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 movie releases offer quite a mixed bag for your lit viewing pleasure. Abominable is an animated Yeti-out-of-the-mountains adventure; The Day Shall Come satirizes government subversion in the inner city; The Death of Dick Long reinvents the premise of a corpse cover-up comedy; and Judy showcases Renee Zellwegger as a Hollywood icon who got way lost over the rainbow.
TV-wise, a couple of all-time stoner comedy faves rise again as Crank Yankers and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia bust out new seasons. So does the weekly WTF spectacle of The Masked Singer. On top of that, two toke-ready new series debut, too: Creepshow and Godfather of Harlem.
For new tunes, be sure to pick up and puff along to just-dropped knockouts by Temples and the mighty Tegan and Sara.
So let’s get straight — but not “straight” — to this week’s fresh-rolled recommendations.
Director: Jill Culton
Voice Cast: Chloe Bennet, Tenzig Norgay Trainor, Albert Tsai
In the annals of beloved mythical creatures among marijuana enthusiasts, any version of Bigfoot ranks (appropriately) high — be it Sasquatch, the Skunk Ape, or, as is the case in the new animated adventure Abominable, a Yeti.
Somehow, a Yeti ends up on an apartment building roof in Shanghai, and it’s up to a couple of kids to get the creature — who they name “Everest” — back to his big, hairy brethren up in the mountains. Sprinkle some edibles in your popcorn and enjoy their wildly colorful trek as nature intended.
The Day Shall Come (2019)
Director: Chris Morris
Cast: Marchánt Davis, Anna Kendrick, Danielle Brooks
British satire master Chris Morris follows up his 2010 big-screen cult classic Four Lions with The Day Shall Come, a razor-fanged comedy-thriller “based on a hundred true stories” about a preacher in the Miami projects who unwittingly invites the FBI into the community so they can target him as a “terrorist.”
Marchánt Davis stars as Moses Al Shabaz, leader of the Star of Six, a “community farm and mission” who espouses African-American revolution while believing both God and Satan talk to him through a duck. Enter Anna Kendrick as an FBI agent looking to create a terror threat when the bureau can’t find a real one, and the recipe is set for a savagely hard-hitting farce that’s so funny and so sad at the same time, it hurts.
Light up both to brace for the bites of The Day Shall Come and to properly ponder its serrated social commentary.
The Death of Dick Long (2010)
Director: Daniel Scheinert
Cast: Andre Hyland, Virginia Newcomb, Michael Abbott Jr.
Director Daniel Scheneirt’s breakthrough flick, Swiss Army Man (2016), focused on the misadventures of a corpse, so perhaps it’s no surprise that his new effort, The Death of Dick Long also mines laughs from the macabre. But don’t think for a minute that Dick Long itself isn’t full of surprises.
Deep in rural Alabama, Zeke (Michael Abbott Jr.) and Earl (Andre Hyland) mortally injure their bandmate Dick Long (played by Scheinert) by accident and, with idiotically good intentions, attempt to cover up what happened. What plays out from there is terrifying and hilarious — a perfect formula to pair with a strain that induces paranoia and the giggles with every puff.
Director: Rupert Goold
Cast: Renee Zellwegger, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell
As one of the first superstar celebrities to publicly succumb to drug abuse, Judy Garland has long been perceived as a fascinating trainwreck.
The new biopic Judy delves deep beneath any such trashy surface perceptions to fully explore the woman who won humanity’s heart in The Wizard of Oz, with Renee Zellwegger brilliantly embodying the phenomenal talent of the title.
We witness Garland triumphing repeatedly in film and through her musical performances, while her personal life spirals into a series of tragedies she treats with booze and pills. If only the real-life Judy had properly discovered marijuana during her travails, perhaps this Judy would have a highly happy ending.
Crank Yankers: Season 5
Cast: Jimmy Kimmel, Nikki Glaser, Tracy Morgan
Watch It: Comedy Central
A full dozen years since we last spit out smoke laughing at them, the foul-mouthed, foam-faced, prank-calling puppets of Crank Yankers are back. Among the funny folks voicing the telephonic tormentors for season five are show-runner Jimmy Kimmel, plus returning favorites Tracy Morgan, Sarah Silverman, and Adam Carolla, as well as Tiffany Haddish, Will Forte, Aubrey Plaza, Tracy Morgan, Sarah Silverman, Nikki Glaser, Kathy Griffin, Demetri Martin, Chelsea Peretti, and Paul Scheer.
Creepshow: Season One
Cast: Giancarlo Esposito, Adrienne Barbeau, Kid Cudi
Watch It: Epix
Springing from the writer Stephen King and director George Romero’s classic 1982 big-screen fright anthology that shares its name, the new Shudder series Creepshow is a diabolically delicious treat that scares up a new story each week.
