What Would Daune Watch?

The Movie Banned in Japan

Okay, I know it’s March Madness time.  Hard for a lot of folks to focus on a movie.  But, I’m here to tell you there are a few you want to see out on DVD, this week.  So, keep that in the back of your mind, for after the second round, when you’ve torn up your pool sheet!

Hereafter - So quietly, Clint Eastwood has become one of the greatest directors of our time.  Not many people paid attention to Hereafter, last year, but I really appreciated it.  Matt Damon is terrific, as a man who has psychic powers, but wants to live without using them.  There’s another story of a french woman who survives a tsunami (which is why they’ve stopped showing this movie in Japan).  And, there’s a kid who’s suffered a great loss.  In the middle of the movie, things got a little slow for me, but I knew Clint would reveal connections and make it work.  And, it does.  

Battle of Los Angeles - Straight to DVD movie that, perhaps, is trying to capitalize on the Battle: Los Angeles (theatrical film) buzz.  This one stars Kel Mitchell, Nia Peeples and a bunch of people you won’t even recognize. And, as you might expect, LA is being invaded by aliens.

Sharktopus - Craptastic move from the SyFy Channel.  A creature that is half shark and half octopus was created by the military, but it ends up terrorizing people along the Mexican coast.  And, the scientist who created it must try to destroy it.  Eric Roberts and Roger Corman star.

The Switch - Another ill-advised film choice by Jennifer Aniston.  And, shockingly, Jason Bateman is in this too. She decided to have a baby late in life.  Her best friend, a dude, decides to exchange her preferred donor’s… specimen with something he can provide, himself.  Seven years later, they reunite.  And, the secret comes out. Awwwkward!

The Fighter - Okay, look.  If I can get past a bunch of baaaaad Boston accents to enjoy a film, it’s got to be good.  Mark Wahlberg was the driving force behind getting this Oscar contender into the ring.  He produces and plays Irish Micky Ward.  David O. Russell directs.  You’ll see where Melissa Leo got that mouth she used on Oscar night.  Amy Adams is an adorable potty mouth.  And, everyone else pales in comparison to Christian Bale’s performance as Dicky Eklund.  I love inspirational sports movies.  And, I love real boxing.  You get a peek at what may have started the decline of the sport.  See this.

Waste Land - Documentary about the transformative power of art, focusing on Vik Muniz, who works with materials from the slums and dumps of Rio de Janeiro.

The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest - One of those gorgeous mountain climbing movies, with the amazing scenery.  But, this one has an incredible story of George Mallory, the first man to attempt the summit of Everest, and Conrad Anker, the mountaineer who found Mallory’s remains.

Hemingway’s Garden of Eden - Drama starring Jack Huston and Mena Suvari about a young American writer who serves in World War I, then travels through Europe with his wife and her lovely Italian girlfriend.

A Shine of Rainbows - Family drama about an orphan whose life is changed by a woman who teaches him how to overcome his grief and appreciate the world around him.  Connie Nielsen and Aidan Quinn star.

Barbie: A Fairy Secret - Direct to DVD animated tale, starring Barbie, wherein she needs to save Ken.  And, Barbie uses a little fairy magic to do it.

New TV on DVD today:

‘Batman: The Brave and the Bold’ - Season 1’The Best Food Ever’ - Season 1'Coach' - Season 4
'Laramie' - The Complete First Season
'The Red Green Show' - Seasons 1997-1999: The Delinquent Years
'The Snoop Sisters' - The Complete Series
'The Virginian' - The Complete Third Season
'Who Do You Think You Are?' - Season 1

New to Watch Instantly on Netflix:

'Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids: The Original Animated Series' - Volumes 1, 2 & 3
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Beginning of the End
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Hamlet
Mystery Science Theater 3000: I Accuse My Parents
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Red Zone Cuba
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Atomic Brain
'Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Girl in Gold Boots
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Touch of Satan
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Unearthly’The Virginian’ - Seasons 1&2

Battle at the Box Office

Things are starting to heat up at movie theaters.  Big movies that have been promoted for months by the studios are finally getting onto our screens.  The question is, will any of them have enough juice to beat out Johnny Depp and Rango??

