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.

For Your Consideration: Three Movies to Bump Up Your 2014 Film Count

For Your Consideration: Three Movies to Bump Up Your 2014 Film Count

Feeling like 2014 flew by and you have little to show for it? There's still time to be productive, which in CineMunch speak means "see more 2014 movies so you can participate in best-of-the-year conversations, and, you know, generally live with yourself/sleep at night."

Today I offer three humble suggestions, all of which can be found on one streaming service or another, that will entertain you and also counter the myth that 2014 was somehow a bad year for film.

Read More

CineDrunk Episode 9: Prestige Season Begins

Courtesy Penderyn Distillery

With prestige movie season in full swing, we thought it time to debrief on what Fall Season Part 1 had to offer. Join us as we get into the Welsh spirit with a drink called the Red Dragon (recipe below) and discuss the following films:

  • The Skeleton Twins
  • Pride
  • Whiplash
  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Fury
  • Nightcrawler

What are your fall favorites thus far? Do you agree with our analysis? Let us know in the comments, and check out our newly updated Oscar Predictions!

Red Dragon
(adapted from a recipe by Penderyn Distillery)
makes two cocktails

3 oz gin
3 oz Cointreau
2 oz blood orange juice
2 oz lemon juice
1 shot grenadine

Shake all ingredients with ice. Pour over ice. Feel yourself flush with Welsh pride.

CineDrunk Episode 7: 'Gone Girl'

New podcast on one of the first Oscar hopefuls of the season! Note: spoilers abound.

And what better drink than absinthe to accompany our discussion of David Fincher's latest mindf**k of a film? We went for the classic preparation:

2 oz absinthe
3 oz cold water
1 sugar cube

Pour absinthe in glass. Place absinthe spoon (provided with the bottle we purchased) on glass, and top with sugar cube. Pour cold water directly over the cube. Stir the remaining, undissolved sugar into the mixture. Absinthe will be bright green but opaque, meaning the "green fairy has been unleashed." That girl is gone.

Now, unleashing the green fairy may be a daily occurrence at the CineMunch household, but drinking absinthe is not. We found out later that absinthe connoisseurs consider Absente to be little more than swill--with one online commenter describing it as "Disney does Absinthe"--but a budget is what a budget is. Plus, the two-faced self portrait on the box is apropos, no?

Happy listening!

AFI Challenge: 'The Day the Earth Stood Still'

So... we may have lied. The first movie we watched as part of our AFI Challenge was not Gone With the Wind. (That was pushed back to this weekend due to Netflix difficulties.) Instead, we watched The Day the Earth Stood Still, director Robert Wise's 1951 sci-fi classic.

Klaatu struggling to shine a light on the world

Back in the day the film won a Golden Globe for Best Film Promoting International Understanding (apparently this award was a thing between 1945 and 1963). The Globe win should come as no surprise to those who've watched the film; from very early on it's clear this is a message movie, and that message is peace.

The film wastes no time getting to the action: a mysterious man from another planet lands in Washington, D.C. in order, we soon learn, to give earthlings an ultimatum. As it turns out, the interstellar community has been monitoring their radio transmissions, and it's clear they've become a threat not only to themselves but to the universe beyond. The only course of action? Nonviolence.

You can imagine the typical American's reaction to this concept. It's a nonstarter, to say the least.

Despite its straightforward premise and beat-the-audience-over-the-head political message, The Day the Earth Stood Still succeeds as pure entertainment. Striking cinematography, a vibrant score, and solid performances from the leads, including child actor Billy Gray, conspire to make this one hell of a watchable movie.

CineMunch grade: B/B+

BONUS! Are you still using Firefox? (You should be. None of this Chrome business.) When you're done watching the movie, open a new Firefox tab and type "about:robots" in the address bar. Then look at the title of the tab. Cool, right?

CineDrunk Episode 4: Summer Movies Recap 2014 Part 1


It's summer, so a special breed of movies has hit theaters. And they must be discussed! In this first installment of our summer movies recap, we cover:

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • The Other Woman
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • Godzilla
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Maleficent
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • They Came Together
  • Snowpiercer

Tilda says: "It's summer, damn it! Enjoy yourselves!"

It's summer, so there's no reason to stress over what we're drinking. Let's keep it simple with gin, limeade, and blueberries:

The Liminator

1 part gin (cheap to semi-cheap)
2 parts limeade
small handful blueberries

Muddle half of blueberries in bottom of glass. Pour gin and limeade over ice. Stir. Top with remaining blueberries. Relax.

It's summer, so when will you have a better excuse to devote an hour of your life to a little podcast called CineDrunk? Join us below, or subscribe on iTunes and never miss an episode!

CineDrunk Episode 2: 'Noah'


Are swamps the new snowflakes? You'll have to listen to the most recent edition of our new podcast, CineDrunk, to find out! Plus, there's plenty more (relevant) discussion of this episode's feature film: Darren Aronofsky's Noah

To honor the epic scope of this biblical tale, we crafted three drinks (recipes below!). From sweet/nutty to sly/punchy to destructive/messy, we tried to cover all the bases. 

Have a listen below, and, as always, don't forget to drink semi-responsibly.

Nuts & Berries Cocktail

1/2 oz Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
1/2 oz berry flavored liqueur
2 oz cream

Mix ingredients in cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake, and strain into cocktail glasses with ice. We used blackberry brandy for the berry liqueur.

Dark 'n' Stormy

2 oz dark rum (recommended Gosling's Black Seal Bermuda Black Rum)
4 oz ginger beer

Pour rum over ice, top with ginger beer, and enjoy the storm. 

Swamp Water

All non-poisonous liquids handy

Mix liquids in pitcher and hope for the best.