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Masterwork by a master filmmaker, 5th Element turned up to 11
23 July 2017
10 leaves out of 10 leaves The high point of a rainy desert weekend filled with medical marijuana and vegan tacos, Valerian fills your cannabinoid receptors with a splendor that will cave your dome in. This trip is distinctly French, like Fantastic Planet, Barbarella and City of Lost Children. Valerian has a cool elegance and a pulsing electricity that radiates around the breathtaking visuals like the glow of a 70s head shop black light poster. The movie looks like $400 million was spent on it, it is that rich. And it is spring load crafted coil tight through out, one of your feels like 45 minute 2 hour plus movies.It should be required under public health law to go see this movie in 3D while stoned. However, I went with a French action movie fan who had nothing in his system and he loved it. He plans to see it again in 3D this week. The rest of the audience in the theater was having a ball as well, laughing at the humor and gasping in the right parts where your brain goes over another cliff. With this film and 5th Element, Bresson establishes his own kind of science fiction territory like George Lucas and Douglas Adams established theirs decades ago. Imagine Heavy Metal magazine for a wider age group brought to life with humor that is really gut busting funny. This will have a huge cult following ala 5th Element big time, but it really is crucial to see this in 3D in the theater, especially in the Freelands in the West.
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Best Medical Marijuana Euro Horror Ever
28 June 2016
10 Leafs - A Perfect Pot Movie Taskit and I medicated on a Colorado Grape hash parfait across a bed of White Rhino before seeing this late show Saturday night and it was phenomenal! There is a long tradition with us since we lived in Austin involving medicating to European Horror movies from back in the day, as the visuals and music combine into an extra-sensory experience when communing with the plant. Neon Demon takes the themes of Jean Rollin's films, particularly Fascination, and presents it through a visual palette like that of Dario Argento's Inferno. It is a trip that keeps on tripping all throughout the movie. Jena Malone deserves a Best Supporting Actress award for this film. Remember, it is a horror movie, and the last act had audience members pleading with the screen to stop. We are going to see it on the big screen at least 3 more times, like we did Drive, next time with Pineapple Express lollipops. Medicate and go see this big, you will fly forever.
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Piranha 3DD (2012)
Better than the first one
7 June 2012
I give this a full eight out of nine leaves, as this is one of the most herbal friendly movies released this year. I am a big fan of the French director of the first Piranha 3D, but I found myself enjoying the second one much more. The 3D photography is excellent, even better than John Carter. Lots of layering plus more attempts to have things jump out at the audience than we usually see in today's 3D. Especially good is the multiple close ups of fish trying to bite the viewers' faces off. The fish get more screen time in this version than any previous version of Piranha, much welcome to those of us who hate waiting until the end to see the monster. I don't understand why this is being given such a limited release; we had to drive 15 miles out of town into the desert to see it. This follows movies like Road Warrior and Superman 2, where the sequel makes big improvements on the original. The Hoff is hilarious too. Try to see this 3D tonight before it disappears and make sure you see it properly smogged.
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Joy Street (1995)
Light at the End of the Bowl
2 July 2007
The next time you draw in a lung full, thank the lucky stars dancing across your vision for the animation of Suzan Pitt. Because of her revolutionary cartoons, your green sticky landscape is oh so much richer and your fuzzy red hair flecked future is all the fatter. Joy Street even opens with the image of glowing threads of smoke lighting up dark alleys, an image that should "resinate" with the Herbal-American viewer. In fact, I believe this nine-leaf masterwork of the nineties holds a key position in the cultural history of the Herbal-American community. This film, which some of you smoked out to back in the day on the classic VHS collection Cartoon Noir, is a splendid visualization of why we smoke so much of this fine green eye medication in the first place: to enhance the inspirational aspects of life in order to battle with modern despair. Pitt gets despair right on: the closed in feeling of alienation, inner pain and hopelessness that can swallow up one's reality, especially when enhanced with alcohol and tobacco, is vividly recreated here, quite a feat for animation. In fact, some dopers out there will get flat-out bummed by the depression expression of the suicidal main character and wonder why I gave this the coveted nine-leaf rating. All I can say is hang in there, as many high-leaf viewing experiences have dark valleys that need to be traveled through, like the evil forest scene in Disney's Snow White (seven leaves) or the part where the son gets thrown in the incinerator by his dad in Pot, Parents and the Police (eight leaves). So hold tight and draw deep, cause the cartoon mouse ashtray soon comes to life, turning the black turtleneck of misery inside out. Here Suzan Pitt does her riff on the classic genre of still objects coming to life at night and partying, and what a riff it is. How many times have you been way past blue, took a big, fat toke, then suddenly noticed a small detail of your existence that makes everything seem suddenly worthwhile? That's what you get here. Pitt even includes a rain forest of inspiration for the viewer to play with, crafted from her travels in Central America, and it's a blast. Don't linger over the ape smelling the flower, though, as those of you who have experienced Pitt's other classic pieces of animation will no doubt read sexual connotations in the image. Now that will bend your head. Nine Leaves: Atomic. A perfect drug movie. Like going to another planet on your couch.