Maybe it’s a reaction to these troubled times, but you can expect some more movies, as we head into the summer blockbuster season, that feature our country, and even our planet, to be threatened by outside forces.  In Battle: Los Angeles, the aliens invade Earth with precise strikes outside major cities.  In LA, Aaron Eckhart is a veteran soldier leading his troops into battle against an enemy they don’t know much about.  He’s just a really good actor.  And, Bridget Moynahan, Michelle Rodriguez and Ne-Yo are on hand for the battle.  The critics are ripping this movie for having all effects and no soul, but audiences seem to enjoy the action.  And, Director Jonathan Liebesman is a rising star, with Wrath of the Titans up next.  Battle: Los Angeles is rated PG-13 for sustained and intense sequences of war violence and destruction, and for language.

It seems like every week, we’re getting another entry into the New-Twilight-Harry Potter-Franchise sweepstakes. I was intrigued by the trailer for Red Riding Hood, because I admire Catherine Hardwicke’s directing, and I think Amanda Seyfried has made really good decisions, thus far, for a young actress.  The thing that was weird to me is that everyone looked and sounded kinda normal and every day, but the story is set in a medieval village, where little Amanda falls for a volatile orphaned woodcutter, even though she’s promised to another, more cultured, boy.  Oh, and there’s a werewolf terrorizing their village. Oh, and Gary Oldman is a religious leader in their village and probably involved in a bad way, somehow.  Lukas Haas is channeling a To Die For era Joaquin Phoenix to play the woodcutter.  Virginia Madsen, Julie Christie and Billy Burke (Bella’s Dad in Twilight) are in the village. And, if you’re going, be sure to check out Henry, the upstanding boy, played by Max Irons.  I think we’ll be seeing the son of Jeremy Irons and Sinead Cusack a lot more in future.  Red Riding Hood is rated PG-13 for violence and creature terror, and some sensuality.

But, let’s get serious, IF you’re going to the movies, this weekend, and if you’re from Cleveland, and/or if you’re Irish, at all, you should be seeing Kill the Irishman.  It’s based on the story of Danny Greene, a second generation Irish lad, working the docks of Cleveland, in the 70s, then moving into the union action, then the gangster families. It’s shot in a gritty, street level style, which I liked, because I felt it made the experience more authentic to the time.  I kept scanning the skylines, but they didn’t shoot the movie here, they were in Detroit.  Still, all the locations feel right.  And, the wise guys are incredible, from Paul Sorvino to Robert Davi, and Vincent D’Onofrio is amazing, as John Nardi.  My full review is posting, later this weekend.  Kill the Irishman is rated R for strong violence, language and some sexual content/nudity.

Kaboom made a splash at Sundance.  Writer/Director Gregg Araki presents a movie about the sexual awakening of some college students, that has some sci fi elements. It’s finally in Cleveland, in limited release.  Kaboom is Not Rated.  But, there is a lot of nudity and sexual situations, violence, profanity and drug use, so consider it at least an R.

First off, I have to say I’m a little disturbed that this comes from Disney Pictures.  I have never been a fan of this style of animation.  It looks a lot like that Robert Zemeckis stuff of The Polar Express.  I think the people look creepy.  Simon Wells wrote and directs this film about martians coming to Earth to steal Moms for their nurturing skills.  Technically, the animation was done, similar to Rango, with the actors all wired up, so computers could track their actions.  A kid learns to appreciate his Mom, once she’s taken.  I’m down with that.  Not really down with one of the kids watching as the martians take his Mom’s brain and incinerate her!!!  That is the stuff of nightmares, no?  Joan Cusack, Tom Everett Scott and Dan Fogler provide the voices.  Mars Needs Moms is rated PG for sci-fi action and peril.

