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He Said 'I'll Be Back!' Make Mine A Double!
by Xavier Jones-Barlow

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Germans! Recognised and Appreciated for all Sorts of Things

Germans! Recognised and Appreciated for all Sorts of Things
Over the years I have found that alcohol can mix with most things; breakfast cereal, Relentless, family reunions, exams, pro-gay rallies and movies. To name but a few. Well especially movies, I have turned drinking along to films into a sport. At the time of writing it is still only a recognised sport in Britain and Germany but I am trying to remedy that by introducing it to the rest of western culture. Bearing in mind that the party season is almost upon us I give you my low-down on how to use your eyes and throat at the same time.

TYPES OF DRINKING GAMES

The format in which your drinking will take can vary considerably. The different sorts of game are endless; in fact some of the best ones are the activities you make up yourself.

Traditionally, the ‘list' format is the most popular. It is very simple. Each participant must drink a specified measure at a particular moment. For example, the first movie drinking games I was involved in were STAR WARS. Everybody has to take a sip/shot/measure every time somebody says ‘force', ‘dark side' or when a TIE-Fighter does a flypast. Finish whatever drink you have when the line ‘I have a bad feeling about this' gets an airing and do shots when a Lightsabre is ignited. You get the idea. Everybody is in the same boat, so nobody misses a beat. The good thing about this method is that, as well as a level playing field, you can choose your own degree of excess.
Alternatively you can go down the character route. Each ‘player' selects a character and takes a drink every time they have opening scene line/kisses someone/swears etc. A great variation on this theme was something I came up with many years ago. Take a staple horror film, pick someone to lead the way, take a blast every time they laugh/scream/make popcorn. Finish your drink when they bleed profusely/die. Then pick another character to follow. This is great because you become drinking buddies with your friends at regular intervals throughout the film. If it is SCREAM you are watching, more often than not you all end up as Neve Campbell at some point. Oh, and if your character kills the bad guy, you have to drink as much as you can see. Now imagine the fun.
Another method of imbibing alcohol to movies is the set amount method. This is when you have a quantifiable amount of booze. Let's say twelve beers, two bottles of wine and half a bottle of Jack between four of you. The idea is to finish said alcohol before the film is over. Very good for groups that have vastly varying levels of tolerance or when you need to be out for a party, or work. Whatever.
Then there is a much specialised sport. The one in which you and your flunkies must DO and SAY what the main character or protagonist is doing or telling you to do. The most infamous and notorious example of this is easily WITHNAIL AND I. I have yet to manage it myself (for almost obvious reasons) which is a shame, as I have always wanted to try the DeepHeat/radiatior thing. Your choice of game will depend on many things. How brave or stupid you are. It may depend on if you are working in the next week or so. It may well be that you have suggested this to a friend and such decisions are out of your hands. My advice? Relax and go with the flow.

Let me
*sigh* It's True. We All Do Look Like This

*sigh* It's True. We All Do Look Like This
reiterate, it is almost always better to come up with something yourself but if you need pointers Lazydork and Barmeister have some great suggestions.

CHOOSE YOUR POISON

Personally, I am a beer man. It is easy to drink, easy to finish if need be and certainly more-ish enough. It can be done in shots and heartily guzzled.
I do however appreciate that beer is not suited for everybody. Wine is equally as accessible. Indeed, some films are better enjoyed with fermented grapes as opposed to bubbling hops. The last time I drank to a film without any beer was when I was mixing wine with Alco pops to MARIE ANNTIONETTE. I woke up the next morning not only recounting giggling like a four year old, but recalling that myself and fellow participants got on to the subject of relationships and stuff. Not my normal behaviour. I also, at this time, remember the Kirsten Dunst vehicle to be one of the best things I have ever seen. Yes, my brothers' girlfriend has a lot to answer for.
For the serious hedonist, shots of whisky, vodka or any spirit will more than suffice. But if we are to be honest to ourselves we should have a good mix of everything. Simply to cater for tastes and situations. Do take my advice and stay away from the Gin though.

DRINKING FILMS

First and foremost the decision you have to make is whether or not you watch a film you have already seen or one that is new to you. This is really a judgement call on your part. I have found that the introduction of bamboozle juice can give you the courage to watch a film you either previously hated, or even allow you to try something you wouldn't normally consider. This is in addition to enjoying your favourite films but from a different ‘perspective' (on this note I would like to put it down that SHAUN OF THE DEAD is one of the greatest drinking movies ever. EVER. Just so long as you can make Bloody Marys). I tend to stick to films I am familiar with. I think the biggest danger is that you will miss something from the actual film, something profound and life changing, while I am trying to untangle my legs from a ball of string, or something. JACOBS LADDER is one film that my body cannot watch without alcohol, since I have unfairly conditioned my body that way.

