Category Archives: Take Out Theater

Cocktails and Movies Take Out Theater: Draft Day

by Tim Barley

Draft Day keeps the story rolling in the high stakes NFL draft

cocktails and Movies take out theater Draft Day - Costner

Today is the annual NFL draft. What was once an add-on for the most diehard pro football fans, has turned into a four day extravaganza courtesy of ESPN. Now, it’s held in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX this year in a purposely built, temporary theater. It’s going to be a spectacle. And while it’s religion to some, most of us don’t care but to see the highlights on the news or shared via social media.

But, one movie came along a few years ago that made the behind-the-scenes drama of draft day come alive for us at Cocktails and Movies. That movie, starring Kevin Costner, is Draft Day.

Take Out Theater: The Guest

by Mike Reyes

This week: Cocktails and Movies brings a mysterious Guest to the Take Out Theater, and you’re going to want them to stay for dinner!

Around two years ago, Tim and I started this groovy little column named Take Out Theater, and it was pretty damned good. It gave us a chance to suggest films that you may not have heard of and could easily watch at home, while at the same time involving our other passion – hand mixed cocktails. Flash forward to today, and we’re ready to re-launch the home version of Cocktails And Movies with a Halloween pick that’ll thrill you to death. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to welcome The Guest into your homes.

The FilmThe-Guest-Poster-150x150

The Guest
Directed By: Adam Wingard
Year Released: 2014
Starring: Dan Stevens, Sheila Kelly, and Maika Monroe
Rating: R
Runtime:  100 Minutes

David (Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens) arrives on the doorstep of the Peterson family on a random Texas afternoon. A friend of their dearly departed son, who was killed in action Afghanistan, David makes himself at home with a family looking for closure, and in need of a little bit of housekeeping. The father is a borderline alcoholic, the mother is melancholy, and their kids are either being bullied or hanging with a rough crowd. Before long, David becomes a part of the family, helping put everyone’s lives in order in a way that they’d never been able to on their own. Of course, this just lends to the mystery of why David showed up, and what his intentions are now that he’s there. Each step closer to the truth forces his hand just a little more, and sooner or later The Guest is going to wear out his welcome.

Even though The Guest sets the audience up for some twists in its storytelling, the film plays David’s interactions with the family so well that the initial dread we’re supposed to feel sinks back into the background. We come to enjoy his presence, and we’re reminded of another sort of genre classic – the film where some random stranger rolls into town and makes everyone’s lives better. Take your typical 80’s comedy, crossbreed it  with The Night of The Hunter, by way of Chuck Norris, and you’ve got The Guest.


Part of that is the strong writing and directing choices that Barrett and Wingard respectively make, as they set the tone for an 80’s flavored throwback right from the opening credits that sport a logo paying tribute to that of the legendary Cannon Films, and weave that thread through the rest of the film’s core. The Guest, much like You’re Next before it, plays like one of those action/thriller movies that anyone would have seen on the shelf of their local video store back in the genre’s heyday.

Yet for as much 80’s nostalgia as this film dredges up, it reminds itself that it’s taking place in a modern setting, integrating the throwback and contemporary elements in a perfect mash up of entertaining proportions. Let’s just say that after watching The Guest, you won’t cringe as much as you used to whenever you hear Stevie B’s infamous hit, “Because I Love You (The Postman Song.)” Any other film might have played its love of the 80’s and 90’s as a cute little touch, but Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett are definitely deep in the paint when it comes to their love of an era drenched in synth pop and bright colors. They aren’t mimicking the films they love as a lazy sort of thematic shorthand, they’re actually making a film we could have seen a couple decades ago, undoubtedly starring the likes of Norris, or perhaps Jean Claude Van Damme.

Maika Monroe in The Guest

Most impressively, The Guest deftly maneuvers through the various tropes and pitfalls of this type of film, faking out the audience consistently enough to mislead them – while letting them trust the film enough not to turn on it. The filmmakers deliberately will ramp up the tension of some scenes, promising the old-school payoff, only to ramp it back and let the audience relax again. But make no mistake, the shit hits the fan eventually – and when it does it’s not only justifiable, it’s also a bad-assed treat to behold.

