Greeting readers and cinephiles everywhere! This is a new feature I hope to keep updated where I quickly review three movies that have been out for a while. The twist is I get to combine my two passions: movies and beer. So at the end I’ll talk about a beer I recently sampled. Hopefully this takes off so I have an excuse to watch more movies and drink more brews. Like I needed one.
“Cape Fear” (1991)
Directed by Martin Scorsese.
Starring: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Juliette Lewis, Jessica Lange and Joe Don Baker.
Contrary to the image above, this is not a comedy but a psychological thriller. “Cape Fear” is a movie surrounded with positive buzz, but I didn’t get around to watching until about a week ago.
At first, I was surprised by its experimental nature. Scorsese was pulling all kinds of tricks with the camera, like close-ups and Dutch angles. The pace was frenetic which made me think I was watching a Tarantino movie.
“Cape Fear” does get a little melodramatic in moments which made me chuckle. For example, when De Niro leaves prison, we see ominous thunderclouds gathering above. Still, it’s a really good thriller featuring a downright scary antagonist. De Niro is marvelously creepy in his turn as the ex-con with a vendetta even if his accent was laid on thick.
Seven (or Se7en) (1995)
Directed by David Fincher.
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey.
“Seven” was on my Netflix queue for a while before I stupidly waited too long. They pulled it, and I had to rent the DVD. It was worth the wait, however, as this film is a downright dirty, gut-punch of a procedural. Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman work off of each other excellently as two detectives on the opposite ends of their respective careers. Freeman is the cynical detective who is studious and methodical while Pitt’s emotional to a destructive degree.
Aside from the amazing acting, what makes “Seven” stand out are the disturbing visuals which no doubt shocked audiences in 1995. Modern viewers like myself are desensitized so I wasn’t personally affected. “Seven” is a great stylized police procedural film for adult audiences. The film is anchored by two lead performances that are simply amazing. Try to watch this movie before the ending gets spoiled for you.
The Naked Kiss (1964)
Directed by Samuel Fuller
Starring Constance Towers, Anthony Eisley, and Michael Dante.
I caught this one on Hulu through the Criterion Collection, and it was pretty good. “The Naked Kiss” is about an ex-prostitute who moves to a small town in order to start fresh. She begins working with children as a nurse, but the town has its own secrets to keep. Constance Towers gives a great performance as a woman who can be both nurturing yet absolutely fierce when wronged.
The run time is only 90 minutes, although it feels a bit longer. I’ve been trying to watch more film noir and “The Naked Kiss” is certainly a capable film despite the limited budget. Towers carries the whole movie on her shoulders from the bombastic start to the bittersweet ending. In many ways, “The Naked Kiss” addresses some of the same issues society faces today. Best if you see it and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Fat Tire Amber Ale
Made by New Belgium Brewing Company in Colorado.
One of my favorite brews which has become my go-to when there’s nothing new on the beer menu, Fat Tire is a great beer to sample when getting into the craft brewing scene.
It’s pretty accessible since a good number of restaurants and bars carry it on tap. The flavor profile is slightly bitter and hoppy, so it pairs well with red meats, smoked pork and chicken dishes with strong flavors. Detective Bosch orders it a lot in the Amazon show of the same name, so it has the added bonus of being affiliated with a paragon of masculinity.
Also, saying “Fat Tire” repeatedly makes me chuckle.