New for You to View

Did you want to see what all the zombie stuff was all about?  Now’s your chance to check out The Walking Dead, if you didn’t see it when it first aired on AMC.  You have to know people are going to be talking about it, when the second season starts.  Or, there are any number of middling films that flew through theaters to choose from…

Morning Glory - I thought this movie looked adorable. Not sure how I missed it in theaters.  Rachel McAdams is a hot shot producer, called in to revive a morning show, with Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton as jaded and aging anchors.

Every Day - Liev Schreiber and Helen Hunt play a New York couple in crisis.

Four Lions - A group of British jihadists have dreams of glory.  But, mid-campaign, they discover their ideologies are very different, and the wheels come off.

Jackass 3-D - Johnny Knoxville and his crazy crew are back with another installment of exhibitionism and dangerous stunts.  It’s a movie version of their TV show. I’m embarrassed to say I would probably laugh out loud a few times, if I saw it.  Then, I wouldn’t like myself very much.  But, that giant hand made me laugh every time I saw the commercial.  Sad.

The Next Three Days - Paul Haggis writes and directs.  It’s one of his taut thrillers.  Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks are married and, seemingly, happy, until she’s accused of murder.  He goes to great lengths to try to clear her name.

The Man from Nowhere - Korean action picture starring Bin Won as an ex-con who is lured back into the drug trade.

Inside Job - Another look at what brought on the financial meltdown in the USA that is still causing ripples in the global economy.

Exit Through the Gift Shop - Oscar nominated documentary about a French shop keeper and amateur film maker who try to locate and make friends with elusive street artist Banksy.

A Film Unfinished - Incredible and powerful documentary about a film the Nazi’s produced about the Warsaw Ghetto.  Footage includes a long missing reel that shows more of what was going on behind the scenes.

Night at Sky Church - Heart in concert.

Tales from Earthsea - Studio Ghibli production, from Goyo Miyazaki, son of the Master.  Same themes as always, something is wrong with the earth, someone with a good relationship with the elements must save things. Here, people are seeing dragons.  There’s a witch and a wandering wizard battling to help a troubled kid get on the right path.

Twas the Night Before Easter - Veggie Tales movie.

New TV on DVD this week:

'Backyardigans: We Arrrrr Pirates”Billy Joel Live at Shea Stadium”Black Butler' Season 1'Dalziel and Pascoe' Season 3'Daniel Tosh: Happy Thoughts'
'Doctor Who' The Ark (Story 23)'Doctor Whoo' Seeds of Doom (Story 85)'Dragon Ball Z Kai' Season 4
'Hannah Montana' Season 4
'Judge John Deed' Season 3
'Mystery Science Theater 3000' Vol. XX
'Shalom Sesame 2010''SpongeBob Squarepants: The Great Patty Caper''Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman”The Walking Dead' Season 1

New to Netflx Streaming:

'30 Days' Seasons 2 & 3
'Army Wives' Seasons 1, 2, 3 & 4
'Being Eve' Seasons 1& 2
'Commander in Chief' The Complete Series
'The Crow: Stairway to Heaven' The Complete Series
'Day Break' The Complete Series
'The Dick Tracy Show' The Complete Animated Series
'Dirt' Seasons 1 & 2
'Dragon Tales' Seasons 1, 2 & 3
'The Electric Company' Season 1
'Life on Mars' The Complete Series (U.S.)
'McLeod's Daughters' Seasons 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8
'Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends' Seasons 3, 4 & 5
'Saturday Night Live' Seasons 35 & 36
'Sesame Street' Selections From Seasons 35, 36, 27, 28, 29, 40 & 41
'Speed Racer: The Next Generation'
'Top Gear' Season 6
'Trailer Park Boys' Season 6 & 7
'Vanishing Son' The Complete Series

Everybody Do the Rango!

There really was no question.  Rango is number one at the box office.  And, this was a pretty heavy weight weekend for openings!

