Pairing wine with movies! See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies, and many more, at Trailers From Hell. This week, we may rely heavily on “critter labels” for our wine pairings, as the three movies all deal with animals.
Looney Tunes Back in Action is a 2003 film directed by TFH chief guru Joe Dante. He refers to the making of the film as the longest year and a half of his life. Those who didn’t grow up with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck may feel it was the longest hour and a half of theirs, since they will likely miss the charm found by the critics of the day, who applauded the movie. I mean, how can even the most hard-hearted critic pan Bugs Bunny?
A host of characters from the old Warner Bros cartoons get “rebranded” in the framework of a silly spy story. Not that anyone asked me, but I feel rebranding is generally not a good idea for things which already have a brand. Bugs and Daffy are the animated leads, of course, but it is somehow most satisfying to see Yosemite Sam as a Vegas casino owner. Marvin the Martian is a natural for the scenes set at Area 51.
Let’s use Marvin as our wine pairing linchpin. Martian Ranch and Vineyard has a Mourvedre-based wine they call Retrograde Reserve. It’s a $50 exploration into a grape that may be too heavy for cartoon characters, but feels just right for a rebranding effort.
1973’s Heavy Traffic is Ralph Bakshi’s big success, following his interpretation of R. Crumb’s Fritz the Cat. The mix of live action and animation loses the talking animals in favor of humans. The tone is similar in nature to the freewheeling – and dirty – Fritz.
Napa Valley’s Highway 29 is known as much for its heavy traffic as it is for the tasty wines being made near its jammed lanes. Trefethen Family Vineyards is a great stop whether you are north or southbound. Their Dragon’s Tooth is hailed by professional drinkers as an exceptional $65 wine. And, hey, a dragon is an animal, right?
Dirty Duck is a 1974 adult cartoon, which means you can expect the worst and never be disappointed. Crudeness finds a new level in Dirty Duck, which has nothing to do, by the way, with the comic strip character of the same name. How was there not a lawsuit born out of that?
The film boasts that the duck in question is “madder than Daffy… dumber than Donald… more existential than Howard.” Besides, he gives Fritz the Cat a run for his money on gratuitous sexual perversion. If you ever felt that you didn’t get quite enough inane, immature sexual one-liners in high school, this is the film for you. On a brighter note, Dirty Duck features the voices of Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, founding members of The Turtles, sometimes remembered as Flo & Eddie.
Lithuanian microbrewer Biržų Alus has a spiced, herbed ale that sounds almost as unappealing as the movie. Or, there is a cocktail called Duck Fart – if you must. Layer in some Bailey’s, Kahlua and Crown Royal in a shot glass and let’er rip.