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Cheech & Chong's Up In Smoke
Special Collector's Edition

review by Zach B.

 

 

Running Time: 85 Minutes

MPAA Rating: R

Starring: Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Tom Skerrit, Edie Adams, Strother Martin and Stacy Keach

Written by: Tommy Chong & Cheech Marin

Directed by: Lou Adler

 

Studio: Paramount

Retail Price: $14.99

Features: Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Actor Cheech Marin and Director/Producer Lou Adler, Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary, Lighting Up: A Look Back At "Up In Smoke," "Earache My Eye" Music Video, Cheech & Chong's "The Man Song," 2 Vintage Radio Spots, Theatrical Trailer

Specs: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Surround, French Mono, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Scene Selection (11 Scenes)

Released: September 4th, 2007

 

"Up In Smoke" is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, and looks really nice. Fleshtones seem pretty accurate, and color saturation is rather strong and pops out a bit - be it the greens of the pot or Cheech and Chong's multicolored garb. Best of all though, the transfer looks pretty sharp.The age of the film shows though with some blemishes and scratches on the print, but they're not too distracting. Other flaws include some slight edge enhancement, shimmering, noise and a lot of edge halos. Nonetheless, this transfer is pleasing to the eyes overall.

 

The English 5.1 Dolby Digital remix is what you'd expect: it's basically the two-channel surround track spread across five channels, with not much power in the way of the subwoofer. Thankfully though, it's not terrible. The music has a tiny bit more flavor through the channels, and the variety of sound effects are spread out - even though they're a bit thin at times, and not too discrete, there is still a bit of a bounce in them. All the dialogue spoken is very clear and easy to hear, and all the sound elements come together for a pretty balanced listening experience.

An English Mono track is not included, but you do get the English Surround track - which, as you can imagine, really similar to the 5.1 mix. A French Mono track is included, as well as subtitles in English and Spanish.

 

The film has an Audio Commentary with Actor/Co-Writer Cheech Marin and Director/Producer Lou Adler. It's a really fun and casual commentary as both speakers are clearly enjoying themselves (Cheech is absolutely giddy... so much so I wonder if he smoked something before recording the commentary), giving us quite a lot about the underpinnings of "Up In Smoke." Marin talks about what material he mined from his own life that made it into the movie, while Adler is a bit more technical as far as locations and the film's visual sense - all these years later, he remembers some of the mistakes he made (I think he's a bit hard on himself). There's a lot of laughing and praising, but also a good amount of behind-the-scenes stories (the Jack Nicholson connection is interesting) and discussion of the film's comedic and cultural nuances. If you enjoy the movie, you'll also enjoy the commentary. Well done.

Roach Clips is a collection of eight Deleted Scenes, presented in really rough non-anamorphic widescreen, totaling 11 minutes and 27 seconds. There are some chuckle-worthy moments here, but some of the humor is repetitive when compared to the main film, and some parts are hit and miss. Cheech and Adler offer optional commentary, but they're pretty quiet and don't offer too much about the cuts... based on their laughter though, they do find the cuts pretty amusing.

Lighting It Up: A Look Back At "Up In Smoke" is an all too brief look back at the movie, lasting only 11 minutes and presented in anamorphic widescreen. Cheech and Chong (separately) talk about their fateful first meeting in a Canadian night club, as well as how they met director Lou Adler (who also speaks). Cheech and Chong talk about their writing process and development of their characters, as well as their rise as a comedy duo. The second half of the featurette talks about the making of the movie, as far as the experiences on set and the actors, and its impact on pop culture. Fun stuff, with entertaining stories and anecdotes that puts the movie in context.

Earache My Eye is an animated music video featuring Alice Bowie. It has some crazy graphics, and is a novelty at best (even for all you stoners, too). Cheech & Chong's "The Man Song" is strictly for tokers only: in two-and-a-half minutes you're treated to Cheech and Chong repeatedly saying the word "man" from various points in the film.

Rounding out the package are Two Vintage Radio Spots, played across some trippy graphics with our two favorite stoners, and the film's original Theatrical Trailer in anamorphic widescreen, and lasting over three minutes.

 

It's hard to believe that the all-time stoner classic has been around for nearly thirty years now, and it's still hilarious. This well-deserved re-release should please all Cheech and Chong fans: the film looks good, the 5.1 mix is fine and there's a nice amount of supplements to enjoy. Smoke up, Cheech and Chong fans.