July 18 – Red Baron #2

Sordid Sequels

With the prevalence of movie sequels nowadays (the summer season being riddled with them), it’s amazing that some of these franchises never received a second treatment. Hell, we waited 20 years for a follow-up to Dumb & Dumber! Some supplemental films get stuck in development hell (for example, Jurassic World, which was finally released last month, 14 years after the last film), while others never get off the ground and running. Here are the Top 5 films we should have seen a sequel to:

#5: Quick Hits

I’m going to lead off this article with a few honourable mentions, with brief ideas I would have for the sequels. Snakes on a Plane – Why not ‘Snakes on a Train’!? Wedding Crashers – The twist for this movie is that the main characters from the original have their wedding crashed, by the next generation of comedic stars. Serenity – What’s left of the infamous space crew goes after Fox executives to teach them lessons on giving up too soon. Team America: World Police – Not gonna lie, I just want more puppets! If any film studios want to hire me, my agent will be happy to hammer out a contract!

Brokeback Mountain 2

#4: Zombieland

Mrs. Sip and I are big fans of the original movie, particularly the rules of surviving a zombie apocalypse that appeared throughout the film. Following the success of the first installment, all of the main cast members expressed interest in returning for a sequel, but nothing has come to fruition as of yet. There was an attempt to bring Zombieland to the small screen with both a CBS and later Amazon series, but the CBS run never materialized and an Amazon ordered pilot was not picked up. In October 2014, rumours of a movie sequel surfaced again, so there’s still a chance for the franchise.

#3: Roger Rabbit

A sequel to Roger Rabbit has been in development for years, following the success of the first movie, released all the way back in 1988. One of the biggest hurdles was original director Steven Spielberg having a change of heart, as the original script would have seen Roger’s origin story and saving Jessica Rabbit from being kidnapped by Nazis. After Spielberg made Schindler’s List, he decided he could no longer combine Nazis and comedy. In 2013, news surfaced of a Roger Rabbit-Mickey Mouse buddy comedy, but no updates have come from the original reports.

Toy Story 9

#2: Beetlejuice

There have been numerous attempts to bring a second Beetlejuice movie to the big screen after the quirky 1988 film was both a critical and commercial success. Scripts have been written that included Beetlejuice moving his operations to Hawaii, where he was to battle an ancient Hawaiian Kahuna and win surf competitions… seriously, this was in the script. As recently as January 2015, news broke that a script had been finished and that director Tim Burton, along with stars Michael Keaton and Wynona Ryder would participate.

#1: Ghostbusters

With a third installment of the popular Ghostbusters franchise due in theatres in 2016, it will have been a long time between releases, with Ghostbusters 2 hitting big screens all the way back in 1989. Since then, fans have held their breath, waiting for a follow-up. Interestingly, the third film will star a cast of female Ghostbusters, including Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig. Will that work out for the devoted supporters that have longed for just one more run of the Ecto 1? Time will only tell, but I’m willing to give it a chance.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Red Baron #2

  • 0.75 oz Crown Royal
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish with Cranberries

There’s a great scene at the end of 22 Jump Street that suggests the franchise could make numerous sequels in the future; everything from Medical School to Culinary School. There are some films, however, that as much as I’d love to see more of the story or characters, are better as one-offs. This list would include Inception, The Sixth Sense, and Fight Club… you know, movies with cliffhanger endings or big twists that just couldn’t be replicated.

Trinidad & Tobago – What’s Kraken?

Feel the Rhythm

Originating from the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, Calypso music enjoyed the height of its popularity in 1956, when Harry Belafonte released the “Banana Boat Song”, otherwise known as “Day-O”. The music style also produced other popular spinoffs, such as Soca, Reggae, Chutney, Rapso, and Ringbang. Let’s take a look at the history of this cultural music and get our groove on!

