Cinema Stoner: The Dark Tower vs. Half-Ounce Mega-Brownie

Midway through the wacky sci-fi nonsense of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, injured protagonist Idris Elba acquires a grip of painkillers. Advised not to take the pills at once, the grim-jawed Elba immediately swallows the handful.

I could relate. Two hours previous, I had eaten a half-ounce mega-brownie the size of my face. A fan of King’s noirish cross-dimensional cowboy fantasy novels since childhood, I kept imagining watching The Dark Tower while unable to critically respond. Ultimately a garbage adaptation of this epic tale about a neo-futuristic gunslinger (Idris Elba) hunting an evil demi-god (Matthew McConaughey), The Dark Tower is only to be viewed under the following conditions.

From the tiny weed shack Ganja Vita, I bought a full ounce of Cascade Growers’ Tangie Sativa for $60. The flower smoked like a rusty nail, but burned down into a nice murky oil using my bulletproof edible recipe. I baked a half-ounce into a single brownie I dubbed “The Oathbreaker.” As I ate the edible, my mind kept saying, “Stop eating this.”

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Cinema Stoner: Atomic Blonde/ Stalker vs. XJ-13 Sativa

The dull spy thriller Atomic Blonde is such a relentless piece of garbage I can barely dignify the movie with a response. The film is an absolute failure, a calculated marketing exercise peddling hyper-violence, edited like a feature-length advertisement for easy lesbianism.

Early in the movie, Charlize Theron ducks into a movie-house playing Andrei Tarkovsky’s visionary sci-fi movie Stalker. I sat there wishing the rest of Atomic Blonde was Theron’s character watching the entirety of Stalker. So I am going to review Stalker instead. (You can watch the full movie for free right now.)

Shame, though. I had picked the spy-themed XJ-13 from Tacoma’s Noble Farms to accompany a film where James McAvoy strangle-kills the female Mummy (Sofia Boutella) for five minutes straight. Like its militaristic name, XJ-13 is a stealth weed—only far later when finishing a pack of Haribo Sour Bears or deep-staring into pine trees does one realize the voracious effects of this top-notch sativa. This is the 1986 Corvette of weed—a cough-free smoke smelling of pine and tinder, leveling off into a bleary intelligence buzzing through the brain.

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Top 5 Stoner Flicks and Strain Picks

This piece was co-created by Michelle Janikian and Catherine Goldberg

Films are an important part of any culture, and as cannabis culture becomes mainstream, we’re looking back at the classic stoner blockbusters that helped bring us here today. Cannabis films of the past 40 years have mostly reflected the first phase of the culture, like silly, stoned hippies slacking off and making comically bad choices.

We’ve compiled a list of the top five classic stoner comedies with strain and healthy snack pairings to enjoy with friends on any hot night this summer (when there isn’t a new Game of Thrones…).

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Cinema Stoner: Valerian & Mango Hybrid

I am still so excited about Valerian I can barely sleep. A knockout sci-fi pic whose enjoyment exponentially increases with marijuana consumption, Luc Besson’s phantasmagoric space noir is a cinema stoner’s prayer answered—a retro-futuristic graphic novel come to life. 

I mean, this is a movie whose full title is literally Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – a subtitle that screams “take drugs before me.” Adorned with a crackerjack plot following two space agents (Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne) who uncover dastardly corruption in a floating Galactic United Nations, the sprawling picture operates on pure breathless gusto, a luminous Star Wars pastiche painted with breath-taking off-world visuals.

You cannot be high enough to watch this movie. As the film opened on half-naked aliens harvesting nuclear pellets from shitting space armadillos, I wondered if my kindly sativa was up to task. Cycling to the cinema as I smoked, Mac Garden’s Mango (16.2% THC, 0.08% CBD) simply made everything seem pleasant. But tucked into a reclining leather seat in a darkened air-conditioned rural movie theater, the fruity Mango hybrid melded seamlessly with the loopy beauty of Valerian‘s universe. 

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A Stoner Classic Double Feature: The Dudes

Cinephiles wanting to make definitive connections between two essential stoner comedies—The Big Lebowski and Dude, Where’s My Car – can still snag tickets to tonight’s Dude Double Feature. Playing at Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s quintessential hipster movie house Nitehawk Cinema, the two films will play back-to-back, starting at 9:30p. A few lucky dudes will receive vintage copies of HIGH TIMES—worth the price of admission alone!

