I don’t know where you stand on Tom Hanks, but I miss the Tom Hanks of old. Like the Tom Hanks of the ’80s when he was appearing in TV and film comedies such as Bosom Buddies, Splash, Bachelor Party, The Money Pit, Big, The ‘Burbs, and Turner & Hooch. Then the ’90s came and things started to change. He still appeared in some comedies but started getting into more dramatic roles.
Then he hit that two-year period where he won back to back Oscars in ’94 and ’95 (he was nominated for Big in 1989 which I was shocked to find out about). I’m going to be honest in saying that I can’t stand Forrest Gump. Hated it as a kid and still do today. To me, Hanks has a similar problem that I have with another Tom (Cruise), in that he’s more of a star. When I’m watching a movie he’s in I’m watching Tom Hanks and not the character. Some actors have that ability to transform into the character they’re inhabiting (RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman). I’m not disparaging Hank’s abilities. He’s a very fine actor who has been part of some really good films, has undeniable charisma, seems like a genuinely good guy, and is always worth watching on late night talk shows. Plus, he’s Woody.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wish I could see him bring back some of that manic energy from his earlier years. Because of that, I went with a deep cut of his filmography that I had completely missed. The connection with the beer I paired up with this movie is simple; my brain was tired and I just searched for the word “red” on Netflix.
Fresh Hop Red India Pale Ale: The Basics
- Brewery: Upslope Brewing Company (Boulder, CO)
- Style: Red IPA
- ABV: 6.0%
Fresh Hop Red India Pale Ale: The Details
It’s been quite some time since I’ve reviewed an IPA. Lately, a lot of the IPAs I’ve been enjoying have been of the New England-style and I was looking for something that went back to the basics. So, when I saw this can of Upslope’s Fresh Hop Red India Pale Ale (Cascade and Nugget hops used) I decided to give it a go. It’s like two seasonal beers in one (wet hop and fall).
Fresh Hop Red is part of Upslope’s rotating Tap Room Series, where each beer is vetted in their taprooms after being carefully selected by the brewers. When I was living back in San Francisco, the yearly release of Sierra Nevada’s Harvest Ale was something to look forward to (and you knew it would be pretty fresh). This would be first fresh/wet hop ale since I moved to Colorado, and I was looking forward to it.
I was quite surprised by the look of this beer. It is a vibrant red ale with a dark reddish copper color and an abundant two-finger, white head. The head didn’t stick around for too long but had some nice lacing. I couldn’t help holding up the beer to the light. The intense color really transfixed me. The nose didn’t overwhelm the senses but had a nice subdued malty presence that had some earthy, pine, citrus, and spice qualities to it. After taking a few big whiffs, I was reminded of a wet lawn after a hard rain. Something about it recalled the damp soil and blades of grass.
The taste had a more of a punch of the nose. There were the malty caramel characteristics to go with the earth and citrus. But some other notes stood out. There was more of a floral essence, a hint of mint on the finish, and lingering dark chocolate note. The bitterness was the polar opposite of my recent dive into New England IPAs. It was intense, had flourishes pine and grapefruit rind, and hung out in my mouth well after the beer was gone. In contrast to the harsh bitterness, the medium-bodied ale is creamy with a low level of carbonation.
The Man with One Red Shoe (1985)
- Director: Stan Dragoti
- Genre: Comedy
- Total Running Time: 1hr 32mins
- Rating: PG
- Availability: Netflix and Amazon
What does Mr. Hanks think about this film? Here are his thoughts: “Not a very good movie. It doesn’t have any real, clear focus to it. It isn’t about anything in particular that you can honestly understand. It made no money at all.” Great! I’m so glad I found this quote after I watched it. Could have spared me my terrible decision.
This remake of a French film is a perplexing one. The movie has some really good actors in it, and I don’t know how they got roped into this. Besides Hanks, there is Dabney Coleman (80s movie staple), Charles Durning, Carrie Fisher (whose character has a Tarzan fetish), the unfunny Belushi brother, Tom Noonan (creepy character actor), and Squiggy from Laverne & Shirley.
The basic premise for this comedic spy thriller is that there are two warring factions within the CIA, and Hanks’s violinist character is picked out of the crowd to be part of a ploy. Coleman’s group is trying to usurp Durning, the director of the CIA. Durning sets a plan in motion where Hanks is believed to be a spy with damaging, classified information and is subjected to constant surveillance and danger. In a broader aspect, the rest of the elements of this film make little sense. One character gets all his teeth pulled out but carries on like nothing happened. Coleman’s surveillance team can’t turn down the levels of their recordings of Hank’s apartment, so anyone within earshot of the disguised ambulance truck can hear them. All the spies are inept. Agents sweeping his apartment put shampoo into his toothpaste tube and other “hilarious” mishaps. There’s no hint of logic involved. And of course, the villainous female spy falls for Hanks character.
I’m getting irrationally angry thinking about this movie. I’m done.
Fresh Hop Red India Pale Ale is a kick to the head that brings back memories of when I first got introduced to IPAs. The bitterness might come off as harsh at first, but it’s a nice change of pace from the recent trends. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge fan of red ales, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
The Man with One Red Shoe has got to be the worst movie reviewed so far for this feature. I’m sorry. I really love spy films but this one lacks any redeeming qualities. Perhaps my view of early Tom Hanks’s films has been tinted by nostalgia? I fear re-watching some of them now.