Free Wine Blog IX: Crocodile Dundee I

This is not to be confused with a Free Wine Blog/A Wine Blog That Is Free. The wine is free, but the blog is going to cost you. Don’t worry, I’ll send you an invoice. Yes, by reading this disclaimer, you have already agreed to pay me. This also shouldn’t be confused with Shitty Wine Blog, which is the far superior blog I am lampooning. If you want better writing about terrible wine, go to that blog and disregard this one. Brittany actually knows what she’s talking about when it comes to kitsch beveraging.

It’s been over a year since I drank free wine. Thanks, Bloomberg. In all seriousness, the Terra Du Vulcano did me in to a point that I could no longer trust free wine. I’d be at a party and somebody would offer me wine. I’d wave my hand and exclaim, “I’m good. My Popov days are behind me” and then start inhaling the cheapest whiskey I could find. Plus, the magical wine drawer lost it’s magic, housing only a lonely bottle of Vulcano that nobody dares to snatch.

But then, two nights ago I found myself in a bind. I desperately opened the wine drawer and what do I find but a big giant bottle. Like a kid on Labor Day, I ripped the bottle out of the drawer. I’m back, baby! And it’s all thanks to this bottle of…





Gravel Bar. GRAVEL BAR?!? You’re telling me this wine is made of gravel?!? The label on the back reads, “For more than twenty centuries, torrential floodwaters from melting ice-age glaciers sculpted eastern Washington’s Columbia Valley, leaving in their wake deposits of sandy, rocky, alluvial soils.” Okay, that’s well and good, but you should not be using the adjectives sandy and rocky to sell wine. Nor should you call your winery fucking Gravel Bar! But I can’t judge. It was free, it’s 14% ABV and I’m on a mission. Let’s drink.

But first, I had a hidden agenda to getting Gravel Slammed™. I was essentially dared to watch the important 1986 cinema classic, Crocodile Dundee. As you might already know, I have a strange relationship with this film. A few years ago, I wrote a short snippet about Linda Kozlowski’s butt, and how it affected me as a child. To quote my 27 year old self:

“This scene has been burned into my memory since day one. I couldn’t even be near water without thinking about it. Every time I’d go to a pond, creek or swimming hole, I would imagine Linda surveying the location, deciding that she’s alone [even though I’m standing right there [I must be a ghost]] and stripping for a summer bath. But then the scary crocodile would pop out of the water and I’d run away screaming. That’s basically my childhood in a nutshell: I was so paranoid that even my sexual fantasies would turn into nightmares.”

crocodile-dundee-paul-hogan-linda-kozlowski-outback-australiaCrocodile Dundee was basically my first human experience that could be deemed anywhere near sexual. And my parents watched it ALL. THE. TIME. Which means I also watched it all the time. Even on family vacation, it’d be on HBO in the hotel room and we’d watch the whole thing. This actually happened at least twice. My memories of this film were very fond, until I got a rude awakening. Apparently, this film is pure trash to some of my closest and dearest friends. Zook claims that he “watched the first 45 minutes a few nights ago. That’s an atrocious fucking movie”. DJ Skymall agreed, “It’s unwatchable even on an ironic level”. I wanted so badly to defend the film but realized that I really don’t remember anything else about it. I can’t even really give you the plot. A journalist[?] meets up with Hogan in the outback, she thinks she can hold her own, shows her butt and then…umm…that’s not a knife? He went to New York? How in the hell did he get to New York? Oh, umm, he ate some sheep balls on accident. Nope, that’s Chevy Chase in Funny Farm. Or was it The Money Pit? I think I should probably just watch this movie. And drink this rock wine.