Dude, Where’s My Car is billed by Nitehawk as “a severely underrated film.” After two potheads, Jesse and Chester, wake up to find their car missing, they enter into one bizarro world in the land of Los Angeles that includes tracksuits, hot chicks, video games, Zoltan, and, yes, an ostrich. Dude. Sweet.

Next up, the Coen brothers’ The Big Lebowski features cinema’s most loveable loser, Jeffrey Lebowski. His rug gets peed on, and in a serious case of mistaken identity an adventurous chain of events unfolds, with nihilists, porn producers, writers in iron lungs, and performance artists throughout Los Angeles. But really, man, The Dude and his Vietnam-reminiscing partner Walter would much rather be bowling. It’s hard not to just quote the whole movie right here because, let’s face it, we’ve all watched it a dozen times and its brilliance only gets better with age.

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Morgan Freeman Pushes for Full Marijuana Legalization

Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman says cannabis has helped reduce his fibromyalgia pain, and as such, he’s been an outspoken supporter of full legalization of MMJ and recreational weed.

Though the renowned actor has been familiar to millions of fans of movies and TV for years, he’s now becoming familiar in the marijuana community.

Freeman has said that he supports the legalization of weed for a number of reasons.

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Cinema Stoner: Spider-Man 6 vs. Agent Orange Hybrid

My lover and I are no longer lovers.

Oft mentioned here, my lover returned to China. It will be years before we are in the same room again. The course of our lives pulled us apart.

So to see this dilemma played out in Spider-Man: Homecoming was an unexpected side effect of this excellent reboot of a reboot. Enhanced with the soaring cerebral high of the tangy Agent Orange Hybrid, the film is the dictionary definition of essential stoner cinema—dumb flashy escapism triggering weed’s ability to dreamily explore deeper levels of imagination and insight.

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Cinema Stoner: Baby Driver & Okja vs. Sugar Bear Indica

I was supposed to review Baby Driver this week. But I put off seeing Baby Driver for days because I could not picture buying a ticket to something called Baby Driver. Because the name Baby Driver infers that the main character drives a baby around. He does not. Baby is his first name and he is a driver of criminals. And I don’t care if Edgar Wright directed Baby Driver. I hate the title Baby Driver. I just think Baby Driver is the stupidest name for a movie. So I stayed inside my Freon-cooled apartment – instead of seeing Baby Driver.

Matters certainly were not aided by my voracious consumption of Sugar Bear, a fabulous Indica strain that kept me locked to my screen all July 4th weekend re-watching the entire Twin Peaks. This foresty bud smokes down clean, rosy clouds hanging as I consumed joint after joint, marveling at Sheryl Lee’s repeated ability to unhinge her jaw. 

Then I remembered that Bong Joon Ho’s Okja had just been released theatrically – and on Netflix. (You can view the excellent film right now.) I had not expected to encounter the stoner’s perfect storm – an air-conditioned room with a large screen and a lot of weed, watching a sci-fi movie by a guy named Bong.

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Cinema Stoner: Transformers 5 vs. Black Buddha Indica & Stella Blue Hybrid

Watching Transformers: The Last Knight is jail for the offense of buying a ticket.

Nearly an experimental film, Michael Bay’s fifth entry in this un-killable Hasbro franchise beats the viewer into submission with lapses in basic continuity, plot coherence, character logic, and visual clarity. Strip away the Hollywood gloss and cynical marketing, and Transformers 5 is as absurd and challenging as bad David Lynch. 

Stranded in Portland on a layover, I approached the prospect of sinking time into this movie with black dread. Not fucking around, I marched straight to Serra, my preferred downtown dispensary in Elliot Smith’s favorite city. Designed like a Portlandia parody, Serra boasts an anemic beige interior and a disaffected surfer-boy receptionist—all turn-offs until this shop’s superior product floods your bloodstream.

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Cameron Douglas Caught with Pot in System While on Probation

The son of movie star Michael Douglas, Cameron Douglas, was almost sent back to federal prison after a probation officer said he’d been found with marijuana in his system.

The younger Douglas, 38, was sentenced to five years in prison in 2010, for conspiracy to distribute narcotics, after being found dealing heroin and crystal meth out of a hotel room.

Cameron’s lawyer, Ben Brafman, informed the court that his client sought help, after being traumatized from a critical beat down by a prison gang, while inside.

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