Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Quickie review: Watchmen

I saw it on Sunday night. I'll be honest, I wasn't a fan of director Zack Snyder's previous attempt at making a comic book I greatly admired into a movie, 300. I won't get started on all that movies flaws, just summing them up by saying that things happened that were a) not in the comic and b) really, really stupid to have happen in something that is considered an actual historic event.

Fortunately, Watchmen fares much better. I was happy from the opening montage of alternate history, and practically went into fits over the McLaughlin Group (I probably was the only person who saw this and started squealing "ELANOR CLIFF!!!" ... I was only disappointed that Freddie "the Beadle" Barnes and Jack Germond weren't included. Sorry, I grew up watching that show). The movie follows the comic book to a t, minus some changes necessitated by the cutting down of the story.

So, what I have here is a nearly perfect comic book movie, minus some cruddy acting/directing (Snyder directs actors as well as George Lucas does these days). One big, huge, giant exception is Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach, who is completely perfect and believable in his role (with a nod to Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the Comedian as well.) Its really nice when you've imagined a scene in your head -- in this case Rorschach's "DO IT!!!" -- a million times, then when its on film it exactly lives up to your expectations. Kinda like the opposite of Galadriel in LOTR (a GREAT film in every other respect, but Galadriel was just no fun!).

Oh yeah, and a quick shout out to both the music choices in the film - amazing, perfect, great! and to the many, many, many homages to other great period films. From Strangelove to Apocalypse Now to Risky Business.. there was a lot of movie love goin on.

All in all, its the best comic book movie so far this year, by a long shot, and I recommend you you see it at least twice.

Monday, March 16, 2009

More wine thoughts, Bonny Doon 2001 Viognier Port

OK, I know I haven't been updating. Stress, sickness, and various other things have conspired to keep my internet time strictly for work.. well, and watching Daily Show and Colbert Report when that's done. Still, I have had ideas that I would love to write about - i was going to do a retro review of a Boy and his Blob, one of the games that as a child I looked forward to the most and was the most disappointed in (and now I hear they're re-making it - maybe this time it won't suck? No offense to the legion of B&HB fans). But...

I have had a bottle of the Bonny Doon 2001 Viognier Port sitting around for a while. Tonight I find myself with a quiet free moment and I finally decided to open 'er up - and thought I'd tell you the results.

I've had this bottle sitting around for a while for the specific reason that I was a little frightened of it. I've had good ports, bad ports, and ports in between. When the producer themselves says "One of the more unusual products produced at Bonny Doon, even by our standards..." well... I get nervous. Bonny Doon is well known for its wine experiments, some extraordinarily successful, others... well, not so much. Reading that, I was afraid that this was in the second category. Also, in their description they describe it as more off-dry than sweet... doesn't sound like a port that would agree with me. So its sat, gathering dust, for several months.

Till tonight. I opened the bottle and took a whiff - nothing unpleasant there. Then I poured a small glass for myself. The nose is gorgeous - honey and coconut like crazy. The color is a brilliant amber - totally different than any other port in my experience. They call it a "light port" and that's the truth.

But the FLAVOR, holy mother of Pete, the FLAVOR. Its amazing. This is now my favorite port. Its got an alcohol kick as a port should but its smooooooth all the way. I would never call this off-dry (its sweet, just not too sweet). Apricots rule the flavor, along with dates, honey, and toasted.. something.

I know I've raved about every wine I've blogged about, but that's because I only end up blogging about the wines I've been crazy about (for the most part). But this.. really is special. Its up there with the Cross J in great wines I've tasted. Do yourself a favor, buy a bottle. Actually, don't. Leave 'em for me.