Flavour Revolution – Sloe Berries

Slowing Things Down

Today, we experiment with Sloe Gin – a first for the Sip Advisor. I know “sloe” in this case is not spelt like “slow”, but all I can think of is things moving at a lengthier pace. Therefore, I bring to you the greatest slow-motion scenes in cinema history:

The Untouchables – Union Station Gunfight

While I’m 100% anti-prohibition, I suppose I’m also anti-illegal activity. Things come to a head between these two forces when Elliot Ness and his Untouchables enter into a full-scale gunfight with mobster Al Capone and his cronies, inside Chicago’s Union Station. Members of both factions are blown away by various weapons and upping the tension factor is the fact that a mother and her young child (in stroller) are caught in the crossfire.

Inception – Dream Catchers

To bring the reverse heisters back to the real world, a serious jolt is needed… like the type you get when you feel you’re falling in a dream. To achieve this, the crew decides that their vehicle needs to fall from a bridge into the water below. Because time moves differently in the various levels of consciousness, this descent is painfully slow and also affects the members caught in the different dream levels, throwing them into the ceiling or other obstacles of the realm they are in.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High – Leisurely Swim

Let’s move on to a lighter scene. In this teen comedy, high school senior Brad Hamilton watches his sister’s friend swim in the family pool and fantasizes about her slowly emerging from the water and dropping her bikini top all for his pleasure. This causes Brad (played by Judge Reinhold) to need some “release”… thankfully not also done in slow-mo. As we’ll find with many of these scenes, music plays a large role in the full effect, this time with the Cars ‘Moving in Stereo’ providing the soundtrack.

X-Men: Days of Future Past – Quicksilver Antics

This scene instantly made the character of Quicksilver popular with fans who didn’t know he even existed and demand to have him included in future X-men installments was passionate. Watching the young mutant run around the vault as time crawled to a halt, messing with guards and repositioning bullets was very entertaining. Only slow time will tell what other adventures Quicksilver gets up to in the future… and past!

The Matrix – Fight Fury

While I’m not a fan of the Matrix franchise, I have to admit that there are many great slow-mo scenes throughout the trilogy. Bullet Time, for example, was a jaw-dropping and revolutionary filming technique and similar processes were used for other fight scenes, such as the lobby shootout in the first installment and Neo’s battle with an unlimited number of Mr. Smiths in the sequel. I still don’t understand the damn thing, though.

Zombieland – Amazing Opening

Perfectly combined with Metallica’s ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’, this may be one of cinema’s greatest opening montages. In just a few brief scenes, the audiences is caught up to speed with the horrors of the apocalyptic zombie outbreak that has forced our hero from his cozy, shut-in life into a world of fear, mistrust, and always being vigilant. We even see a bride attack her new husband, which would have to make their nuptials the wedding of the year!

Anchorman 2 – RV Flip

With the Channel 4 news crew reunited and en route to new jobs for the launch of a 24-hour channel, all the guys have to do is survive a cross-country road trip aboard an RV driven by Ron Burgundy… who doesn’t really understand the concept of cruise control. This results in their RV swerving off the road and injuries to each journalist, including deep fryer oil to the face, a bowling ball to the skull, an even a scorpion attack. Why these items were ever aboard the RV remains an unsolved mystery.

Office Space – Printer Destruction

Almost all of us have been there: frustrated with a printer or other office device. These three disgruntled employees decide to take their venom out on the machine that has caused them the most angst, bringing it out into a desolate field and destroying it. With the song ‘Still’ by the Geto Boys fueling their destructive intentions, the trio makes the device unrecognizable, even going so far as to wield a baseball bat in their attack. Every office worker has dreamed of doing the same ever since!

Zoolander – Gas Fight

To cheer up their buddy Derek Zoolander, the male models go out for some Orange Mocha Frappuccinos. As they stop to fill up their Jeep with some gas, they decide to have a playful fight with the fuel and all is well until one of the models lights a cigarette, causing the station to explode into a ball of fire. Once again, the music selection is key here, as the Wham! Classic ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ deceives the audience of the tragedy that is about to unfold.

