Smoking weed and watching movies goes together like popcorn and butter (when you're high watching a movie), so it's worth recognizing that as of Wednesday morning, recreational marijuana is officially legal in Canada.
Now that the government is our main dealer, hopefully someone in Ottawa has 95 years worth of handwritten apology cards to mail out to everyone with a possession charge on their record. But here's a couple of the best least-known stoner movies (that I can remember):
Strange Wilderness (2008)
Proud holder of two-per-cent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes (madness! It rules!), this one, from Adam Sandler's Happy Madison company, is crass, stupid and kinda looks like they made it up as they went. But it's also stocked with talent, has next-level comedic timing and is about a stoner wilderness show crew on a mission to find Bigfoot, in Ecuador!
Starring Steve Zahn (Captain Fantastic, Rescue Dawn), Jonah Hill (Superbad, Moneyball), Justin Long (Dodgeball, Drag Me to Hell), Robert Patrick (T:2), Ernest fricking Borgnine (Johnny Guitar, Escape from New York) and the underrated Ashley Scott (Walking Tall), this one is like finding an uncrushed pre-rolled in your favourite winter jacket.
The Night Before (2015)
This slick flick is best known as a Christmas movie but it's also a stoner classic with Joseph Gordon-Levitt (10 Things I Hate About You, Inception), Seth Rogen (Vancouver Skytrain) and Anthony Mackie (8 Mile, The Hurt Locker) starring as old friends looking to recapture their youth on Christmas Eve. And that means they need to hook up with their high school dealer, Mr. Green (Michael Shannon should have gotten an Oscar nod for that role). Save this one for the holidays, but it's dank and fresh year after year.
The Stoned Age (1994)
This one actually sucked (and was a blatant Dazed and Confused ripoff) but there's a Blue Oyster Cult-fueled laser beam trip-out scene that's worth finding on YouTube because it will kick you into a Blue Oyster Cult wormhole, and that's never a bad thing. Know your stoner roots.
Kid Cannabis (2014)
An under-the-radar comedy based on the true story (and Rolling Stone article) of Nate Norman, an Idaho teen/pizza driver who built a multi-million-dollar empire smuggling weed across the border from Canada. This one is notable more for its historical value ("Remember when...?") and because it stars Whistler actress Merritt Patterson, who is the absolute best.
Evil Bong (2006)
I've never seen this, but any movie about an anthropomorphized bong that traps its smokers in a surreal strip club with killer strippers has got to be on the list. The original film featured Tommy Chong but more importantly, it inspired a stream of sequels with genius names like Evil Bong 2: King Bong, Evil Bong 3D: The Wrath of Bong, Evil Bong 420, Evil Bong High-5!, Evil Bong 666, and finally Evil Bong 777. And the Nobel Prize for puns goes to...
And that's enough of that. There are important movies opening at the Village 8 this week (I assume, I never saw the listings before press deadline).
Halloween is the ninth sequel to John Carpenter's classic 1978 slasher standard but, wisely, this one pretends none of the other sequels exist, and instead focuses on the original Halloween survivor Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), who is now a grandmother who's endured a lifetime of PTSD after the events of the first film. So when it happens again, she's effin' ready.Director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) boils down what works in the original but updates it for the new era. The slasher genre is notorious for the victimization and brutalization of women, but Green (and co-writers Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley) turns that on its head with three generations of Strode women banding together and taking no shit.
Halloween (40 years later) is the sequel you probably didn't realize you wanted.
Also opening, The Hate U Give is a coming-of-age flick (based on the excellent novel of the same name) about Starr, a young girl caught between her poor, mostly black, neighbourhood and the rich, mostly white, prep school she attends.
After a cop shoots her childhood friend, Starr is forced to take a stand, find out who she is and fight for what is right. This is an important film for the times and actress Amanda Stenberg (The Hunger Games) shines in the lead role.
And that's it for this week. So smoke 'em if you got 'em and put your Lightfoot Gas lighters in the air to celebrate the end of insanity. Or as the internet says, "We'd like to congratulate drugs, for winning the war on drugs."