Welcome back to Heady Entertainment, MERRY JANE's weekly guide to just-released movies, books, and music — all fresh, dank, and THC-friendly. In specific, we choose our picks based on how they can enhance your combined consumption of cannabis and entertainment.
Two crucial extremes of stoner cinema explode in theaters this week. On the one (puffing) hand, Avengers: Endgame might be the ultimate CGI extravaganza to get high to. But we can’t forget about Under the Silver Lake, an art-bent spelunk into high weirdness.
Streaming options include classic drug music titans partying it up on HBO’s 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony; Lonely Island’s blissfully bizarre new sketch comedy series, I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson; and another round of the fun grown-up Karate Kid spinoff, Cobra Kai.
Special-edition cult flicks include Christian Slater in the hipster detective comedy Kuffs; the paranoia-powered haunted house thriller Scared Stiff; and the too-fucked-to-be-believed mutant fetus monster movie, The Suckling.
This week’s marijuana music motherlode includes new albums from Shy Glizzy and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, along with a multi-artist sonic salute to Game of Thrones.
So let’s get straight — but not “straight” — to this week’s fresh-rolled recommendations.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Danai Gurira
Avengers: Endgame is the twentieth Marvel Cinematic Universe since Iron Man, which was released in 2008. Just think about how much weed you’ve smoked to all those flicks!
With Endgame arriving as the hero blockbuster blowout to end them all (and to start the next ones), the tradition of mixing cannabis and comic book movies has just reached a new high.
The action picks up from the bum trip that ended Avengers: Infinity War, with half the world’s population vaporized by cosmic mega-beast Thanos (Josh Brolin). In a cast of characters that includes Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Rocket Racoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and the mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth), it’s a solid bet that the good guys will upend the prior apocalypse. What more could you ask for than getting high and experiencing an IMAX 3D sensory overwhelm?
Under the Silver Lake (2019)
Director: David Robert Mitchell
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Riley Keough, Dakota Johnson
Any movie that has split audiences and critics the way Under the Silver Lake does is absolutely worth checking out — and sparking up a doobie beforehand. Silver Lake is described as being a neo-noir fever dream set in hipster-ville LA that unravels mysteries within mysteries in the hauntingly hallucinatory vein of David Lynch.
Andrew Garfield stars as Sam, a 33-year-old gadfly who stumbles upon Riley Keough as Sarah, a classic femme fatale, cavorting in his apartment complex pool. After Sarah suddenly disappears, Sam sets out to find her, plunging deep into surrealistic encounters and Southern California conspiracies that may unlock secrets beyond what any of us could imagine. And what better way to contemplate mindbending concepts than while you’re high?
2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Watch It: HBO
Normally, the prospect of watching elderly musicians congratulate each other, make speeches, and then mount the stage for an awkward all-hands jam session wouldn’t get our seal of weed-worthy approval. This year, though, the musicians — and the music they’ve made — is different. That’s why we think the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is going to be music’s dankest night.
It’s all about the inductees, of course. So lay out an array of appropriate intoxicants and imbibe along with tributes to the always triptastic Radiohead; our favorite Gold Dust Woman, Stevie Nicks; beautifully bummed-out bong-rippers, The Cure; the Quaalude class of art-glam knockouts, Roxy Music; and original acid-pop pioneers The Zombies.
Chambers: Season One
Cast: Sivan Alrya Rose, Uma Thurman, Tony Goldwyn
Watch It: Netflix
While stoners have long been getting enjoyably spooked by haunted house stories, the new supernatural Netflix series Chambers ups the fear factor by focusing on a haunted heart.
Sivan Alrya Rose stars as teenage cardiac arrest victim Sasha, who receives a donated heart during an emergency transplant. Uma Thurman and Tony Goldwyn play Sasha’s parents who discover, through a series of frightening discoveries, that the previous owner of the organ beating inside their daughter’s chest may not have been as dead as previously believed.
Cobra Kai: Season 2
Cast: William Zabka, Ralph Macchio, Courtney Henggeler
Watch It: YouTube
We first met Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) back when they were teenagers in the all-time coming-of-age martial arts classic, The Karate Kid (1984). Remember the first time you got high and cracked up while repeating over and over again, “Wax on, wax off?”
Originally, Johnny was a big bruiser of a bully, while Daniel was the big-hearted underdog hero. The tables turned for the characters last year when YouTube premiered Cobra Kai, a smart, funny series that revealed Johnny to be a sympathetic loser who peaked in high school and Daniel to be a haughty, hot-shot car dealer.
Naturally, the old rivalry reignited, and the now middle-aged combatants continue to compete in a second season of Cobra Kai. Torch one up in memory of Mr. Miyagi!