Calypso music, like many other genres, started with humble beginnings. During colonial slavery in the 17th century, slaves were not allowed to speak to each other while working long, exhausting days at sugar plantations, but were able to come together at night and play music. These songs helped form a bond among the slaves, as they mocked their masters and sung about the hardships of their existence in a French Creole language.

Day-O Spider

The music is based off of a call and response style, where the singer (dubbed the Calypsonian) engages his audience and involves them in the song. Instruments often associated with Calypso music include, steel drums, banjo, guitar, and other percussion devices. Calypso was played in tents made of palm trees and poles, which were constructed to keep rain away from performers and dance-goers alike.

Calypso music eventually became used to spread news around the islands and became a reliable source for current events. Songs battled political corruption, which sparked the British rulers to censor the songs and for officials to decide what could and couldn’t be heard by the public. This just pushed Calypsonians to use other tools to get their message across in song, such as double-entendres, satire, irony, and other elements of humour.

Long before rappers were taking aim at one another with thinly veiled criticisms and threats, Calypso musicians were insulting each other, while also making music based around sex, gossip, scandal, and innuendo. Like much of the music industry, there are some great artist names in the Calypso world, such as Lord Invader, Growling Tiger, Mighty Sparrow, King Fighter, Macbeth the Great, Sir Lancelot, and Duke of Iron.

Rapper Rapping

The first Calypso recording was made in New York City in 1912, by the visiting Lovey String Band. It’s thought that this was the first recording to ever take place of a musical style not to have originated in either North America or Europe. Not many other Calypso recordings were made until the late 1920’s and early 1930’s (given the title: the golden era of Calypso), perhaps due to the wartime economy and depression.

Attila the Hun (not the barbarian, but the musician) and Roaring Lion brought the music back to the United States in 1934, where they became regular recording artists and were later joined by other Calypsonians from Trinidad and Tobago. A tradition that ran up to the late 1970’s, with Mighty Sparrow being the last great Calypsonian abroad. The musical style then branched off into other genres.

prelude music

One of the first big Calypso hits, “Rum and Coca Cola”, by Lord Invader, was not about the fizzy beverage being mixed with alcohol, but the prostitution industry that popped up when American military bases began appearing in Trinidad during the 1940’s. Regardless, the Andrews Sisters turned this into a U.S. chart topper and were later sued by Lord Invader for copyright infringement, being awarded $150,000 in royalties after years of court battles.

Calypso music can be seen in popular works like the movie Beetlejuice, where Harry Belafonte’s “Day-O” plays during a very memorable scene. You can also hear “Day-O” at sporting events, often used to get fans pumped up as they echo the song’s title back to the singer. Interestingly, Eleanor Roosevelt dubbed Belafonte “The King of Calypso” after seeing him perform in 1958. Daylight come and me wan’ go home!

Trinidad & Tobago: What’s Kraken?

What's Kraken Cocktail

  • 1 oz Kraken Rum
  • 1 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
  • Top with Hot Chocolate
  • Garnish with Whipped Cream

That “Day-O” song sure can get stuck in your head easy. Belafonte even performed the hit on an episode of The Muppet Show, with Fozzie Bear interrupting the singer… and for that, we thank him!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I really enjoy Kraken Black Spice Rum, which gets its rum content (molasses) from Trinidad and Tobago. I made this cocktail for Pa Sip, also a fan of Rum, as well as Butterscotch Schnapps. It was a pretty good drink and perfect for this time of the year!

October 25 – Green Ghoul

Spooky Specters

Last week, we kicked off the haunted month of October with a look at the best animated ghosts and this week we get a little eerier with some live-action apparitions. But just like the Ray Parker, Jr. song, “I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghosts!

#5: Sam Wheat – Ghost

Never has homemade pottery been so sexy… and never will it be again! Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore’s spin at molding clay has certainly resulted in numerous copycat attempts, with those people realizing how messy the whole process actually is. Back to the movie, though, Wheat is shot and killed during a botched robbery and has to save his love from a similar fate. He also has to unveil former friend Carl as a money launderer, all while a ghost who can’t be seen or heard. That’s where “medium” Whoopi Goldberg comes in, hoping to help Sam tie up the loose ends and move on to the next world.

