Hey, man. It is that magical day when stoners everywhere celebrate 4/20 a.k.a Weed Day, Reeferween, National Doug Benson Day, or whatever the kids are calling it these days. Despite the fact that the whole 4-20 police code thing has pretty much been put down to being hooey, the tradition has stuck and April twenty has become something of a celebration of the herbalist way of life. The most special moment comes but twice a day, four twenty A.M. and P.M. The latter will find a few hearty souls staying up to make it to the wee small hours while many others will fall asleep, snack food at their side, bong wobbling precariously in hand. The former, which if you caught this post as it came out then you know what time it is, is when the majority of the fans of the dank are sparking up in honor of the day. As a person who appreciates the stoner way of life, I wanted to get into the spirit myself. So I broke apart a few of my favorite stoner films, picked out the kindest scenes from each one, and I rolled them all up into this list of the Top 10 Stoner Moments in Film. Enjoy, and don't Bogart this list, my friend, pass it around to all your friends.
10. James Franco and Danny McBride share herb with a perverted wizard mushroom in Your Highness.
Your Highness is unfairly maligned when it comes to the humor on display in general and the stoner elements in particular. My favorite moment comes when Franco and McBride detour to see a wizard who turns out to be a mushroom shaped puppet, like the bastard child of a Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. The wizard proceeds to pass around the good bud before hitting the pair up for a hand job in return for his magical services. Hey, it's not the way that I like to interact with my dealer, but to each his own. While the example is extreme, anyone who has bought drugs has had to deal with someone who was creepy or wanted you to hang out and check out their collection of knives, feed their fish, or watch their kids for a minute when all you want to do is grab and go… and not in that way.
9. Jon Stewart likes everything better on weed in Half Baked.
Despite starring a pre-crazy Dave Chapelle, I don't appreciate the charms of Half Baked. Perhaps it has something to do with the presence of Jim Brewer, who looks high all the time, but he doesn't actually get high. For some reason it bothers me that he’s cashing in on droopy eyelids. If I looked like I was on meth, but wasn't, I wouldn't star in a movie about crazy hijinks on meth. That would be exploiting my methiness when there are plenty of actual meth head actors who need the work. Let me get back on topic here. There’s this one continuing joke throughout the movie with a young pre-Daily Show Jon Stewart as the “Enhancement Stoner” Everyone has met a dealer who wants to know if you've done/seen/heard/eaten "on weed". He’s probably the same guy who told you about playing Dark Side of the Moon with Wizard of Oz (which is bullshit, but, man, Genius/Gza Liquid Swords and Ninja Scroll, on weed, that’s the real stuff.) While Half Baked was indeed a half baked stoner romp, for the “Enhancement Stoner“ alone it makes for a spot on the list.
8. Fritz gets Baked with the Crows in Fritz the Cat.
7. Ali G smokes his way past security in Ali G Indahouse.
I don't like Borat. I can't stand Bruno. I didn't like Cohen in Les Mis or Hugo. However, give me an episode of the Ali G Show, or better yet his film effort, and you can sign me up. The hip hop inspired character that has plenty of "respect" ends up getting more respect than he bargained for when he gets voted into Parliament. However when he has to break into the home of the evil Prime Minister (future Games of Thrones baddie Charles Dance) to foil an evil plot, he runs into a laser system a la Entrapment. With clever use of marijuana smoke, Ali G is popping and locking through the beams with his friends, including future Bilbo Baggins Martin Freeman, to save his hometown of Stains. Respect.
6. Hank Azaria and Bon Jovi get high in Homegrown.
5. Bridget Fonda and Robert De Niro do Bong Hits in Jackie Brown.
4. Brad Pitt doesn't want to be patronized in True Romance.
3. Matthew McConaughey lets us know that it would be a lot cooler if we had weed in Dazed and Confused.
Richard Linklater's love letter to the 70's was near perfect, but the most perfect thing about it was the small role filled by an actor named Matthew McConaughey. As Wooderson, Matthew oozed cool from his shag haircut to the weed pipe built into his belt buckle. Sure, he may have questionable intent with some high school girls, but he, like Jon Stewart's earlier character, knows everything is cooler with weed. The reason I love this moment is that I remember how shady and illicit the world of weed seemed to me in high school. I could put myself in the shoes of Wiley Wiggins’ high school kid, confronted by a super cool older dude, and wishing that you did have some weed because you would be a lot cooler if you did. Am I saying weed makes you cool? I won't say yay or nay, but there must be a reason that the standard broaching of the subject at parties or between acquaintances tends to go back to the query, “Are you cool?”
