By: Movie Snurb –
November is a great time of year; it’s finally cooled down but it’s not freezing, and it’s a time for families and friends to gather and feast. Now, I love to watch football while I stuff my face in the normal American tradition, but this six pack is for those people/families who don’t care about football. Since Thanksgiving provides extended periods of time off from work, I decided to go with epic films. Any film breaching the 3-hour mark qualifies, so while you enjoy tasty food and you have lots of time to kill, enjoy these 3+ hour epics.
Written by Dalton Trumbo and directed by Stanley Kubrick; those two names alone could make a film an epic. Trumbo’s initial script was over 1,000 pages. To put that in perspective, most scripts are 90-120 pages. Originally, Trumbo’s name was not going to appear on the script because he was blacklisted as a communist in Hollywood (it was going to be “Sam Jackson”), but Kirk Douglas insisted his name be in the credits. Kubrick was brought in to direct after the first director was fired, which is why this has never felt like a Kubrick film. This has also never felt like an epic; it runs about 197 minutes, but the time flies. The story is great and the sexual themes were really ahead of its time. If you have never watched an epic film this would be a good one to start with. Not only is it easily digestible, but it is also a great film.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery – Midas Touch
Why not enjoy a delicious mead beer with this great film. I’ve never had a mead beer but I bet it’s delicious and my next mission is to go find this Dogfish Head brew. So hopefully you enjoy this brew, and maybe enjoy some oysters or snails with the beer. Either, or both at the same time… who cares, it’s your life.
The Godfather Part II
Yes, the first Godfather is brilliant; from performances, directing, to cinematography, everything about the film is brilliant. And it will always be considered the best because it came first, and inspired so many filmmakers that came after. However, The Godfather Part II might just be better. I believe it’s better and I don’t think there is a right or wrong between thinking the 1st or 2nd film is better. However, Part II is a masterclass in storytelling. It advances the stories of the first film, and then it expands on those stories and fledges out the characters even more, especially with the flashbacks of Vito’s rise to power. Michael’s rise to power juxtaposed with Vito’s rise to power is brilliant storytelling. De Niro as young Vito and Pacino as Michael are two powerhouse performances. It has a 200 minute runtime and it feels like it’s 90 minutes. The first film maybe the more influential one, but Part II is even better.
Epic Brewing Co. – Big Bad Baptist Reserve
A robust stout with hints of cocoa and whiskey. I can’t think of a better beer to sip and enjoy while you watch a masterpiece. I keep think of Michael in his sweaters in his room overlooking his dock with snow falling; it’s just asking of a dark stout to be enjoyed in the room. Just maybe not with Fredo.
I just re-watched this film a few months ago not having watched it in several years and I expected to not like it as much as I did as a child. It felt that this might be one of the films that in the moment we all loved but now is the butt of several movie jokes; however, I can confirm that it is still a modern masterpiece. It has a grand scale that not many movies have nowadays. It has the 3+ hour runtime that again doesn’t feel like 3 hours. Visually there may not be another director like James Cameron, who makes gorgeous films like this on such a gargantuan scale. The story may be generic, but the story aspect is something Cameron has never been great at; it’s his visual storytelling where he truly shines. So if you have the time around Thanksgiving, turn yourself over to what is still a very emotionally effective film.
Titanic Brewery – Iceberg
With a name like that there was never going to be any other beer. You should enjoy this Iceberg much more than Jack and Rose enjoyed their iceberg, unless you hate beer, but I don’t know your life.
Lawrence of Arabia
I’m going to do my best to not drone on and keep my adoration for this film short. First of all, this is a masterpiece and in my opinion is the greatest film ever made. It’s stunning and is everything great about the Golden Age of Hollywood. The scope and scale of this film is impressive, thinking about how David Lean was able to get certain shots, even taking 1 day to get a single shot. They truly do not make films like this anymore and couldn’t if they wanted to. It would cost around 300 million to make this film, and if they did, it would be mostly CGI and cut in half, which would make it terrible. It requires its 227-minute runtime. Peter O’Toole was a revelation in this film, along with Omar Sharif. This is not only the greatest epic ever made, but also the greatest film ever made. If you ever get a chance to see this on the big screen you have to go, and lose yourself for almost 4 hours.
Stiegl Zitrone Lemon Radler
One of my favorite beers ever, maybe only surpassed by Stiegl’s grapefruit beer. It’s a nice crisp lemon beer perfect for those hot summer days. You’ll chug one down just as fast as Lawrence chugs his lemonade in the film.
The name alone lets you know that this film is going to be massive in scope and length. At a whopping 201 minutes without an intermission, this is a massive film. It follows a rancher in Texas in the 1930s while he gets married, then they have children and have to deal with a bratty neighbor played by James Dean in his final role. It spans nearly 30 years as Jordan Benedict (Rock Hudson) and his wife Leslie (Elizabeth Taylor) try to do what is right for them and their family. It’s really a family story, but as much as it’s a family story it’s also about the state of Texas. It’s kind of a love letter to the great state, but it also shows its darker sides, racism, and greed with oil and cattle. It’s a great film and one that everyone should see because it’s just as timely now as it was in 1956.
Spoetzl Brewery – Shiner Bohemian Black Lager
A good dark beer from the state of Texas, it’s black like Jett’s Oil and has hints of coffee to go with the multiple times we see breakfast in the film. If this beer doesn’t totally fill you up maybe you can have a steak as big as Elizabeth Taylor gets in her first breakfast in her house.
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
This is my favorite film trilogy, maybe only eclipsed by The Before Trilogy. This trilogy alone is massive, but I chose the final film in the trilogy because not only it is the longest, but also it has a more epic feel than the prior films. It’s full of long large-scale battles, and the ending is drawn out for seemingly forever when you’re in the theater and have to use the restroom. The set design and cinematography make the film look and feel even larger. Then to top it all off Howard Shore’s score is epic in itself but when paired with the film you’ll get goosebumps. Currently Hollywood doesn’t make epics anymore. This is of the last great ones to be made; we’ll see what Scorsese brings with The Irishman.
Pike Brewing Co. – Pike Organic Double Oatmeal Stout
A good oatmeal stout stood out because even though it’s in the first film I kept thinking about the second breakfast moment in Fellowship of the Ring. You might need a couple of these brews to get through the length of the film, especially the ending. I promise I do love this film.