HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT how great it would be to watch a movie... in a theater... while drinking a beer?
Of course you have. You live in Portland. Chances are you see more movies at your local second-run theater pub—with pint in hand—than you do at the Regal. You've become an expert at gauging when a movie's plot is about to sag two-thirds through, so you can rush to the pisser and refill your pitcher. You get so buzzed in the theater that you can't remember the ending of the last five movies you saw. You thought Couples Retreat was funny. You thought Fantastic Mr. Fox starred real foxes. You though 2012 was a documentary.
In that case, drunky, the Beer & Movie Fest will probably not blow your socks off. It's a film festival sort of awkwardly fused with a beer festival, and while there are plenty of good things to see—and plenty of good things to drink—it probably won't seem all that different than your typical night at the Laurelhurst. One of the festival's sponsors, Beer Northwest magazine, claims that BAM is "The Movie Fest that Will Change Portland," but I'm happy to say I can't think of a festival that will do less to change Portland. We've got a good thing already going with beer 'n' movies, and there's no reason to muck it up—nor is there any reason to take it for granted.
Four of Portland's theater pubs are participating (the Bagdad, the Mission, the Academy, and Cinema 21), as are eight breweries (plus Woodchuck Cider), but with the exception of a newly marketed IPA from New Belgium, you're not going to find much coming out of the taps that you wouldn't already find at these theaters. As for movies, there are some gems, including a restored 35mm print of 1979's Alien and a rare (video) screening of the 1975 David Bowie documentary Cracked Actor.
There's also bullshit you've seen a billion times and never, ever, ever need to see again (Adventures in Babysitting, fucking Labyrinth) but there's also plenty of fun, campy trash: 1983's The Deadly Spawn will be showing on a rare 35mm print, as will the 1977 Japanese absurdist nightmare House (in restored 35mm). In fact, we're generally impressed with the number of original or restored prints screening at BAM, although there are more than a handful of video projections—thankfully, bamfestpdx.com is perfectly upfront about each of these. For instance, 2009's truly fucked-up-sounding Dutch horror movie The Human Centipede is only screening digitally, but since it's about a mad scientist who sews his victims together head-to-ass to make—yep—a human centipede, you'll probably want to see it anyway.
So yeah: Grab a beer and watch a movie. Chances are, you were going to do that anyway.