2. Ice Cube asks if he still looks high in Friday.
1. Cheech and Chong roll the world's biggest joint in Up in Smoke.
I really could have picked almost any moment from almost any Cheech and Chong movie (that isn't The Corsican Brothers) to fill this slot. To this day, Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin still set the bar for stoner comedies, and you have to respect the work effort that these two put forward while indulging in massive amounts of ganja on a regular basis. You've heard of high functioning alcoholics? These were high functioning stoners. They're rare, but it happens. I mean how else do you think this got written? While it is expected, there’s just no one else to put at the top of a stoner movie list, and if you're a fan of the sticky icky and you haven’t daydreamed about having a joint like Cheech and Chong, well, you need to daydream more….on weed!
Well, I hope that sparks up everyone's 4/20, and until next year, remember that a friend with weed, or a list about movies about weed, is a friend indeed. Have a great one, and light one up for the ol' Bugg today.
For many years, five in fact, I’ve thought about writing a review of Love Actually, one of my favorite Christmas films and romantic comedies, but I wasn’t sure what really to say about the film. This year, I’m trying to take the spirit of the season more into my heart. Working in retail as I do by day, it can take the Christmas spirit right out of you, and gentle solaces in films like Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Silent Night Deadly Night can be the thing that puts it back in. While I wouldn’t add Love Actually to the vaunted status of those films, there’s something sweet and romantic about Richard Curtis’ film that appeals to the humanist in me during a season that is dominated by religious imagery. There’s no doubt that it is a bloated and flawed film that both exploits the viewers emotions and dabbles in cliché however I forgive it its trespasses. After all Christmas is the time to tell the truth, and the truth is that I love Love Actually.
It would take more time than I want to spend to write a full synopsis of the film as it concerns ten separate love stories that intersect and overlap over the month leading up to Christmas. As you can see by the chart after the jump, it could be quite confusing, but with a two and half hour running time, there’s plenty of space to get to know everyone. However there are still relationships and minor notes that I have picked up even after many viewings over the years. So I’m going to count off a few of the stories by their importance to me in the film.
December is finally here, and as readers of the LBL know, I always enjoy watching all the naughty and nice that holiday films have to give. So that means I have to take a lot of risks at time, and today’s film certainly was one. What I didn't expect was that it would have so many connections that were right in my wheelhouse and, most shockingly of all, that it would actually be kind of, in a way, alright. Boy, that would look great as a blurb on the poster on a poster for Elf-Man. My first exposure to the film was seeing a two by three picture for it on my local Redbox, and the title caught my eye instantly. It sounded like the original, overly descriptive title for Will Ferrell’s Elf, and visions of a knock off film danced in my head like the much talked about sugar plums. When it slid out of the machine, I had no idea Elf-Man starred the shortest member of the Jackass crew as well as having connections to House, House II: The Second Story, and Re- Animator. However it would become a light, almost magical Christmas treat.
Hi folks! I have a double feature for you tonight starting with 1970’s Scream and Scream Again, followed by 1969’s The Oblong Box. These films have a couple of things in common. They both star Vincent Price and Christopher Lee, they share opposite sides of a Midnite Madness Double Feature DVD, and they were both directed by Gordon Hessler. Hessler also directed a third film starring Price in 1970 titled Cry of the Banshee. My personal favorite bit of trivia about Hessler is that he directed many episodes of the TV cop action series CHIPS from 1978-1982, and the TV movie Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park. Now with all that out of the way, the first of tonight’s features is…
I remember a Christmas, when I was about twelve or thirteen, and one of my gifts from my Grandparents was a calendar of ladies in swimwear on the beach. This gift made several things go through my mind including will my mom let me keep it, how cool is my Grandpa for picking it out, and I wonder if you can see any nipples. Hey, what can I say, I was an adolescent horndog. (Who. coincidentally is grew into a middle aged horn dog, but that’s an entirely different matter.) My mother did indeed let me keep the calendar, and it hung by my bedside for the next twelve months providing me some beautiful, tan, sexy, barefoot fantasy girlfriends who obviously were on the coldest beaches of all time. Today’s film, Calendar Girl Murders, brought the memory to mind due to its title, but it really should have been the Centerfold Girl Murders to be accurate. More on that later. I chose the film because it stars one of the unsung heroes of the movie mustache Tom Skerritt, who sadly is overshadowed by that other mustachioed Tom, Mr. Selleck. Today though, is Skerritt’s time to shine. So join me as I turn the pages of Calendar Girl Murders.
