Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Little T & A

By B.E. Earl

Hey kids! Sorry to disappoint, but the titular (hehe) T & A don't stand for what you were all hoping for. Nope, here to talk a little more about "T"equila and "A"ction movies.

First off, apologies to Elizabeth. I felt the need to correct her mis-spelling (did I just mis-spell that?) of mezcal on the feedback section of her site. I've explained that correcting folks is really the only chink in an otherwise glorious armor for me. It's a bad habit and I've got to work on it. To make things worse, it turns out that I was wrong to correct her! It can be spelled either way. Mescal or Mezcal. Unlike Liza, because it's Liza with a "z", not Lisa with an "s", because Lisa with an "s" goes "sss", not "zzz".

That being said, I was just going to share with you a little bit about the differences between tequila and mezcal. Because I'm an ass that way.

Tequila, while technically a type of mezcal, is only made from one varietal of agave. The agave tequilana Weber, blue variety or just what we gringos call the blue agave.
Mezcal can be made from any of five varietals of agave, with the most common one being espadin.

They are also distilled differently. Tequila is distilled at least twice while mezcal is distilled only once...giving it a harsher flavor. The agave hearts for tequila are either baked or steamed in above-ground ovens, while they are baked underground over charcoal and covered with palm leaves for mezcal. That's why you may taste a smoky flavor when you are enjoying your mezcal.

If you have never seen what an agave plant looks like, they are similar in appearance to cacti, but they are actually a succulent...like aloe. And they are HUGE! For some reason, I had always assumed they were about the size of a volleyball, but they are bigger than bean bag chairs. Really, really big bean bag chairs.

As for the action movie portion of our program, I was watching The Last Boy Scout the other day when I realized that this is where the evil started for Bruce Willis. Lemme 'splain. I love his films. I especially love when he steps out of character as he did in The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. Great stuff.

What is that character that he gets to step out of occassionally? Why it's the character he first played in Boy Scout. The former law enforcement type with the heart of gold who has witnessed or experienced some tragedy that has changed him into a world-weary, alcoholic private detective type. You know, the character that he played in Striking Distance or Die Hard: With a Vengeance or Mercury Rising or The Fifth Element or even Hostage and Sin City, to certain degrees.

Al of these films are a bit different, but the Willis character is pretty much the same. I guess John Wayne made a pretty fine living by just playing the Duke during his film career, but I never realized how often Willis has played this guy. The exact details are never the same, but you get the picture.

I wonder if there is a team of monkeys some place in Hollywood behind a door marked "Bruce Willis scripts" just banging away on keyboards. Does Willis even read these scripts or does his agent just sign him up and tell him that he's "you know, playing that guy again?"

That being said, I'm glad to see that John McClane will be back for one more outing as Die Hard 4 is currently in pre-production. Hopefully we will find out that he has gotten back together with his wife or that he has moved on since the last film. We need a little more of the wise-cracking hero we saw in the first two films and a little less of the world-weary alcoholic we saw in the third (and sooo many others!).

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