Movie Review: Cheech and Chong’s UP IN SMOKE 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack

UP IN SMOKE was directed by Lou Adler from a screenplay by Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong who star in the movie alongside Edie Adams, Strother Martin, June Fairchild, Harry Dean Stanton, Stacy Keach and Tom Skerritt.

In UP IN SMOKE Cheech and Chong play Pedro de Pacas and Anthony Stoner, two wannabe musicians and stoners who unwittingly smuggle a van made of marijuana from Mexico to L.A.  Their drug-laced humor keeps their spirits high as they unknowingly elude the police and meander their way to an outrageous finale at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood where Cheech performs in a pink tutu and Chong plays drums in a red body suit with a Quaalude logo.

Richard “Cheech” Marin and Thomas Chong began their stand up routine in the late 60’s where they became a huge hit with their stoner and slacker style of comedy. In 1978 they would star in their first and most successful movie together, Up in Smoke, which followed the same “stoner/slacker” formula and it was an instant hit with the fans. The movie also came along during a time where the laws were a lot more strict about marijuana use and possession so the comedy duo cashed in on it and the rest is history.

Up in Smoke follows these two stoners who instantly become friends after they meet so they hit the road and go on some hilarious misadventures together. Pedro and Anthony continuously elude the police, immigration and the feds while they ride around in Pedro’s low rider and a mini van that’s made completely out of marijuana. Needless to say, everywhere the two friends go, people get high because the van has an exhaust leak and this makes for some rollicking moments in the movie. Their journey takes them from Mexico to Los Angeles where they ultimately enter a rock band competition and become an instant hit with the audience.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The Blu-ray and DVD discs are color coded and feature the movie logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. The picture and sound quality for the standard-definition disc were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio. This is a fantastic upgrade so crank it up when you press play.

Bottom line is, I had a blast watching Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke because it’s a movie that I’ve never had the opportunity to see in its unedited intirety. The story about these two stoner buddies is a lot of fun and it plays on just about every stereotype imaginable. I don’t know if a movie like this could even be made in today’s climate because everybody thinks they’re supposed to be upset and offended about something. Thankfully, we have re-releases like this that preserve classic cinema plus there’s already a built in audience out there for something fun like this. I thought the cast did a great job with their characters (especially Cheech and Chong) and director Lou Adler captured so many hysterical moments that make this fan favorite comedy such a classic. There’s also a great soundtrack to go along with this movie. Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke is celebrating its 40th anniversary with its Blu-ray debut (plus DVD and Digital) that will be available on April 10th and it’s priced to own so go ahead and pick it up and add it to your collection.

Distributor: Paramount Home Media Distribution

Run Time: 85 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.39:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 / EDA / French Dolby Digital Mono / Spanish Dolby Digital Mono / Portuguese Dolby Digital  Mono

DVD Video: Widescreen (2.39:1)

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 / EDA / French Dolby Digital Mono / Spanish Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese

Special Features: Good Stuff! The extras include a brand new short-form documentary entitled “How Pedro Met the Man: Up In Smoke at 40,” which chronicles the duo’s comedy history, as well as the origins and impact of the film itself. Capturing a complex and fascinating pop culture odyssey, the documentary incorporates new interviews with Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong and producer/director Lou Adler along with archival footage.  There’s also some audio commentary, eight deleted scenes with optional commentary, a retrospective featurette, two music videos, two radio spots, theatrical trailer and a digital copy of the movie.

  • Commentary by Cheech Marin and director Lou Adler
  • How Pedro Met the Man: Up In Smoke at 40—NEW! (15:15)
  • Roach Clips with Optional Commentary (deleted scenes) (11:29)
  • Lighting It Up: A Look Back at Up In Smoke (11:11)
  • “Earache My Eye” featuring Alice Bowie: Animated Music Video (05:43)
  • Cheech & Chong’s “The Man Song” (02:35)
  • Vintage Radio Spots #1 (01:31) #2 (01:28)
  • Theatrical Trailer (03:02)
  • Digital Copy



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