CineDrunk: Best of 2017 - Top Ten Lists

While we're happy to have 2017 behind us, we did find some comfort and joy in movie theaters throughout the year. We managed to take in more than 100 films from 2017, so it's high time to rank and debate the best of them. Have a listen to the latest CineDrunk below to find out which movies made our personal top ten lists, and mix yourself up an accompanying cocktail!

Haddishdrinks

The Bittersweet Ruin

2 oz gin
1 oz pear nectar
0.75 oz Amaro Montenegro

Combine gin, Amaro, and pear nectar in cocktail shaker and stir. Serve in rocks glass with ice.

Also listen and subscribe to CineDrunk on Apple Podcasts.

CineDrunk: Best of 2016 - Top Ten Lists

Priorities. Choices. Top Tens. We'll follow Viola's lead and just get to it.

viola-champagne

Click below for the auditory feast, or listen and subscribe to CineDrunk via iTunes.

CineDrunk: Best of 2015 - Top Ten Lists

bb8

It's that time of year! We've seen more than one hundred 2015 movies, so it's high time we rank them--unmercifully.

Just kidding, we're as giddy as BB-8 to talk about this impressive crop of films. And we do just that in our latest CineDrunk podcast. Without further ado, our long-awaited top ten episode in which we are drunk on movies, lists, and celery martinis. Cheers!

Celery Martini
(adapted from Saveur)

2 oz London Dry Gin
1.5 oz lemon juice
1.5 oz dry vermouth
celery salt
lime wedge
celery hearts

Rim a martini glass with lime wedge and celery salt. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add gin, lemon juice, and vermouth. Shake vigorously and strain into rimmed glass. Garnish with a celery heart.
 

Watch the blog in the coming days for our full write-ups on the films that were most special to us in 2015. Want more? You can't possibly, but there's more anyway! Below is a short (we promise!) bonus podcast where we discuss even more films we loved from last year, though not quite enough to make any of our lists. Spiked hot chocolate is involved.

CineDrunk: 2015 Fall Movies Thus Far

With November half gone, we've been busy at the cineplex as we work our way through the list of our most anticipated films of the season. This week we're discussing a handful of fall movies that may or may not factor into the fast approaching Oscar race. In honor of the season, our inspired cocktail was either titled the "Flouncy Flirty Fall Philanderer" or the "Clea DuFall."

Gin and Poached Pear Tonic
1 part gin
1 part tonic
1 part poached pear juice (find your own recipe b/c we're not helping)
1 sprinkle-dinkle cayenne pepper
1 small squeeze fresh lime juice

Pour gin, tonic, and pear juice over ice and stir. Add cayenne and lime juice. Garnish with lime, poached pear, or 1st Place Sash from the World Bartender Championships. Enjoy!

gintonic

Films Discussed in This Episode:
00:00   Intro & Drink Recipe
03:21   The Martian
13:17   Goodnight Mommy
18:21   Room
29:06   Black Mass
33:54   Everest
37:51   Crimson Peak
45:39   Sicario
49:05   Bridge of Spies
1:02:50   Steve Jobs

CineDrunk: Summer Movies 2015 So Far

Now that we're heading into peak summer season it's time to evaluate which movies have hit that sweet-spot of nostalgia and originality. So in our latest podcast we consider the movies that have topped the box office so far this summer movie season (except you, Tomorrowland). (Also, Mad Max didn't get to #1, but it's still a success...so, whatever.)

Easy summer livin' calls for an easy drink. Behold:

Rosemary Gin Fizz

1/2 oz. rosemary-infused simple syrup
1.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
1.5 oz gin
club soda

Add 4 sprigs rosemary to a small pot. Add 1 cup each water and sugar and heat until sugar is dissolved. For each cocktail, muddle rosemary in the bottom of a glass with simple syrup and lemon juice. Add gin and top with club soda.

Scout was a fan (as seen to the right)!

This episode sees the debut of our new rating system: How many of what type of alcoholic drink do you need to consume before viewing this film? Before listening, see if you can match up how we rated each of the six films we discussed:

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Pitch Perfect 2
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • San Andreas
  • Spy
  • Jurassic World
  • 1 martini (shaken, not stirred), sipped slowly
  • 1 well drink
  • 1.5 strong Long Island Iced Teas
  • a pitcher of margaritas shared with friends
  • several whiskey shots
  • a sleeping pill or a fishbowl full of alcohol

Matt's Top 10 Films of 2014

Matt's Top 10 Films of 2014

For a while it looked like 2014 would go down as a very weak year in cinema. It took time for me to come down from the high of Gravity the year before, and the first half of the year didn't impress (save for a few sprinkles of quality here and there). Thankfully, the second half of 2014 offered up a feast of treats that were varied in flavor--some as nuanced as a bite of small-batch cheese, others as satisfying as chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven (this is CineMunch, we're allowed to use food imagery as often as we'd like). 

