EVERY ONCE in a while it dawns on me that my ususal summer practice of vowing to stick to cold sandwiches and potato chips is really pretty silly, and then I start giving in to the impulses and cravings that, for good or ill, frame my world. This time-- what I refer to as Cold War Chili Cheese Fries, because the flag, to my eye, vaguely resembles the flag of South Korea-- paid dividends in spades, not only in providing a damned hearty meal and a spicey delight, but also in providing the absolutely most perfect companion Sara's Black Forest ever had. The black lager-- I gotta stop doing that: the Saranac people describe it, on the label, as a Bavarian style black beer, and I have exactly zero reason for calling this a lager-- anyways, it has a slightly sweet undertone that the chili, spiked with chili garlic Cholula and green Tabasco, curled around like an affectionate cat. Prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
The movie of the day-- well, lets' suffice to say that Jerry Lee has now seen Voyage of the Damned
This is something I have kind of been meaning to see for at least a couple of years, but had been instincively avoiding for no reason that I could really put a finger on. Plenty of stuff argues for the film-- great cast, compelling story, historical impetus, real human drama-- but I just always got the feeling, seeing the few small moments of it I had in the past, that I just didn't want to sit through it. This time it happened to be coming on with just the kind of perfect timing than made me think that this was an opportunity I ought not to ignore.
(The Wifey points out that this revierw completely omits what the movie itself is about. In 1939, the Nazi German government selected nearly a thousand Jews and gave them passage to Cuba. Accoding to some, they were never expected to be allowed off the boat, and, in fact, once they got to Cuba, they were denied passage, either as tourists or refugees. The captain spent the next months sailing about the Atlantic, trying to deliver safe passage to his cargo, failing in both the US and Canada, finally managing to scatter them between Britain, France and Belgium. Then, of course, the war broke out, and eventually two thirds of the passengers met their demise at the camps.) (Wow. That was cold
With the result that this is one helluva movie. Great cast. Great performances, Extraordinarally compelling source material, driving plot, great dramatic moments, great sets and costuming. But good LORD, does it go on and on and on. Of course, it was originally a TV movie, so it may have-- MUST have-- gone on over two nights, but it was still a helluva thing to sit through, regardless. On the one hand, I understand that the filmmakers felt compelled to include a fair amount of the on-boardschmoozing and politicing and interpersonal conflicts, but in a large way, this was just kind of like a chicken salad with far too much mayonaise. Still, I am glad I saw it.
I went to all the trouble of researching this, ordering it from Netflix, and setting myself upo to screen this, and then guess what shows up in rotation on Showtime? So I considered watching this earlier in the day, but noooo-ho-ho-ho-ho! You do fine fork, Lizzie, and please understand that I am a fan, but, really, genuinely, please, once was enough. Or at least that's how I feel right now. I'm a little scared that while the first time it was compelling and engrossing in a slightly painful way, a second time it just might come off like cruelty drama. Which, finally, I have the same visceral reaction to as cruelty humor. Not that humor can't be cruel, folks, just realize that all cruelty is not humorous.
But I still recommend it, same as last time. Chili cheese fries are one of the world's most perfect experiences, and those white American cheese hashes, which are what makes me think of the South Korean flag, well, as Frost might say, those make all the difference. You could probably do as well to read the Wikipedia entry, but if you have a few hours to put into it, hearty provisions, and black beer, my advice is: go for it. And if you don't mind being punched in the gut repeatedly by a beautiful woman, so long as she gives you a peck on the cheek after each one, well then, my friend, this is for you!
*Know that story? You could look it up. It'll probably funnier that way, than if I explain it for you.
Labels: Cheese, Chili, Damned