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Heady Entertainment: Get Stoned and Catch Stones with "Uncut Gems"
culture  |  Dec 13, 2019

Heady Entertainment: Get Stoned and Catch Stones with "Uncut Gems"

This week, Adam Sandler goes big with bling in "Uncut Gems," Stormzy takes playlists by storm, and The Rock returns for another "Jumanji" reboot.

This week, Adam Sandler goes big with bling in "Uncut Gems," Stormzy takes playlists by storm, and The Rock returns for another "Jumanji" reboot.

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.

On the big screen, Adam Sandler burns like never before in the knockout crime thriller Uncut Gems; sorority sisters turn the tables on holiday terror in Black Christmas; and Jumanji: The Next Level brings back Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black for more eye-bugging visuals, and big, goofy gags. 

Streaming-wise, Netflix is on fire with 6 Underground, a Michael Bay action epic starring Ryan Reynolds, and The Last Hangover, a smokingly sacrilegious, fiercely funny spoof of The Hangover movies centering on the big birthday boy of the holiday season, Jesus. Over on Hulu, Marvel’s Runaways returns for season three.

Vintage cult flick fans should make room under the tree (and next to all the weed) for righteously restored reissue editions of Stephen King’s Silver Bullet; the stupidly amusing spy romp The Nude Bomb; the one-of-a-kind documentary The Wild Wild World of Jayne Mansfield; and, most blissful of all, a newly discovered, R-rated “gore cut” of the ’90s kid video favorite, Tammy and the T-Rex.

Eagerly awaited, ready-to-ignite new music comes our way this week from Stormzy, Free Nationals, Smokepurpp, and, for the first time in nearly two decades, SoCal slowcore trio Duster.

So, let’s get straight — but not “straight” — to this week’s recommendations.

Movies

Uncut Gems (2019)
Directors: Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie
Cast: Adam Sandler, Idina Menzel, Lakeith Stanfield, Julia Fox

Adam Sandler is an all-time stoner comedy kingpin, and now, with Uncut Gems, he gets dead serious. The result is one of the most compelling and cannabis-worthy movie experiences of the year. Sandler plays Howard Ratner, a (somewhat) likable, loudmouthed New York City jewelry broker who, through a series of breakneck bad decisions, gets spun out of control. As viewers, all we can do is breathlessly puff along in absolute awe of the action — and Sandler’s incredible acting — as it explodes all over the screen.

Black Christmas (2019)
Director: Sophia Takai
Cast: Imogen Poots, Brittany O’Grady, Cary Elwes

The original Black Christmas (1974) is a holiday horror classic that hugely influenced the slasher movies of the ’80s and got a limp remake back in 2006. With this new Black Christmas, writer-director Sophia Takai injects the onscreen frights with a ferociously positive feminist sensibility, as a group of female college students fights back against a Yuletide psycho. Smoke once to fully experience Black Christmas’s paranoia-inducing set-up, then smoke again in celebration of the on-screen sorority sisters who are slaying it for themselves.

Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)
Director: Jake Kasdan
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, Kevin Hart

With its wild visuals, broad jokes, and all-star cast, the 2017 Jumanji proved to one of the funnest recent kids’ movies to get repurposed by adult audiences for viewing with the accompaniment of pot. Jumanji: The Next Level lives up to its title intensifying the special effects, increasing the outrageous gags, and bringing back the reboot’s original stars — Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan — as well as Awkwafina, Danny DeVito, and Danny Glover.

Streaming

6 Underground (2019)
Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Mélanie Laurent, and Dave Franco
Watch It:
Netflix

Michael Bay, the king of mega-bucks multiplex epics (Armageddon, Transformers) directs 6 Underground, and Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool himself, stars. The plot centers on a mysterious billionaire assembling a half-dozen agents who are extremely skilled in their areas of expertise to “disappear” and join forces to take down a monstrous dictator.

After going gangster with The Irishman and adding indie drama with Marriage Story, Netflix is now mounting its own slam-bang action blockbuster with 6 Underground. That’s cool with us — it’s easier to weed up and watch at home!

