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February 8, 2008 |

By Ted Boynton | Boozehound Cinephile | February 8, 2008 |

Pop culture item consumed: Sexy Beast, a racy yet existential British gangster flick featuring Ray Winstone as Gal Dove, a heist-master who has retired to live in Spain with his wife, ex-porn star Deedee, only to get pulled back into the game by hilariously sadistic mobster Ben Kingsley.

Beverage consumed: Three fingers, neat, of The Glenrothes, a single Speyside scotch whisky (a varietal of single malt scotch, in other words), with a tiny splash of cool water. The Glenrothes is an old-school scotch whisky - single malt is spelled without the “e” - that is individually sampled by the distillers, two of whom hand-check and personally sign the label of every bottle that goes out the door, along with comments about the character of this particular batch. For example, this bottle has hints of “wild berries, vanilla, and caramel.” (I’m hoping to one day get to hand-check and personally sign Patricia Clarkson, who has hints of “ridicunificence, megaloawesomeness, and drooltastic.”)

Summary of action: As I age, sleep becomes an ever-more-fleeting and elusive gift. Many’s the night I lie on the sofa after midnight, waiting for various and sundry malted or fermented liquids to combine with whatever chemical sleep agent is coursing through me, giving me that panty-dropping one-liner that will make the Sleep Fairy my bitch once again. Over the years, I’ve assembled allies in my war against insomnia, including a veritable pharmacopeia of ill-gotten sleep aides and a stable of films that run regularly on pay cable - V for Vendetta and Layer Cake are also favorites. So, I spin the Pharmacology Roulette Wheel, get in position on the sofa with my woobie, and tune into one of these films: voila, permission to fall asleep.

On this night, the confluence of events was kind. After downing 2 mg of Xanax - the wheel almost stopped on the chronic, which really goes better with Layer Cake - I flipped on the telly and plugged into Sexy Beast just as Don Logan (Kingsley) was arriving in Spain to collect Gal for the job. Several sips of The Glenrothes later, I could feel the Sandman tickling his fingers on my fuzzy head. (Get thee behind me, Sandman! I’m waiting for the Sleep Fairy in all her pantie-less glory.) I faded in and out a few times but got to see the confrontation between Gal and Don Logan (my, what a foul mouth Don has!), then woke up again to see Gal’s men going to work on the vault. The last thing I remember is Gal’s final, fateful car ride with Teddy Bass (Ian McShane of “Deadwood,” as if you didn’t know).

How well the pairing held up: Apparently pretty well. I woke up at about 6 a.m. with a whisky tumbler clutched firmly to my chest, one treasure-laden swallow left in the glass, and Mrs. Socalled yelling from the top of the stairs to put a sock in the snoring - apparently the dogs had started whining and pawing at the bedroom door, which animals will do when they sense an imminent earthquake. I got up, swallowed the last of the scotch, and went to work.

Tastes like: Four parts sex-sweat from Deedee’s suprasternal notch, three parts smoky Thames water from a breached bank vault, and one part Ben Kingsley’s hammy malevolence. Delicious.

Overall rating: Six out of nine shots.

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