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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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.

June 20 – Texas Roadkill

On the Road Again

With the summer rapidly approaching, families are likely making plans for road trips, vacations, and other forms of long distance travel. After reading this list and viewing the media listed, you may want to reconsider. Here are the Top 5 road trip movies, which never go according to plan!

#5: Zombieland

Can road trips still occur in a post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested world? Zombieland proves they can, as our four heroes – identified only by the city which they hail from – try to survive together and decide the safest place for them to be is Pacific Playland in Los Angeles – after all, there might be Twinkies there! When they arrive, through a mine field of the undead, they discover there really is no safe place left in the world, except maybe with each other.

zombieland twinkies

#4: Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Neal Page is having a bad day… and it’s about to get a lot worse. While trying to get home for Thanksgiving, his simple flight from New York to Chicago is transformed into a three-day nightmare, with an unwelcome companion, Del Griffith, along for the journey. One thing after another goes wrong, usually caused by the affable Griffith. In the end, the two men share the holiday together and a new appreciation for what they have.

#3: Beavis and Butt-head Do America

Despite Mrs. Sip’s refusal to watch this film, it’s a great movie that everyone should watch at least once. Heck, Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel actually gave the flick two thumbs up. The story sees our favourite teenage delinquents trek across the country, in search of their missing TV, while also getting unwittingly entangled in a murder-for-hire plot. Everything comes to a head in Washington, D.C., with the White House as a backdrop and the ATF’s intervention.

beavis-and-butthead

#2: Little Miss Sunshine

This sleeper hit sees the dysfunctional Hoover family set out for the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant, which daughter Olive has lucked her way into. Along for the ride are Olive’s parents (currently going through some marital issues), moody brother, suicidal uncle, and drug-abusing grandfather. That sounds like a hell of a car load to the Sip Advisor! Best of all, the troupe is making the journey in a rundown VW Microbus, which makes for some not-so-comfortable family bonding.

#1: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Starring an ensemble cast that included legends such as Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney, and Jonathan Winters, this film sees a number of travelers race to uncover $350,000 buried in the Santa Rosita Beach State Park. The movie Rat Race was a remake of sorts to the original, if you’re hoping to watch a more contemporary version of the story. There was also a great parody of the concept in an episode of The Simpsons. The things people do for money!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Texas Roadkill

  • 0.3 oz Rum
  • 0.3 oz Gin
  • 0.3 oz Vodka
  • 0.3 oz Bourbon
  • Dash of Tabasco Sauce

The best part about these movies is that they remind you of your own travel experiences (albeit probably not as eventful). For example, the film EuroTrip allows Mrs. Sip and me to reminisce about our Contiki tour around the continent, while National Lampoon’s Vacation makes me look back fondly on road trips across the U.S. with family. Lastly, Almost Famous inspires foggy memories of that time I toured North America with my bluegrass band… okay, I might have made that one up.

November 8 – The Incredible Hulk

As Themselves

You know you’ve really made it big when you can appear in a major production as yourself. There have been some amazing performances where someone basically accentuates their real-life persona and pokes a little fun at themselves. This list, of course, does not include reality TV and I’ve also decided not to include bands who may show up in a film or TV show for performance purposes. With that said, on with the article!

#5: Bill Murray – Zombieland/Space Jam

Bill Murray has appeared a few movies playing himself, some more notable than others. First, in the Looney Tunes-Michael Jordan crossover Space Jam, Murray and Jordan are golfing buddies, causing the former Ghostbuster to get dragged into the intergalactic basketball battle between the Tune Squad and the Monstars. Years later, Murray made a surprise cameo in the horror-comedy Zombieland. Unfortunately, that appearance didn’t end too well for the comedic legend, as his living dead costume was a little too convincing for his newfound friends.

#4: Wil Wheaton – Big Bang Theory

The former Star Trek child star has appeared in a number of Big Bang Theory episodes, first as a nemesis to Sheldon Cooper and later, a friend. His early battles with Sheldon included a fantasy card game tournament (which Sheldon only entered to extract some revenge against Wheaton for no-showing a personal appearance years earlier), as well as a bowling challenge. Wheaton has also shared screen time with aspiring actress Penny (whose last name has never been divulged) on a low-budget production. For being able to poke fun at himself, Wheaton has found himself embraced by geeks everywhere, whether Star Trek fans or not.

#3: Stan Lee – Mallrats/The Simpsons/Big Bang Theory

The king of the cameo, Lee is known to appear briefly in the movies of all his comic creations, usually as a security guard, hot dog vendor, or other minor character. He has also shown up as himself in a number of TV shows and films. Most notably was his turn in the comedy Mallrats, where he provides main character Brodie with some sage advice about love and romance, prior to a book signing appearance. Similar to his appearance in Mallrats, he has guest-starred on episodes of The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory as appearing at the comic book stores featured on each show. He even officiated Comic Book Guy’s wedding!

#2: Neil Patrick Harris – Harold and Kumar Franchise

When the former Doogie Howser M.D., Neil Patrick Harris, appeared in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle as a drug-addled sex fiend, he virtually re-launched his career, leading to being cast as womanizer Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother. NPH’s random appearances in all three of the Harold and Kumar movies have always been loaded with laughs, as he plays an out-of-control former child star who always seems to meddle with the main journey. Funnily, he’s actually credited as Neil Patrick Harris in each Harold and Kumar film and not with the typical “As Himself” acknowledgment.

