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 have TFH Guru Daniel Kremer digging deep into the archives for a few cinematic nuggets you probably missed, for one reason or another.
Dear Mr. Wonderful is a 1982 film from Germany. That’s Germany, not Jersey, as one might think of a movie starring Joe Pesci. His character owns a bowling alley – in, uh, Jersey – and is dreaming of catching his big break as a lounge singer in Las Vegas. Someone should tell him how much fun it is to do the 2 a.m. show downtown.
You may have missed this one through no fault of your own. The film disappeared so fast it was turning up on milk cartons. While it’s not one of his more memorable outings, if you’re a fan of Mr. Pesci’s stylings, you’ll probably enjoy it. If you can find it.
Let’s pair a German wine with this German movie. Let’s get crazy and uncork Dr. Hermann’s latest Erdener Treppchen Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese Goldkapsel. It’s crazy because you’re going to have to pick up the $800 tab for this bottle. Trockenbeerenauslese, by the way, is the way Germans call for the sweetest of the sweet Rieslings. They are even thirstier by the time they get the word out of their mouths.
From 1981 comes Kings and Desperate Men, a Canadian popcorn muncher that tells the story of terrorists taking people hostage on Christmas Eve. If you think it sounds a little bit like Die Hard, join the club. Kings writer/director/co-star Alexis Kanner thought the similarity deserved a lawsuit, which he lost. Die Hard we’ve seen. This one fell between the cracks.
You will want to track it down, however, if only because it stars Patrick McGoohan and Elizabeth Trudeau, who was the Prime Minister’s wife at the time. Is that how to get a movie made in Canada? Just kidding, I’m sure there was an open casting call for the role.
The film was shot in 1977, but Kanner reportedly held up the release by editing the footage for two years. There is something to be said for perfectionism, but that something is usually derisive when you cut a film for two years.
You can go all out for wine in Canada for less money than that pricey wine from Germany. An Inniskillin Cabernet Franc icewine will still run a man a Benjamin for a half-bottle – welcome to the world of icewine, vino made from grapes which were harvested while still frozen on the vines. Inniskillin’s Niagara-on-the-Lake estate is home to several great icewines.
1971’s Born to Win has an interesting cast: George Segal, Paula Prentiss, Karen Black, Hector Elizondo and Robert De Niro. How did he fall so far down in the credits? Oh, yeah, Mean Streets and The Godfather were still a few years down the road.
Born To Win is set in the New York City drug world, and was shot in a serious tone. There are humorous elements which were reportedly played up during the editing process. Those rascally editors! They are so important to a film – they should start handing out awards to them. Ahem.
This black comedy got some nice reviews but missed the mark with many critics, who always seemed to find something nice to say about it right before telling us what a piece of crap it was. That’s the old left-handed compliment syndrome – no offense to any southpaws who may be reading this.
For a black comedy, how about a black wine? It’s really red, but it’s so dark it looks black in the glass. Adventurous types can locate one from the country of Georgia, made from the Saperavi grape. Easier to find are Malbec wines from the French region of Cahors, in the southwest part of France. Château de Chambert makes a great one for just $25.