Swayze Ghost

#4: Freddy Krueger – Nightmare on Elm Street

Freddy Krueger is by far the Sip Advisor’s favourite horror movie ghoul. Just the thought of a being invading your dreams and snuffing out your life in such a violent manner gives me goose bumps (and not the of the R.L. Stein variety). Add in his look, with the scarred face and clawed glove and you won’t want to ever sleep again. The Nightmare on Elm Street concept has inspired some of the most creative kills in horror movie history. Robert Englund, despite being typecast as a nice guy, took the role of Freddy and rocked it for eight movies and 44 TV episodes, before Jackie Earle Haley took over for the 2010 reboot.

#3: Beetlejuice

Say his name three times and you’re in for a visit from the supernatural con artist and bio-exorcist… a visit you just might regret! Played perfectly by Michael Keaton and set in a world that only director Tim Burton could dream up, this dark, yet oddly colourful movie inspired a cartoon series that turned Beetlejuice into a protagonist and friend of Lydia Deetz (you know, the same teen he tried to force against her will and carry out a dark wedding with in the film). There is talk of Keaton and Burton reuniting for a long-awaited sequel to the original film, perhaps even called Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian, a follow-up in development since 1990.

Beetlejuice Origin

#2: Jacob Marley & Christmas Spirits – A Christmas Carol

Without the help of these specters, Ebenezer Scrooge may have never learned the true meaning of Christmas and how to be a better human being, in general. First, starting with his former partner Jacob Marley (who is cursed to suffer in the hereafter after a lifetime and greed and selfishness), Scrooge is warned that he will be visited by three spirits: the ghost of Christmas past, present, and future. These ghouls guide Scrooge through his early days, showing him where the seeds of misery were first planted, how the people around him are currently suffering, and finally, the end result if he doesn’t change his ways immediately.

#1: Dr. Malcolm Crowe – The Sixth Sense

Spoiler alert! Bruce Willis – or at least his character – is actually dead in The Sixth Sense… he just doesn’t know it at first. The twist in this movie is executed so well that it made a career for M. Night Shayamalan. A career he has since faced challenges in, but a career nonetheless. Dr. Malcolm Crowe is trying to help a youngster, Cole Sear, through issues that include seeing and talking to people that have passed away and are having trouble getting through to the other side. In the process of Dr. Crowe helping Cole, Cole actually helps the good doctor and gives him release from being stuck in limbo.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Green Ghoul

Green Ghoul Shot

  • Rim glass with Green Sugar
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Midori

Who’s your favourite live-action or animated ghost? Which specters and spooks give you the heebie-jeebies? Never fear, cause next week, we’ll delve into the best ways to kill these baddies!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
The best part of this shot, other than the Midori melon liqueur, was the salty rim, created by spreading Lime Juice around the glass, allowing the Green Sugar to stick. It’s not that the shot was bad, but it was strong thanks to the Vodka. Thankfully, I used a really nice Vodka, Tito’s to be exact, and that helped with the overall enjoyment.

April 11 – Coco Bongo

Mind = Blown

As I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of clubs. Give me a bar or a lounge any day over these glorified, noisy, cesspools.

That is, until I visited Coco Bongo. Before going to Mexico in 2012, someone (I really can’t remember who… perhaps we blame the concussions… perhaps the years of hard liquoring… perhaps I’m just not that intelligent) told me that at Coco Bongo’s a little person sometimes pours shots in people’s mouths. Well, my little sippers, this is something I had to experience for myself.