Once again, Stephen King stories serve as the basis for many of the episodes, including the premiere installment, “Gray Matter.”
The rotating array of stars dropping by to shock the water straight out of your bong include David Arquette, Big Boi, Kid Cudi, Giancarlo Esposito, Tobin Bell, Adrienne Barbeau, Tricia Helfer, Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Davison, Dana Gould, David Arquette, and DJ Qualls.
Godfather of Harlem: Season 1
Cast: Forest Whitaker, Vincent D’Onofrio, Giancarlo Esposito
Watch It: Epix
The ‘60s-era reign of New York crime boss Bumpy Johnson is a thing of thrilling, riveting, oftentimes terrifying legend. The great Forest Whitaker stars as Johnson in Godfather of Harlem, a new true-crime-inspired series that focuses on a fascinating array of larger-than-life figures who actually did live — and took numerous other lives in the process.
Vincent D’Onofrio co-stars as Vincent “The Chin” Gigante, the old-school Italian mob boss who ran Harlem while Johnson did a decade behind bars. Upon getting sprung out, Bumpy declares he’s taking back to ’hood, and he forms an uneasy alliance with Malcolm X (Nigél Thatch) to win hearts and minds during the ensuing turf war.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 14
Cast: Charlie Day, Kaitlin Olson, Danny DeVito
Watch It: FX
The gang makes history with the 14th season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, tying a record with 1950s sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet as TV’s all-time longest-running live action comedy series. Don’t worry, though — age hasn’t caused anyone on the show to mature or even slow down when it comes to uproariously inappropriate anti-social behavior. So, pack your pipe, and get ready for another round at Paddy’s Pub. Just keep imbibing until you pass out from laughter, getting too lit, or, most likely, both.
The Masked Singer: Season 2
Cast: Nick Cannon, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong
Watch It: Fox
Can we really call The Masked Singer a guilty pleasure? Sure it’s a supremely corny song-and-dance show with dorky judges making dad jokes between acts, but it also showcases the trippiest, most imaginative costumes we’ve ever seen — or hallucinated!
Last year, Tommy Chong popped out of The Pineapple get-up and, as The Monster, T-Pain took home the top prize. New eye-popping costumed characters this season include The Egg, The Skeleton, The Eagle, and the indescribable Thingamajig. On top of that, we think we already guessed the identity of The Rottweiler, and he may (or may not) be a dog(g) who’s very close to MERRY JANE's heart (and lungs).
Director: John Waters
Cast: Divine, Tab Hunter, Edith Massey
Get It: Criterion
Polyester is a stinker — in the best possible sense. Madman movie maker John Waters’ landmark 1981 gut-buster is a spoof of classic Hollywood melodramas filmed in the miracle of “Odorama,” a gimmick that involves using a scratch-and-sniff card to smell along with what’s happening on screen.
Drag icon Divine stars as Francine Fishpaw, a Baltimore housewife whose failing marriage to a porn theater owner prompts her to take up an affair with a hunk named Todd Tomorrow, who’s played by ’50s heartthrob Tab Hunter.
From there, the madness explodes hilariously by way of Francine’s juvenile delinquent kids, psycho nuns, fanatical teetotalers, punk legend Stiv Bators as a no-good teen hoodlum, and a rampage by the Baltimore Foot Stomper. The only scent missing from Polyester’s Odorama card is marijuana, and we trust you can add that one to the air on your own.
Hey, I’m Just Like You
By Tegan and Sara
Get It: Tegan and Sara Official Website
Whether you’re stoned or not, Tegan and Sara’s ninth LP, Hey, I’m Just Like You, is a revolutionary record that elevates personally revelatory pop and confessional songcraft to previously unimagined — let alone danceable — heights. Of course, just like everything else, you should be stoned to absorb the full effect.
Hey, I’m Just Like You is rooted in songs that twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin composed in high school. Combining that level of raw exposure with the superlative skills that have rendered the Quins indie rock royalty results in an album that is, at once, moving, giddy, heartfelt, funny, sad, and absolutely muscular in its musical impact. Smoke like you always wanted to back in high school and listen as Tegan and Sara transport you both back and forward at the same time.
And while you’re at it, check out MERRY JANE’s recent interview with the twins about their new memoir, their music-making process, and how LSD fueled the creation of their early material.
Get It: Temples Official Website
Swirling UK psychedelicists Temples return with Hot Motion, their third and most delectable trip to date. Hot Motion builds on the group’s hallucinatory debut, Sun Structures, and their ecstatically eruptive break-through, Volcano, by piling on hot layers of hard rock from which they launch sweetly kaleidoscopic melodies and sonic explorations fueled by masterful musicianship. It’s a reefer-ready rocket ride to full-blast bliss.
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