The Last Hangover (2019)
Director: Rodrigo Van Der Put
Cast: Fábio Porchat, Gregorio Duvivier, Antonio Tabet
Watch It:
Netflix

The outrageously irreverent Brazilian satire The Last Hangover sends up the Hangover movies by moving that series’ basic plot back to Biblical times. That’s right, the hilarity here is quite unholy.

Following the Last Supper, Jesus Christ (Fábio Porchat) vanishes, and his hapless Apostles, who drank too much and can’t remember what happened, scramble around to locate their lord and savior. Torch a bit of sacramental bud and let The Last Hangover anoint you with laughs.

Marvel’s Runaways: Season 3
Cast: Virginia Gardner, Gregg Sulkin, Allegra Acosta
Watch It:
Hulu

Marvel’s Runaways hinges on the fear/hope that every teenage dope-smoker feels at some point about their parents: That perhaps mom and dad really are evil oppressors hellbent on destroying the world.

In the case of the show’s six heroes, though, that’s actually true and, as the Runaways, they team up to thwart the vicious schemes of their own flesh and blood.

For this third and final season, the Runaways set out to find their kidnapped associates and protect a pregnant member of the squad whose offspring might bring the ultimate comeuppance to those wicked mothers and fathers. Load a bong and cheer them on.

Cult-Classic Collectibles

The Nude Bomb (1980)
Director: Clive Donner
Cast: Don Adams, Sylvia Kristel, Rhonda Fleming
Get It:
Kino Lorber

Get Smart, the classic ‘60s TV spoof of James Bond, didn’t get a proper movie spin-off until years after it was cancelled, but when it did, the creators made sure to make it count. Using the loosened big-screen freedoms of 1980, the theatrical adventure of bumbling Maxwell Smart (Don Adams), Agent 86, chronicles a super-weapon that, when detonated, turns everyone on earth naked! Naturally, it’s called The Nude Bomb.

Accompanying Agent 86 on his mirthful mission are glamorous and deadly undercover female operatives played by ’70s cult stars Sylvia Kristel (Emmanuelle), Rhonda Fleming (Inferno), and Pamela Hensley (Rollerball). Of course, the best way to set off The Nude Bomb is to spark up a marijuana missile and get yourself blitzed.

Silver Bullet (1985)
Director: Daniel Attias
Cast: Corey Haim, Gary Busey, Megan Follows
Get It:
Shout Factory

Corey Haim stars in Silver Bullet as Marty Coslaw, a no-nonsense 13-year-old who relies on a wheelchair (his nickname for it is the movie’s title) and sees the truth regarding a series of brutal murders in his small town: The killings are actually the work of a werewolf. Naturally, only Gary Busey as Marty’s Uncle Red believes the kid, and together they pair up to take down the bloodthirsty lycanthrope.

Among the lit litany of ‘80s Stephen King movie adaptations that multiple generations have now joyfully smoked and screamed to, Silver Bullet doesn’t always get the howlingly affectionate attention it deserves. Shout Factory’s deluxe collector’s edition of the movie should do much to make that right. Prepare a proper bong-passing viewing party for it ASAP.

Tammy and the T-Rex (1994)
Director: Stewart Raffill
Cast: Denise Richards, Paul Walker, Terry Kiser
Get It:
Vinegar Syndrome

The noble and semi-nutzoid cult movie archeologists at Vinegar Syndrome have dug up what may be the go-to weird-flick event of the year — or maybe even the past few million years. Get ready to get high and go berserk for Tammy and the T-Rex.

If you grew up in the ’90s, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with Tammy. It was a hugely popular family-friendly VHS rental and also ran repeatedly on afternoon cable TV, depicting a cute story about a girl (Denise Richards) whose boyfriend (Paul Walker) gets his brain implanted into a living Tyrannosaurus rex by a Frankenstein-like mad scientist (Terry Kiser). Still, you’ve never experienced the movie — or anything — like you will here.

