Booze News: 2009 Silent Movies Calendar to Support Silent Film Restoration!

>> Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More soused cinema reviews are on there way, but first, a brief sales pitch...

The treasures of our rich film heritage (including alky-centric gems) are quickly turning to dust. Fifty percent of the films made before 1950 are lost forever, and resources are limited to save those that remain. Each year, in an effort to add a bit to those resources, the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra Website produces a Silent Movies Calendar. The calendar features film stills and informal photographs of silent film stars donated by the posters and readers of the alt.movies.silent newsgroup; and all of the proceeds (after printing costs) are used to benefit silent film restoration.

The 2009 Calendar is now available. This year, the theme is "Lost Films;" and in addition to the silent cinema artwork, the calendar features birthdays of silent-era film stars and personalities, as well as notable marriages, deaths, film openings, and other significant dates.

Now, you may not know it yet, but this calendar is exactly what you need. You love movies, and if you drink as much as I do, you are going to occasionally forget what day (or year) it is. The calendar plus postage is just $17.83; so just click on the link below already, and buy the damn thing!

Get it here--> 2009 Silent Movies Calendar



Booze News: Bond Can't Hold His Liquor

>> Thursday, October 23, 2008

I've often said that James Bond's reputation as a drinker is overrated. He's a cocktail sipper at best, and in an interview with London's Time Out magazine, Daniel Craig has confirmed it. Here's the exchange in which he explains that the martinis put him on the floor:

TIME OUT: Here’s the bar manager at Duke’s Hotel. Martinis: shaken or stirred?
CRAIG: I don’t know who drinks stirred cocktails anymore. I like them ice, ice, ice cold, so you have to shake them up.

TIME OUT: He wants you to know that Duke’s serves the original Vesper martini. Have you tried it?

CRAIG: Do they? Yes, I’ve tried about ten of them. They’re knockout. We did a proper taste test: full measure of gin, full measure of vodka and then another liqueur on top of it. I ended up on the floor.

TIME OUT: Gin or vodka? Twist or olive?
CRAIG: Vodka. With an olive.

I'm sorry, Mr. Bond. In my opinion, it's not a martini unless it's made with gin (preferably Plymouth). Of course, whether or not Daniel Craig is a true boozer, he's a damn fine actor--the best yet to portray Bond (sorry, Mr. Connery). I'll be the first in line for Quantum of Solace on November 14th.

Here's a link to the full Time Out interview: Daniel Craig Interview

Here's a link to my Booze Movie review for Craig's first foray as Bond, the excellent Casino Royale (2006).

Quantum of Solace (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Quantum of Solace [Blu-ray]


Booze News: Public Enemies: The Golden Age of Gangster Film

>> Sunday, October 19, 2008

Prohibition fueled gangsterism in the 1920's, as the public turned to illegal means to quench their thirsts. That, in turn, fueled the 1930's boom in gangster films, led by Warner Brothers studios and their stars Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, and Humphrey Bogart.

On Tuesday, October 21st, Turner Classic Movies will celebrate the gangster film with a night of Warner Brothers classics and a brand-new documentary, Public Enemies: The Golden Age of Gangster Film. The doc starts at 8PM Eastern/7PM Central, and booze is sure to play a leading part.

For a full press release on the special and the films that follow, click here-->
Turner Classic Movies Gets Tough

Warner Gangsters Collection, Vol. 4 (The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse / Invisible Stripes / Kid Galahad / Larceny, Inc. / The Little Giant / Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film)


Review: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

>> Monday, October 13, 2008

USA/C-108 m./Dir: Richard Brooks/Wr: Richard Brooks & James Poe (based on the play by Tennessee Williams)/Cast: Elizabeth Taylor (Maggie Pollitt), Paul Newman (Brick Pollitt), Burl Ives (Harvey "Big Daddy" Pollitt), Jack Carson (Gooper Pollitt), Judith Anderson (Ida Pollitt), Madeleine Sherwood (Mae Flynn Pollitt)

Mendacity! That is the reason that Brick Pollitt gives for his Herculean intake of bourbon in the 1958 film version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Of course, the word could also apply to the censors and producers of the movie; because the version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play that they brought to the screen was considerably watered down.

"Mendacity" is Brick's word for dishonesty, and there is plenty to be had in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. As the story begins, the Pollitt clan has gathered for the 65th birthday of plantation owner, Harvey "Big Daddy" Pollitt (Burl Ives); but most of the family is less interested in the anniversary than in positioning themselves to take the lion's share of the old man's wealth once he croaks. Elder brother Gooper and his wife Mae (Madeleine Sherwood) take every opportunity to promote themselves and their no-neck rug rats over Brick and his childless spouse, Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor). Of course, Maggie has designs of her own (on both Big Daddy's property and on jumping Brick's bones). For his part, Brick is uninterested in everthing except draining bourbon bottles until he can hear the "click" in his head that washes away the cares of the world.

In the stage production, there was the suggestion that Brick's drinking and resistance to the advances of his wife were due to latent homosexuality. Of course, that subject was taboo under the Hollywood production code of the time. Suprisingly, the drama still works with the excision of that major theme. One can believe that Brick drinks due to feeling unloved in a dishonest world, and one can accept the eventual reconciliations between Big Daddy, Brick, Maggie, and Gooper's tribe. The only thing I had trouble buying was that Paul Newman and Jack Carson were in any way genetically related.

The film works in large part due to the cast. Liz Taylor, Jack Carson, Madeleine Sherwood, and Judith Anderson all turn in fine performances. However, it is the wounded charisma of Paul Newman and the powerful intensity of Burl Ives that leave a lasting impression. The movie version of Tennessee Williams' drama is flawed, but it is a pretty potent cocktail just the same.

Drinks Consumed--Bourbon, beer, and champagne

Intoxicating effects--Staggering, stumbling, and bickering

Potent Quotables--MAGGIE: Let's face it, baby. You're a drinker, and that takes money.
BRICK: I don't want his money.
MAGGIE: You ready to settle for ten cent beer? 'Cause that's just what Gooper will dole out to you when they freeze you out. They gotta plan, baby. Oh, you shoulda heard them layin' it on Big Daddy; a mile a minute. Big Momma's already on their side. You're a drinker, and I'm childless.

Video Availability--Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Deluxe Edition) is available as a standalone DVD or as a part of the Tennessee Williams Film Collection (MGM)

Similarly Sauced Cinema--It was Taylor's turn to hit the bottle in the 1966 adaptation of Edward Albee's play, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Deluxe Edition)


Booze News: Back in the USA!

>> Saturday, October 4, 2008

I've been back for almost a week, but I've haven't had the chance to post due to illness. I'm on the upswing and very happy to be back in the U.S.A. (stupid dry hotel)!

You may also have noticed that I didn't post a Booze Movies TV Schedule this month. I'm discontinuing the feature. The schedule took a long time to compile, and I think the time would be better spent focusing on alky-related movie reviews.

Speaking of reviews--I watched the bourbon-centric Cat On A Hot Tin Roof last weekend as my way of mourning the loss of Paul Newman. The review will be posted soon.

Cheers and God bless the U.S.A.,

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About Me

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I like to drink. I like to watch movies. I like to watch movies about drinking. I like to write about the movies I’ve watched, but only if I’ve had a drink first.

All text including the title "Booze Movies: The 100 Proof Film Guide" Copyright William T. Garver

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