Flavour Revolution: Hopeless Case

The Chariots of Fire scene should really be included, given how many times it’s been parodied. There’s also an amazing scene in Ace Ventura where Jim Carrey performs a football play in both slow-mo and rewind. Courtenay Cox can barely keep a straight face throughout!

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January 18 – Crouching Tiger

Counter Culture

I fell asleep during the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, despite the fact I thought I’d enjoy the fantastical martial arts film with a name that sounds like a wicked sex position. This is far from the first popular film (at least according to most of the world) that I have walked away from disliking. Here are the top five movies I refuse to watch, despite their large fan base:

#5: The Hunger Games

Okay, so I only saw the first entry of this series, but it will be hard for Mrs. Sip to get me to return for more. Sorry to drop a spoiler for those who haven’t seen the film, but I absolutely hated how they built up this entire competition for what seemed like forever, only to kill off half the competitors immediately. Then, the fact producers wanted the film to be PG-13 eliminated any chance of serious themes from the book being examined. And so, we slowly wound our way to the inevitable and predictable finish. The Japanese flick Battle Royal is a far better offering in the realm of kids being challenged to kill one another in the name of survival.

#4: Moulin Rouge

Good lord, Mrs. Sip loves her musicals. The Sip Advisor, however, despises any media that is largely based around singing. Tragically, I’ve been dragged to a number of films or forced to watch movies where even the simplest dialogue is crooned. I’m not talking about Disney or other animated offerings, but live action movies where song and dance drives the entire production. Back to Moulin Rouge, I’ve actually been outside of the cabaret club in Paris, France and even without entering, cold chills were running through my system and I suffered flu-like symptoms just being in its presence.

#3: Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit

Middle Earth is simply a place I don’t want to visit… and I definitely don’t want to get stuck there for six movies and 525 hours (running time is purely an estimate of Peter Jackson’s need to have super extended versions of his films). For most of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Mrs. Sip and I watched the DVD’s and I made sure a clause was put in our contract that we’d halt the movie half way through to take a break playing pool or throwing darts or something else to get me through the second half of the film. The tactic was not very successful with regards to my overall enjoyment.

#2: The Matrix

I just don’t understand these films and the truth of the matter is, I don’t really want to. When I saw the first installment many moons ago, all I could think about was how hungry I was. Thankfully, my McDonald’s feast afterwards wasn’t as disappointing as my cinema choice. Sadly, Mrs. Sip loved that first movie, so when the sequels arrived and we were now dating, I was dragged to midnight openings like I was some nerd who enjoys standing in lines for his entertainment. I only do that at Disneyland, thank you very much!

#1: Star Wars

Mrs. Sip was absolutely shocked when we started dating and I told her I had never seen the original Star Wars trilogy. She had grown up on the films and in short order, made me watch all three of the original releases. I’ve never really been a huge fan of science fiction. I think some of the concepts are neat, but in general, the whole space setting isn’t my cup of tea and too much fantasy and made up stuff irritates me. I must say, this was one of the few new experiences we shared that summer that I didn’t enjoy!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Crouching Tiger

Crouching Tiger Shooter

  • 0.5 oz Tequila (I used Hornitos)
  • 0.5 oz Lychee Vodka/Liqueur
  • Splash of Lychee Juice
  • Garnish with Lemon Wedge

Looking back at my list, not only are most of my selections popular movies, they’re god damn franchises, meaning I’m usually forced to sit through multiple movies I’d rather not see. Movies like Twilight and Titanic should have made the list, but I’ve actually been able to avoid watching any of these, so I’ll just leave them off and pretend they don’t exist!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This shot was pretty strong, thanks to the Tequila and my choice to go with Lychee Vodka rather than Lychee Liqueur. I added the splash of Lychee Juice to try and lighten the recipe and that helped in getting the flavour across. A decent shooter, but nothing to go out of your way for.