I could go on about how much I enjoy this movie, as well as write about how much I enjoy the character of Dan Stevens’ David. Hell, there’s a lot of words to be said about how the audience is made to root for Maika Monroe’s Anna and David to actually make it through this flick as a couple! Of course, to say too much more would be to spoil the surprises, and trust me – I haven’t even given the best parts away. So if you’re having a Halloween party, and needs something to show between Halloween and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Guest is a treat that’ll trick your guests to a delightful end.

Now that we’ve got that movie business out of the way, it’s time for some old fashioned boozin’! After all, what good is an adult Halloween party without some libations? And as luck would have it, good old David suggested a devilish treat that’ll knock you on your ass, if he doesn’t kick it first! Before his rough and tumble dust-up in a local bar, our guest orders himself a Fireball – and not the type you’re thinking of, although the popular whiskey of the same name can be used to liven it up!

Drink Pairing: The Fireball


1 shot cinnamon schnapps (or any Cinnamon liquor you prefer. We suggest Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey.)
1 shot Bacardi® 151 rum
2 dashes Tabasco® sauce





Mix the schnapps, rum and tabasco in a shooter glass.
Stir briefly.

Thanks to Drinks Mixer for the awesome recipe, and thanks to Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett for the awesome flick! We’ll see you next time on Take Out Theater, so until then – be careful who you let into your house… you just may have a bad-ass over there. Happy Halloween, and remember to drink responsibly and wear reflective clothing while trick or treating.

Take Out Theater – 4th of July Special Edition!

by Tim Barley

This Independence Day Weekend, I’ll give you a top five “America!” list to enjoy while relaxing

4th-of-july-outdoor-moviesHello, everyone! Welcome to 4th of July 2014! Yes, it’s going to be a loooooong weekend with July 4th sitting on a Friday, so things are going to be hectic here. Three day weekends are great, but can be a real drain on the body, especially when you get to be our age! And you may find yourself with a few moments of down time in which you just want to watch a movie and kick back with a cocktail while your kids play with illegal fireworks outside.

So, in honor of our Independence Day from the tyranny of tea and crumpet eaters, here’s my top five for chilling and yelling “America, Fuck Yeah!” (that’s a hint) I didn’t choose movies that would be obvious (aka dramas that make you think) such as The Patriot, Lincoln, Rocky IV or Born on the Fourth of July. I chose movies that you can relish in their “American audaciousness”. And until my screenplay Killibuster gets green-lit (go ahead ask me about it), these are choices. And. Here. We. Go.

Cocktails and Movies: Take Out Theater – “Identity”

By Tim Barley

James Mangold’s mystery thriller provides one twist after another until the very end

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today,
I wish, I wish he’d go away…  – “Antigonish” by Hughes Mearns

identity-2003If you know that poem, then you understand right away that James Mangold’s Identity is going to be a thrill ride. And, yes, anyone who’s watched enough whodunit’s can guess what’s really going on. But, the movie is still fun to watch to this day, even after you know its secret. It’s a mystery packed with some great performances by some great character actors all given a chance to shine, playing 10 strangers facing a killer while stranded in a Nevada desert hotel during a thunderstorm. If we had a dime for every time we heard this story… Yet, Mangold’s directing skills are able to take Michael Cooney’s script and turn it into a crisp “who’s doing what.” This week’s Take Out Theater selection is Identity. And if you’re too wired after, thinking about the big reveal at the end, we guarantee you that the accompanying cocktail should have you well on your way to forgetting what just happened and a good night’s sleep…

Cocktails and Movies’ Take Out Theater: “The Terminal”

By Mike Reyes

Steven Spielberg’s under appreciated comedy is a heartfelt favorite with a deep, personal connection.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Steven Spielberg. Ever since I was a kid, I loved seeing what movie he would come out with next, and several of his movies rank on my personal list of the best films in cinematic history. Some of them are from his huge collection of blockbuster hits that everyone loves, like Jurassic Park, Raiders of The Lost Ark, and Catch Me If You Can. Others though are from his “deep cuts” catalog: the films that people really need to explain why they love them, because most people don’t share the same enthusiasm. Among those favorites are A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, War Horse, and today’s #TakeOutTheater pick: The Terminal.