The day finally came. It was our last day in Cancun and we were dead set on hitting the Hotel Zone that night for some hardcore parkour… followed by some clubbing. Our group had been aiming to do this the entire trip, but various things – swimming in cenotes, climbing Mayan ruins, drinking beers on the beach, celebrating New Years in Playa, and other such annoyances – had stopped that from happening.

Prior to leaving for the evening, we had some pre-party tequila shots from our hosts’ fine bar selection. After all, what else are you supposed to do in Mexico? This is where Mrs. Sip and I fell in love with 1800 Añejo. After pounding back a few, we felt ready to get our freak on.

We were dropped off in the Hotel Zone and scouted out the details for getting into Coco Bongo’s (price, time, etc.). Some guy on the street who worked for the club hooked us up with our arm bands, which were both our ticket in and our open bar pass (Note: do the open bar thing, forget bottle service. You do NOT want to be stuck at a table in this venue!). Then we made our way to a bar across the street to keep our buzz going before we would tear shit down in the club. I don’t like to dance, but this white boy has some moves and a trick or two up his sleeve!

Vanilla Ice

Yeah, that looks about right!

The bar we hit was okay, but I think we were all anticipating the main event on the card. Soon we were lining-up for Coco Bongo’s, which although previously empty outside, now showed a long line of patrons waiting to get into the show.

I am prone to refusing to pay cover charges, especially if I have to wait in line to get into a place that is going to rip me off. I believe our bands were $40 so I had high expectations. I  joined a line that would surely take some time to disappear, but was rewarded as servers began passing out tequila shots to those waiting. This wasn’t wonderful añejo quality, but by this point, who cared!?

Our line moved much quicker than expected and soon we were inside the building, but not in da club. This still did not faze me, as tequila shots and some unidentifiable pink stuff were continually being served like they were going out of style… and I kept drinking them.

Finally we were ushered into the main staging area and this place was crazy! There was a massive stage with ample lighting and decorations. Seating set up all around the building, with people filling the rafters. The floor area was packed, but it was easy to move around and drinks came by frequently.

Top 40, this was not, thank god (… who may have also made an appearance at one point). The show element started up and it was one of the wildest things I’ve ever seen as gorgeous ladies came out dancing to Chicago’s “All that Jazz”, followed by appearances of Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Captain America. The lights went out and when they came back on, Spider-Man had dropped down from the ceiling to party with us and fight off the Green Goblin. The Mask was doing his thing as confetti was streaming down all around, which is such an awesome effect – even if my shoes were stained pink by the tickertapes.

Coco Bongo Confetti

I was totally grooving, so much so that as Mrs. Sip and another girl in our group danced on the bar (they were the hot ones picked out of the crowd… I wonder why I wasn’t chosen!?) I decided to reach behind the bar and grab a massive beer for myself. Sure I only got a couple sips in before it was taken back, but it was a wonderful, hazy memory.

That’s when I saw it, Beetlejuice, in miniature, with a bottle of tequila. While the little bastard never got to me, Mrs. Sip was the recipient of the experience of a lifetime, as she got a shot of this dude’s potion (don’t get any wise ideas, my little sippers).

We celebrated her achievement with more passion than any of our graduations. When the rest of the group wanted to leave around 4am I was the one who wasn’t ready to call it a night (yes, I, the one who hates clubs).

It was a wonderful night, finished with a slice of cold pizza (what every great night should be capped with). I hereby dedicate this drink to that awesome place. As Arnold Schwazenegger once said, “It is not a tumour”… wait, that’s not it… ah, here it is, “I’ll be back!”

Drink #101: Coco Bongo

Coco Bongo Drink recipe

  • Rim glass with Coconut Shavings
  • 1.5 oz Malibu Rum
  • Top with half Coconut Water and half Pineapple Juice

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (5 Sips out of 5):
This drink should be on every alcohol fan’s short list menu. The Pineapple Juice was fantastic – not sure I’ve ever been able to say that before – and the Coconut Shavings always add a special something to any cocktail. A great way to start the 100-series beverages.