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How High (2001)
They've got their degrees all rolled up.
Filmmaker(s): Jesse Dylan

Multi-platinum rap superstars Redman and Method Man star as Jamal and Silas, two regular guys who smoke something magical, ace their college entrance exams and wind up at Harvard. Ivy League ways are strange but Silas and Jamal take it in a stride -- until their supply of supernatural smoke runs dry. That's when they have to start living by their wits and rely on their natural resources to make the grade.

How High (2001)

Not Stale

These things play a game, a delicate game. The idea is primarily to make fun of stereotypes while at the same time exploiting those. They satisfy the dummy watchers while making fun of them.

That’s a long tradition in humour and especially ethnic humour, black humour distinctly derived from self-deprecating Jewish humour.

The container is the same as all sorts of similar projects: a collection of skits, some of which extend far to one side of this balance or another.

So how you receive this has something to with whether you are the targeted demographic and part about your mood at the time. Both of these will be gone in the future so movies like this fade quickly.

But I have to say that this one hit me right in the centre. I liked it.

Here’s an indicator. Early in the movie a stoner dies and becomes a ghost who can only be seen when his buddies are stoned on pot grown in his ashes. Perhaps an ordinary movie would just stop there.

The setup is that this guy rents Kevin Costner movies as a ploy to get sex. He is rebuffed so has to watch them alone, stoned of course. He sees himself in the movie, in the field of dreams in a baseball suit.

Cool folding there. Tells us we are with a writer or filmmaker who knows what folding is about. This is straight Dylan.

There’s some dialog about this folding. Then he passes out, catches fire, falls out a high window. Wait, he survives, stands up then gets creamed by a bus.

Remember that scene in “Something About Mary” when the dog was electrocuted then thrown out the window. Same space, friends. You laugh, then laugh at yourself for laughing taunted by something behind the actors.

It is a nearly perfect scene. See it just for that one risk.

Much of the rest is dumb.

Posted in 2005

Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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