Recent Movie Marathon: First Cow (2020)

Happy New Year! Today I’ll be sharing my reviews of a binge watch of recent films (released within the past 18 months or so)!

Title: First Cow
Release Date: March 6, 2020
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Production Company: FilmScience | IAC Films

Set in the Oregon Country of 1820, when indigenous people, Europeans, and Asians all interacted in a system of trade around a rudimentary fort, two men who don’t quite fit in with the rugged frontier meet and form a partnership. Otis “Cookie” Figowitz is an American who has come west to serve as a chef for fur trappers, and King-Lu (Orion Lee) is a Chinese man on the run for killing a Russian in self-defense. After Cookie helps King-Lu to escape, Lu returns the favor by letting Cookie share his shack.

Cookie fantasizes about the foods that he could make if only he had milk, and so ends up stealing milk under the dark of night from the first cow brought into the territory by prosperous British trader, Chief Factor (Toby Jones in possibly his least creepy role ever). Lu is more entrepreneurial of the pair, and encourages Cookie to sell his biscuits to the traders at the fort. They prove to be very popular – and profitable – and so Cookie and Lu continue to commit lactic larceny in hopes of selling enough biscuits to raise money for a future restaurant. But it’s only a matter of time before Chief Factor catches on to where these two nobodies are getting their milk and the tension slowly grows.

It’s not a huge spoiler since the opening scene set in the present day shows a bad omen for these two men that things are not going to go well. Nevertheless, the movie is oddly charged with hope for these two gentle beings to find a place of safety and prosperity in a world that doesn’t seem to have space for them. The movie is absolutely beautiful and the acting is naturalistic and well-done. The score of the movie is also quite excellent. This movie is definitely too slow-paced for some viewers, but if you’re the type who likes to soak in the details you will enjoy this excellent period piece.

Rating: ****

Beer Review: Harpoon EHOP Collaboration

Beer: EHOP Collaboration
Brewer: Harpoon Brewery / Deschutes Brewery
Source: 22 oz. bottle
Rating: *** (7.5 of 10)
Comments: Boston’s Harpoon collaborates with Oregon’s Deschutes on a beer celebrating that both breweries are employee-owned.  They celebrate their Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) with this Employee Hops Ownership Plan (EHOP).  And the workers controlling the means of production is a treat for us all!  The beer pours out a copper color with a thick head. The scent is caramel with a malty sweet flavor with hints of spice.  A good solid beer and addition Harpoon’s 100 Barrel Series (which means it’s a limited edition, so try it soon).


Song of the Week: “Dream the Dare” by Pure Bathing Culture

This week’s song is not very current, it’s from last year.  But Pure Bathing Culture‘s “Dream the Dare” is very pretty and I was reacquainted with the song through The Best of RISK! Music Podcast.  There’s something about the echoey quality in the vocals and harmonies that reminds me of a song from the 80s (or maybe the late 70s), but I can’t recall what song it is.  If you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments.

If you know any other good new songs let me know about those as well.