– Upon first taste, yes, nothing but gravel road. And some dust. There a slight hint of booze but it’s all obscured by…nope, it’s boozy as hell. The label promised me pears and a creamy spice [whatever the hell a creamy spice is] and all I get is teenagers flooring their 94 Ford Taurus to 100MPH because there’s nobody else on the road and damnit, they are FREE. Now, if the wine was called Pear Tree Estate, I’d probably taste something else. You may have forgotten, but I know jack shit about wine and usually my taste is swayed by appearances. I can’t distinguish any minute notes or dabbles or whatever the hell. I just taste booze, dirt and a little bit of fruit skin.

– With the pairing of Stouffer’s Mac n Cheese, which is a perfect food, the wine tastes somehow worse. I’m getting hints of the R train in the mid-afternoon. It’s just kind of…moldy? Does mold have a taste? It’s not exactly pleasant, but it cuts out the sting of the booziness. Either way, these assholes have ruined a perfectly good dinner. Thanks, Gravel Bar! You owe me 5 bucks. I don’t care how free this was. You rocky bastards. It’s starting to kick in. Save me, Paul Hogan!

– The film’s cold open is the New York City skyline at night. And then it cuts to a large office building. And then there’s…some nerd on a phone wearing a horribly mismatched tie-flannel combo that I wouldn’t even touch. Okay, back up the fun bus. If a movie starts with the night NYC skyline, 99% they are introducing a villain or some bad shit is gonna go down. Instead, we get a phone call. From my dream woman, Linda Kozlowski, who apparently can’t act. Go figure. She’s going right into the outback to find this Dundee fellow and when told to be careful, she grates, “I’m a New Yorker” in an accent so forced that I’m surprised that she didn’t vomit. I think I might vomit.

– She lands in a ghost town named Walkabout Creek, but there is clearly no creek or anybody walking about. At night, she goes to have a very small beer, which is the opposite of the Australian stereotype. Is this the real Australia that we never get to see on TV? Nope, it was probably filmed in Arizona. In a silent bar filled with people generally making no noise, Paul Hogan rolls in seemingly fornicating a stuffed crocodile and oh crap, this is the 10 minutes I was warned about. I’m hoping nothing else happens in this movie, because this gravel is starting to get into my brain cells. This wasn’t a good idea.

-It’s now occurring to me that this movie has no plot. The wine that I’m burping up sends me traces of Fosters, which is allegedly Australian for Beer. Our protagonist starts her interview process. Dundee apparently doesn’t know how old he is because the Aborigines don’t have calendars. He also doesn’t know what year it is, because Aborigines. Seconds later, he claims that he went on a Walkabout for 18 months. Also, Crocodiles roll people to death. Uh huh. The screenwriter was drunker than me. She then quizzes him on his political opinions. The hell? Dude lives in bumfuck Australia, what the hell would he know about the Cold War?

10948771_342754922589077_2098514082_n– I’m not going to mention the ridiculousness of Mick Dundee pretending to be a kangaroo to shoot at hunters. Nor will I mention Linda Kozlowski’s butt. Because I just did. The second glass of wine has the smell of some kind of container that may have had fruit in it a few weeks ago. It still burns all the way down my throat, that isn’t changing at all. I kind of wish I could bong the rest of it, slam down the “publish” button and pass out in one fell swoop. That would solve a lot of problems. But instead, I have Paul Hogan doing Aborigine dances with a guy in blue jeans and half a bottle of rock wine. Life is hell.

– I feel like they tried really hard to make Paul Hogan sexy, but fail miserably. The guy is 100% leather, there’s no going around that. If I were Sue, I wouldn’t know whether to kiss him or use him as a rugby ball. Nope, she kissed him instead. That was fast. This movie is very fast. There’s still no plot. AND HE FLIES TO FUCKING NEW YORK JUST BECAUSE SHE BRIBED HIS [KEEPER? BROTHER? AGENT? WHO THE HELL IS THIS GUY?!?]. I feel like I missed a very major plot point, but I didn’t. She just showed her butt, kissed him and bam, he’s in New York City. Come to think of it, I don’t remember why I went to New York, either. Is this what always happens?!?