#1: Adam West – Family Guy

The former Caped Crusader has proven before that he doesn’t mind poking fun at himself. Hell, how else could he get through the campy 1960’s Batman TV series!? Still, as the Mayor of Quahog, Adam West is lampooned as an out-of-his-mind dignitary who is more likely to erect unnecessary statues, than properly run the town. West has even gone on to marry Peter Griffin’s sister-in-law (he also dated Peter’s daughter, Meg, briefly), thus making him a member of the family. The one-time Bruce Wayne has also parodied himself on other cartoons, including The Simpson and The Fairly OddParents.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Incredible Hulk

Incredible Hulk Shot

  • 0.5 oz Absinthe
  • 0.25 oz Melon Liqueur
  • Top with Mountain Dew
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

I also have to give honourable mentions to Dennis Rodman (3rd Rock from the Sun), Bob Barker (Happy Gilmore), Alice Cooper (Wayne’s World), Al Gore (Futurama), and Lou Ferrigno (King of Queens). One day, the Sip Advisor hopes to appear as himself in some form of media… other than Cops, that is!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I went with this shooter recipe because Stan Lee created the character and Lou Ferrigno, who I included in the honourable mentions, played the big guy. After downing the shot, I blacked out and went into a rage, destroying everything in my path. When I awoke, my clothes were tattered and there was green make-up everywhere. In all seriousness, this recipe is kind of neat, with Absinthe actually coming across nice, thanks to the Melon Liqueur and Mountain Dew.

October 19 – Zombie Guts

Brrraaaiiinnnsss

While zombies are meant to be scary and ignite fear within viewers of undead material, sometimes the genre can be flipped upside down and be used to portray romantic and comedic stories. Here are some flicks that eschew the typical Zombie story:

Warm Bodies (2013)

What happens when a zombie falls in love with a woman and feelings begin to return to an undead being? This is the question that Warm Bodies looks to answer. The zombie, known only as R spots Julie and is attracted to her. Having just killed her boyfriend and kidnapped her, he tries to make amends and the two slowly grow close. I loved Rob Corddry in this movie as fellow zombie M. His presumed best friend relationship with R is done quite well, given they’re non-communicative zombies.

Warm Bodies

A Little Bit Zombie (2012)

Steve, a mild-mannered HR manager is bitten by a zombie mosquito and therefore, he’s only “a little bit zombie”. Complicating matters is Steve’s wife-to-be, who’s gone all bridezilla on their upcoming wedding. That’s a pretty funny premise to me and although it’s not the greatest movie out there, it is a unique twist on the zombie film.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

According to Shaun, the safest place to take refuge in the middle of a zombie uprising is at the local watering hole. So, Shaun and pal, Ed, are charged with rounding up Shaun’s mom and girlfriend in an attempt to make it to the shelter of the Winchester Pub. After all, that’s where drinks, food, and good times can be had. This film launched the careers of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and others and is the first of the Three Flavours of Cornetto Trilogy (Hot Fuzz and The World’s End being the other offerings).

Army of Darkness (1992)

Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) is back to fight the undead and this time, he’s got a boomstick (a shotgun) and chainsaw (affixed to his arm, of course) to keep him company. The third and final film in The Evil Dead franchise (as of now) is a cult favourite for its catchphrases, humour and cheesiness. There are plans for an Army of Darkness 2 to be released sometime in the future, with Campbell returning to his titular role of Ash.

Army of Darkness

Dead Alive aka Braindead (1992)

Directed by Peter Jackson (yes, the same Peter Jackson that has since gone on to make the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies), this zombie outbreak is caused by the dreaded ‘Sumatran Rat-Monkey’, which infects the mother of Lionel Cosgrove. Cosgrove now must care for his undead mother, while fending off his uncle who wants the family estate. The flick is full of wonderful gore, so much so that the uncut version is still banned in Germany.

Zombieland (2009)

The best part of Zombieland is the “rules” the viewer learns along the way, as Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock pursue freedom, Twinkies, and the Pacific Playland amusement park. It all leads to a final showdown between the weary survivors and the deadly zombies at the theme park, where creative kills come in spades. Although there was talk of a sequel and even a TV series, neither came to fruition, although a pilot was filmed in 2013 with the series later being rejected.

Drink #292: Zombie Guts

Zombie Guts Shooter

  • 0.75 oz Vodka (I used Pinnacle Strawberry-Kiwi)
  • 0.5 oz Bailey’s Irish Crème
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Candy Finger

Which movies would you suggest to the Sip Advisor to get his zombie viewing on? That way I can be as brainless as the undead beings I’m watching!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This is quite the process to make this shooter. Mix the Vodka and Lime Juice together before straining into a shot glass. Then, add drips of Irish Crème, which will curdle thanks to the Lime Juice and form the basis of the guts. Finally, add a couple drips of Grenadine for the bleeding effect. That’s what’s supposed to happen, but as you can see above, I had no such artistic luck. Still, things turned out okay and throw in a Candy Finger to complete the project.