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El doctor (2006)
An Underground Comic Book Come Alive
29 April 2007
Hey everybody! Clean out your favorite pipe and stuff it good, because Suzan Pitt has a new animated short out, and you all know what that means! Another chance to take your THC hovercraft across another Pitt wonderscape, that is if you ever made it back alive from Asparagus. Makes a Tiskit think that maybe there is such a thing as a Ten Leave film, even though there are only nine leaves on the stem, according to the picture on my lighter. Now, me and my red hot wife, Taskit, have always described Suzan Pitt's work at parties as underground comic books put on film. Never has this been more true than in her latest work, El Doctor. This work, another Pitt lung-buster, brings to live the head swimming mixture of Chester Brown's Yummy Fur with Los Hernandez Bros' Loves and Rockets, but it's in color! Just take yourself back to the 90s and picture yourself on the sofa, Honey Bear bong spilled on the carpet, reading alternative comics when they suddenly come to life and chase you round the living room. That's El Doctor. Suzan Pitt said that the film is inspired by the cultural institution of miracles in Mexico, which is taken much more seriously than in the states, where miracles are mostly free concert tickets. Miracles include a little girl who sprouts flowers, where the doctor says he wishes he had an ounce of what that little girl has. You and me both, doctor! Poor doctor. He getting all drunk on that soul killing liquor, and you know what that means. Major hassling by gargoyles, that's what. The gargoyle says something so funny that Taskit spilled her Flaming Palm Tree on ice all over the floor. Then comes the miracle of the confused intestines, just draw in deep for that one. The sexual content just increases the underground comic book comparison, as the horse sex sequence recalls Dori Seda's groundbreaking work and the mutant litter of babies sequence gives you the same impact as the best work of Julie Doucet. Plenty of material to keep those rolling papers busy, you bet! Makes a Tiskit wonder why Ralph Bakshi and Chuck Swenson have been the only dudes so far to put feature length underground animation on screen. Suzan Pitt would be the perfect director to adapt any of the above cartoonists' work into a feature length movie. With her history and hand drawn techniques, she'd be a shoo in for a best animated feature Oscar, the perfect prestige piece for any Studio. Hey Chester Brown fans, how about that long talked about but never delivered Ed the Happy Clown movie, except with Bush's head instead of Reagan's on the end of Ed's shaft? Nine Leaves: Atomic. A perfect drug movie. Like going to another planet on your couch.
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Parsifal (1982)
Syberbergian Seeds The Size of Gorilla Nuts
2 April 2007
This DVD broke my resin-caked heart. Hans Jurgen Syberberg holds a special place in that same sticky heart for directing the longest stoner flick every made, the massive nine-hour Hitler - Ein Film Aus Deutschland. You had to have a kitchen garbage bag chock full of weed to get through all of it, but it is sooo worth it. So I was over the moon when Syberberg had directed a movie of Wagner's Parcifal but not because of the double-dose of self importance one gets from watching both New German Cinema and opera (the more bored you are, the more important you become for sitting through it). No, I was looking forward to puppets and outrageous visuals staged and projected onto those trademark black backgrounds, with a big buttery snow globe to balance it out. Syberberg is obsessed with snow globes and the one in Parcifal is a beaut: a Shining like hedge maze, covered in snow, in the middle of which a giant silver tree with no leaves grows, a fitting symbol for the innocent child-knight's journey to self-discovery through incest. It's great to watch stoned; Rosebud meets kind bud. We also have Wagner's death mask forming the landscape, with the decapitated heads of 19th century German superstars (Marx, Goethe, Nietchze und alles) lined in a row against puppets plunging drills into huge bloody ears . Just makes you're lungs water thinking about