When I was picking out a Sam Elliot movie for Movemeber, I wanted to stay away from a lot of the obvious choices. So that meant that The Big Lebowski and Road House were stricken directly from consideration. I then looked to his Westerns where his mustache is always large and in charge, and despite having found one that stars Elliott with the mustachioed Tom Selleck called The Shadow Riders, it still wasn't really what I was looking for. I wanted something that I would enjoy watching and my wife would as well. For, if there is one thing I know for sure, it is that, should I shuffle off this mortal coil, there is a fair to middling chance that my wife might then take up stalking Sam Elliott in her spare time. Last night she said, and I quote, “Sam Elliot is the hottest brunette of all time.” This both spared my feelings (as she still considers my ever darkening hair to be blonde) and sent shock waves through the likes of Josh Brolin and Clive Owen who both thought they would be up for top honors. The film I eventually landed on was an obscurity from 1978 called The Legacy, and it was described to me as an “erotically charged thriller”. With the idea of erotic Sam Elliott in her head, my wife and I sat down to The Legacy last night, and at least one of us walked away happy (there was a shower scene after all.)
When you think about ninjas there are a few things that come to mind, black outfits, stealth, throwing stars, and swords just to name a few. Our hero today is a ninja apart from other ninjas. Other than wearing a white ninja suit, he also comes equipped with something that I've never thought to be standard issue ninja gear, a giant, bristly, blond moustache. Of course, I'm talking about Franco Nero in the 1981 cult classic Enter the Ninja because when you think of ninjas, you also think of Italian film stars. This film has long been a favorite of mine, and I recall watching it on Showtime over and over again when I was a lad. Cornball in portions, over the top all around, and decidedly off the wall, if it had been made after the bevy of pseudo-sequels and imitators that followed it, then it would be easy to believe that it was parodying those same films. Enter the Ninja may have been a childhood delight, but I worried if it would hold up to adult eyes. So read on to find out if this flick is as mighty as Nero’s ‘stache promises or if it’s as plain as the area under Sho Kosugi’s nose.
During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo's, these men raise vital awareness and funds for men's health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives. Once registered at www.movember.com, men start Movember 1st clean shaven. For the rest of the month, these selfless and generous men, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery. Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts.
the donation jar which you can find by clicking on the "'Stache is King'" button at the top right. I've set a goal of $200.00 by the month's end, and I know you loyal Lair-ers will do your part. Every dollar, half dollar, quarter dollar, etc. all helps.
donate, please, help me spread the word across the web by reposting this to your blog or social network. Thank you all for your time, and the next time you see me, I'll be helping make flavor savors into life savers.
To get you all geared up for the finale of The Bigger and Badder Halloween Top 13 this evening, I thought I would drop on you the list from the Listmaster General, Rupert Pupkin a.k.a my pal Brian from Rupert Pupkin Speaks. When he's not landing cool interviews for The Gentleman's Guide to Midnite Cinema, hosting awesome list events on his site, and being an all around great dude, he also makes some the best lists of films that I have ever seen. His knowledge and scope of interests in film is unrivaled, and he always has some great and interesting picks. So check out Rupe's list and check back here in a few hours for the final entry on The Bigger and Badder Halloween Top 13!
The 1950s were an era of us against them, but the ‘Them’ of today’s selection for the Bigger and Badder Halloween Top 13 is a foe for all seasons and eras. I’m talking about the bane of picnics, the scourge of lemonade stands, the menace of masticating mountain men, the common ant. Just like yesterday’s film featured a tiny worm grown to gargantuan proportions, today’s takes one of the smallest and most common (and most commonly stomped on) members of the insect family and turns the size tables on humankind Naturally, it’s also our fault. When nature attacks in the nuclear age, you can always bet that the A-bomb is not too far behind. Strangely, it also has something else behind it that most major giant monster movies lack, studio support and a budget. Taking the mutant creature feature and giving it proper effects, a solid cast, an experienced director, and a script that makes sense and leads to exciting scenes, Hollywood crafted the crown jewel of American 1950s science fiction/horror features, the exclamatorily named classic, Them!