November 28 – The Talking Monkey

A Glimpse Inside

Last week, we began looking at one of the most underrated elements to visual storytelling: narration. It’s amazing how essential the narration of a movie or TV show can be, sometimes making or breaking a project. This week, we move to the big screen. Let’s get things rolling!

#5: Sin City

As if coming from the pages of a comic book, viewers are taken on a journey through the voice of each focal character, learning their desires, motives, issues, fears, and discoveries. Narration comes from a variety of sources, including Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, and Clive Owen, each captivating the audience with their character’s story. Film noir is no stranger to the narrator storytelling device, but Sin City brought the style back to the mainstream.

sincity

#4: A Clockwork Orange

The ultra-violent Alex (played by Malcolm McDowell) is a drug-fueled sociopath who won’t hesitate in committing all kinds of horrible acts on innocent victims. As a result, many of Alex’s thoughts are quite disturbing and the way they are delivered by McDowell, in Alex’s teenage Cockney slang, will really have your skin crawling. Despite all efforts to reform Alex, the teen eventually returns to his old habits and more suffering is in the cards.

#3: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

It’s one thing to narrate a movie and it’s a whole other ball of yarn when you’re delivering the words of Dr. Seuss! I wonder how many retakes were needed to perfectly deliver some of the Seussian language? Regardless, Hannibal Lecter himself, Anthony Hopkins, nailed it, retelling the tale of The Grinch, who can’t stand the Whos down in Whoville, especially as the Christmas holiday approaches. While critics were less enthusiastic about the film, the Sip Advisor has always enjoyed it.

the grinch decorating

#2: Fight Club

The haunting narrations of this film will leave viewers chilled to the bone, as the protagonist (played by Edward Norton) turns his insomnia into attending support groups and later, starting a terrorist organization, bred out of a fighting club. While we never get the main character’s name, we certainly get all the thoughts that make him tick and lead to his mental breakdown… the problem is, he realizes too late exactly what he’s started and can’t stop.

#1: A Christmas Story

In a style that would go on to be the inspiration for The Wonder Years, we learn about the trials and tribulations little Ralphie goes through as he asks for a “Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle” for Christmas. This includes convincing his teacher, parents, and even the big guy himself, Santa, that the gun isn’t as dangerous as many fear. As if that’s not enough, Ralphie has to deal with schoolyard bullies, swearing in front of his parents, and ruined Christmas dinner.

Super Saturday Shot Day: The Talking Monkey

  • 0.5 oz Chocolate Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Banana Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Coffee Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Milk
  • Garnish with a Banana Slice

Of course, there’s always the king of the narration, Morgan Freeman, with credits in the role including Shawshank Redemption, War of the Worlds, March of the Penguins, and Island of Lemurs: Madagascar. If a Hall of Fame, dedicated to the art, were to ever be built, Freeman would be its inaugural inductee!

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September 5 – Banana Pepper

Crazy Condiments

I’ve recently fallen in love with actual banana peppers (although the drink was quite tasty, too) and I enjoy experimenting with different tastes and combinations on burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, and nearly everything else I stuff in my mouth. Of course, I’m a fan of all your usual condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc.), but here are some of the more unique items I love to add to my meals:

Baconnaise

I’d be happy if everything in my life came with bacon on board. Mayo is already a wonderful condiment, but when you combine it with the healing powers of bacon (seriously, bacon is the best known hangover cure), you just can’t go wrong. Baconnaise would be best enjoyed on… anything. It’s that simple of a concept.

Bacon Salad

Bacon Bits

Sticking with the most delicious meat known to man, I love bacon bits (real or simulated, it doesn’t really matter!) and will toss some on many different meals. They go great on tacos, Caesar salads, poutine, and pizza, among others. I weep for those that do not eat bacon and have spent countless nights lost in prayer for their souls.

Tzatziki

What would Greek food be without Tzatziki? Well, it would still be pretty damn good, but Tzatziki is the icing on the cake… or in this case, the souvlaki, potatoes, rice, Greek salad, calamari, lamb… shall I continue?! Sure, the substance can leave your breath with a long-lasting garlic resonance, but it’s all worth it for the taste.

tzatziki-chips

Oh, I want these so bad!

Chipotle/Southwest/Baja Sauce

This is another dressing that I’ve really gotten into in the last little while. I enjoy a little heat with my food (nothing crazy, because I’m more about flavor than burn) and these spreads are the perfect touch for getting that mild to medium singe. Burritos, in particular, have become an absolute pleasure since these sauces became so popular.

Tartar Sauce

I’ve recently fallen back in love with tartar sauce after a few years of barely being friends. Of course, the stuff perfectly complements fish and chips, but can also be used with other seafood delicacies. I recently realized that I’ve never tried a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish and that’s something that needs immediate remedying. I’ll report back to you soon!

fillet-o-fish

Olives

I love all types of olives: black ones, green ones, stuffed, pitted. There’s no olive I won’t try. We’ve also become quite enamored of late with tapenades around the Sip Advisor offices. These dips mix chopped olives with a host of other ingredients that can include capers, anchovies, juices, oils, herbs and spices. They’re great on breads and crackers.

Triple O Sauce

I can best describe this as a mayo-ketchup-thousand island hybrid that is so delicious it truly makes the burger. It’s only available at White Spot restaurants, which are largely located throughout B.C., Canada. I had a family member who used to work with the company and legend has it she would bring a massive container of the sauce to family gatherings… sadly, I wasn’t even born yet.

Drink #248: Banana Pepper

Banana Pepper Drink

  • 1 oz Dark Rum
  • 0.5 oz Crème de Banane
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • Top with Cola
  • Garnish with a Banana Slice and a Banana Pepper

I bet you’re thinking to yourself: “Did the Sip Advisor just write an entire post about condiments and sauces?” You’re damn right he just did… now if only they paid me to do this!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This cocktail is advertised as a banana-flavoured Dr. Pepper and on that point, it hits its mark. It’s a pretty decent, if not amazing drink, but one that would be enjoyed by most people.