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Tag Archives: David Fincher

Panic Room

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Panic Room

Image credit: Panic Room, 2002.

During the initial days of Covid-19 and the ensuing food/supply shortages, I panicked. Not knowing how long I’d be trapped inside my house, or under what conditions, I stocked up on pain reliever, tonic water, and white wine (the essentials). Maybe seeing paper goods and yeast already gone from the shelves made me nervous. Or maybe I’d just seen this week’s film Panic Room (Disc/Download) one too many times.

You see, in this 2002 thriller directed by David Fincher, Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart would have been FINE if only they’d been prepared. Instead, Foster has to open the door of their panic room to a crew of murderous thieves because her daughter didn’t pack her insulin. Which then leads poor K-Stew to be trapped in a tiny room with Forest Whitaker and Dwight Yoakam (the country music star who, after almost twenty years, remains this movie’s greatest casting mystery). Granted, they only moved in a few hours before the break-in. But as someone who saw once saw world order collapse in front of her eyes in the HEB toilet paper aisle, I’m now a firm believer in being ready for anything.

Unfortunately, in this film, alcohol leads to sloppiness. Jodie Foster’s character Meg spends the evening drowning her divorce sorrows with a bottle of red wine, as her hip, androgynous daughter smirks over Diet Coke and pizza. Maybe if she’d had the wine and Coke together, she wouldn’t be so out of it when the robbers arrive. While watching Panic Room, I recommend drinking this Kalimotxo cocktail.

Kalimotxo

3-4 oz Red Wine (I use Tempranillo)

3-4 oz Mexican Cola with cane sugar

Lemon Slice

Build drink over ice, stirring gently to combine. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

Kalimotxo

I give Meg a lot of grief for not being prepared, but actually I’m quite impressed by her MacGyver capabilities in a crisis. Hard wiring a phone to call out? Creating a fireball that’ll vent outside the panic room? These are not things I could do myself. But give me alcohol, mixers, and ice, and I promise to make us all a lot more calm. Cheers!

Zodiac

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Zodiac

Image credit: Zodiac, 2007.

I’ve already discussed my love of true crime on Cinema Sips, but in case you missed it, I have a thing for serial killers.  Especially serial killers of the 1960s-70s.  While I’m still awaiting that big-budget Richard Speck biopic (somebody PLEEEEAAAASE make this movie), I have to tide myself over with David Fincher’s Zodiac (Disc/Download).

After watching Fincher’s recent television project Mindhunter, it’s very clear that Zodiac should have been a mini-series. I personally split it up into two nights of viewing, because let’s face it, two hours and thirty-seven straight minutes of police procedurals can be a bit fatiguing.  But even with this lengthy run-time, it still felt like crucial details were missing. With crimes taking place over several years, the film often skips ahead, which is great for the case, but not so great for character development.  Jake Gyllenhaal is married after one bad date?  Robert Downey Jr.  went from ace reporter to alcoholic houseboat dweller?  When did all this happen?  But where the film truly shines is in the actual murder depictions, and in the questioning of potential suspects.  Fincher amps up the tension like a pro, making you wonder what sort of sick turn he’ll take next.  Will the couple make it out of this picnic alive?  Will Ione Skye and her baby escape from the car?  Is Jake Gyllenhaal about to be murdered in the basement of a San Francisco cinephile?  Is the weapon of choice an old Buster Keaton reel??  I CAN’T LOOK AWAY.

I’m a sucker for good production design, and it’s clear that this film was painstakingly researched. When Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. settle into a leather booth in a dim San Francisco joint, you can almost smell the cigarettes and aftershave.  Gyllenhaal’s character orders an Aqua Velva cocktail, so let’s stay movie-appropriate and follow his lead.

Aqua Velva

1 oz Vodka

1 oz Gin

½ oz Blue Curacao

Sprite

Lemon Slice, Maraschino Cherry for garnish

Combine vodka, gin, and blue curacao in a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a rocks-filled glass.  Top with Sprite, and garnish with a lemon slice, maraschino cherry, and drink umbrella.

Aqua Velva

While this film certainly has its flaws, it’s still a thrilling step back in time to a frightening period of American history.  The term serial killer hadn’t even been invented yet, but nevertheless, they were out there.  Taunting us. Watching us. Waiting for their lives to be immortalized on celluloid…

The Social Network

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social network

Image credit: The Social Network, 2010

As part of my New Year’s resolution this year, I decided to stop procrastinating and actually start (and maintain) a Cinema Sips Twitter page. Something I said I’d NEVER do, but Facebook’s commercialization and subsequent ransoming of business pages has forced my hand. Plus, Twitter has jokes. Lots of jokes. Being the newly tech savvy person that I am, I got to thinking of those halcyon early days of Facebook. Back when it was like a secret club, invite only, with nary an ad in sight. If you weren’t between the ages of 18-25 in 2004, and don’t believe me, just check out this week’s film, The Social Network (DVD/Download).

Fun fact: Mark Zuckerberg and I went to college at the same time, and we’re nearly the same age. Except he’s, well, Mark Zuckerberg and I’m just some girl writing this little blog and spending too much money at the liquor store. While he was writing code and inventing Facebook, I was sitting in a dorm room watching Christopher Guest films on repeat. I find The Social Network to be mildly depressing, in an “oh my God, I’ve done NOTHING with my life” kind of way, but I also consider it to be an exhilarating, entertaining film about the early days of a huge digital revolution. Jesse Eisenberg’s Aspberger’s-meets-asshole performance is quite skilled, and I particularly love Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker. And the Winklevoss twins! I totally think there should be a remake of Rope starring Armie Hammer and Armie Hammer as the Leopold and Loeb characters. How creepy would that be?

Apparently these Silicon Valley bigwigs like their girly drinks. Far too many appletinis get consumed in the road to Facebook world domination. Thus while watching The Social Network, I recommend drinking a classic millennial cocktail, the Appletini. Normally I’d never advocate for a pre-made mix, but A) it’s pretty tasty, and B) I’m too busy on Twitter to deal with anything else this week.

Appletini

2 parts Stirrings Appletini mix

1 part vodka

Maraschino cherry (for garnish)

Combine appletini mix together with vodka in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a cocktail glass with a maraschino cherry at the bottom.

appletini

Everyone likes to talk about how Facebook has gone downhill, and in a lot of ways it has. I hate the ads, and the sponsored posts, and having to see what all of my friends are “liking” and commenting on at any given moment. For the most part, I just don’t care. But I admit, Facebook has made the world a pretty great place to be. Now I can connect with friends that I would have lost touch with ages ago had I been dependent on just a phone or email address. Sure, I’ve got some geriatric relatives trolling my posts, but you take the bad with the good. And if you’re a fan of the Cinema Sips Facebook page, you’ve got a place to interact with other like-minded movie and cocktail aficionados. So go ahead- Facebook me. Cheers!