CineDrunk: Best & Worst of Summer 2015

Labor Day has come and gone, so it's time to cleanse your wardrobe of white and say goodbye to the summer movie season. Before we part, though, let's take one last look at the past four months, CineDrunk Podcast-style.

Last winter we introduced the CineMunchies--our awards for cinematic excellence (just one step down from the Oscars). Now we present the CineMunchies' stunted stepchild: the CineSnacks. Join us for an approximation of coherence as we award our favorites of the summer in categories such as Best Actress, Best Food or Drink Moment, and Favorite Scene.

On the Drunk side of things, we continue to lower our standards. This time: rum punch and Jell-O shots. Hello, Jell-O; goodbye, dignity.

Jell-O Shots
Turns out there are as many Jell-O shot recipes as there are food blogs. Our go-to (read: the first one we found that sounded marginally well-informed) is Method 1 of 7 from wikiHow. You will need:

  • 1 6oz package Jell-O
  • Approximately 3 cups water
  • Approximately 1 cup chilled alcohol of your choice (we used rum with mango Jell-O)

Visit wikiHow for the full recipe. Create gelatin magic. Slurp, swallow, repeat.

By some twist of fate/rum-filled bite of gelatin, we each had the same favorite, runner-up, AND worst film of the summer. Listen in to find out which!

Missed our first summer 2015 movie recaps? Have a listen to part one and part two. Or travel back in time to listen to what we thought of the summer of 2014.

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CineDrunk: Summer Movies 2015 Part 2

As summer screeches by with no sign of slowing down, we're left grasping for one last cool drink, and a chance to reflect once more on the movies that were.

Like in Part 1 of our CineDrunk podcast on summer 2015 movies, we're focusing on the big horses: your Mission: Impossibles, your Pixars, your assorted superhero films. (Stay tuned to future episodes featuring some of the smaller movies we saw--shout-out to Amy for being a particularly worth-your-time documentary.)

Where were we? Ah, yes. Cool drinks.

Mint Margarita
(adapted from The Culinary Chronicles)

Ingredients:
2 oz tequila
1 oz Grand Marnier
1½ oz fresh lime juice
1 – 1½ oz mint simple syrup*
Kosher salt

Rim the edge of your desired glass with a lime wedge and dip in salt. Fill the glass with ice.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and the first four ingredients. Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds. Strain the contents into the salted glass and garnish with fresh mint springs.

*To make mint simple syrup, add 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a slow boil, stirring until sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add 1 heaping cup roughly chopped fresh mint. Allow to steep for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, discarding the leaves. Refrigerate leftover syrup in an airtight container and use within 5 days. 

Are you like us and see more than two movies in theaters per month? MoviePass might be a great option for you! For only $35/month (only $30 in some areas) you can see a movie in almost any theater nationwide every 24 hours! It's saving us a ton of money and stress, and we recommend it  (especially when ticket prices here in NYC are as astronomically high as they are).

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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

CineDrunk Episode 3: Summer Blockbuster Showdown

CineDrunklogofinal.jpg

In honor of the World Cup and summer movie season, we staged a bracket battle to choose the greatest summer blockbuster of all time.

Ever since Jaws swept audiences (and their wallets) away in the summer of 1975, Hollywood has zeroed in on the hottest months of the year to release their biggest, baddest, most epic films. The best blockbuster is a summer event, reeling in casual moviegoers and serious film critics alike -- much like the World Cup, every four years, suddenly makes everyone a soccer fan. 

To establish our bracket, we selected an initial list of 32 films (beginning with 1975's Jaws and ending with 2012's Marvel's The Avengers). To qualify, a film must have been one of the top grossing films of its year, have lasting staying power (aka the "Rewatchability Factor"), and must have made a cultural impact. We tried to limit ourselves to one movie per year, though some years warranted no entries while others warranted two. Seeding was based on the total domestic box office gross of the film when adjusted for inflation (though these figures also included any re-releases these films may have had). By those numbers, Star Wars is our #1 seed (with $1,417,832,000 adjusted earnings).


Every tournament should be infused with libations, and for ours we chose the Brazilian national drink (hey, World Cup), the Caipirinha (hey, summer). Breezy and sleazy--it goes down easy. Nothing says summer like sugar cane. Here's how to make our version:

Mojito-fied Caipirinha

KNG Sommers Photography

1 tsp granulated sugar
1 lime, quartered
10 mint leaves, whole
2 oz. cachaça

Muddle the mint leaves with two lime quarters in a tall, sturdy glass. Add the remaining lime quarters and the sugar, and muddle some more. Add the cachaça. Stir and enjoy.


Our first round matchups and winners are listed below. Have a listen to the podcast to see which of these movies made it past the Sweet 16 to be crowned our Greatest Summer Blockbuster of All Time Ever in History!

ROUND ONE (Winners in bold)

#1: Star Wars (1977) vs. #32: Die Hard (1988)

#16: Spider-man 2 (2004) vs. #17: Back to the Future (1985)

#9: Marvel's The Avengers (2012) vs. #24: Transformers (2007)

#8: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) vs. #25: Armageddon (1998)

#4: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) vs. #29: Inception (2010)

#13: Independence Day (1996) vs. #20: The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

#12: Spider-man (2002) vs. #21: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

#5: Return of the Jedi (1983) vs. #28: Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1986)

#2: E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982) vs. #31: True Lies (1994)

#15: Batman (1989) vs. #18: Twister (1996)

#10: The Dark Knight (2008) vs. #23: Top Gun (1986)

#7: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) vs. #26: Batman Forever (1995)

#3: Jaws (1975) vs. #30: War of the Worlds (2005)

#14: The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) vs. #19: Men in Black (1997)

#11: Ghostbusters (1984) vs. #22: Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

#6: Jurassic Park (1993) vs. #27: Batman Returns (1992)

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