Heady Entertainment: “Gringo” Smokes the Big Screen and Musician SAINt JHN Gets Lit in Brooklyn

Heady Entertainment: “Gringo” Smokes the Big Screen and Musician SAINt JHN Gets Lit in Brooklyn

Welcome back to our guide to the dankest new pop culture nuggets. This week, Hollywood rolls out its first pot-powered action comedy of 2018, and SAINt JHN debuts “Collection 1” with smoldering grace.

by Mike McPadden

Welcome back to Heady Entertainment, MERRY JANE's weekly guide to just-released movies, books, TV shows, 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.

This week: Hollywood rolls up — and out — its first pot-powered action comedy of 2018 with Gringo; 50 Cent asks us to take The Oath; Thor and Hulk's showdown turns bro-down in the Thor sequel; horror meister George Romero's mind-frying non-zombie classics rise again; and SAINt JHN debuts with smoldering grace on Collection 1. So let's go straight — but not "straight" — to this week's fresh-rolled and smoldering recommendations.

Movies

"Gringo" (2018)
Director: Nash Edgerton
Cast: David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Thandie Newton

Behold (and bong-load) — Gringo is a dark-humored Hollywood action comedy about medical marijuana. David Oyelowo (MLK in Selma) stars as Harold Soyinka, the mild-mannered inventor of "the Weed Pill," a single tablet that packs the fully potent punch of a fat joint.

When our hero's Big Pharma overlords dispatch Soyinka to Mexico to supervise production, he gets kidnapped by a drug cartel and thereby sets off a series of marijuana-driven mayhem and misadventures.

"A Wrinkle in Time" (2018)
Director: Ava DuVernay
Cast: Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pine, Zach Galifianakis

A classic kids fantasy novel about tripping through a multiverse of infinite possibilities plus cutting-edge visual effects on an unlimited Disney budget equals the first (and maybe only) time a nation of stoners will pack multiplexes wacked on weed to watch Oprah Winfrey.

Streaming

"The Oath": Season One
Creator: Joe Halpin
Cast: Sean Bean, Ryan Kwanten, Katrina Law
Watch It: Crackle

From Executive Producer Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, The Oath is a hard-boiled new crooked cop drama starring Sean Bean (head-losing Ned Stark on Game of Thrones) and Ryan Kwanten (vampire lover Jason Stackhouse on True Blood). The series depicts what happens when the men and women sworn to uphold the law become the very ones to first and most brutally break it — and you can feel free to smoke up and enjoy the carnage because, for once, it's not the news or a documentary.

"Thor: Ragnarok" (2017)
Director: Taika Waititi
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Mark Ruffalo
Watch It: Amazon, iTunes, On Demand

New Zealand director Taika Waititi elevates Thor: Ragnarok by pumping it full of the prankster spirit he unleashed in the 2014 cult vampire mockumentary What We Do in Shadows.

As a result, what might have been just another superhero team-up and smash-down instead becomes a highly hilarious study of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) bonding over their obvious differences and coming together to kick ass as dope bros. Plus, Tessa Thompson debuts as rogue warrior Valkyrie to blazing success.

All that's missing is a scene of these mighty heroes puffing and passing between punch-ups — so feel free to show them how it's done as you watch at home.

Cult-Classic Reissues

"The Crazies" (1973)
Director: George Romero
Cast: Lane Carroll, Will MacMillan, Harold Wayne Jones
Get It: MVD

Horror maestro George Romero's proper follow-up to Night of the Living Dead is a heavy, scary paranoia trip about an infectious disease freaking out entire populations. Arrow Video is reissuing The Crazies as a new deluxe Blu-Ray along with other killer early Romero films outside the zombie realm: There's Always Vanilla aka Hungry Wives (1971) and Season of the Witch (1972) — two free-wheeling psychedelic takes on suburban America plugging in and blasting off on weed, free love, and the occult in various combinations.

Books

"It Came From the Video Store Aisle: Inside Charles Band's Full Moon Entertainment Studio"
By David Jay & Friends
Buy It: Quimby's Bookstore

Anybody who ever rented horror flicks on VHS for bong-passing basement viewing parties has fun (and probably fuzzy) memories of watching Full Moon Entertainment flicks.

From the killer-marionette Puppetmaster films to the time-tripping cops of the Trancers series to our personal favorite — the Evil Bong franchise — Full Moon has long delivered the deliriously dope-friendly goods.

This new books about the studio features rare artwork, behind-the-scenes photos, and over 50 exclusive interviews with the mad minds behind everything from the Killjoy movies about a demonic clown to the self-explanatory (and munchie-inducing) Gingerdead Man.

Music

"Collection 1"
By SAINt JHN
Get It: iTunes

Brooklyn rapper and songwriter SAINt JHN has built a steady following and a heady flow both by working with other artists such as Usher, Jidenna, and Joey Badass, as well as releasing a succession of his own songs ("Reflex," "3 Below," and "Some Nights," to name a few) that now provide the booming base of Collection 1, the SAINtly one's debut solo album.

Produced by Fallen, Collection 1's most recent single blends chilly synths, deep beats, off-kilter rhymes, and JHN's suave singing voice into a strain perfectly captured by the song's title: "I Heard You Got Too Litt Last Night." Can there really be such a thing? Light up, listen, and find out.

"Horrific Honoriffics"
By Crippled Black Phoenix
Get It: Season of Mist Records

As the title indicates, Horrific Honoriffics by stoner prog/psych-doom supergroup Crippled Black Phoenix is a covers EP paying tribute to artists that initially inspired the band to get high and make noise. Featuring a lineup of every player who has contributed to Crippled Black Phoenix thus far, HH reconfigures sonic expeditions by Arboretum, Swans, Magnolia Electric Co, No Means No, The God Machine, and, best of all, OG glam-rock skull-busters, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

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Mike McPadden is the author of "Heavy Metal Movies" and the upcoming "Last American Virgins." He writes about movies, music, and crime in Chicago. Twitter @mcbeardo



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