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.
New in theaters, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu is a light-up brain bomb of wigged-out little creatures running wild in our world, while The Hustle pairs Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson for a stupid-smart slapstick scam comedy.
When it comes to streaming, Showtime’s four-part documentary Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men deliriously dominates everything else. After you’ve entered those 36 chambers, though, other dope options include the final season of the heartfelt comedy series Easy, Jordan Klepper’s solo satirical news series Klepper, and the return of trashy antics to smoke and laugh at on Fox’s Paradise Hotel.
Crackpot cult flicks getting deluxe reissues include Morgan Fairchild screaming for her hairdo’s life in The Seduction (1982), and Jean-Claude Van Damme playing twins in Double Impact (1991).
Tune-wise, the weekend veers from the majestic mellowness of Mac DeMarco, to the cutting-edge ear-bombs of Holly Herndon, to the all-out hip-hop triumph of Young Nudy and Pi’erre Bourne.
So let’s get straight — but not “straight” — to this week’s fresh-rolled recommendations.
The Hustle (2019)
Director: Jac Shaeffer
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Bruno Sevilla
In a gender-flipped remake of the 1988 grifter comedy classic Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Anne Hathaway takes on the smooth con artist role originated by Michael Caine while Rebel Wilson stomps in as the brash, blatant scammer first portrayed by Steve Martin. Together, they fleece big money scoundrels throughout the south of France, using one impossibly idiotic scheme after another. It all somehow works in terms of both swindling their targets and cracking up the audience — often because Rebel turns everything into a tsunami of slapstick mayhem that plays perfectly for stoner humor.
Pokemon: Detective Pikachu (2019)
Director: Rob Letterman
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Rita Ora
If the Pokemon phenomenon didn’t initially emerge from a mind-blowingly stellar psychedelic drug trip, you’d never know it. Just look at Pokemon’s universe of animated monsters whose cards you can collect, cartoons you can watch, and smartphone games you can play that make it look like Squirtle, Charmander, Bulbasaur and the rest are battling it out in the real world.
Now you are heartily encouraged to imbibe your favorite hallucinogen and drop by the multiplex for Pokemon: Detective Pikachu. It’s a neon-lit, pop-art combination CGI-and-live-action blockbuster starring Ryan Reynolds as the voice of the iconic yellow cuddle creature known as Pikachu, and Justice Smith as the only human who can hear him speak in anything other than squeaks. We choose to get high while watching you, Pikachu!
Klepper: Season One
Watch It: Comedy Central
Comedy Central’s serious funnyman Jordan Klepper, a former Daily Show correspondent who also hosted The Opposition (in the guise of a lunatic conspiracy theorist), plays it fairly straight in Klepper. Here, Klepper interviews passionate Americans about the big topics of the day (immigration, climate issues, etc), and while it delivers plenty of laughs, there’s also substantial food for thought. Naturally, we’re most impressed with Klepper’s exploration of the legal cannabis industry.
Paradise Hotel: Season One
Host: Kristin Cavallari
Watch It: Fox
With the new Paradise Hotel, Fox is rebooting one of the all-time most gloriously trashy reality TV dating shows. And we’ve all got pot potent enough to properly appreciate every insane moment. Kristin Cavallari hosts the shenanigans as a pack of strangers get paired up at a tropical resort and then loudly and lustfully struggle to find romance. Buff bodies, lush locations, and hilarious interpersonal drama erupt en masse!
Easy: Season 3
Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Kate Micucci
Watch It: Netflix
It’s the end of the run for Easy, Joe Swanberg’s witty, understated comedy series about life, love, and aging among thirtysomething Chicago hipsters. The show comes to a close just as Illinois stands on the brink of marijuana legalization — which is big news both on Easy and IRL. Returning cast members include indie entertainment royalty Aubrey Plaza, Marc Maron, Kate Micucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Aya Cash, Zazie Beetz, and Dave Franco. Spark up a joint in their honor, and inhale it deep as you’ll inevitably relate to what goes down on Easy.
Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men (2019)
Director: Sacha Jenkins
Watch It: Showtime
What can done to sum up the monolithic majesty of the Wu-Tang Clan? The Staten Island hip-hop gods aren’t so much iconic as they are their own genre, with cannabis informing every nuance of the collective’s endless universal conquest.