But, there’s no fighting the box office allure of Mr. Johnny Depp.  Here, he plays a chameleon, through the stop motion animation and direction of Gore Verbinski.  He finds himself stranded in a deep western town called, Dirt.  There are some pretty scary people and things going on in that little town, but the stranger, called Rango, might be just the lizard to help.  For the kids, be aware, there are some pretty intense scenes.  And, the characters in Dirt, while fantastic and sharp in plain old 2-D, are also kinda authentic, with horrible teeth and old timey accident injuries.  My full review will follow.  Rango is rated PG for rude humor, language, action and smoking.

How convenient!  The week after the Academy Awards, the love child of two of the most successful films, Inception and Black Swan, is released.  Matt Damon stars as a rising politician in The Adjustment Bureau.  He falls hard for the beautiful ballerina, played by Emily Blunt.  Then, mysterious forces work to keep them apart.  It’s based on a short story by Phillip K. Dick.  I think there’s a little scifi going on here.  I also think word of mouth is going to keep this movie in theaters for a while.  The Adjustment Bureau is rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexuality and a violent image.

Beastly is one of the latest entries of films looking to inflame the Twilight crowd.  It’s a modern re-telling of the Beauty and the Beast tale.  Alex Pettyfer (most recently of I Am Number Four) is a good looking rich kid in New York City who is cursed by a witch and made to look a bit like a tattooed Powder.  Vanessa Hudgens is the girl who might be able to release him from the spell.  She looks a bit transformed, herself, I think.  Not enough to get you there?  Mark-Kate Olsen and Neil Patrick Harris also star.  Beastly is rated PG-13 for language including crude comments, brief violence and some thematic material.

I just watched Dazed and Confused, this weekend, and the description of Take Me Home Tonight seems to me to be that recurring story of young people trying to figure out what they want and what they’re all about.  Topher Grace, Theresa Palmer, Anna Faris and Dan Fogler star as college grads with adulthood staring them in the face, while celebrating at a Labor Day Weekend party, in the late 80s.  Take Me Home Tonight is rated R for language, sexual content and drug use.

Ed Helms is a funny guy, one of the best things about The Hangover, as far as I was concerned.  The question is, can he carry a movie?  A little independent film is the best place to find out!  In Cedar Rapids, he plays Tim Lippe, a man child who takes his job of selling insurance in a small Wisconsin town very seriously.  He ends up representing his agency at the regional meetings in the big city, Cedar Rapids.  John C Reilly, Anne Heche and Isiah Whitlock, Junior end up being a part of his growth process.  Cedar Rapids is rated R for crude and sexual content, language and drug use.

Africa, colonialism and rebellion, all told by Claire Denis, who co-wrote and directs White Material.  Isabelle Huppert and Christopher Lambert are the heads of a French family struggling to hold on to their coffee plantation.  They strike a bond with a black leader, as their social structure collapses.  White Material is not rated.

A Host of New DVDs!

If you want to see the hosts of this year’s Academy Awards Show be a little more engaging, both of them have praiseworthy films out on DVD this week.  It will give you a little insight into why the PTB in Hollywood consider James Franco and Anne Hathaway among the best and brightest young actors.  It should also give those same PTB pause.  A reminder that hosting the Oscars is serious work.  It’s not a job for kids, no matter how talented.  Only the most gifted, most experienced folks can handle hosting a big TV party for the movies. At this point, I’m thinking Anderson Cooper might be the best hire for next year.

127 Hours - But, I digress.  James Franco was brilliant in the movie based on the excruciating true story of Aron Ralston.  He went off trail, on his own, and ended up falling into a crevasse, getting his arm stuck, then cutting it off, himself, all in 127 Hours.  Danny Boyle adapted the screenplay and directs, brilliantly.  We’re talking about an engaging movie in a tight space.  Since I can barely watch the doctors cut a girl’s leg off, on Off the Map, I don’t know about an entire movie with that kind of suspense, but the good news is, Ralston has gone on to live a blessed and highly inspirational life!