– I’m not sure if Mick smoking in a crowded elevator is supposed to be a joke or not. Almost everyone smokes in this movie. Maybe if it was made today, the joke would fly. That’s probably it. They knew it’d be funny in 2017. Crocodile Dundee: ahead of it’s time. Wait, it’s still not a funny gag. It’s just filler. Thanks, Bloomberg.

– Mick tries to say “G’day” to 7 million people. It’s so damn quirky! Now my burp-feels are reminiscent of a salami sandwich. Sounds about right.

– The hotel bellhop is definitely the neighbor boy from Better Off Dead, but I can’t navigate iMDB properly. I know it’s him. I’m just waiting for him to spray saline into his nose. [SPOILER: It’s not him. Nor does he use saline spray.]

– This might be the fakest NYC that I’ve ever seen on film. Everybody is phoning it in so hard, they might as well be writing a letter. The background actors keep staring right into the camera. I also don’t fully understand the bar that he goes to. There’s yuppies, crooners, trannies, pimps, crocodiles [no pun intended] AND hippies?!? On Avenue B?!? Fakest New York ever.

– More fakery: there’s a second pimp that may or may not be Paul Reuben and the “Latino” hotel maid is clearly a white girl from Yonkers. I still don’t really see a point of Mick going to NYC. Why would “the newspaper” pay for this? It’s not like there’s anything going on thats worth writing about. Oh, wait.

– I love how in the beginning of the movie, Sue portrays herself as a strong, liberal, forward-thinking independent woman. And then the second she arrives in New York, she transforms into a run-of-the-mill coked out yuppie bimbo. I wish I had more to report about the wine. I just wish it was over. All of it. In general.

– Mick is chugging martini’s like I should be chugging this wine. I’m going to chug the wine.

– I should not continue chugging the wine.

– I never realized that the “That’s not a knife” scene takes place at city hall. What in the hell were they doing at city hall?!? Only in New York, amirite?

– They just keep feeding Mick martinis. There’s no way that he prefers that. And it doesn’t look like anybody else is drinking them. This feels like some kind of sick joke that they’re playing on him. I’m reading way too much into this.

– Mismatched tie yuppie dude gives Sue a ring, but never asks if she would marry him, nor does she say yes or anything at all. And people start clapping their asses off. There’s only 10 minutes left in this movie. Is this a plot point? And then Mick suckerpunches 3 pimps? Is this plot? What is plot?

crocodile-dundee-paul-hogan-walking-across-people-subway-scene-ending-review– Dude is going to go on a walkabout and the bellhop that wasn’t from Better Off Dead directs him to take a subway to Grand Central Station. Which is literally 17 blocks away. But then he goes out of his way to the Columbus Circle station. There’s no train at Columbus Circle that goes the Grand Central. However, the hotel was much closer to the 59th St – Lexington Avenue station that DOES go to Grand Central. And Sue also assumes that Mick would go to Columbus Circle. That makes sense. This is a great New York movie.

– Crowdsurfing on a packed subway platform is really fucking dangerous. I don’t care how many crocodiles you’ve killed.

And I guess that’s it? Just like that? The movie’s over? Was it even a movie?

And I guess that’s it? Just like that? The wine’s gone? Was it even wine?

Crocodile Dundee is not exactly a bad film and I stand by that sentiment. It’s 100% pointless, it’s not very funny but it’s benign entertainment at it’s finest. Kind of like Gravel Bar. It doesn’t taste good but it’s still wine I guess. Drinking bad wine is like watching an even worse movie. It’s usually free, feels kind of stupid, but in the end, you’re probably drunk. And you probably have something to say about it. In an alternate universe, I drank Lubentiushof Riesling and watched Raging Bull. The subsequent blog post was only 350 words long. I’m not really sure if the world’s better off that way. Actually, maybe I should try that for a change.

That’s not happening.

Join me next time when I steal some cheap red wine, mix it with Salted Caramel Pepsi and watch Crocodile Dundee 2! Or maybe I should just skip to him going to Los Angeles…