it, huh? Well, forget it. The fatal flaw of Parcifal is the singing. Every time someone sings Syberberg parks his camera on them and waits till they finish. And since this is opera, they never finish. He will lay a close-up on you and let his foghorns yap until your t-shirt is covered in drool. Then, in the rare instances no one is singing , the screen takes off into the Syberbergian stuff of dreams. Then someone starts huffing and the whole things crashes to Earth. I don't even think Syberberg was able to get to everything he wanted to in this picture; Hell, there's only one Swastika. How can you have a Syberberg picture, especially one of an opera who's meaning was high-jacked by the Nazis, and have only one Swastika? It's like having a Cheech and Chong picture without some weirded out vehicle for them to drive around in for the whole movie. Even the sex change has nearly no impact. Instead of close-ups, the director would have done better by doing most of the songs as voice-overs, showing the scenes the singers sing about instead of the singer. Or Syberberg could have had his tab of acid and dropped it too, if he had projected film images of the singers over otherworldly scenes of wonder. But no, instead we have a big, sticky kind bud of a dope picture that is riddled with seeds the size of gorilla nuts, nuts called songs. Also, this DVD is merely a transfer of the VHS version that came out in the late Eighties. This means it's full screen and you have to deal with the Nazi -era translation of this opera, something which I'm not sure is done on purpose; it's ironic either way. This film does deserve a wide-screen treatment, though, as well as new subtitles. Mein Deutsche Grammatik Sheisshaus ist, but even twice- baked Tiskit could tell that what they were singing did match what was on screen, especially during the pop-up incest segments. The great visuals over the instrumentals rate a full nine leaves, the best you can get, but the singing parts are little but seeds and stems. So, let's average it out and call it Four Leaves: Worthwhile. Will get a small, pleasant hum from.
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Ghost Rider (2007)
Toast Rider!
27 March 2007
This is simply the best windshield movie to come out in years. For those of us lucky enough to live near one of the last drive-ins, this movie presents the best opportunity to incorporate your vehicle into the view experience. There are more than enough point-of-view shots from the bike, creating the illusion of movement as your car tears across the movie screen. Try going straight up the mirror windowed building with your tires leaving snakes of flame, it's fun! All this is enhanced by setting green sticky nugs alight. In fact, play a game where you smoke a bowl every time Nick Cage's skull catches fire (those without drive-in access will have to wait for DVD, poor shmoos.) This movie has many appeals for the Herbal-American viewer, such as the first superhero who sits around watching a lot of TV. Lines like "I'm watching TV", "I watch a lot of TV" and "What's wrong, don't you people ever watch TV?" will resonate in any stoners' resin smeared heart. Peter Fonda is the devil, so bring that Easy Rider (also seven leaves) soundtrack in the car with you. The plastic bag kid who sells pot in American Beauty (five leaves) is back from oblivion as the villain, Hell yeah! The visuals are primo; we have computer animation used very sparingly, creating the Mickey Effect, so named after the CGI that was used on Woody Harrelson after he vomited the shrooms in Natural Born Killers (eight leaves.) The Mickey Effect allows the basic composition to be rooted in reality while adding wild embellishments in places you wouldn't expect. Lots of weird things going on in the eyes. The filmmakers also understand the aura of cool around the 70s-ish source comic and are able to get it into the big screen devil's bounty hunter. That's what keeps this from being a Spawn (four leaves) or a Phantom (Seeds and Stems). Back you fattest bag and get to Ghost Rider, or a least smog out in the parking lot so that you can take you inner windshield into the multiplex with you. Seven Leaves: High Glow. One of the best, has lots of wonder to make your head spin.
