Stoner Flicks, Then and Now
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where today we'll remind you right up front ... it's not illegal to go to a stoner flick.
Even if you don't count "Reefer Madness," stoner flicks have been around a long time. And for some reason, I love them.
Your classic stoner flick throws together two characters who have little in common beyond their fondness for weed. The plot need be no more complicated than having the heroes find weed, lose weed, get weed back again, or successfully partake of their munchies of choice. The conflict need be no more complicated than the friends fending off those who would take their weed, share their weed, steal their munchies, or berate them (uselessly) for being losers.
Ahhh. The good ol' days. Cheech and Chong at the midnight bijou, "Up in Smoke." Remember Cheech's pimped car? Me neither. Tee hee!
Now study this old picture closely. Cheech and Chong look pretty buzzed, don't they? Of course they freakin' do, it's a stoner movie!
Which brings me to our modern era, when one night recently I found my options limited to watching the Summer Olympics or hobbling into the nearby cineplex to see a stoner movie. I thought I had this one bagged, tagged, and ready for sale. Never saw a stoner flick I didn't love.
Have you noticed that so many movies today are written by their star or their director? (Come to think of it, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong were pioneers in this respect.) Well, Cheech got it mostly right. Seth Rogen, the star/co-writer of Pineapple Express, literally a stoner flick in name only, laid an egg.
Pineapple Express has that stoner flick staple, two dudes with nothing in common who get paired up over their love of pot. But these two dudes really don't have anything in common. And then the plot is just ... oh well, let's let a picture paint a thousand words.
Do these guys look stoned? No, and that's because in this movie, even when they take a moment to light up, they're still being chased after and shot at. This isn't a stoner flick, it's Grand Theft Ganja. It's not Dazed and Confused, it's Dead and Abused. Bill and Ted? No, Killed and Dead.
If ever two genres should not be mixed in any meaningful way, it's the stoner flick and the action flick. Lack of action is the whole point of being stoned. Those of you who get your vicarious pot thrills from watching stoner movies (like me) should best steer clear of Pineapple Express. It's all killer, no chiller.
Do you think an Obama/Biden administration will legalize marijuana? Me neither.