How High Preview

Just as Jamie and Patrick prepare to lock hands and launch into their patented Flying Twin Kick, they are shocked to see little Mikey Myers turn unexpectedly on his adult counterpart and punch him swiftly in the groin. Eyes crossed, Adult Mikey groans hilariously and falls face first on the ground. Jamie and Patrick laugh uncontrollably at the hilarious violence and LePumice claps Young Mikey on the back just as Adult Mikey lapses into unconsciousness. “I’m not sure I understand,” Jamie says after recovering from his laughing fit. Patrick, though, is quicker on the uptake, “Don’t you see? We helped out Young Mikey by having our Young selves apologize and befriend him, but the dastardly Adult Mikey is still set in the future, which has a different past. It’s just time travel 101.” Young Mikey nods his head and continues, “When you arrived in town I was shocked. It was just like Adult me said, except… different. You were… good” He takes a look over at the unconscious older version of himself. “Before you go I do have one question. How did you know it started with me?” Jamie and Patrick look at each other. Know? But they didn’t know. They shake their heads in confusion and Mikey understands. “I guess we’ll just have to find out… in the future. Now go. Go before I change my mind!” With that he throws small rocks at Jamie, Patrick and LePumice with tears streaming down his face. They all climb into the time machine and Jamie asks how far in the future they should travel. But Patrick shakes his head and points at the date already entered in the time machine by an unknown ally. “It’s not how far, it’s how high.” Jamie’s eyes widen in recognition of the date. That’s right, we are watching the classic stoner comedy How High starring Method Man and Redman. Once of the crazier plots I can remember reading so should be fun. Let’s go!

How High (2001) – BMeTric: 26.2; Notability: 41

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 25.6%; Notability: top 16.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 24.9%; Higher BMeT: Glitter, Jason X, Freddy Got Fingered, Driven, The Animal, Ghosts of Mars, Black Knight, Valentine, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Soul Survivors, Monkeybone, The Musketeer, Corky Romano, Scary Movie 2, The Wedding Planner, Bones, Summer Catch, The Order, Say It Isn’t So, The Wash, and 44 more; Higher Notability: Pearl Harbor, Monkeybone, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Hannibal, Impostor, Ghosts of Mars, Not Another Teen Movie, Bubble Boy, Swordfish, 15 Minutes, The One, Town & Country, The Affair of the Necklace, Scary Movie 2, I Am Sam, America’s Sweethearts, Along Came a Spider, Perfume, Texas Rangers, Joe Dirt, and 21 more; Lower RT: Texas Rangers, Soul Survivors, Glitter, All the Queen’s Men, Corky Romano, The Forsaken, Summer Catch, The Wash, Out Cold, Say It Isn’t So, Joe Dirt, Head Over Heels, Megiddo: The Omega Code 2, What’s the Worst That Could Happen?, Freddy Got Fingered, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Perfume, The Musketeer, Double Take, Valentine, and 40 more; Notes: That rating is so high (appropriately I suppose). It is a very niche comedy I suppose. The Notability is crazy high as well. For a comedy in 2001 I feel like 40+ is much much higher than I would expect.

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  With Willard playing the chancellor of Harvard and Bob Dylan’s son directing, this rare Ivy League stoner comedy has a curio advantage going in. Film’s rapper leads play goof-offs who finesse their entrance exams by smoking the mind-expanding ashes of a dead friend. (Who says the spirit of Lubitsch is dead?) Movie has enough low-grade laughs to sustain its length, though there have probably been cockfights with more redeeming social value.

(Zing. I actually don’t really get the Lubitsch reference. He was a director, particularly for “comedy of manners.” So is smoking their friend a commentary on … something? Is it the ritual of college entrance exams, and the manner in which our heroes sidestep it, some sort of satire? Or am I just not understanding at all what Leonard is talking about?)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wN9MScUbMng/

(Huh. The film seems somewhat … incoherent, maybe? I can’t tell what the storyline is. They go to Harvard and … something something something? For real, it seems like one of those rare “one act structure” films.)

DirectorsJesse Dylan – ( Known For: American Wedding; Kicking & Screaming; BMT: How High; Notes: Naturally, given Bob Dylan is his father, he started in music videos. He appears to have returned to those in his later career and he really hasn’t directed much in the last 10 years.)

WritersDustin Lee Abraham – ( Known For: The Runner; BMT: How High; Notes: He wrote 26 episodes of CSI over the years. He too hasn’t really done much in the last 10 years, and really this is his only feature work, The Runner is a small film that wasn’t theatrically released.)

