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.
Memorial Day means extra time to toke up and take in the sights, so don’t skimp on smoking pot this weekend— it’s your patriotic duty!
At the movies, nothing looms more potentially tripped out than the sight of big, blue Will Smith as the Genie in Aladdin. If that prospect proves more daunting than your mind can handle — and, really, there’s no shame in that — the wickedly witty Booksmart and the genre-mashing Brightburn offer alternate big screen kicks.
Netflix dominates streaming dopeness with The Perfection, a stylized thriller set in the realm of musical genius. There's also Rim of the World, a sci-fi romp that pits summer campers against space invaders. What/If is another new series that combines suspense with social commentary. And let us not forget about Slasher: Solstice, the third installment of the hair-raising horror anthology.
Our double dose of collectible cult flicks features the psychedelic camp classic Boom! (1968), with Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and an audio commentary track by “pope of trash” John Waters. Finally, there's the one-of-a-kind pro-wrestling splatter freak-out, The Masked Mutilator (2019).
This weekend's music releases are lighting up brighter than anything else. The highly anticipated debut from hip-hop supergroup Beast Coast is coming out, while the enlightened sounds of Flying Lotus trickle into the soundwaves. And that's not all — the latest must-hear dispatch from YG is also available now, too.
So let’s get straight — but not “straight” — to this week’s fresh-rolled recommendations.
Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Will Smith, Mana Massoud, Naomi Scott
From the moment Disney rolled out the first trailer of the live action Aladdin, normal (non-stoner) brains all over the planet nearly combusted over the bizarre sight of Will Smith as the big, blue, shape-shifting Genie. Stoners, however, knew what they’d be smoking to in IMAX 3D the minute that hallucination hit theaters.
Aladdin is upon us at last and, upping the weirdness quotient, it’s directed by Guy Ritchie, the British filmmaker who’s best known for breakneck blowouts such as Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000).
Is it all a glorious Disney-fied weed dream or a hostile brain invasion of rancid acid gone way wrong? There's only one way to find out: buy a ticket, get high, and see for yourself.
Director: Olivia Wilde
Cast: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Billie Catherine Lourd
Booksmart takes over-the-top teenage comedies in a dope new direction by focusing on Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein), two best friends who also happen to be the biggest brainiacs in their high school.
With graduation looming, the two honor students worry that by cracking the books they missed out on weed smoking opportunites, tapping kegs, partying with wild abandon, and other essential rites of adolescence.
Bearing that in mind, Amy and Molly pledge to cram four years of raging into one night of no rules and no limits. What ensues is a riot tailor made for audiences to get blitzed along with our suddenly hedonistic on-screen heroines.
Director: David Yarovesky
Cast: Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Meredith Hagner
Inhale hard and think about what would happen if the most familiar comic book origin story took on sinister, terrifying tones. By this we mean, picture a child from another planet who crash-lands on Earth and discovers he has powers and abilities beyond that of mere mortals. But instead of growing up to become Superman, he dedicates his life to evil, chaos, and human carnage.
That’s the mind-mangling premise of Brightburn, a new, non-kid-friendly epic executive produced by Guardians of the Galaxy helmer James Gunn that presents, “a startling, subversive take on a radical new genre: superhero horror,” according to its makers. Radical is the word. Reefer is the proper pairing.
The Perfection (2019)
Director: Richard Shepard
Cast: Allison Williams, Logan Browning, Steven Weber
Watch It: Netflix
In the wake of wild horror hits such as Bird Box (2018) and Velvet Buzzsaw (2019), Netflix continues its hype horror streak with The Perfection, a multilayered scare-fest that messes with your head as often as whatever you’re smoking while you watch.
Allison Williams stars as a music prodigy who travels to Shanghai to hook up with her mentors, only to discover they’ve shifted their attention to Logan Browning as the latest sensation. What starts as a seemingly straightforward saga of jealousy, then, spins out into hard-gore body horror and endless psychological conniption fits of the most satisfying order.
Rim of the World (2019)
Cast: Jack Gore, Miya Cech, King Bach
Watch It: Netflix
While stocking up on your favorite retro-’80s weed strain for season three of Stranger Things in July, pinch off a primo sample so you can fully enjoy Rim of the World, a new Netflix adventure that pits four summer camp misfits against a hostile space alien invasion. Directed by full-throttle filmmaker McG, Rim of the World is weed-worthy sci-fi fun.