Faster - The action is a bit bigger, here, as Dwayne Johnson (you know he’s The Rock, right?) plays a dude who serves time for a heist, then as soon as he gets out, he sets out on a mission to avenge his brother’s death.  All the while, he’s tracked by a veteran cop and an egocentric hit man.  Bill Bob Thornton co-stars.

Burlesque - Are you kidding?  The Last Airbender gets the Razzie when dreck like Burlesque (and Sex and the City 2) get huge releases??  *sigh*  Anyways…  Christina Aguilera has got something, and Cher and the always awesome Alan Cumming know it.  Xtina plays a small-town girl who tries to make her way in Los Angeles and ends up in a neo-burlesque club run by a former dancer.

Love and Other Drugs - Here’s the Anne Hathaway addition to the week.  She earned raves as Maggie, a free spirit who suddenly finds her life perception shifting, when she meets Jamie, a pharmaceutical rep and ‘playa.’ It’s Jake Gyllenhaal.  And, as their relationship develops, they’re both surprised.  (In a well received tweet on Oscar night, I mentioned that my husband high-tailed it to Netflix online, when I mentioned that Anne does a lot of naked and sex in this film.)

A Marine Story - Drama about a female officer in the Marines who returns to her hometown, after a tour in Iraq and a military dismissal for charges of homosexuality.

The Ultimate Wave: Tahiti - Beautiful IMAX documentary featuring the beauty of surfing the waves of Tahiti.

Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould - A documentary about influential and enigmatic pianist, Glenn Gould.

Troubadours: The Rise of the Singer Songwriter - A documentary that traces the musical journeys of James Taylor, Carole King and the California singer/songwriter scene of the late 60s and early 70s, centering on LA’s Troubadour Club.

Bambi - Yep, the water’s still stiff, but it’s even more beautiful in a restored and re-released Bambi from Disney on Blu-Ray.

Scooby Doo and the Curse of the Lake Monster - The latest installment in the Cartoon Network film franchise, with live action people, an animated Scoob and some creepy frog monster thingees.  Scooby and Shaggy fight, when Shag starts dating Velma.  I wish Scooby Doo movie people would get Velma figured out.  

The Cutting Edge:  Fire and Ice - The latest installment in the ABC Family film franchise.  Alex is back, but heart broken, after losing her partner on and off the ice.  Enter the bad boy of ice skating, James Van Behr.

New TV on DVD:

‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ Special Edition’Cake Boss’ Season 3'Davey and Goliath' Volume 5
'Dickens In America'
'The Norman Conquests' ITV/PBS Series'Pioneer of Television: The Pioneers of Westerns”Pioneers of Television:  The Pioneers of Science Fiction”ReBoot' Seasons 1 and 2
'Sidney Sheldon's If Tomorrow Comes' (mini-series)
'Survivor: Heroes and Villains' Season 20
'Leave It to Beaver' Season 6
'Murder Investigation Team' Series 1
'Napoleon and Love' (mini-series)
'Noah's Castle' The Complete Series
'Pioneers of Television' Season 2
'Robert Kennedy & His Times' (mini-series)
'WWE Royal Rumble 2011'

New to Streaming on Netflix:

'Flash Gordon: Spaceship to the Unknown'
'Flash Gordon: The Deadly Ray from Mars'
'Flash Gordon: The Peril of Planet Mongo'
'Get Smart, Again!'
'Just Ask My Children'
'Nancy Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime'
'Probable Cause'

Get Your Irish On

If you want to get fired up about being Irish or from Cleveland, or both, you should check out Kill the Irishman. I am not going to tell you it’s a great movie.  I wish it was. But, I enjoyed watching the film and am fascinated by the story.

