Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Eating Pizza With Scissors

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Thursday night, Izzy & I watched a Sylvester Stallone movie that somehow slipped through the cracks for me in the 80’s… and that feature is 1986’s “Cobra” starring Sly & Brigitte Nielsen. Like other iconic 80’s action movies… this movie starts out in a grocery store hostage situation (“Stone Cold” is amazing) but the overall story is about a renegade cop named Marion “Cobra” Cobretti (ugh) whose part of the “Zombie Squad” which means… actually they never really explain that the squad and how they’re different from anybody… or who else is in this squad… but really, who cares? Anyway, there’s a serial killer called the Night Slasher who has over a dozen victims in the L.A. area… and the police are clueless & have no leads. There seems to be no pattern, motive, anything like that. Until one evening when a model (Nielsen) stumbles upon a murder late at night… and see the face of the Night Slasher… but he get her license plate, so now she needs protection… from Cobra. Also, the Night Stalker is just part of a whole gang of… I don’t know, subterranean axe wielding new world order punk percussion enthusiasts? I feel like that’s never really explained much either… but the important thing is that there are plenty of people in leather jackets & tattoos for Cobra to kill… all while looking like George Michael in the “Faith” video… like exactly. Also, Brigitte Nielsen is a handsome woman… but the acting, the modeling sequence, and especially the fashion (shoulders mostly) makes me question the 80’s and the amount of cocaine that was readily available in Hollywood. Now, it’s you typically 80’s action movie with lots of guns, grenades, random explosions & the final showdown is at a steel plant a la “T2: Judgment Day” so as long as you go into it with that in mind, it’s not that horrible. There are many, many questionable scenes (bobblehead as a “hot item”, being a complete asshole parking his ’50 Mercury because… somebody else dared to park near his apartment, weird food based things including cutting fridge pizza with scissors while cleaning his gun using tools in an egg carton, checking a HORRIBLE police sketch of the Night Slasher with FINGERPRINTS at his APARTMENT?, etc) and a LOT of unanswered questions & loose ends. However, after doing some IMDb research, apparently this movie was originally over 2 hours and X-rated (f**k yeah!) but they basically cut it down to 87 minutes… so there was probably a lot of stuff in there involving who/what exactly the bad guys were… or the Zombie Squad… or character development… but yeah, good for some cheap laughs. Oddly enough, this movie was also Warner Bros highest grossing opening weekend up until that point in 1986! How odd is that? Well… “Batman” destroyed all that three years later… but still, interesting bit of trivia… check it out if you like bad Sly movies…

The other night, we completed by trilogy by watching the original “The Punisher” from 1989 starring Dolph Lundgren & Louis Gossett, jr and directed by Mark Goldblatt who… well, he was editor on some LEGENDARY movies (the good “Terminators”, “Armegeddon”, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, “Last Boy Scout”, “Starship Troopers”, “Predator 2”, “Showgirls”, and the new classic “Chappie”) but he directed… well, this movie and “Dead Heat”. What’s “Dead Heat” you ask? It was an action flick from the year before (1988) that featured Treat Williams & Joe Piscopo as cops brought back to life to chase down supernatural criminals. No, it’s not RIPD, don’t be an ass! Anyway, this movie is the first big-screen adaptation of the Punisher comic books which I have elaborated on in recent posts… and the story is very similar to the “Punisher: War Zone” version where the events of the movie take place five years after the “origin story” where former cop Frank Castle (Lundgren) is throwing out vigilante justice by executing criminals… fueled by VENGEANCE after his family was killed & he too is thought to be dead. The turning point in this story is when the Yakuza come into town & start taking over the organized crime in town… and they do this by kidnapping the Mafia’s children & holding them hostage to make them do their bidding. Well… the Punisher doesn’t like when kids are brought into the fray… so he goes to save them… and that’s where I’ll let you watch the movie. It was okay… it wasn’t great… Dolph obviously takes acting lessons & speech therapy from Sylvester Stallone… the plot is fairly predictable… but it’s violent & gritty like the movie should be… but yeah, just an okay 80’s action movie. Check it out on Netflix if you can. There’s Punisher, Yakuza & lots of guns… that’s about it.
In beer news, our hops are growing like weeds… that bear delicious hop clusters…

Saturday, Izzy & I had a busy little brewday which started with a new beer batch of a little known beer type called Kentucky Common. It’s a once-popular style that was huge in the Kentucky area from the Civil War to Prohibition… but essentially it’s similar to a brown ale… but with about 20-30% of the grain bill as rye and/or corn instead of barley. This gives the beer a bit of an easy drinking but slightly sour (like sour mash whiskey) twist to it. Why are we doing a Kentucky Common? Well, first off, because I’m a big fan of rye… in bread, whiskey, bourbon or beer form… and we hadn’t tried a rye beer yet. Mostly because it’s notoriously difficult to work with & clogs equipment with relative ease… but hey, we like a challenge. However, another reason we’re doing it is because Northern California Homebrewers Festival is in September & they have a club keg competition where you can make a Kentucky Common or a Classic American Pilsner… and we may enter it depending on how the SF Homebrewers Guild decides to enter… but worst-case, then we have 4-5 gallons of it available to share at our booth that weekend. Here are some pictures of the preparation… my new roommate also joined the adventure…

It was also time for us to transfer our Hefeweizen into secondary fermentation… and of course add the strawberry puree to make it Strawberry Hefeweizen

We also had a bit bottling day in which it was time to bottle both our future Award-winning Dunkelweizen


Other than that, it was a pretty low key weekend where we watched more than a season of “BoJack Horsemen” which… I mean, check it out… you’ll know in the first episode or two if you’ll like it. This next week is also pretty packed with awesomeness… and it culminates with a brew day with Big Ben & his family on Saturday!!! It’s gonna be a fun time!!! See y’all next week… thanks for stopping by… have a great week everybody!!!

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