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.
At the marijuana-ready movies, Doctor Sleep updates The Shining with Ewan McGregor as grown-up Danny Torrance as he’s (literally) haunted by his past; Midway turns WWII into a smoking orgy of visual effects; and Primal stars Nicolas Cage in pursuit of a wild panther.
Streaming options explode with the debut of His Dark Materials, and the return of two major stoner favorites: Rick and Morty and The End of the F***ing World.
Vintage cult movies are on fire with collector’s editions out now of the kinky camp-fest Gwendoline; the Brooklyn break-dance comedy Delivery Boys; the Jamie Lee Curtis nail-biter Road Games; and, oh yes, the one-and-only, original RoboCop.
Wicked new music to get wise to include dank drops from Hoodrich Juan Pablo, Reese LaFlare, and Land of Kush.
So let’s get straight — but not “straight” — to this week’s fresh-rolled recommendations.
Doctor Sleep (2019)
Director: Mike Flanagan
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Kyliegh Curran, Rebecca Ferguson
The Shining (1980) rules, of course, as one of the all-time most paranoia-inducing masterworks of cinema, regardless if you smoke pot while watching it or not (but, to be sure, you should watch The Shining — and every movie — while smoking pot).
Doctor Sleep follows Danny Torrance, the kid plagued by phantom twin girls and his axe-swinging dad around the spookadelic Overlook Hotel in the original fright-fest. Now grown up, Danny (Ewan McGregor) continues to contend with ghosts who have followed him since his childhood. Danny joins forces with Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran), a young girl who also possesses the “shining” ability, to take down an occult society that feeds off kids with psychic powers.
If that plot sounds like something good and scary to smoke to, that’s because it is. With proper prepping, Doctor Sleep will leave you red-eyed in the best way.
Director: Roland Emmerich
Cast: Luke Evans, Mandy Moore, Woody Harrelson
The real-life Battle of Midway was a miserably deadly WWII air-and-sea confrontation that turned the Pacific’s waters blood-red with the lives and limbs of thousands of American and Japanese soldiers.
Just try not to think about that as you pre-game with ganja before seeing Midway, the new Hollywood blockbuster. Instead, get lit and lean back as the giant IMAX screen before you rocks, rolls, and reverberates with high-tech visuals depicting awesome, overwhelming special effects blasting off everywhere in bone-rattling surround-sound.
You can maybe even offer a vape-hit to stoner icon Woody Harrelson up there amid the CGI carnage. He plays Admiral Chester W. Nimitz — the war hero who was memorialized by the famous aircraft carrier that bears his name — and, frankly, he looks like he needs a toke.
Director: Nick Powell
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Famke Janssen, Kevin Durand
Nicolas Cage as a wild animal collector in pursuit of an escaped panther on a crowded ship? Count us in. Now, add an international assassin who stowed away with the jungle cat and is also on the loose. Count us even more in — after we drop by the dispensary on the way to the theater first.
That’s the premise of Primal, a fun action flick feature Nic doing what he does best against a pair of exotic predators. He goes over-the-top and just keeps going. Puff along with him.
The End of the F***ing World: Season 2
Cast: Jessica Barden, Alex Lawther, Steve Oram
Watch It: Netflix
Based on a popular comic book series among potheads, The End of the F***ing World seemed to end f***ing definitively with the close of season one. Of course, with eight new episodes on Netflix, that clearly wasn’t the case.
So, toke up and get back on board for this ongoing saga of dangerously unpredictable teenage outsiders Alyssa (Jessica Barden) and James (Alex Lawther), freshly spiked with lethal twists, sick-joke turns, and unexpectedly moving emotional realness.
His Dark Materials: Season One
Cast: Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, Lin-Manuel Miranda
Watch It: HBO
Aiming to inherit the weekly weed-TV-event status previously held by Game of Thrones, HBO’s new series His Dark Materials arrives with sprawling adventure, cutting-edge special effects, and stoner fantasy staples such as sword-fighting, medieval magic, and endless British accents.
Other Dark Materials elements include talking animal demons, frightening religious fanatics, and, fiercest of all, mounted polar-bear battles, as adapted from a controversial, cranium-bending series of young adult novels by Philip Pullman.
Rick and Morty: Season 4
Voice Cast: Justin Roiland, Spencer Grammer, Chris Parnell, Sarah Chalke
Watch It: Adult Swim
Rick and Morty is back. It’s the eagerly awaited fourth season. It’s coming to Adult Swim this Friday. If you smoke weed — which you do — you likely know all this. Of course, there’s a chance you’re so blazed right now that this serves as a fresh reminder. Regardless, inhale deep, and meditate your marijuana-elevated brain on the momentousness of the moment. Rick and Morty season four is here at last, and we all get to smoke to it.
Director: Just Jaeckin
Cast: Tawny Kitaen, Zabou, Brent Huff
Get It: Severin Films
Before she ruled ‘80s MTV as every basement bong-ripper’s hair-metal music video queen, Tawny Kitaen starred in the title role of the kinky, campy cult epic Gwendoline.