The incredibly manly Ray Stevenson plays Danny Greene. He rose from working the docks in Cleveland to union boss to leader of a crime syndicate, challenging a very old school system at every turn.  Stevenson is fantastic.  He is frighteningly violent, introspective and intelligent.  And, people say he captured the spirit of Danny Greene.  As he’s challenging the mafia, every time a new wise guy shows up on screen, the whole crowd in the theater murmurs and nods.  It’s Paul Sorvino and Robert Davi and Christopher Walken as Shondor Birns.  Director Jonathan Hensleigh uses real news footage of reporters covering some of the events that took place in the 70s in Cleveland.  And, at the screening I attended, people all around were gasping with recognition.  At least, I think it was recognition, and not just how bad the suits and ties were!  Vincent D’Onofrio is fantastic as Danny’s friend, John Nardi.  Val Kilmer doesn’t get to do much, but he’s good, playing Joe Manditski, a composite of some of the cops who got to know Danny.  I left the theater wanting to read more about that time and trying to remember why I didn’t realize that bombs went off 36 times in one year, in Cleveland.  That is shocking.  I also wanted to shake Jonathan Hensleigh.  He’s a very experienced screen writer, but doesn’t have much experience behind the camera.  And, this movie could have been so much better, with more attention and care to technical details. It’s shot in a grainy, flat way, and I really didn’t have a problem with that, because I think it feels authentic to that time in the 70s.  But, there are story threads that aren’t resolved, and bad edits and cutaways, and lots of jarring little things that make the movie feel cheap.  That made me mad.  I wanted to love this movie.  But, in spite of the problems, I did like this movie, a lot.  It brought out my celtic warrior.  And, it adds a crazy little thread to my mental fabric of Cleveland history.  It’s a green thread.  I give Kill the Irishman an 8 out of 10.

Now, I wish I had passes for the Cleveland International Film Festival, so I could check out the documentary about Danny Greene!  If you want to find out more, I guess this film that is going to show, next week, has interviews with one of his wives and his daughter!

Depp is Deep in Rango

Johnny Depp is simply box office gold.  He’s so interesting, in everything he does, that everyone wants to see what he’ll come up with.  In Rango, mind you, he’s playing a chameleon, and he does lose himself in the character. But, Director Gore Verbinski used stop motion animation to capture Johnny physically, as well as vocally, acting out the script.  Kids, while the bells and whistles of 3-D CAN be breathtaking, Rango is an example of plain old 2-D looking crisp, clear and engaging.  You can not believe how vivid the images are.  The faces of these characters will stay with you for a long time.

And, I’ll be honest.  It took me a while to process my reaction to Rango.  It may be a cartoon, but the themes run very deep.  The chameleon character’s whole deal is that he fancies himself an actor.  And, like every good actor, and even some of the bad ones, he questions himself, his motivations, his purpose.  This guy is not a desert native, he ends up in the desert, because of an accident.  He literally stumbles into a desert town called Dirt.  And, the town’s in trouble.  The residents of the town are dirty and old timey western folk, with little care for dental hygiene.  And, they’re running out of water. The bad guys are scary, and there are a lot of them.  Their motivations can be a little complicated.  The chameleon, feeling threatened, takes on the identity of Rango and attempts to play the hero.  At one point, he gets in so far over his head, he enters that existential place, where he questions his very purpose.  This is the point in the movie, where I’m saying, “Whoa….”  And, the kids in the theater were starting to squirm, with boredom.  There is a lull.  But, the end is action packed.  And, it’s suspenseful and could be frightening for some little ones.  My five year old is pretty tough.  He thought it was a little slow.  But, he loved the fun parts.  And, I think he’ll remember the characters for a while, because the animation is just that good.  You don’t need a kid to see Rango.  In fact, you might just enjoy it more if you go to a late show with grown ups.  For Johnny Depp and the depth of characters, I give Rango an 8 out of 10.

Movie Review: Cedar Rapids

At least he didn’t have to lose his tooth again!  Ed Helms stars in Cedar Rapids, a little indie that’s kinda fun in the uncomfortable situation sorta way that Ed Helms does very well.  But, don’t get a false sense of security, he does end up in some dire straits!