I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson: Season One
Watch It: Netflix
The less you know specifically about the gut-busting bits contained in the Lonely Island’s new sketch comedy series I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson, the harder you’ll crack up. Just trust that the all-star team of comedy titans who turn up here are at the top of their game when it comes to lit hilarity — it’s a rousing roster that includes: Andy Samberg, Will Forte, Vanessa Bayer, Tim Heidecker, Sam Richardson, Steven Yeun, and Cecily Strong.
Director: Bruce A. Evans
Cast: Christian Slater, Milla Jovovich
Get It: Shout Factory
Christian Slater stars in this cult action-comedy that, in high hindsight, plays sort of like a frontline Gen-X spin on Under the Silver Lake.
Slater plays George Kuffs, a typical cynical slacker itching to make one big score in life so he can just sit around, smoke dope, and complain about everything in the comforting company of his sharp, stunning girlfriend Maya (Milla Jovovich).
In pursuit of that prized lifestyle, Kuffs falls into a crime web involving a crooked art dealer, vengeful cops, and wild slapstick abandon. He also occasionally talks right to the camera, and there’s a cool electronic score by Harold Faltemeyer.
Scared Stiff (1987)
Director: Richard Friedman
Cast: Andrew Stevens, Mary Page Keller, Joshua Segal
Get It: MVD
Despite a title that can’t help but make you think of Ernest Scared Stupid, the elegant haunted-house thriller Scared Stiff is a slow-burn treat that will go down chillingly well when paired with your favorite paranoia-stoking pot strain.
Mary Page Keller and Andrew Stevens star as a couple who inherit a cursed mansion, which they discover after experiencing ghostly moans and creepy creaks to a full-blown, eye-popping freak-show of a climax. Director Richard Friedman went on to helm two other top-tier late-’80s cult favorites: Doom Asylum (1988) and Phantom of the Mall (1989).
The Suckling (1990)
Director: Francis Teri
Cast: Frank Rivera, Antoinette Green, Michael Gingold
Get It: Vinegar Syndrome
If you’re reading this, odds are strong that you’ve seen some messed-up monsters, both in scary movies and in drug-enhanced visions. Add to that list now, if you dare, the title character of the impressively outrageous film The Suckling.
The killer creature here, folks, is an aborted fetus that gets flushed down into a sewer full of toxic waste underneath the whorehouse where his mom works. The fetus then mutates into a hulking brute with superhuman strength who’s hellbent on exacting blood-soaked revenge on all who wronged him. As noted earlier, The Suckling is “messed up.”
While loaded with laughs, The Suckling wisely plays its insane action (mostly) straight, never straining for obvious gags amidst all the sex, violence, gore and… well, more sex, violence, and gore. Inhale your weed deep and keep your eyes open the whole time at your own risk.
Covered N’ Blood
By Shy Glizzy
Get It: iTunes
At just 26-years-old, DC-based rapper Shy Glizzy has set both hip-hop and trap music ablaze with 12 killer mixtapes, the 2017 EP The World Is Yours, and the swing-for-the-fences 2018 album, Fully Loaded. Now Glizzy’s back with another LP, Covered N’ Blood, which he deems his most personal, to the point of calling it a “diary.”
Unlike the star-studded Fully Loaded, Covered N’ Blood features guest spots only from Youngboy Never Broke Again and 3 Glizzy, which adds to the intimacy. So, too, does Youngboy “Ridin Down Slauson,” a heartfelt tribute to the late Nipsey Hussle. Light up a blunt, put on this record, and you’ll be able to feel — deep — where Shy Glizzy is coming from in 2019.
Fishing for Fishies
By King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
Get It: King Gizzard official site
Fishing for Fishies is the 14th mind-frying long-player from King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Australia’s leading psychedelic export of the 21st century (and, let’s face it, maybe the 22nd, too).
Front-freak Stu Mackenzie said of the new album, "We tried to make a blues-boogie-shuffle-kinda-thing, but the songs kept fighting it — or maybe it was us fighting them.” That tension comes through loud, fluidly, and in perfect sonic forms to trip out to on each of Fishing’s nine towering tracks.
For the Throne: Music Inspired by the HBO Series ‘Game of Thrones’
By Various Artists
Get It: iTunes
As HBO’s ultimate sword-and-sorcery stoner fantasy epic rages off on apocalyptic pillars of dragon fire, you can stay high in the realm of longhaired heroes, wicked queens, ice zombies, giant-killers, and three-eyed ravens with this expertly eclectic musical collection.
For the Throne boasts hip-hop from SZA, The Weeknd, Travis Scott, A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$, LiL PEEP, Ty Dolla $ign; rock from Matt Bellamy of Muse, Ambassadors with Jacob Banks, The National, James Arthur, The Lumineers, and Mumford and Sons; EDM pop from Ellie Goulding; R&B from CHLOE X HALLE; and even some country from Maren Morris and Lennon Stella.
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