The brave filmmaker who set out to capture the high history and continuing unparalleled impact arising from the NYC borough of Shaolin is Mass Appeal’s Sacha Jenkins. Rightly understanding that no single documentary could do justice to the subject Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men is Jenkins’ four-part epic undertaking that debuts this Friday on Showtime. All nine surviving Wu-Tang members participate on camera. All known smokable elements you can get a lighter on should be consumed while you take it in.
The Corruption of Chris Miller (1973)
Director: Juan Antonio Bardem
Cast: Jean Seberg, Marisol, Barry Stokes
Get It: Vinegar Syndrome
A bloody, twisty, psychedelic, giallo thriller from Spanish master Juan Antonio Barde, The Corruption of Chris Miller has been extremely hard to find for decades. Now the heroes at Vinegar Syndrome has properly restored this terrifying treasure and are unleashing it on a horror-hungry public.
Single-named actress Marisol (who was popular child star in Spain) stars as Chris Miller, a young woman who lives in a spooky mansion with as her mother (screen legend Jean Seberg). Their lives go chaotically, frighteningly asunder when a mysterious young drifter (Barry Stokes) signs on to be their handyman—just as mutilated bodies begin to pile up in the area.
Fans who know the pleasures of smoking pot to the gore-splashed works of European horror kingpins Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento and highly encouraged to spark up for this Corruption.
“Double Impact” (1991)
Director: Sheldon Lettich
Cast: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bolo Yeun, Geoffrey Lewis
Get It: MVD
When you’re in the mood for early ’90s cheeseball-action-flick-madness-done-right, one thing can top inhaling intoxicants and watching Jean-Claude Van Damme kick ass—and that’s watching JCVD kick twice as much ass because there’s two of him.
That’s the case of Double Impact, where “The Muscles From Brussells” play twin brothers, one who’s a suave international jet-setter, and the other who’s a down-to-earth dojo owner in L.A. Naturally, both bros are master martial artists, so when international Triad gangsters threaten the twins’ family, it’s time for some, “Wham! Bam! Van Damme and Van Damme!”
Adding to the enjoyably bonkers, breakneck abandon, the bad guy is portrayed by Bolo Yeung, the mountainous one-man killing machine who took on Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon (1973). Double Impact is undoubtedly worth doubling your bong hits.
The Seduction (1982)
Director: David Schmoeller
Cast: Morgan Fairchild, Andrew Stevens, Michael Sarrazin
Get It: Shout Factory
The extremely of-its-moment slasher thriller The Seduction has been beloved for decades by devotees of camp cinema, who ironically howl at it among fellow fans who are in on the joke while passing the pile.
Über '80s glamour queen Morgan Fairchild stars in The Sedution as L.A.’s hottest newscaster who’s being hunted by '70s TV pretty boy Andrew Stevens. The fashions alone are a bong-spilling riot, but the hyper-intense acting, revenge plot set-up, and overall heightened aura of hysteria make The Seduction a party-night video go-to. Just add pot!
Here Comes the Cowboy
By Mac DeMarco
Get It: Mac DeMarco official site
When it comes to his mellifluously mellow music, singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco specializes in toking up, easing everything back, and letting the words and melodies get enchantingly weird. Remarkably, on his new release Here Comes the Cowboy, DeMarco does all that again — but, somehow, it feels like more than ever. It’s a milestone of chill that wafts perfectly in such playful, lilting fashion you may feel like you’re following your own smoke and just floating away into the bliss-osphere.
By Holly Herndon
Get It: Bandcamp
On Proto, her first release since Platform in 2015, sonic explorer Holly Herndon actually melded her mind with a machine to create music. The result is both a landmark and a leap forward into the future of sensory-bombarding soundscapes, with Herndon using Artificial Intelligence to broaden and fuel her avant-garde electronic compositions. Proto also proves that A.I. pairs extremely well with THC.
By Young Nudy and Pi’erre Bourne
Get It: iTunes
In terms of marijuana-ready hip-hop heat, “Sli'merre” by Young Nudy and Pi’erre Bourne arrives as one of 2019’s mightiest match-ups. Atlanta MC Nudy explodes forth in myriad rap styles, while brilliant mega-producer Bourne backs him up and raises the beat game to new levels. Pack a bong, crank it up, let it blow your mind all over your face.
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