Vinegar Syndrome somehow discovered an R-rated “gore cut” of Tammy and the T-Rex, wherein the dinosaur runs amuck chomping and stomping and spraying the blood of victims where it goes. The new Blu-ray includes both the original version and the splatter take, along with amazing interviews, trailers, and other bonus features. Toke up and take in Tammy and the T-Rex immediately, if not sooner.

The Wild Wild World of Jayne Mansfield (1968)
Director: Dick Randall
Cast: Jayne Mansfield, Mickey Hargitay, The Ladybirds
Get It:
Severin Films

Jayne Mansfield was the B-movie version of Marilyn Monroe, a blonde bombshell who starred in Hollywood’s first-ever celebrity nude scene, partied with Anton La Vey and the Church of Satan, and literally lost her head in a tragic car accident (her daughter, SVU star Mariska Hargitay, was asleep in the back and survived).

The Wild Wild World of Jayne Mansfield is a bizarre, hypnotic mondo-style documentary that explores exotic practices all over the world in keeping with the late beauty’s exotic tastes and libertine attitudes.

Narrated by a Jayne Mansfield impersonator, as though the actress were ostensibly guiding us from beyond the grave, Wild Wild World showcases points of interest that include drag queens in Paris, sex workers in Rome, a nudist camp, a gay bar, a massage parlor, and a topless all-female rock group called The Ladybirds.

All that’s campy good fun to watch stoned until, suddenly, the movie makes a mind-meltingly horrific turn into visualizing Jayne’s fatal crash, complete with gruesome accident photos. Afterward, her husband — Hungarian body-builder Mickey Hargitay — takes us on a tour of his late wife’s Hollywood mansion, the Pink Palace.

From the time of its release, The Wild Wild World of Jayne Mansfield has been a favorite for drug-enhanced gatherings, ranging from 16mm screenings in psychedelic clubs where everyone was on acid on through the VHS underground of the ‘80s, and now, finally, in its beautifully restored form on Blu-ray from Severin Films. Take the wild, wild trip.  

Music

Deadstar 2
By Smokepurpp
Get It:
Soundcloud

In 2017, Smokepurpp rocketed us to a soundscape of green haze and raw power by way of his debut mixtape, Deadstar. Now, it’s time to strap in and open your skull again as Smokepurpp launches Deadstar 2, his highly anticipated sequel mixtape. Among the fellow travelers on board for Deadstar 2 are Lil Pump, Lil Yachty, Lil Skies, Lil Mosey, Denzel Curry, and Stash Guapo. Breathe deep, and blast off.

Duster
By Duster
Get It:
Muddguts

The resurrection of San Jose’s slowcore crew Duster is a miracle of modern music consumption. Duster issued a handful of records between 1997 and 2000, then busted up and drifted their various ways. Thanks to the infinite archive of the internet, though, 21st century stoners on a perpetual quest to find perfect music to pair with marijuana discovered Duster’s legacy and turned them into legends.

Prompted by this fresh legions of fans, Duster has reunited to release their first album in 19 years, a self-titled slab of glorious space rock rooted in the group’s history while incorporating what developed during their time out exploring. Time to get Dusted.

Heavy Is the Head
By Stormzy
Get It:
Stormzy Official

London rap slayer Stormzy has built a blazing machine of rhymes, beats, and post-grime surprises with his sophomore album, Heavy Is the Head. Stormzy has also fortified Heavy’s 16 ready-to-smoke-to tracks with an eclectic battalion of contributors, including HER, Headie One, Tiana Major9, Burna Boy, Yebba, and — oh, yes — Ed Sheeran.

Free Nationals
By Free Nationals
Get It:
Free Nationals Official

Imagine passing a joint in a circle that includes Anderson .Paak, Kali Uchis, TI, Chronixx, JID, Syd, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and the late Mac Miller. As the weed makes its way around, .Paak’s perma-smoking live band, Free Nationals — Ron “Tnava” Avant (keyboards), Callum Connor (drums), Kelsey Gonzalez (bass), and José Rios (guitar) — supply a stone groove soundtrack of lit soul and luscious R&B. That’s what the self-titled debut LP from Free Nationals feels like, and that’s why you need it now.

Follow Mike McPadden on Twitter

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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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