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"How High"

Directed by Jesse Dylan.
Written by Dustin Abraham. 
Starring Method Man and Redman.
Release Year:  2001 
Review Date:  12/31/01 


Well, "The Drive for 75" is over, and I saw my 75th film of the year in theaters today.  Really, the choice was simple, since the only movie that I haven't seen at the six theaters within walking distance of my house was "How High"...and, I thought to myself, I want to end the year watching a college comedy starring blunt-smokin' rap stars!

Actually, I had really wanted to see this movie when it came out two weeks ago, but with all of the Oscar-worthy fare that has come out recently, I made those other films a priority.  See, I love Method Man and Redman, the two stars of "How High", but for their musical ability.  But, this is their first film and the preview for it was pretty funny, so I thought it had to be worth checking out.

While the film isn't really that great, and features more gross-out humor than I have seen in a flick in a while (this one rivals "Scary Movie" in its volume of questionable scenes), it does have its moments.  Two guys that are stuck in community college, Silas (Method Man) and Jamal (Redman), decide to make something of their lives and go to a four-year university.  After cheating on their SAT-style entrance exams with the help of a weed-induced vision of a ghost, they get perfect scores and decide that Harvard will be the place to further their education...which essentially is to grow the best pot on campus and come up with a scientific breakthrough for the use of their special blunt potion.

Whatever.  You knew coming into this that the plot for this film was going to suck.  But, what doesn't suck are the two leads, and the hip-hoppers are actually pretty good in front of the camera, especially Method Man.  As this is their first feature film, these two guys will show up in more films in the future, and they act infinitely better than 95% of the other cast members who are right out of central casting.  Save for cameos by the hilarious Fred Willard (the dog show play-by-play man in "Best in Show") and Hector Elizondo as a crew coach that starts wearing Jamal's "original" clothing line, BUFU (obviously a play on real-life clothing line FUBU), the rest of this cast is shit.

But there are three or four laugh-out-loud scenes and a great soundtrack, featuring an on-screen performance by world-famous bluntmen Cypress Hill.  "How High" is mostly forgettable, but the performances by Meth and Redman will get them more work next year.

Rating:  Rental


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09