Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie Blu-ray Review

Sheep Shit

Faulting Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie for its utter lack of plot, cohesion, or logic isn’t fair – it’s the ultimate lazy stoner movie, and so apathetic, no one followed a traditional script.

While not the pot icon that is Up in Smoke, Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie still has the spirit and misguided energy. Relentlessly horny and perpetually near comatose, the comedy duo spin a day-in-the-life tale so colorful, so asinine, it’s only possible to feel for these two social losers.

Scene-to-scene, Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie smiles and laughs. Nothing from one moment connects to the next. In search of their next joint hit, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong play off one another. In terms of comedy duos, what they lack in the innocent charm of Abbott and Costello they make up for in puerile whimsy. Chong’s post-Vietnam hippie and Marin’s wide-eyed Mexican caricature meld as great duos need to. Neither one is a straight man either, upending tradition, while both fail to understand the sheer gravity of their situations.

… much of the audience is intended to be zonked on a chosen recreational drug by the 80-minute mark

In one day, the paring commit any number of felonies, only a handful related to a bag of $50,000 in pot. They destroy massage parlors, mess up movie sets, crash high-dollar homes, set off a comedy club brawl, and set back empathy for welfare recipients by decades.

Laughs comes from what they see as pure normalcy. Cheech and Chong’s home is all squalor. Beer is stored in a tainted fish tank. A condemned sign barely hangs on the front door. Graffiti litters the exterior and interior walls. Next door, a seemingly well off middle class neighbor loves his garden, but is often a mere pawn in Cheech and Chong’s constant state of unacknowledged mayhem.

It’s little surprise when, by the end, Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie introduces fantasy and sci-fi. Most of the movie drifts in and out of a stoner fantasy anyway. By the internal logic, much of the audience is intended to be zonked on a chosen recreational drug by the 80-minute mark. Cheech hulking out and turning into Superman while on space pot becomes the film’s ultimate, “whatever man” moment.

Surreal as this lark is, right in the beginning is Chong’s wish for pot legalization. Lighting up, he notes, “It’ll be legal soon anyway,” and 37 years later, his hippie dreams verge on reality. In true stoner pace, it just took a little longer than expected.

Video

If Shout Factory did anything to bring Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie to Blu-ray, their work isn’t evident in the final product. Clearly using an old, dirty print, damage is frequent, including a light blue line running down the center of the frame. The comedy club sequence seems especially bothered.

Thick and heavy grain looks reminiscent of DVD. Only the slightly improved encoding gives this a Blu-ray feel. Sagging resolution produces little in the way of demonstrable detail. Close-ups lose their fidelity and shots around Hollywood lose the location’s luster.

Color fades from age, leaving this pot outing without vibrancy. Much of it feels overcome by yellowing. Black levels die out, revealing additional pockets of grain in the shadows. Scenes inside Cheech and Chong’s home create extensive problems with grain.

Audio

DTS-HD provides uncompressed audio of a low budget source. Music is clean, especially pure on the low-end. Each track sounds fresher than 1980.

Dialog jumps from the speakers as expected, dry and a bit lacking in fidelity. Flatness is expected given age and the look of the print, although the opening music leaves some hope for what’s to come.

Extras

Shout produces a newly done interview with Cheech Marin, discussing the process of the sequel and the humor. At 20-minutes, it’s a solid talking head feature. Trailers and a radio spot mark the end of the bonus menu.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

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