Release: Wednesday, July 4, 2012
I’ve gotta admit, this film would have been INFINITELY cooler had the stars and makers of the movie actually been involved with Left Hand Brewing Company.
A Beer Tale — a film about as substantial as Natty Ice, Coors or Busch Light — is written, directed by and features Lee Roy Kunz. It is a story about twin brothers, Corey and Luke Frankenstein, who were orphaned at the age of five and were taken in by their father’s twin brother who now has taken over the family brewery. Not exactly a father figure, he maintains the brewing operations while his nephews grow up around the factory and learn a thing or two about the process. Eventually the two grow up and go through all the typical growing pains — going from high school into college and eventually finding out after all of that they need some sort of life plan. To Corey (Kunz), this means getting with as many girls as possible and simply living out the days as they come at him. For Luke, the more “level-headed” brother, this means starting up a family after college, something that he never got to properly experience after the death of his parents.
Okay. Well I could truly rip into this film. But before I do that — if I ever do — I should make it known that this is Lee Roy Kunz’s first time in the director’s chair, probably the first time he’s really had a substantial role, and there’s a decent chance that both of those experiences could also be his last. The movie is so terrible it would be boring just to sit here and rag on it the entire time. And to be honest, there are some redemptive qualities to A Beer Tale, even if those are washed away by the bitter aftertaste of just dreadful acting and scriptwriting.
It would be boring because, seeing as this film doesn’t even register on Rotten Tomatoes at all, every thing that could go wrong in a film goes wrong with this one. You could easily pick out all the things that are wrong with a first-time director’s effort. It’s under-directed, over-acted, paced like a snail and ultimately it does not stack up to even the lowest snow piles scooted aside in some shopping center by the snowplows. It’s a low-budget film with even lower consequences but it plays with all of its heart. I’ll give it one of those (hearts) for trying, though.
While the ultimate goal of the Frankenstein brothers is to finally finish making the family brew that their parents had worked on 20 years ago, relationships come into the picture and threaten to derail such hopes. Corey is all about completing the brew, but Luke is slowly slipping away since he met a girl, named Kelly. Since a traumatizing experience in college in which he felt like he “used” a girl (when these clearly weren’t his intentions), Luke’s not been the one to simply be, well. . . simple. He claims that this new girl — Kelly — is the best thing that has ever happened to him. Naturally, the anorexic plot starts to detour, as Corey tries to come up with stupider and more mean-spirited ways of getting his brother to leave the “relationship stuff” alone and focus on the beer. One such attempt involves Corey dropping some drugs into Luke’s beer before he and Kelly meet up for one of her family member’s birthday parties. Its a perfect example of setting the bar — at an all-time low.
Kunz as the more outgoing, more obnoxious twin Corey, is a walking billboard of cliches for every high school socialite that ever was, while Luke (Cru Ennis) is borderline intolerable as the lovesick puppy who feels he must fall in love with every girl he meets. That in itself is not a bad thing, but his lines and his character are very, very dull. The girls in the film are given paltry jobs to do: look good at parties, mumble a little bit here and there, and end scene. Two are given decent bit parts. Zelda Williams plays the part of Kelly, the object of Luke’s affections, and Taryn Southern is Joy, who ends up becoming the one to melt Corey’s cold-hearted spirit. Aside from Kelly and Joy, you can assess quite easily that everyone in the frame, during these party scenes, are in some way related to the film’s producers. It gets dangerously close to being a home video.
The biggest disappointment was to learn that Left Hand Brewing Company had little else to do with this film other than have some serious product placements and advertising working in their favor. The way the film was edited and put together gives the location an authentic feel, as though this were being staged as a feature-length promotional ad campaign.
Either way, fake or real, this film is no good but it does have heart — I at least give it that. The acting is god-awful, the script does not help the bad acting and the plot is extremely thin, at best. There’s a reason you’ve never heard of this film, and if you have, well, likely you’re in the same boat as me. You tipped a few Millers or Coors Lights back and skipped chapters to see what might happen next. I didn’t do that, of course. But you might as well.
Recommendation: If you find it, pick it up at RedBox or something. I’d say it’s worth the $1.31 rental, but not a penny more. Maybe you’ll learn something about the brewing process. You won’t really learn much else, least of all about human connections. They are all very false and cheesy in this film.
Running Time: 80 mins.
All content originally published and the reproduction elsewhere without the expressed written consent of the blog owner is prohibited.