Friday, September 20, 2013

Vodka: Exclusiv Cherry

Exclusiv Cherry Vodka (Serge Imports LLC) - 64 proof (32% ABV)

This cherry-flavored vodka is distilled from wheat, and hails from the small country of Moldova. It pours a typically translucent clear, as any vodka should. The aroma up front is, well, a strong cherry.

Tasting this well-chilled and on-the-rocks, Exclusiv Cherry features a deep cherry flavor. Whether or not this is artificial or natural, I don't know (as media info nor bottle mention), but it's a fairly faithful representation of cherry. I also get, alongside the cherry, hints of a woody, almost amaretto note. Of course, the finish has a biting, alcohol sting.

When enjoyed as a mixer alongside some cola, Exclusiv did well, too, adding a nice old-time soda fountain cherry flavor to the soft drink. On the negative side, the finish here was medicinal and funky.

Still, at it's low price point (around $10/750mL), this is a solid vodka for either straight drinking or mixing. Thanx to Ann at Utopia for the tasting!

"Going Underground - Paul McCartney, The Beatles And The UK Counter Culture" DVD

Beatles member dealing deeper underground

Another unauthorized documentary from the UK's venerable Pride Productions, this one centers on McCartney's inspirations from and within the sixties UK underground scene. As well as looking at the Beatles, a large part of this feature-length (153 minutes) film focuses on figures like Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, the Soft Machine, AMM, the famous UFO Club, and Dr. Timothy Leary.

As with most of Pride's excellent productions, this one doesn't skimp on photos or footage. And though there are no official Beatles members interviewed, there are a number of important folks who were around then, including Eddie Prevost (of AMM), John "Hoppy" Hopkins (founder of the International Times magazine), Joe Boyd (Pink Floyd producer and UFO Club founder), Robert Wyatt (of the Soft Machine), as well as journalists and biographers. 

I gleaned a lot of info here, and learned that McCartney was far more instrumental in the Beatles' movement from teen-pop act to experimental rock than I'd previously imagined. His immersion in the counterculture, drugs, and the arts scene led him down a path which became immensely influential to the world of music and our own modern culture. "Going Underground" is a fine look at a time and place long since past, but still remaining vital as we go forwards. Well-done!

Pride Productions

Sunday, September 15, 2013

"Unsolved" DVD (director: Lance McDaniel)

Well-done college murder/mystery

This is a suprisingly well-done murder/horror film from director Lance McDaniel, who the cover says directed "Children Of The Corn", though the trusty imdb says otherwise. It stars the attractive Lezette Boutin -- or Jane Bunting, depending on whether you believe the packaging or the actual film credits. Hmm. Despite all the typos or misinformation, "Unsolved" comes across with solid camerawork, good cinematography, and reasonable enough acting. 

The story is shifting and interesting, too. Boutin/Bunting is convincing in her role as Amanda, a law student who is assigned to investigate an unsolved murder at her own university 15 years ago. Her investigation gets her into trouble with school officials and seedy characters alike. All the while, her tag-along boyfriend shows himself to be little more than a conniving and unfaithful diversion.

Being a product of the Oklahoma City University film department, there's little sleaze action present, unfortunately, so you won't get an abundance of breasts or blood. The charm here is in the "Clue"-style mystery of it all. Could there be something to do with Amanda's prick of a boyfriend, or does the case involve important elected officials? 

Overall, not a bad film by any means.