September 29 – Negroni

Bittersweet

There are some legendary roles that have been passed up by actors and actresses for various reasons. That probably made some of these folks pretty bitter… let’s take a look!:

Tom Selleck – Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark)

The Magnum P.I. star and his moustache were slated to play the role of archeologist Indiana Jones, but Selleck wasn’t allowed to vacate his TV role long enough to film the movie. The role went to Harrison Ford instead and three sequels followed. Selleck has done okay since, but lost out on playing such a treasured character. At least Selleck didn’t have to suffer through the backlash The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull received.

tom-selleck-indiana-jones

Molly Ringwald – Vivian (Pretty Woman) / Molly (Ghost)

The 1980’s icon missed the boat on a couple big roles in 1990 including Vivian in Pretty Woman and Molly in Ghost, played by Julia Roberts and Demi Moore respectively. Instead, Ringwald was living and acting in France. When she returned stateside, she had parts in TV movies and series but hasn’t done anything of note since her heyday decades ago. Roberts and Moore on the other hand enjoyed strong careers after these movies.

Will Smith – Neo (The Matrix)

I am certainly not a fan of The Matrix trilogy of movies and apparently, neither was Smith. The Fresh Prince turned down the character of Neo, saying he found the script too hard to follow. Instead, Smith would go on to make Wild Wild West, a universally panned film, around the same time. Smith has also admitted that Keanu Reeves was perfect for the role, which I take to mean the character was always intended to be one-dimensional, monotone, and boring.

will smith as neo

Mel Gibson – Bruce Wayne/Batman (Batman)

With all the uproar over the selection of Ben Affleck to play Batman, it’s interesting to note actors who previously passed on the iconic role. Gibson turned down the offer for Tim Burton’s 1989 film, believing the movie would be a flop… and this is all before his high-profile meltdown. Michael Keaton, of course, stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park before the franchise took a downswing with Val Kilmer and George Clooney behind the mask.

Sean Connery – Gandalf (Lord of the Rings)

The former James Bond legend passed on the role of Gandalf, reasoning that he didn’t “get” fantasy (because, you know, the James Bond plots are super realistic) and instead went on to make The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a movie that involves superheroes and is based on comics. Yup, that seems much more grounded in reality. Connery was paid $17 million for his part in the League, but it also pushed him to retire from acting. Had he accepted the Gandalf role and the offered 15% of the box office, he could have made $400 million through the trilogy!

sean-connery-gandalf

Denzel Washington – Det. David Mills (Se7en)

Denzel reportedly turned down the role later played by Brad Pitt, saying the movie was too dark. Apparently, he later regretted passing on the part, but he did alright for himself eventually, with an Oscar win for Training Day. Se7en launched Pitt into superstardom and also paired him with director David Fincher. Over the years, the two would also combine their efforts for Fight Club and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Kevin Costner – Andy Dufresne (The Shawshank Redemption)

Costner was huge in the early 90’s and his acceptance of the Andy Dufresne role would have helped him avoid the total bomb that became his Waterworld passion project. After Waterworld, it took quite some time for Costner to rid himself of the stench of failure (must have been some stinky water on that set) and some could argue he’s never fully recovered. Tim Robbins took the Andy Dufresne part and went on to enjoy a renaissance of sorts.

Drink #272: Negroni

Negroni Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Gin (I used Bombay Sapphire East)
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Garnish with an Orange Twist

I sincerely hope that every actor and actress whose career was launched by one of these roles originally turned down sends that person some kind of gift basket each year, thanking them for their poor judgment and decision making. Join us tomorrow for part two of this franchise!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (1.5 Sips out of 5):
I knew going into this cocktail that I wasn’t going to like it very much. I find Campari’s bitterness to be too harsh and the Sweet Vermouth wasn’t able to bring it back to a tolerable level. I’m unclear as to why this has become such a classic cocktail. I guess there are enough people out there that prefer bitter drinks.

March 3 – Goldfinger

Trivia Time

This cocktail could be honouring anything from the legendary King Midas, a sexual euphemism or anything in between. I’m going to assume (making an ass out of you and me… it’s what I do best) it’s a tribute to the James Bond book and film of the same name. So, let’s look at some trivia on the subject.

In nearly every scene that he appears in, villain Auric Goldfinger wears yellow or gold items of clothing. In one scene he is seen donning a US Army uniform, but is carrying the famous golden gun.