That is not, however, a rule. To be fair I'll give anything a shot.

Although you can make a game out of any film, I think it is fair to say that some films are better suited for the unhealthy consumption of alcohol. You will probably want to stay away from such weepies as SWEET NOVEMBER and SOPHIE'S CHOICE, you're asking for a heavy bout of depression, and I would not wish that on anyone.
Again your run-of-the-mill drama can induce a state of catatonia that only a shovel to the head would disperse. In a few cases the film actually overshadowed the drinking, AMERICAN BEAUTY is one such prime example. This sort of effect does demonstrate the wicked power of a good film, but that is not really the point.
Providing you and your audience are in a jovial enough mood Action, War and Sci-Fi can give you plenty to drink about. The big man, Arnie, can supply you with lines that will get you
OK if we're playing Anchorman I wanna be Brick Tamland! You Said It Will

"OK if we're playing Anchorman I wanna be Brick Tamland!" You Said It Will
draining your glass, thumping your chest and then succumbing to uncontrollable giggles. Be wary though, you must make sure that yourself, or any of your comrades are not susceptible to bouts of aggression or violence, you would not want things to get bloody or broken.
Comedies are top notch. I have taken to downing my drink every time Will Ferrell says anything these days. Indeed ANCHORMAN, OLD SCHOOL and TALLADEGA NIGHTS are becoming legendary drinking buddies. I have almost convinced myself that these small pieces of comedy genius were designed with a slightly inebriated audience in mind. Obviously if your viewing material is funny, mildly amusing or just plain hilarious then the use of a game with rules may be a little unnecessary.
Musicals are also excellent. If everything is going to plan, you will have your own choir dribbling along to GREASE or MOULIN ROUGE. Believe it or not, I am seriously considering watching HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL with a few buddies and several bottles of wine. The idea seems like fun. Also, there is no excuse for anybody to decline to join in; with DVD you can have the words right on the screen.
You can of course take this one step further and dress up too; THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW can provide entertainment for months, neigh, years after the event.
Despite the glaring moral ambiguity of this statement, kids' films are ideal for an evening of unbridled debauchery. MEET THE ROBINSONS was the last Disney film to be enjoyed while tipsy. All involved agreed that it was a top night. Over the years ALADDIN, LION KING, SHREK, CARS and FINDING NEMO all have earned a special place in my liver.

Whatever your choice, I think it is better to stay on the lighter side of cinema.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

-Cheating is unacceptable. Just because I said so.

-Drinking on an empty stomach is a bad idea. Being drunk on an empty stomach is worse. Have plenty of munchies to hand. Starchy, fibrous food groups are the best. So stock up on crisps/chips, un-sliced bread, bananas and freshly peeled raw potato's.

-Whatever you do, try not to run out of alcohol. It is common knowledge that the archetypal ‘Gangster' didn't exist until prohibition. So avoid similar problems, albeit on a smaller scale by not running out.

-Be prepared to have another film ready. If you consider the above points you should not need to start a second contest. But you may need something to calm yourself and others down. With any luck you will probably feel the need to carry on. That said, you would not want to overdo it

-All that has been written before this sentence was based on the assumption that you have at least two or three friends/colleagues/strangers to join you. It is not advisable to try this alone.

-Consider the feelings and needs of your neighbours; invite them too, as long as they bring a bottle.

-Drink responsibly and observe your countries and state laws.
I'm sure you all realise that I put this in just to cover my backside.

Above all, have a little fun.



Just as a footnote, if anybody is thinking of doing this soon and you find yourself short of a body....

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Xavier analyses film, literary. A bizarre melding of books and movies.


Other Columns
Other columns by Xavier Jones-Barlow:

My Month As A Teenage Girl

Mr Jones and the Shame of the Spolier Scolls

Fragment: Consider Revising.

Proof Reading The Movies #1

The Cinematic Chicken And The Literary Egg

All Columns


Xavier Jones-Barlow
Xavier lives in Scotland where it is very cold. He spends his time writing about live bands and people dreamt up in his bizarre imagination. Quite huggable .



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If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Xavier Jones-Barlow by clicking here.


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