Beer review by Jackass Tom

0:00:14 - The DVD box for Beer has a simple description: A Madison Avenue ad-agency executive devises a highly successful commercial campaign to sell beer. Ironic premise since I chose to review this movie purely based on the title: Beer. In fact as soon as I completed typing the title, like Pavlov’s dog, I walked to the basement refrigerator to get myself a cold Fat Tire. So already the movie title alone (movie still paused on the Orion opening screen) has interested me enough to watch the movie for review and triggered me to drink. There is something in the sauce.

0:01:05 - German beer owner with a horrible over the top Bavarian accent is on the phone with his ad agency because he is unhappy with his own beer commercials. Watching Michelob Light commercials with chicks diving for volleyballs so they could reveal more beer loving cleavage seems to work too well for other companies but not his. BTW, the Fred Flintstone walking music in the background is unnecessary. If this persists I could get annoyed real quick.

0:01:53 - I recognize two names in the credits: Rip Torn and David Alan Grier. Star power! BTW, this is a 1985 film and I’d like to mention that I didn’t’ know DAG had a movie career before the 90s In Living Color. I think I’m slightly impressed at his early entry into film.

0:04:01 - The head executive, Mr. Feemer, is cartoonishly mood-swinging. His underlings are of course sweating as he fires people left and right. Pretty sure this guy is trying to channel his best Richard Dreyfus. BTW, they are looking for “the man of the 80s” to represent Norbecker beer. I love it when you hear a past decade referenced as if it was modern and cutting edge.

0:07:58 - Rip Torn sighting. I didn’t recognize him at first. He is in Manhattan wearing a cheap fedora with a metal star, has a grey beard, with a darker grey mustache, has ski goggles dangling from his neck, and is wearing a semi-puffy, semi-plastic winter coat. You could put the Incredible Hulk in this combo and I would take 10 seconds to clear it up. “I HAVENT WORKED IN 10 YEARS!” he proclaims in a voice that can only be Rip Torn’s voice. Where is this going?

0:10:01 - David Alan Grier sighting. The guy is in top form playing a lawyer named Elliot Morrison who is getting passed over in his firm because of his race. This one always plays up for high comedy. “You stay in bankruptcy – that way you’ll have experience to handle your own case…m-ha-ah!” says the old cracker lawyer.

0:14:33 - A guy tries to hold up a bar and three guys (including DAG) who are down on their luck, awkwardly suppress them. B.D. (Loretta Switt) is there and decides to tag these guys as {QUICK BREAK….OH DAG’S KID HAS A BOOM BOX ON HIS EAR AT THE DINNER TABLE !! IT’S THE 80s BABY!...} their new spokes people for Norbecker Beer. It’s a common man campaign. So far, not horrible. Done on the cheap, but not horrible yet. Also an Italian mama faints as one of the guys who is becoming a spokesman wants to get his own apartment. Godfather moment. Bad Italian accents.

0:19:00 - The Norbecker Beer plant reminds me of the Elisnore Brewery in Strange Brew despite not being located in a castle and not having a brainwashed hockey team of goons lead by an organ player. So really it boils down to a movie about beer done on the cheap in the mid-80s. {Raisin in the nose gag while meeting with the client… wow… You went there Beer. You went there.}

0:27:43 - The ad campaign is an average Joe’s thing. They film the three guys as hero’s knocking out the gunman in a bar. A working class thing. This was cutting edge? And yes the commercial is outrageous, overly long, and horrible. It looks like a bad movie. Which is ironic since I’m watching a bad movie within a bad movie. Oh but a nice slow motion moment at around 29:45 as a bullet goes through a beer can spraying it at the Italian guy like it was blood in a Peckinpah movie.

0:31:30 I can see Loretta Swit’s rib cage. Gross. Also there is a midget in the bar. I seem to remember the 80s being the decade where midgets got some solid play. Or maybe that was only in the WWF. Its up for conversation at least. Still can’t figureout why this movie is rated R. Especially by 1985 standards. Seems fairly tame so far.

0:35:30…and like that my question may have been answered. The bald ad executive who snorted raisins brings up adding more sex to ensure the campaign’s success is a hit. As if the horrible “Tough Enough” country song isn’t slamming it home? He tries to sell a woman choking on a can of beer as sexy. Thank you for not buying into this people in movie. Also David Alan Grier is told to get blacker by the Loretta Swit so he watches a Richard Pryor wannabe. “How come black men always go like this?” I don’t even know what he did when he said that. Maybe a crotch grab?

0:43:05 - And here comes the sex it up ad. “Come on boys whip out your Norbeckers!” One simulated drive and blow. Worse has been done. Uh-oh a Donahue reference with upset women! These people will have no idea how to deal with Jerry Springer when the time comes. It will be overload.

0:52:53 - Is there a Hitler reference coming up with the Norbecker CEO? Talking about storming different countries in Europe with his beer? Yes.

0:57:54 - The three guys are in a desert plane crash, survive and the execs are making plans without them. After a few days the crash turns from tragedy to a opportunity. In fact after a while the execs are upset that the men are found. BD turns into Faye Dunaway from Network. Still not sure why its rated R.

1:06:30 - Another Swit rib cage sighting. I’m tasting bile.

1:08:10 - So the whole movie is really a dime store satire on how advertising takes advantage of the everyman. Its dated. Its message is heavy-handed and over-blown. “BD you’re getting to be like one of your commercials. You’re just not real.” Well no $#!+, Don Draper. It’s a job. It serves a purpose that in our media rich world is paid for by corporations. No one looks at beer commercials and changes their lives. They show the David Alan Grier character as the most changed and ruined by this whole thing. Sure he made money off of ads, but does that mean he can no longer be a lawyer? Does that mean he turns into Richard Pryor and walks into a gay bar for ensuing hilarity sake? I’m not buying it. The movie never once made me laugh out loud but it was at least semi-entertaining.

5 out of 10 Jackasses
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