As is always the case, this list is incomplete and in flux (I just finished my 2013 list after all). I average 100 or so films any given calendar year, and, as you can see from our current list of films screened, I'm sitting at a (relatively paltry) 65. Simple statistics say that I have yet to see one or two films that will weasel their way into this top tier, but for now (or as of January 26th when we recorded our end-of-the-year podcast) these were the final ten.

But first, some necessary Honorable Mentions! 

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Nathan's Top 10 Movies of 2014

Nathan's Top 10 Movies of 2014

It's that time. What were my top ten movies of 2014? Truthfully, I could use another few weeks to see some key titles and second-guess my opinions, but that's not going to happen. Plus, in two weeks we'll be out of the country celebrating Matt's 30th birthday. (Don't tell him I told you his age.)

So, now? Yes, now's a good time.

Overall, 2014 was full of solid movies, some that pushed the boundaries of the craft and many that stuck with me for other reasons. We saw Lupita Nyong'o and Julianne Moore fly non-stop, CGI apes give new meaning to the term emotional resonance, and a reclusive nanny gain posthumous fame.

Not surprising, then, that my second tier films for 2014 included scores of titles deserving of a shout out. For my own sanity I've whittled them down to just seven honorable mentions in addition to my top ten, but I'll never forget you, The Babadook, Edge of Tomorrow, and Obvious Child (among others).

Shall we begin?

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CineDrunk: The CineMunchies and Our Favorite Movies of 2014

We know you love lists. We know we love lists. You know you love lists. It's time to roll out the lists.

Drink(s) in hand(s), we celebrate 2014 in our latest podcast, and a stellar year at the cinema it was. Each of your hosts has a Top 10, which we count down in Part 1 of our show. In Part 2, we award the first annual CineMunchies, our end-of-the-year superlatives featuring such categories as Best Performance by an Elderly British Person and The "I Wasn't Sure You Had That in You" Award.

Leading up to this recording, the anticipation had us on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

But we managed to keep the conversation civil and the drinks simple. After all, it's a celebration of our individual favorites, not a debate.

A special shout out to our Best Wine of 2014 (which is another way of saying Best Wine Under $20 That Tastes Good With Cheese): the 2013 Celler Bàrbara Forés Blanc. And our drink of choice for the evening? Boozy hot cocoa.

Peppermint-Spiked Hot Chocolate
Here's a drink even your teenager can make! Er... Step 1: Make the best hot chocolate you know how to make. Step 2: Add several generous shots of the cheapest peppermint schnapps you can buy. Step 3: Enjoy!

Thanks for joining us to look back on Film Year 2014! Cheers!

Nonfiction Doubleheader: 2 Documentaries of Artistic Genius

Nonfiction Doubleheader: 2 Documentaries of Artistic Genius

There's enduring magic in the idea of an artist undiscovered during her time but later acknowledged as a true original. The likes of Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh faced harsh criticism during life, only to become two of the most recognizable names in art after death. It's a theme touched on in several of 2014's best films, including Mr. Turner and The Imitation Game. As for the latter, whatever device you're using to read this, you owe in no small part to Alan Turing.

Of course we, the consumers of this genius, reveal plenty about ourselves as we consume. Who doesn't feel an extra thrill at the discovery of something long undiscovered? Who doesn't feel a sliver of pride, however irrational, at appreciating the dead? It appeals to our human resistance to mortality. For once the bellows of time makes the fire burn a little brighter instead of clearing away the ash of the past. And for those of us who create anything, it represents hope that our work will someday touch someone, even if after our time is up.

A particularly tasty bite of these themes fell onto my plate recently, when I watched the documentary doubleheader of Finding Vivian Maier--nominated by Oscar this year for Best Documentary Feature--and Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell--released in 2008.

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CineDrunk: Into the Woods

Into the Woods. Remember that? We do, and though it may not make our best-of-the-year lists, we welcomed such a smart, entertaining film adaptation of one of Broadway's best. Listen in to our latest podcast, where we debate the merits of this Disney-fication of Sondheim.

Like Into the Woods, we enjoy our sweet fairy tales with a shot of tragedy, so what better drink than the Black Forest Manhattan to accompany our discussion? Recipe below:

Black Forest Manhattan
adapted from Saveur
makes one cocktail

1 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. superfine sugar
3 oz whiskey
4 dashes chocolate bitters
1 pitted sour cherry, to garnish

For the cherry syrup:
1 cup sour cherry juice, plus more for rim of glass
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup kirsch (cherry-flavored liqueur)

1. To make the cherry syrup: In a saucepan, bring cherry juice and granulated sugar to a boil, then remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir in kirsch and chill.

2. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder and superfine sugar. Pour the mixture onto a plate. Pour some cherry juice into a wide, shallow bowl. Dip the rim of a martini glass into the juice, then dip it into the cocoa mixture to create a thin chocolate ring.

3. In a cocktail shaker 3/4 filled with ice, add whiskey, 3/4 ounces cherry syrup, and bitters. Shake vigorously until well-chilled. Pour into rimmed martini glass. Garnish with cherry.

Also listen and subscribe via iTunes.