
Aroma – 6/12
Appearance – 2/3
Taste – 11/20
Palate – 2/5 
   Overall – 6/10
Total = 27/50

The Movie:
Production – 4/5
Plot – 4/5
Gore – 4/5
 Zombies – 4/5
  Overall – 4/5

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Resident Evil and Oakshire Brewing's Overcast Espresso Stout

It's taken me a while to finish this post.  I actually reviewed this movie on Halloween night.....with my wife!  My wife hates horror movies and despises zombie movies.  She doesn't see the beauty in there metaphors and believes that they are, get this, too graphic!!!  But once a year she puts fear and personal ideology aside and watches a zombie movie with me.  I let her pick the movie so she feels a little more comfortable about the whole situation.  In fact I was feeling so nice that i let her pick the beer as well!!!  She's usually pretty good at this because her favorite styles are Russian Imperial Stouts, Double IPAs, and Barleywines.  So I trust her....more or less.  She decided she would play it safe and pick Resident Evil.  The reason for this is that she knows it's not overly scary and would have some Hollywood produce entertainment value.  She also came home with Oakshire Brewing's Espresso Stout.  I do love things from Eugene, OR so how bad could it be......and so we began.
I think the scariest part of the whole film is the beginning sequence.  Not very promising to a wife who is shielding her eyes as a woman gets decapitated trying to climb out of an elevator.  I haven't seen this movie in quite a while and I must's better than i remember.  After seeing the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th movies it's hard to imagine Alice as anything but some kind of strange super person (especially the 3rd movie).  But there she is, scared and defenseless.  And you actually get to watch her grow through the movie as she starts to remember who she is.  I do have a couple of problems with the plot of this movie.  First, they were able to build a holographic, completely automated, computer based security system to control The Hive.  But they can't get a heads up as to what went wrong without sending in a team of six swat team members.  You'd think they could download a little security footage and say "Oh shit....Guys look at this!!!!  Some of that blue shit...
 ...oh man!!!  Guys the blue shits got out......

we got zombies.  Lets get a small army of soldiers together and let them know what their up against.  Oh and don't forget to tell them about that laser room.
The security code for it is "lasers off". Okay don't forget to shoot for the head".  Sadly there was no such briefing.  But I guess if they had known that stuff then it wouldn't have been much of a movie.

I'm weary of my wife's beer decision as soon as i read the label.  It's only 5.8% abv.  This matters more for a coffee blended stout than for any other beer.  I'll tell you why.  The bitterness and astringency that the coffee can add needs to be balanced with sweet malt and other roasted malty flavors.  If there isn't enough malt backbone then the beer comes out tasting like old coffee and a little beer mixed in.  So I pour this sloshy black liquid into a couple of Sam Adams glasses and take my first sniff.  It's all coffee.  Well, maybe not ALL coffee, but its at least MOSTLY coffee.  There is a slight cocoa aroma and a twist of roasted malt but for the most part this is a cold cup o Joe.  I place swirl up the a tan head and buried my nose deep into the glass hoping for a little something more.......nothing.  First lovely sip.....shit.  A real bomber.  Perhaps it's because of my own high expectations for things bearing the label "(coffee product) Stout".  Langunitas Cappuccino Stout, Great Divide's Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, Southern Tier's Mokah, Jah*va and countless others all deliver a strong coffee beer without overwhelming the BEER portion.  Get those instead.  This is a over carbonated, underflavored, thin and forgettable beer.  This beer could be much better by upping mouth feel, and maltiness.  But at that point it would be a different beer.  The long and the short of it......this beer sucks.
The movie went two far with it's first instillation.  They had the base for a great zombie movie.  They had realistic(ish) zombies and decent actors.  In fact there were complex dimensions to this movie about that i had forgot about.  Like the transformation of our heroin from a forgetful blond with a high cut red dress into a battle hardened blond a high cut red dress.  I also have a problem with Michelle Rodriguez.  Nobody thinks your hot.  In fact your husky voiced, "I'm one tough bitch" routine is really getting old.  As soon as we see you we know exactly what we're in for.  How does it feel to know that your a more one dimensional than Keanu Reeves?

I can't quite give this movie the gold sticker since it has some kind of mutated strange ass zombie creature in it.  They seem to always do something like that.  They have a perfectly good movie, then they go add something ridiculas and ruin it.  A zombie that feeds on fresh DNA and mutates into a SUPER ZOMBIE LION DOG THING!!!!

The Beer:
Aroma – 6/12
Appearance – 2/3
Taste – 7/20
Palate – 1/5 
   Overall – 3/10
Total = 19/50
The Movie:
Production – 3/5
Plot – 3/5
Gore – 4/5
 Zombies – 3/5
  Overall – 3/5

So this is the first film that in actually  rated higher based on all my categories than I would have given it for overall enjoyment.  In my head the whole time it was a 2, but low and behold it rates out as a three.

Oh, and I'm back and blogging!