Slasher: Solstice (2019)
Cast: Salvatore Antonio, Paula Brancati, Lisa Berry
Watch It: Netflix
Slasher: Solstice is the third installment in the Netflix horror anthology series, following Slasher: The Executioner (2016) and Slasher: Guilty Party (2017). This time, as the title implies, the show takes place in an atmosphere reminiscent of vintage ’80s slasher films, but with contemporary twists and sharp-edged social commentary.
On the night of the summer solstice, somebody slaughters an innocent young man while neighbors from his apartment building do nothing to help. Exactly one year later, a hooded figure known as the Druid stalks the witnesses at home, exacting brutal bloody revenge.
The potential victims include new immigrants, smug hipsters, gentrifying Yuppies, and a dreadful dollop of white supremacists. So plan on passing one bong round for paranoid thrills, then reload and pass it again to discuss the deeper implications of the Druid’s attack on modern society.
Director: Joseph Losey
Cast: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Noel Coward
Get It: Shout Factory
Mid-century Tinseltown icons and real-life battling couple Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton co-star in Boom!, a freakily psychedelic Tennessee Williams adaptation. Taylor plays a Greek island heiress named Sissy Goforth. Burton plays the Angel of Death. Flamboyant playwright Noel Coward turns up as a witch.
A notorious critical and box office bomb in its day, Boom! has since taken on camp classic status and is revered as a landmark of lunacy among bizarro cinema enthusiasts, particularly in the gay community. Plus,the great John Waters provides a feature-length audio commentary on this new collector’s edition release!
The Masked Mutilator (2019)
Director: Brick Bronsky
Cast: Tom Taylor, Jeff Sibbach, Brick Bronsky
Get It: Severin Films
Bloody horror, professional wrestling, and backyard exploitation filmmaking stands tall as mighty touchstones of stoner entertainment. The Masked Mutilator combines all three in one glorious, gory mess of gross-outs and good fun. It’s a slap-happy slasher epic in which the title character embarks on a maniacal mission to massacre every pro grappler he can sink his various weapons into.
Written, directed by, and co-starring real life WWE vet Brick Bronsky, The Masked Mutilator began life in 1994 and now, after a quarter century of stops and starts, the heroes at Severin Films bring us the finished triumph. Toke up, turn it on, and let Bronsky and his fellow brawlers put you down for the count.
Get It: iTunes
After delaying the drop of 4Real 4Real to mourn the tragic loss of his close homie Nipsey Hussle, YG is finally unleashing the album this week. And, movingly, its cover art features a tribute to the fallen hip-hop hero. The current pride of Compton charts some new territory here, but never eases up on the blazing danger that’s made him a superstar. Turn it up, blaze along, and blow clouds of smoke up to the sky for Nipsey.
Escape From New York
By Beast Coast
Get It: iTunes
Here it is: the contemporary East Coast hip-hop mega-force to slay all previous concepts of what a “rap supergroup” might be. And they do it in a style that combines the sum of its parts into a power greater than anyone dare contemplate without the aid of cannabis.
Rattling off the greats who make up Beast Coast is a high all by itself: Joey Bada$$, Kirk Knight, Nyck Caution, CJ Fly, and Powers Pleasant of Pro Era; Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice, and Erick Arc Elliot of Flatbush Zombies; and AKTHESAVIOR and Issa Gold from the Underachievers.
Believe it or not, the combined impact exceeds even the most extravagant expectations. So make sure to properly smoke up as you safely brace for contact.
By Flying Lotus
Get It: Flying Lotus Official Site
The theme is “eternal fire on a hill.” Twenty-seven tracks ensue. Drop-ins occur from Solange, Anderson .Paak, Little Dragon, Thundercat, Tierra Whack, Toro y Moi, funkmeister supreme George Clinton, and surreal cinema kingpin David Lynch. By the end, you’re somewhere new — in fact, maybe you’re even someone new. That’s the effect of Flamagra by Flying Lotus. Honor it by listening after lighting up your most transcendent strain wrapped inside your most faorite blunt wrap.
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