The plot details our heroine’s globe-trotting pursuit of an ultra-rare butterfly as it leads her to the Land of the Yik-Yak, a futuristic underworld where a wicked queen is served by slave girls in S&M pony costumes and torture devices look more tantalizing than they do scary.
Directed by softcore visionary Just Jaeckin, Gwendoline comes off as a combination of Barbarella, Indiana Jones, and European sex comics (like the one it’s based on), while also being intoxicatingly original.
Gwendoline is sexy, it’s silly, it’s eye-poppingly imaginative, and it’s a curiosity unlike anything else of its era. Roll a fatty now and rejoice Severin Films has beautifully restored this unsung trip of an extras-packed special edition Blu-ray
Delivery Boys (1985)
Director: Ken Handler
Cast: Mario Van Peebles, Josh Marcano, Tom Siercho
Get It: Kino Lorber
The titular team of Delivery Boys consists of a breakdance crew who, naturally, also fulfill orders by bicycle for Ben’s Pizza. En route to the All City Break Dance Championship (held under the Brooklyn Bridge), our hapless heroes deliver pies and run up against crazy customers like a rich nymphomaniac who won’t take “no more” for an answer, a mad scientist hellbent on turning a delivery boy into a delivery girl, and a bizarre art gallery where one dude ends up as a living statue.
As an ‘80s teen sex comedy, Delivery Boys is funny, dirty, and dank enough. As a snapshot of downtown Brooklyn during a peak cultural moment when hip-hop, tagging, and breakdancing initially conquered the world, Delivery Boys is a wholly dope historic artifact. Watch it, wide-eyed, with weed in-hand and see what the world once was.
Road Games (1981)
Director: Richard Franklin
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Stacy Keach, Marion Edward
Get It: Shout Factory
The sizzling, Australian-set thriller Road Games is a sweat-inducing game of cat-and-mouse that pits Jamie Lee Curtis as a flower child hitchhiker and Stacy Keach as a mind-fucking trucker in a barren landscape where a van-driving psycho is leaving bodies piled by the roadside.
Twists abound, nobody is who they say they are, nothing is what it seems, and, as the sun pounds the outback, the suspense builds to the point of keeping viewers fretting and sweating well after the movie is over. Road Games will go best, then, with a powerfully paranoia-inducing weed strain and a willingness to perhaps never trust anyone you meet ever again.
RoboCop: Limited Edition (1987)
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Cast: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer
Get It: MVD
One of the most beloved sci-fi action films ever unleashed, RoboCop is also a fearsomely funny masterpiece of satire, social commentary, and relentlessly mind-reeling provocation. Grab your vape, call it a robo-joint, and jump back in.
After heroic patrolman Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) gets shot to pieces by a sick cabal of criminals, an even sicker corporate exec (Miguel Ferrer) puts him back together as RoboCop — part man, part machine, and the so-called future of law enforcement.
Murphy’s struggle to regain his humanity with the help of his former police partner (Nancy Allen) fills the moments between RoboCop’s astoundingly graphic mayhem and hilarious glimpses of what was once the future, such as snippets of cheesy commercials and reality TV shows that are actually less stupid than those of our present-day existence.
You’ve certainly smoked to RoboCop in the past, but the new Arrow Video collector’s edition ups the movie’s presentation and impact on par with technological gains made in marijuana. You’ll also be glad that weed prohibition started to crumble before actual RoboCops took to the streets.
By Hoodrich Pablo Juan
Get It: Bandcamp
With the new album DMV — short for “Dope Money Violence” — Atlanta rap star Hoodrich Pablo Juan sparks up another triumph for both his Mony Powr Rspt movement and the ears of hip-hop fans with lungs full of hot green. While HPJ usually brings numerous collaborators, DMV features just two drop-ins, but they’re monsters: Gucci Mane and Wiz Khalifa. Produced by a murderer’s row that includes Zaythoven, Tay Keith, TM88, and Southside, DMV is one primo LP.
By Reese LaFlare
Get It: Apple Music
Atlanta’s rap scene continues to smoke so potently and prolifically, maybe we should start worrying about the whole thing combusting in one massive marijuana mushroom cloud. Case in point: Reese LaFlare’s new album, Final Fantasy, dropping just three months after his Lil Skate for President EP. Bounding forth from the energy of the first two singles, “Hol’ Up” and “Who?,” Final Fantasy proves to be yet another dank dream come tremendously true, courtesy of one of contemporary hip-hop’s most compelling mic-masters.
By Land of Kush
Get It: Constellation Records
Epic composer Sam Shalabi hails from Montreal and Cairo, his perpetually morphing orchestra Land of Kush comes from all over the world, and on releases like the new album Sand Enigma, the music takes lit listeners beyond the farthest fringes of cosmic consciousness. Absorbing EDM, rock, jazz, psychedelia, Middle Eastern traditions, and outer-space ambitions, Sand Enigma is highly listenable, reefer-rewarding avant-garde sonic cool at its 2019 finest.
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