Tag Archives: Hey Bartender

Weekend Preview: This is the (Week)end for Superman, Seth Rogen, and Jesse and Celine

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As Jeff Simon put it in his Buffalo News review of “This is the End,” with that film, “Man of Steel,” and “Before Midnight” opening locally, “this is, far and away, the movie opening weekend of the year on my scorecard.” Indeed it is, one of the most wildly diverse release weekends in a long, long time.

The number one spot at the box office will most certainly be claimed by Zack Snyder’s Chris Nolan-assisted Superman reboot, “Man of Steel,” but the question is, how big will it open? Some estimates have it pegged at a $100-million weekend, but I’m not so sure. Reviews have been wildly mixed, and I’m still not quite sure I’ve seen a “wow” trailer, so I think $90 mill is a more likely figure. Nothing to laugh at, and in a relatively week summer, it could play well for several weeks. It’s easy now to forget that Nolan’s “Batman Begins” took in “only” $205 mill in North America, but that was in 2005, and for a budget at least $100 million less than “Steel”’s. Warner Bros. is likely hoping for $300-plus, enough to justify a costly “Justice League” follow-up. We shall see. I’ll have my own thoughts on the film here soon.

“The is the End” is something very different, a well-reviewed apocalypse comedy in which some of the Apatow generation’s biggest names — Seth Rogen (who co-directed with writing partner Evan Goldberg), James Franco, Danny McBride, Michael Cera, Jonah Hill — play themselves. I’m especially intrigued to see the lovely Emma Watson as “Emma Watson.” The buzz on this is that it is extraordinarily wild; it could represent one of the few imaginative big studio releases of the summer.

While I’m intrigued by “Man of Steel” and “This is the End,” the movie I am anticipating more than any other is Richard Linklater’s “Before Midnight,” which opens tomorrow at Dipson’s Amherst and Eastern Hills theaters. This is the third film in the “Jesse and Celine” series; the first, 1995’s “Before Sunrise” and 2004’s “Before Sunset,” are pretty close to modern classics. The idea of Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy reprising their roles, and seeing where things are for this couple, which finally seemed to come together at the very end of “Sunset,” is intoxicating. It is one of the best reviewed films so far this year, and a possible Best Picture nominee, so this is certainly a must-see. More to come on this one, soon. (“Frances Ha” is still showing at Amherst and Eastern Hills, too.)

Note that the documentary “Hey Bartender” is screening Saturday night at the Amherst Dipson; I wrote about the film here.

Francis Ford Coppola’s most recent film, “Twixt,” finally arrived on VOD a few days ago, and ironically, his debut feature, the enjoyably daft “Dementia 13,” is showing on Friday and Saturday night at 9:15 p.m. at the Screening Room. (“Sorry, Wrong Number” screens at 7:30 p.m.)

Here’s something I’ll outline more in the weeks to come: Buffalo.com recently posted the schedule for the University at Buffalo’s outdoor summer film series, and it has some real gems, including “The Place Beyond the Pines.” The proceedings open with a movie that makes me very nervous, since I’ve felt from the get-go that it could be a disaster, Sam Raimi’s “Oz the Great and Powerful.” (I actually have it from Netflix right now. It’s staring at me, angrily.) It shows at 9:15 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18, and Friday, June 21, at the North Campus, and at 9:15 on Wednesday, June 19, at the South Campus.

Meanwhile, I’m a week late in mentioning Bacchus’s Summer Film Series, which is held in its quaint courtyard. The Buffalo-appropriate “Natural” kicked things off yesterday, June 12, but the series continues with “The Truman Show” next week, the 19th, and, even better, “The Big Lebowski” on June 26.

Superman, Seth Rogen, Julie and Celine, cocktails, Coppola, Oz, and a God-like Ed Harris? An eclectic week for movies, to be sure.

 

Photo credit: Left to Right: Ethan Hawke as Jesse and Julie Delpy as Celine. Photo by Despina Spyrou, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.

The Cocktail Revolution Doc “Hey Bartender” Comes to Buffalo

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It seems like just about every week there is a screening of some kind in Buffalo that deserves special attention. This Saturday comes one some of my Buffalo Spree friends may find particularly interesting: the documentary “Hey Bartender.”

This look at the cocktail revolution has drawn mixed reviews since debuting at SXSW; the Hollywood Reporter says it “isn’t the cocktail doc enthusiasts are waiting for,” while the AV Club was a bit more positive, describing it as “an enthusiastic showcase for the many men and women responsible for the burgeoning cocktail revolution going on in metropolises around the world.”

Here’s a brief description from the film’s Facebook page:

“‘Hey Bartender’ tells the story of how the renaissance of the bartender comes to be in the era of the craft cocktail. The documentary focuses on two bartenders trying to achieve their dreams through the world of bartending. After being injured a Marine turns his goals to becoming a rock star bartender at the best cocktail bar in the world. A former bank executive who bought the corner bar in his hometown struggles to keep it afloat in a community that no longer values a place where everyone knows your name. Featuring the most famous bartenders in the world along with unprecedented access to the most exclusive bars in New York City and commentary from Graydon Carter, Danny Meyer and Amy Sacco.”

The New York Daily News ran a nice feature about the film; here’s an excerpt:

“The documentary is an ode to the cocktail culture that has swept the Big Apple in the past decade, but as much as the film details the surging trend of hipster, bow-tied barkeeps, it reminds viewers that these alcohol aficionados are actually returning the city’s drinking scene to its homespun roots. ‘Hey Bartender’ follows the rise of now iconic watering holes like Milk and Honey, PDT and Flatiron Lounge, and how their artisanal recipes became part of our national drinking culture for the first time since Prohibition. ‘The story had not made it out of its own community,’ says director Douglas Tirola. ‘A manual laborer will shower after work. A Wall Street banker will shower before work. Bartenders are one of the few professions that shower both before and after work. That’s what makes them special.’”

The film is showing this Saturday, June 15, at 8 p.m. at the Amherst Dipson Theater.

And if you never got around to Buffalo Spree’s February cocktails issue, catch up on the stories here.

 

Poster courtesy of 4th Row Films