Pairing wine with movies! See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies, and many more, at Trailers From Hell. This week, pairings for a few movies that may have escaped your notice.
The creative juices run dry for everyone now and then. Trailers From Hell is no exception. It’s not easy for us to come up with new and fresh ideas for this space each week. Fortunately, we have a few tricks to help us deal with theme burnout, and this is one of them. The old “more movies you never heard of” chestnut has saved us before, and will no doubt get our creativity back on track for the coming weeks. If it doesn’t, we can always fall back on “even more movies you never heard of” and “still yet more,” if the dry spell gets as bad as California’s drought. By the way, just because you never heard of a movie doesn’t mean it isn’t worth exploring, so dig in.
Red Belt is a 2008 film written and directed by David Mamet. Mamet? Doing a fight picture? What, are they going to talk each other to death? It’s actually a blend of genres – noir, western, samurai and martial arts among them.
For genre crossing purposes, I have always liked the analogy of a clock radio. It’s usually a good clock or a good radio, but not both. In the case of Red Belt, viewers who are expecting some great mixed martial arts footage are probably going to be the ones feeling the most disappointment. Those looking for an entertaining morality play on the coexistence of money and honor should be fairly happy. As with the clock and the radio, Red Belt suggests that you can have money or honor, not both.
There is an MMA fighter who blamed his loss in a championship match on being hungover from drinking too much Brazilian wine. The Cabernet Sauvignon in question sells for less than five bucks a bottle, so maybe the fault lay not with the quantity, but the quality, of the wine consumed. It’s easy to step up your Cab selection, but good luck finding a Napa Valley bottling for five bucks – or Paso Robles, for that matter. Paso is where the deals are, when it comes to California Cabernet, so try a bottle from Ancient Peaks for $22. If you like it, go back and get the $70 bottle.
1972 fell right in the middle of a golden era for counterculture flicks. An American Hippie in Israel was made by Israelis, presumably for Israelis. It was originally titled Ha-Trempist, which I am told is Hebrew for The Hitchhiker. I didn’t even know there was a Hebrew word for hitchhiker.
Nobody likes the movie very much, except, possibly, as comical background at a keg party. It’s one of those films you and your friends laugh at while drinking. The reviews of the day didn’t hold back – most of them said it belonged among the worst movies ever made – a sort of Plan Nine From the Middle East. Even a Jewish newspaper said it was “perfectly awful,” which, on a curve, counts as praise.
The movie poster explains that when the hippie in question went “looking for kicks and freedom… the ultimate trip became a wild, psychedelic nightmare.” Reminds me of a Nehru jacket I once owned.
Let’s get some Israeli wine for this turkey. Golan Heights Winery is situated in what is generally acknowledged to be the best wine region in Israel, and they make a range of high quality fine wines. Try the Chardonnay or the Merlot, both kosher, which is more than can be said for the movie.
Knock ’em Dead – a comedy/thriller directed by TFH guru David DeCoteau in 2014 – plays the thrills for laughs. The story revolves around a trio of actresses who get together to make a murder mystery – not because they want to, but because they have to. Then, life begins to imitate art as those involved in the movie start dropping one by one.
The cast is all African-American but, oddly, that doesn’t figure into the story at all. DeCoteau says they just decided to do it that way.
Then why not pair an African-American-made wine with Knock ‘Em Dead? Made by African-American women! The McBride Sisters differ from the stars of the movie – they aren’t bitchy, they focus on positivity. Try a wine from their Black Girl Magic line. It will soften the verbal barbs being hurled about in the film.