Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What's the Opposite of an Ode?

Whatever it is, I'd like to write the opposite of an ode to beer. Beer is gross. One whiff and I get bitter beer face so bad I'm literally afraid it will freeze that way and I'll be stuck with a twisted, screwed up mouth and a scrunched up nose and eyebrows for life. Once I tried to take a sip of my friend's brother's super dark ale and nearly threw up in his authentic souvenir German stein. I hate beer. I know everyone says it's an acquired taste, like coffee or wine. But I fail to see the purpose in an acquired taste. Why bother acquiring it if the process is so yucky? Now I understand that some people require coffee just to survive. And though it took me several months of living in France, I finally understand why people like wine (red anyway. White is just a waste of time.)


I drank my way through Europe, sampling the best beers that Munich, Prague, and Brussels had to offer. I was determined to acquire that taste so I could be a normal college student. Blech, blech, and more blech (with the exception of Belgian cherry beer. Droooool...) I made it all the way to the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, where I gave beer one last ultimatum: If I didn't like it by Ireland (one of the last stops on my trip), I was giving up for good. And sure enough, after touring the factory (and learning that eggs are the single best cure for a hangover, thanks Guinness!), I went up to their sky bar for my free (well, included in the extravagant ticket price) pint. Dirt. Dirt and poo was all I tasted. So screw you beer! Also, it has a ton of calories (not that I really care about that), and it takes a lot of it to really take an effect (expensive and inefficient).

But last night when me, the Bean, and the Bean's boyfriend went out on the town (and by town I mean the Universal City Walk), we came across a beer garden. And while I loathe the sight, smell, and taste of beer, I love what it symbolizes: hanging out with your friends, relaxing over a pint. And anything consumed outside tastes better for some reason. Plus, it was happy hour. Three fifty a glass? Happy hour indeed! We had some time to kill between getting frozen yogurt (sidebar, I am the queen of Yogurtland), and going to see the Green Hornet (more on that later). So we decided to go for it. I ordered a Belgian Wheat Heffeweizen (I think), simply because the description mentioned something about bananas, vanilla, and cloves, and that it was 7% alcohol (I'm all for more bang for your buck). And you know what? It wasn't terrible. I didn't get bitter beer face. I didn't love it, but I didn't want to regurgitate my digesting froyo either. So, progress. I should also mention I was able to stand Bud Light with the lime juice already in it. It tasted like water and from what I understand, doesn't count as beer.

So yes, I celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. day with an exercise in tolerance. And while I still don't really like beer, I do like the way it makes you feel. As with wine, for some reason it gives you a happy, warm feeling. You appreciate everyone and everything around you. Not in a sloppy, "I love you, man" kind of way (at least in moderation). But still, it enhances the good times. Unfortunately, it had been a really long time since I'd had any alcohol, and frozen yogurt does not a substantial dinner make. So that 7% kind of hit me harder than expected and by the time we walked to the theater, I was laughing hysterically and awkwardly cha-cha'ing to the crappy world music being performed on the promenade. It was quite a performance, if I do say so myself.

Pretty good poster actually.

And now, on to the somewhat rushed and vague review (I have to finish getting ready for work. I just felt bad that I went so long without blogging.) THE GREEN HORNET!!!! I had been so excited about this project ever since I first heard that Seth Rogen was attached a few years ago. I love him as a writer and I thought he would make an interesting choice as an action hero (since Pineapple Express, like Bud Light with Lime, doesn't quite count). I was also stoked to hear that Michel Gondry was directing. Another unusual choice, and who would have ever paired those two up as a team? Anyway, the whole reason I got scammed by this extra company was that they were advertising for background players for the Green Hornet. Any chance to catch a glimpse of my beloved Seth was worth the exorbitant sign up fee. But that didn't exactly work out and I developed a slight resentment for the Green Hornet (even though it was just a pawn in Actorsonset's nefarious scheme).


When I finally saw the trailer (after the film was pushed back a few months, not boding well for its quality), I was severely disappointed. It looked really stupid, honestly. And not in a good way. Britt Reid's sidekick Kato seemed like such a horrific racial stereotype (which probably wouldn't have bothered me as much if it was genuinely funny). And I just didn't buy Seth Rogen as basically a male Paris Hilton. But after reading The Sassy Curmudgeon's surprisingly good review, I decided to take a chance. I rarely see movies in the theater, so this was a big deal. I trust Una, and Seth has rarely let me down before.

As for the movie itself, I think it helped that I was still a bit tipsy from my Heffeweizen. It took a while to really get going, and only in the last half of it did I really laugh out loud. But homeboy looks startlingly good in a suit, even if I maintain that he looked better 30 pounds heavier. The relationship between Kato and Britt was adorable and complex, even gleefully addressing the unintentional homoerotic subtext a few times. And as much as I love Seth, it was really the Kato show. Britt didn't really do anything except bankroll the operation and be snarky. He was more often the damsel in distress than the hero. Cameron Diaz was just awful, and her character seemed to serve only as conflict between the guys, and as exposition for the plot. And while Christopher Waltz was amazing in Inglorious Basterds, he was a bit wasted in this. He only appeared in a few scenes, and his whole bit about not being scary enough as a bad guy was underdeveloped. He had such potential as a supervillain, but really just seemed to phone it in. But he did have one of the best lines, "I'm UNGASSABLE!!" There were some great action sequences, but since I really only cared about the dialogue and the characters, I was perfectly 'whelmed.' A few great lines, clearly improvised, but for the most part, it seemed a little superficial. I know it's not trying to be more than an action comedy loosely based on an old timey radio show. But it had the potential for a lot of heart.

I think I'd give it a solid 5 or a 6. Maybe more because I am hopelessly devoted to Seth, even if he is engaged (*heart breaks). But the point is, beer is still gross.


  1. I'm totally with you on the whole beer thing. I keep encountering people who tell me, "You should try THIS beer! It tastes so different than other beers! It doesn't really taste like beer at all." Yeah, um, no it doesn't different; it still tastes like BEER. Trust me on this one. To someone who does not like beer, THEY ALL TASTE THE SAME! Gross.

  2. Thank you, Betty, can I get an AMEN! I guess everyone else is just crazy.

  3. I have to totally disagree. Beer is delicious!