Cheech and Chong's Next Movie - Blu-ray Review

Michael Scott

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Cheech and Chong's Next Movie



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Movie: :4stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :3.5stars:
Extras: :2.5stars:
Final Score: :3.5stars:



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Movie

You weren’t a child of the 70s and 80s if you didn’t know of Cheech and Chong. The comedic duo became famous in the early 70s and released several successful albums, usually revolving around 90% cannabis related jokes, and then released their first movie in 1978 with Up in Smoke. Not two years later the duo decided to come out with Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie (yes, an inspired title for sure) and it was a slam dunk! The two were probably the most famous pot icons behind Jimi Hendrix, and have influenced both TV and film for quite some time (Cheech went on to have a fairly lucrative film career in Robert Rogriguez movies and the like, while Tommy Chong is most famous to modern audiences as Kelso’s boss in That 70’s Show), but have sort of fallen out of the public eye over the last 15 years or so. However, that doesn’t matter as their legacy has been captured on film and this is the 4th film of theirs to hit Blu-ray (if you include their standup act from 2015 and the 2013 animated film they did a few years back).

Cheech and Chong movies don’t exactly have the typical three arc storyline that most of us are used to in comedy movies. Kind of like Where the Buffalo Roam it’s more a series of comedic vignettes strung together to act as a few days in the life of the weed smoking morons. The thing is, unlike Where the Buffalo Roam, those vignettes are absolutely hilarious and side splitting! We’ve got the pair doing everything from snorting laundry soap out of a bag, singing horrifically politically incorrect songs, having Cheech play a double role as Cheech and “Red”, Cheech’s redneck Texas brother (who is about as hilarious as Eddie Murphy trying to imitate a white guy). Each vignette is differing lengths and has a varying degree of hilarity. Like most of their comic sketches (and comic sketches in general), some can be really funny (Cheech trying to teach Chong how to speak Spanish, Chong tricking Cheech into snorting a bag of laundry soap, or “Red” coming to town and getting Chong mixed up with an irate hotel owner played by Pee Wee Herman himself), and others can land a bit flat (the house of ill repute, the standup act at the end, or the Donna and Cheech’s relationship). But no matter, the overall quality of the film is pretty stinking hilarious if you ask me.
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If you’ve watched Up in Smoke I think you’ll agree that this was the movie that the two really hit their cinematic stride. There seems to be a sense of creative energy with the two, and it looks like they were given more artistic freedom with the sketches, as they take more risks and push the boundaries a bit more than their previous film (even though I like the freshness of Up in Smoke just a little bit more). The two are priceless together and play off the political incorrectness of their races and weed habits with much success. I won’t say that they are highbrow comedy, or 100% timeless like Eddie Murphy’s early stuff, but they are classic stupidity for a reason and are still as funny today as they were 30-40 years ago.

As a film the movie is a bit more disjointed than some of their others, but that’s what makes it truly great. It feels more like a sketch comedy act with a few loose plot lines to tie them together, and that fluidity makes for a light hearted and hilarious ride. To enhance the experience the duo were able to pull in some great comedic cameos with Pee Wee Herman himself as the irate hotel clerk, and the famous Michael Winslow (best known as the sound effects guy from Police Story and Spaceballs. Both of which steal their respective scenes. There's even little bit with Edie McClurg (everyone's favorite office assistant from Ferris Bueller's day Off) that is pretty hilarious




Rating:

Rated R by the MPAA




Video: :4stars:
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For a film released over 37 years ago and put out on a niche label, the video quality for
Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie actually looks really good. There’s some minor flatness going on and the opening scene is more than a tad grainy, but the movie really gets sharp fast and stays sharp all the way to the end. Being that this was back in 1980, you can rest assured that it was shot on film, and there is a fair amount of film grain present throughout. Luckily it takes on a very natural look that doesn’t show too much graininess to the naked eye, while still maintaining a lovely filmic texture. Colors are fairly bright and the sharp yellows of the van, or the bright red of the house of ill repute show up really well. Sometimes contrast look a bit off and the black levels are only so so, but it’s a really nice looking picture and a very natural tone to it. Well done Shout, well done.





Audio: :3.5stars:
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Shout has released the film in its original monorail mix in DTS-HD MA, and the single channel (or really 2.0 Mono) track sounds quite pleasing for what it is. Vocals are clean and clear, but there is a mild sharpness to the voices that feels a little cold and steely at times. Being a mono mix there’s not a whole lot that can be done to make it sound wide and expansive like modern audio experiences, but a monorail track can only do so much. Background sounds are fairly immersive, and the blasting music from the dynamic duo has some authority and decent LFE mixed in as well.







Extras: :2.5stars:
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• Interview With Cheech Marin (new)
• Theatrical Trailer
• Radio Spots
• Optional English SDH subtitles







Final Score: :3.5stars:


Cheech and Chong may have slipped out of the public eye in recent years, but the comedic duo was THE thing back in the 80s (and partially in the 90s as well), and you weren’t a teenager during those times without watching their films and standup acts. Personally, I like Up in Smoke the best, but Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie is a hilarious romp that still stands up as well today as it did back then (even moreso if you grew up in the days when the pop culture references were all the rage). Shout Factory has done a nice job with the film and it marks itself as being starkly better than the previous Shout Select film I have reviewed (Where the Buffalo Roam) and the brand-new interview with Cheech is pretty good as well. Definitely the best the film has ever looked and sounded, a must own for any Cheech and Chong fan for sure.



Technical Specifications:

Starring: Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Evelyn Guerrero
Directed by: Tommy Chong
Written by: Tommy Chong, Cheech Marin
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA Mono
Studio: Shout Factory
Rated: R
Runtime: 95 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: June 13th, 2017







Recommendation: Great Watch

 

Todd Anderson

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This just feels like the kind of film that needs to be watched on an old dusty VCR!
 

Michael Scott

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lol, I think I DID watch on an old VCR growing up :greengrin:.
 
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