Advisor’s Take: So, Goldfinger basically dresses like a Richard Simmons/Rod Roddy cross… oh man, that’s a scary sight… but scary as in one of those car wreck type deals, where you can’t look away and want to see the carnage. Although that golden gun in the video games kills with only one bullet. No need for headshots here, just shoot them in the foot and the game gives the victim instant gangrene, which results in a quick death.

Richard Simmons ROD RODDY

The Goldfinger movie marked the first time an Aston Martin vehicle was used by James Bond. The car and character are now synonymous with one another. The company was originally reluctant to provide the production with two of their vehicles, but after the success of the movie, which translated into great business for the vehicle manufacturer, the company was more than willing for future sequels to provide anything the producers were looking for.

Advisor’s Take: I’ve never really been a car guy, so I don’t bust a nut over the vehicles in this movie or any other film. The only driving experience I’d like to enjoy in my life is being in a convertible, while driving along a winding beach, with dark shades on and feeling the wind run through my hair… that or rocking a monster truck through the streets of a bustling downtown core, running over everything from smart cars, to people who walk while texting, to the little designer dogs that cover the streets with poop.

The name Pussy Galore was almost changed to Kitty Galore, in order to appease censors, but producers were allowed to continue with the original name, as long as it did not appear on promotional material for the film. Actress Honor Blackman, who played the titular (literally) character enjoyed embarrassing her interviewers during press junkets by repeatedly saying the name.

Advisor’s Take: Sounds like my kind of girl, talking all dirty. Such outlandish names like Pussy Galore in the Bond franchise has led to some great monikers in spy spoofs. Of course, there was the Austin Powers trilogy, which featured names like Alotta Fagina, Ivana Humpalot, Fook Mi and Fook Yu, and Dixie Normous. My favourite occurred in an American Dad episode lampooning the spy genre, as Francine became Sexpun Tocome. I kind of wish Pussy Galore had remained Kitty Galore, and instead of her team of Flying Circus pilots she had a menagerie of cats whose offensive array included napping on people to subdue them and killing birds and mice that could later be used as projectiles.

Pussy Galore

This was the first movie appearance for a laser beam, as seen when Goldfinger has Bond strapped to a table, on the verge of being snuffed out. In the book, a spinning buzzsaw is inching closer to Bond, rather than a laser beam, but producers felt this gag was no longer original.

Adviser’s Take: If a buzzsaw worked for Dudley Do-Right cartoons and 1960’s live action Batman episodes, it could have also worked here. Funnily enough, now the whole laser beam thing seems unoriginal. The times they are a changing. If I ever have a hero at my mercy, I would finish them off with the dreaded purple nurple. If left untreated, the purple nurple can turn into a deadly blood clot, causing nausea, seizures, and eventual organ failure. I’m not a doctor, but I play one on the internet.

The role of Goldfinger’s minion, Odd Job was given to former Olympic medalist and professional wrestler Toshiyuki “Harold” Sakata. Another wrestler, Milton Reid, who had played a henchman in Dr. No, wanted the Odd Job role and challenged Sakata to a match with the winner getting the part. Producers decided that wasn’t necessary, since Reid’s character had been killed off in Dr. No and the match never took place. Reid later appeared as baddie Sandor in The Spy Who Loved Me over a decade later.

Advisor’s Take: I think all movie roles should be decided in the wrestling ring. Can you imagine Keanu Reeves battling Will Smith (turned the part down) for the role of Neo in The Matrix series? Or the catfights that would occur when any of Hollywood’s leading ladies battled over a character? The Oscars could become Tinsletown’s version of WrestleMania, complete with a stacked card of bouts. Put it on pay-per-view and I bet the viewers would tune in. If you build it, they will come.

Okay, that’s enough trivia for today. Alex Trebek I am not. Unless he’s a boozehound too!

Drink #62: Goldfinger

Goldfinger Martini

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Sadly, this drink disappointed in presentation, as it was hard to see any of the Goldschlager in the martini. The cocktail tasted great and even looked awesome, but the gold flakes disappeared and that was sad.