Cedar Rapids, Iowa is the big city for Tim Lippe (Helms). He’s an insurance salesman who takes his job very seriously and who lives a very sheltered life, in his little town in Wisconsin.  Tim is what you might call, buttoned up tight.  So, it’s a bit of a shock when he ends up representing his agency at the annual insurance convention.  And, prospects for mayhem go way up when he arrives to learn one of his roomies in the hotel is the fabled Dean Ziegler, a client poacher!  John C. Reilly is Dean, and he’s going to remind you of Bill Murray in the hey.  Isiah Whitlock, Junior provides some balance for the boys, as Ronald Wilkes, who has his own shingle.  And, Anne Heche is just one of the boys, who looks forward to cutting loose at the convention, every year.  All the agents are competing for a coveted award that Tim Lippe’s agency has had locked up, for a few years.  But, the status quo is about to change, premiums are going to go up, and while there probably won’t be a casualty, there’s going to be some liability.  I laughed.  I cringed.  I groaned.  Things get ugly.  Alliances shift.  I had fun, but some of Cedar Rapids was downright painful, and I’m not just talking about JCR dancing in his boxers.  It was good, not great.  I give Cedar Rapids a 7 out of 10.

Heavy Weight

You know what I’d like to see, just once?  I’d like to see a parent on The Biggest Loser say, “Hey!  I’ve sacrificed everything for my kid, all my life.  This time, I want what I deserve!  Keep me!  Send my ungrateful child home!!”  Maybe it’s just my life talking.  I know that parent would be vilified and sent home.  But, at least I’d be surprised, and pretty entertained, watching the fall out.  And, if you’re a parent, isn’t there just a little part of you that would celebrate the nerve??  


One of the joys of going to a local brew pub is getting to take home something you’ve tried and liked, so you can continue to enjoy the beer, at home.  I’ve noticed a lot more people are taking advantage of growlers.  They’re really trending.  So, imagine my surprise on Saturday, when we went to one of our favorite BBQ and beer spots, and they told us, “Sorry, we can’t fill your growler.  There’s a big TV news expose on germs and people getting sick from dirty growlers, so we’re laying low, for a while.”  !!!!!  What??

We’ve been going to this place for beer so long, our growler has the old name, Ringneck Brewing.  This place doesn’t just brew and bottle beer, they help other people brew and bottle their own.  We are meticulous about our growler cleanliness, treating it like a baby’s bottle.  It’s washed and rinsed and drained. If I buy your root beer and pour it into an unsanitary glass to drink it, and I get sick, then what?  Growlers are a great, economical way to continue to get that draft experience, which is really the way to savor a delicious brew. And, the financial possibilities for a brewery are staggering.    The Cleveland Area Craft Beer contingent is a growing and passionate community.  The reason we were at this establishment was an organized meet up, with 50 or more folks driving in, from the East Side, even, to try out TBK.  I had told a few people that my husband and I had just been to the Buffalo area, and we’d gotten growlers from their local pubs, to drink while at my in laws.  And, when we went to the local beverage store, just to see if they had some interesting selection, we were surprised to see taps, in the bev store.  And, just as I was wondering how long it would take to get the average joe into the habit of bringing his growler in for re-fills, instead of picking up a 6-pack, I realized 10 customers had been in and out, while we were browsing, to have growlers refilled.  They had everything from Genesee Cream Ale to a very limited Southern Tier release, on tap.  Back in Strongsville, I’m telling this story, and someone else is telling me that Heinen’s is planning to try out taps to tempt the craft beer community.  I certainly hope the TV story doesn’t drain the keg on that idea!  I was excited!  If you’ve got a growler, by all means, hit it with another sanitizing rinse of scalding water.  And, I guess, you should call ahead, before you attempt to fill it up.  I’d hate for you to suffer the disappointment we felt.  And, if you really want this growler revolution to move forward, be sure to tell your brew pub how much you appreciate the service, and how we all hope some dirty drinkers don’t skunk the lines for all of us!!