Up In Smoke (1978) (40th Anniversary Edition) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)

Up In Smoke (1978) (40th Anniversary Edition) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)
Directed By: Lou Adler
Starring: Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Strother Martin
Rated: R/2:39/1080p/Region A/Number of Discs 2
Available from Paramount Pictures

Cheech and Chong meet up by chance on the highway somewhere in California. They go in search of some dope and are accidentally deported to Mexico where in their desperation to get home they agree to drive a van back to the States so they can get back in time for a gig they are due to play. Unaware of the properties from which the van is constructed they make their way back having acquired a couple of female hitch-hikers whilst all the time avoiding the cops whom they are not even aware are following them.

You might be surprised as someone who’s never been high in his life would actually want to review such films as Cheech and Chong movies, but that says more about the comedy you get in movies like this rather than anything else. Up in Smoke was Cheech and Chong’s first movie together and it is full of what you could call random moments, but they are all funny moments none the less. To try to sum it up a bit Cheech (called Pedro here) randomly picks up Chong (called “Man”) after mistaking him for a woman. The two hit it off and quickly becoming dope smoking buddies when we see them randomly go from being arrested, being in a band, avoiding drug raids, being deported, and then more stuff with the feds as they are on a search for “smoke”. Needless to say, a coherent plot isn’t the main selling point for a movie like this. If you are here for the comedy side of things and how clever some of the jokes really are, then you’ll enjoy this movie for what it is. For me, it’s about the jokes, not the joints. I would tell you to have a drinking game out of it and take a shot every time someone says “Man”, but you’d be dead within the first 20 minutes, so just laugh at it and enjoy it for what it is if you decide to watch Up in Smoke.

But this is, however, the 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray release. This marks the first time this movie has hit Blu-ray and I got to say it looks really solid for the most part. Sure, you get some fuzz or grain in low-light scenes and indoors, but when you have a lot of light and especially outside scenes, you get a great looking disc with nice color and plenty of details to be found. One of the best things on the disc is also a 40-year anniversary featurette on the film that has interviews with both Cheech and Chong, as well as the director. You also get a commentary, deleted scenes, and another feature looking back at this film. If you look at the list of Cheech and Chong movies out there you’ll find a couple solid movies but this is the one everyone seems to talk about and for a pretty good reason. It looks good here and this is a very good release for it overall.

Extras

– NEW How Pedro Met the Man: Up In Smoke at 40
– Audio Commentary by Cheech Marin and director Lou Adler
– Roach Clips with Optional Commentary (deleted scenes)
– Lighting It Up: A Look Back at Up In Smoke
– “Earache My Eye” featuring Alice Bowie: Animated Music Video
– Cheech & Chong’s “The Man Song”
– Vintage Radio Spots
– Theatrical Trailer

Quality of Transfer: 90%