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Anne of Green Nuggies
13 February 2007
When you tilt back with a big fat pipe ready to spark, you can't go wrong with vintage anti-drug propaganda. This hour long shot on video wonder is hosted by then superstars Burt Reynolds and Judd Nelson, both of whom appear here to fulfill community service requirements for drugs; the stoned leading the stoned. Burt and Judd walk through the woods like nature loving Rod Serlings, making snide comments on the lives of the teens in this video. It opens with a young Dermot Mulroney, a couple of years before he saw the giant peyote chicken in Young Guns, smoking crack in a van. Megan Follows, better known as Anne of Green Gables, takes a big bag of sticky green gables, crumbles them up, and proceeds to ruin her young life on cocaine. If you've dreamed of seeing Anne struggle whether to trade sexual favors for hard drugs, this is the video for you. This also features Earl Holliman, the substance abuse icon from Forbidden Planet. He played the flying saucer's cook who convinces Robby the Robot to synthesize several gallons of whiskey, here he is a concerned father or something. The 80's video effects create that retro atmosphere that only gets enhanced by select herbs and spices. Worth digging for. Seven Leaves: High Glow. One of the best, has lots of wonder to make your head spin
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The Island (2005)
Budget-Busting Subversive Lung-Buster
13 February 2007
Here is the secret formula to the highest grade dope pictures: the more money the studio loses, the higher you'll get off their misery. Take a movie that was way overspent upon that made no money at all in the theater and you'll find it's a blast to smoke out to (and, my friends, The Island currently holds the record for the most money lost on a summer picture). There's a few logical reasons for this, the first being that the movies are rejected by mainstream feather-throats for being "too twisted", that elusive ingredient so crucial to herbal cinema enjoyment. A more reliable reason is that much of the over-budget when into the look of the film: art direction, make-up costume design, special lighting and camera effects; all of which are the chocolate chips in the pot movie cookie. This attention to appearance usually comes at the expense of the story's richness, which helps kill the flick in the theater but means nothing to the herbal viewer, as some will lose track of the storyline and interact with the visual framework only. Hollywood should lobby the feds for legalization because then these movies would have a chance to make the tons of money they so richly deserve during there first run. Either that or open more drive-ins. (Dear reader, if you aren't hip to drive-ins yet, twist four and drive as long as you need to get to the double feature.) Now, there's your commercial level flops and then you have you kind level budget-buster: the overpriced science fiction flick, like The Island. You don't even have to like this sort of movie to get your kite in the stratosphere off one. For the first renting feather-throat making the crossover to nickel bag land, I always recommend one of these pictures to show them what THC and a motion picture can create when working together: that sparkling sense of wonder, the mind-blowing vision splendid. That green glow when the lights go off, dig? The Island was way too subversive to succeed. Like 1984 (four leaves) and RoboCop (five leaves), The Island uses the device of a dark near future to comment on modern culture. Everyone toils away in squeaky clean land until you hit it big, win the lottery and go live the good life on this faraway tropical island, like the kind you see on the herpes ads on TV. Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson are two squeaky clean kids who are maybe spending to much time around doper icon Steve Buscemi. Steve Buscemi hasn't been this stoner oriented in years, looking scruffy as all hell, and it's high time. Many remember Buscemi as Mr. Pink in Reservoir Dogs (five leaves), but his first time his dope comet hit earth was his turn as psycho dishwasher guy in the Goldie Hahn doper epic, Criss Cross (seven leaves). The less one knows about the plot going in the better, as it is a true treat. The fiendish social commentary is juxtaposed with monstro action sequences in the style of The Matrix (six leaves), though they don't mix very smoothly here. No matter: one moment your mind is opened, the next moment a flaming helicopter is dumped in it. This movie also should be noted for the trippiest use of the color white: lots of retina burning, glare juggling shades of white. Of course, all that whitewash is covering up the dark, futuristic truth…Six Leaves: Low Glow. A fine dope flick, will make your levitate.
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Bugs Smokes Nugs!
13 February 2007
One of the greatest works of Anti-Drug propaganda, this time aimed at small children. The video opens with a Ronald McDonald House commercial that is humorous on a bad taste level ("Peel them taters!") Then look who's here, if it isn't then president George Bush and his wife Barbara, historically famous for raising the Anti-Christ. They give a well meaning message to the grade-school set, which obviously didn't take when you look at all that heroin those kids took a few years later. The half-hour animated special features simply everybody: Bugs Bunny, Winnie the Pooh, Muppet Babies, the Smurfs. Slimer from Ghostbusters, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Garfield and Alf, a We Are The World of dope hatred. "Drugs don't stand a chance against these guys!" says the tagline. Besides the obvious lesson that smoking a joint will make you try crack the next day, we find that if you smoke pot, you will hurt the Muppet Babies inside your brain. You'll derail the roller coaster inside your mind and make Kermie and Piggie fall out. Of course, it was pot that put those Muppet Babies in the Roller Coaster in your brain in the first place, so puzzle that one. Also, when you bottom out and turn into a shrunken zombie, said to happen on the third day after your first joint, then you'll have to face the man in the mirror: Alf. This is ironic considering all the heroin the head writer for Alf was shooting at the time (read Jerry Stahl's Permanent Midnight). A drug war relic. Eight Leaves: Kind. A drug movie's drug movie. Will make your eyes red with happiness.
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