ActorsMethod Man – ( Known For: Last Looks; Trainwreck; Garden State; Cop Land; Jay and Silent Bob Reboot; Paterson; Keanu; Red Tails; This Is the Night; Venom; The Cobbler; Concrete Cowboy; The Wackness; Future World; Vampires vs. the Bronx; Staten Island Summer; Where’s the Money; Sinners and Saints; The Mortician; Love Beats Rhymes; Future BMT: Peppermint; Scary Movie 3; Belly; The Sitter; Soul Plane; One Eight Seven; Black & White; My Baby’s Daddy; BMT: Shaft; Meet the Spartans; How High; Notes: Part of the Wu-Tang Clan, he’s become a fairly accomplished actor. I could have sworn we watched The Cobbler for BMT (as a friend or something), but I think actually that was just because it was nominated for a Razzie one year. He’s kind of good in that.)

Redman – ( Known For: Jay and Silent Bob Reboot; Ride; Boricua’s Bond; Future BMT: Scary Movie 3; Seed of Chucky; BMT: How High; Notes: Not part of the Wu-Tang Clan although he was close with them and worked with Method Man a lot.)

Obba Babatundé – ( Known For: The Silence of the Lambs; The Notebook; Philadelphia; That Thing You Do!; Life; City of Lies; The Net; The Manchurian Candidate; Black Dynamite; Dead Again; Lap Dance; Multiplicity; Married to the Mob; Necronomicon: Book of Dead; The Watcher; The Wild Thornberrys; Miami Blues; Kinky; The Celestine Prophecy; A Reason to Believe; Future BMT: John Q; After the Sunset; The Eye; Undercover Blues; Carpool; Born to Be Wild; BMT: How High; Material Girls; Leonard Part 6; Notes: Been in a bunch of stuff recently on television like SWAT. Was nominated for an Emmy for Miss Evers’ Boys. He won a Daytime Emmy for a guest appearance on The Bold and the Beautiful.)

Budget/Gross – $20,000,000 / Domestic: $31,178,740 (Worldwide: $31,283,740)

(Actually not that bad. I can’t imagine why the film cost $20 million. If it was just slightly cheaper it would have been a resounding success.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (15/57): How High is a sloppily constructed stoner movie filled with lame, vulgar jokes.

(Yeah that sounds about right. The number of quite good reviews though is pretty stunning. This isn’t too far off from something like Hot Rod for example.)

Reviewer Highlight: The biggest problem, ironically, is that even though the plot and the action center on smoking pot, it’s not enough of a stoner flick. – Joan Anderman, Boston Globe

Poster – How Shy Guy

(Almost looks like a poster for an independent film. All over the place, though. I enjoy the font and artsy. Not all bad, but some weird choices. C+.)

Tagline(s) – They’ve got their degrees all rolled up. (Incomplete)

(They’ve… got their degrees… all rolled up… I can’t say I understand this one. Am I missing a pun? Is it a play on “wrapped up?” Is that it? That they’ve got the degrees wrapped up by rolling up and smoking some joints?)

Keyword(s) – stoner

Top 10: The King of Staten Island (2020), The Big Lebowski (1998), Kick-Ass (2010), Dazed and Confused (1993), Point Break (1991), Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Friday (1995), Knocked Up (2007), Road Trip (2000), Sausage Party (2016)

Future BMT: 70.2 Soul Plane (2004), 51.3 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 50.7 Your Highness (2011), 39.5 21 & Over (2013), 38.5 The Perfect Score (2004), 38.1 Without a Paddle (2004), 37.6 Encino Man (1992), 36.4 Still Smokin (1983), 26.4 Knockaround Guys (2001), 25.5 Idle Hands (1999)

BMT: Good Luck Chuck (2007), Scary Movie V (2013), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), How High (2001), Bio-Dome (1996), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999)

Matches: Knocked Up (2007), Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004), The Beach Bum (2019), Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), American Ultra (2015), How High (2001), Highway (2002), Halloweed (2016), High Society: A Pot Boiler (2009), Asockalypse! (2016), Get Bossy (2020), Stone & Ed (2008), Secret Agent 420 (2005), Night of the Alien (2011), Generation Y (2016), The Rise of the Robots (2015), Attack of the Psychedelic Zombies, Man! (2015)

(That sounds about right, the acceptance of weed as something to be joked about instead of feared does seem to be around 2000ish. The Big Lebowski is possibly an inciting incident.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Héctor Elizondo is No. 8 billed in How High and No. 4 billed in Turbulence, which also stars Ray Liotta (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 2 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (8 + 4) + (1 + 2) + (3 + 1) = 19. If we were to watch My Baby’s Daddy, and Double Take we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – The film’s sequences at “Harvard” were actually shot at UCLA.

In creating the sound for the mystical pot plant (Ivory), sound designer Andrew Somers (uncredited) used a Theremin and a set of Obsidian Chimes. For the sound of the giant bong, (and the sound of Ivory appearing) they recorded inhaling through an actual bong.

Dean Cain is a reference to Dean Cain the actor who played Superman.

The film is named after the hit 1995 hip hop song How High by the starring duo Method Man and Redman.

Tracy Morgan cameos as the baseballer in ghost form a la field of dreams. (And in the commercials at the beginning of the film).

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