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  • Up in Smoke
    • Up in Smoke
    • Runtime:86 min
    • Release Date:2014-04-23 14:41:40
    • Director: Lou Adler
    • Genres: Comedy, Music
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:Up in Smoke
Auhtor:

   

Richard "Cheech" Marin and Tommy Chong debuted their Mary-Jane fueled
humor with Up In Smoke. While Reefer Madness was the first notable film
to promote weed, it's this film that set the template for stoner films.

Not really much of a plot here: Pedro De Pacas (Marin) meets up with
rich-kid Anthony "Man" Stoner (Chong) and find out they both like
getting high. Their search for pot takes them all over Los Angeles and
Tijuana in a wacky road-trip in a car unknowingly made out of grass.

On their trip, they have to deal with Sgt. Sedenko (Stacy Keach), an
over-zealous police officer trying to clean L.A. of druggies.

The movie is filled with crazy situations: drug-filled parties,
performances at a punk rock contest and a trip through a upholstery
factory that is just a front for drug trafficking. Crazy people, the
kind you would expect in a film like this, are everywhere.

Both Marin and Chong are very good in the film but Keach steals the
show. He is an absolute hoot in this film and he comes off as the most
interesting character in the film.

It's still very entertaining to this day as a curiosity piece. Check it
out.

BTW, one of the ladies Pedro and Man picks up looks remarkably like
Sharon Snow of NTV.

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*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Cheech and Chong were already insanely popular with their comedy record
albums and were contracted to make a movie. Hoping to make the "big
score" they go to Mexico and end up driving a van built entirely of
Weed back across the border. Many reviewers have already commented on
the classic "stoner" humor, and I won't add to that. If you get this
movie get the DVD with the extended commentary. In it you find that
they were on the cutting edge of the Punk Rock revolution. The battle
of the bands features some of the earliest LA punk rock bands.

My favorite gags. 1) Cheech and Chong get in their car, do a U – Turn,
park on the other side of the street and get out.

2) The Van Scene – This literally made the phrase "If this vans
rocking, don't come a-knocking" part of our popular culture. Whats so
amazing about this scene was that it wasn't even in the original
script! The actress, who played Chongs girlfriend was telling the story
of a roommate who was a "screamer", while they were on lunch break
outside of the battle of the bands show. Cheech and Chong said that
sounds funny, lets film it. It just goes to show you that sometimes the
best comedy can be the spontaneous type.

Finally students of film comedy should rent this movie for an unusual
reason. Watching this movie in 2010 is like a going into a time warp.
This movie could never be made today, and I'm not referring to the drug
humor. The pacing of the gags is so slow compared to today. It's
weirdly funny when you watch and notice it like I did. Sadly most
comedies today don't give their actors time to develop their gags. If
you wan't a harmless (except for the drug humor) movie, buy this movie.
It is the best of the Cheech and Chong movies

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*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I first heard of and saw Cheech and Chong featured in the South Park
Episode "Cherokee Hair Tampons", and then I heard about this 1001
Movies You See Before You Die recommended film. Basically slackers and
getting nowhere musicians Pedro De Pacas (Richard 'Cheech' Marin) and
Anthony 'Man' Stoner (Tommy Chong) happen to meet on a Californian
highway, and instantly find a connection with their love of marijuana.
They are pulled over by the cops, and end up deported to Mexico, but in
court they are let off lightly by the Vodka drinking judge, and they
start a road trip to go back home, and try to score some drugs along
the way. This includes a trip to dealer Strawberry (Alien's Tom
Skerritt), a little house party snorting some wash powder as cocaine,
and the big hoot of the film, unintentionally steal a van made entirely
of hardened weed. Along the way Pedro and Man pick up two women, who
convince them that they should enter their band in a Battle of the
Bands contest, and the final scene sees them win with a very high
audience. Also starring Batman: Mask of the Phantasm's Stacy Keach as
Sgt. Stedenko, Strother Martin as Arnold Stoner, Edie Adams as Mrs.
Tempest Stoner, Ray Vitte as Bass Player James and Michael Caldwell as
Guitar Player Duane. Cheech and Chong with their "man" catchphrase
creating smiles and stoned foolishness are a great double act, Keach
does make a good deranged cop, and there are some good songs in it. I
will say, the film started hilariously, it then loses a tiny bit of
steam, then it picks up with the "fiberweed" van, and the last few
scenes are quite funny, so overall, it a most watchable cult comedy.
Good!

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