Blu-ray Review: Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie

Cheech & Chong became superstars when Up In Smoke burned up the box office in 1978. The movie about two stoner buddies allowed the comedy duo to show there was a large demand for dope films. Movie fans were craving for Cheech & Chong’s next movie and they knew when it arrived when the marquee read Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie. Sometimes you just have to be blunt when it comes to drug movies since your core audience might not be able to focus on small details. Now Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie improves its resolution with a Blu-ray as part of the Shout Select line.

Once again Cheech and Chong are playing their bumbling stoner characters. The duo are walking in downtown Los Angeles with a garbage can. Turn out they are in the process of syphoning gas from a tow truck. They do a sloppy job pouring the gas into the car which leads to a rather embarrassing moment when Cheech hits on a woman as Chong lights up a joint. Chong is constantly harassing his anal retentive neighbor including borrowing items without permission, noise pollution and unloading exhaust into the neighbor’s prized rose bushes. The duo have a musical interlude when Cheech sings about being a Mexican-American. They demonstrate how to pimp up a boring van to be chic for the city. There’s not really much of a plot except that Cheech has a date with Donna on the same night his sort of cousin Red (also Cheech) shows up. He sends Chong off to see Red while he gets ready for Donna to arrive. Chong wants to blow off Red until he sees the guy has brought a lot of weed. The duo become fast friends on a whirlwind night of formal dinners and nightclubs. And then somehow they end up getting shot into space.

What makes Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie a wonder to behold is the arrival of several hot comics that will become iconic in the ’80s. The Groundlings have numerous roles including Phil Hartman (Saturday Night Live) and Cassandra Peterson (Elvira) in a movie in the movie. Paul Reubens plays an annoying desk clerk at Red’s hotel. But there’s more since when Red and Chong go to the comedy club, Pee Wee Herman is on stage. Although if your kid is a fan of Pee Wee’s Playhouse, you might hold back showing them this performance. There’s also Michael Winslow doing his strange sounds before he’d become a superstar in Police Academy. This isn’t just a two man show.

The lack of a real plot serves the movie well. Nothing gets in the way of the weirdness. They just go with the flow on this adventurous journey around Los Angeles. It’s a trip film on several levels. Only the theatrical version is on the Blu-ray. There is a TV version of the film that swaps out the bag of weed for diamonds. It’s not here because what’s the point? Who watches Cheech and Chong for the jewelry? Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie is a cinematic munchie.

The videos is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The transfer brings out the colorful life of the duo and Los Angeles. The audio is DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo that will let you enjoy all of Michael Winslow’s sounds clearly. The movie is subtitled.

Interview with Cheech Marin (19:27) admits that there’s more fun to these characters than having a real plot. Interesting to hear Cheech talk about how Red Skeleton was an influence on his comedy. He speaks of how they went from making records to films. They played different characters on vinyl so he touched upon it to create Red in the film. He jokes that their movie characters were their lives when their wives weren’t around. There is talk of the Groundlings.

Theatrical Trailer (2:35) opens with Cheech singing his Mexican-American song. They pretty much let people know that this film isn’t for those who demand a Woody Allen plot. They swear there’s no way to define the film except as a Cheech & Chong movie.

Radio Spots (4:54) starts off sounding like an acne commercial with a girl crying about an outbreak.

Shout Factory presents Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie. Directed by: Tommy Chong. Screenplay by: Tommy Chong & Cheech Marin. Starring: Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Paul Reubens, Edie McClurg and Michael Winslow. Rated: R. Running Time: 94 minutes. Released: June 13, 2017.

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