Still Smokin (Cheech & Chong) (1983)

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Released 5-Jun-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1983
Running Time 87:03
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By Thomas Chong
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Cheech Marin
Thomas Chong
Hansman In't Veld
Carol Van Herwijnen
Shireen Strooker
Susan Hahn
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music George S. Clinton


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None German Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Danish
German
English
Spanish
French
Italian
Dutch
Norwegian
Swedish
Turkish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    'Still Smokin' is one of the later Cheech and Chong films, made in 1983. It follows our beloved Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong on a trip (as in 'holiday') to Amsterdam. Cheech and Chong play themselves in this film, which is slightly different to the usual set up of Cheech and Chong films where they play these sort of generic stoners who do not have much character at all.

    The plot goes like this: Cheech and Chong are invited to Amsterdam for a Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds film festival. Mistaken at the airport for Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds (!?) they are treated to a luxury suite and an all expenses paid visit to Holland's capital. When it is revealed that Reynolds and Parton will not be coming at all, Cheech and Chong offer to perform a show to ease the promoter's pain.

    That actually sounds like a real plot!! In actual fact, it is hardly that. This narrative is simply an excuse for Cheech and Chong to go from skit to skit for 80 odd minutes. Considering the style of film and the quality of the jokes, it works pretty well. There is not as much drug related humour, as there is a plethora of comedy bits that run for about 5 minutes each. Some are terrible (Dope-A-Thon) and some are brilliant (The Invisible Wrestling Match), and the rest is just filler. The film climaxes with bits and pieces of a live show that I assume Cheech and Chong actually performed in Amsterdam which has some genuinely funny concepts.

    All in all, Still Smokin' works because its material is varied. We see a range of material, from one-line gags up to a thoughtfully structured and well-executed comedy routine. The small amount of drug related humour goes a long way, too.

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Transfer Quality

Video

          For a 19 year old film of this style, the transfer of this film is pretty good. It is not perfect and has a lot of flaws, but generally, the transfer is bright and clear with good, solid colours that remain constant throughout.
 
    The film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness of this DVD is solid, with no instances where it is a problem. Shadow detail is a problem at times due to a lot of interior shots being filmed in poorly lit houses and buildings- good examples of poor shadow detail can be found at 54:05 and 70:20. Grain is another big downfall of this transfer with some scenes appearing very grainy due to poorly lit interiors and steam/smoke filled rooms- 36:34 and 73:45 being two good examples. There are a couple of instances of telecine wobble, but in these cases I would refer to it as 'telecine jerk' - at 54:09 and 75:28 the picture sharply distorts half off the screen and then back on again - ugly, ugly stuff.

    Colours are strong and constant throughout, with this being one of the highlights of the transfer for me. There are a lot of reds, blues and (plenty of) greens throughout the film - all these colours are vibrant and strong, and add to the picture as a whole.

    There were no MPEG artefacts to be seen here, and only a minuscule amount of aliasing here. At 50:32, Chong's jacket aliases ever-so-slightly - considering that this jacket should have been a landmine for aliasing, it is a fantastic effort on behalf of the DVD authors to control this problem. Film artefacts are the other big artefact in this transfer with constant flecks of dirt and grime throughout and a strange emulsion mark on the LHS at 70:26 plus a couple of large chunks of negative film artefacts at 46:29 and 54:05.

    There are numerous subtitle tracks recorded here. I watched about 30 minutes worth of the English subtitles and found them to be a heavily simplified version of the actual dialogue, which probably serves to rob the film of its character.

    Contrary to what is stated on the packaging, this is not an RSDL disc. Considering the monaural soundtrack and the length of the film, there is no need for RSDL formatting.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are 4 audio tracks recorded on this DVD. I listened to the default English Dolby Digital 1.0 soundtrack encoded at 192kb/s.

    For the most part, dialogue was clear and easy to understand. Audio sync became an issue at 19:16, but was fine for the rest of the film, and there was also a severe dropout at 33:50 which was very disruptive.

    The musical influence in this film is provided by George S. Clinton. Along with his nondescript score is a variety of well known songs by artists such as Prince as well as the obligatory tunes by Cheech and Chong themselves.

    The surround speakers and the subwoofer do not feature at all in the film.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

 

Menu

        The menu here shows the cover art of the disc as a static picture.

Theatrical Trailer    (1:44)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and 16x9 enhanced, this trailer has terrible grain and is very unclear.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

 
    Both versions are exactly the same in terms of their transfer and their extras. The superior PAL resolution would make the local Region 4 release the version of choice, however.

Summary

 
    'Still Smokin' represents a very watchable Cheech and Chong film because it offers a lot of variety from some of their other efforts. It is a little dated in areas, but thankfully, it is so short that any segments that are not up to scratch pass you by pretty quickly.

    The video quality is flawed, but presentable.

    The audio quality is mono.

    The extras are almost non existent.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Hugh Fotheringham (what the hell is going on in bio??)
Thursday, August 22, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-S525, using Component output
DisplayLoewe Xelos (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS797- THX Select
SpeakersJamo X550 Left and Right, Jamo X5CEN Centre, Jamo X510 Surround

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