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Half Baked (SE)
DVD disk
Feb 23, 2005 By: Scott Weinberg
Half Baked (SE) order
Director:
Tamra Davis

Actors:
Dave Chappelle
Guillermo Diaz
Jim Breuer

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A trio of hopeless pot-heads are forced to sell weed to raise bail money when their pal gets thrown in jail for accidentally killing a diabetic police horse. Marijuana-centric hijinks ensue.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I remember going to see this movie back when it opened in early 1998. Me and a few pot-lovin' pals shared a doobie and headed on in to a matinee, confident that we'd laugh our asses off at the manic marijuana merriment. I also remember leaving that same theater pretty darn disappointed...not to mention extremely hungry. So with the release of Universal's all-new "Fully Baked" DVD Edition, I was given the opportunity to give the flick a second shot. Seems that Dave Chappelle's sudden rise to stardom has warranted a digital upgrade from the original bare-bones release, so fans of the film should be pretty thrilled, no matter what my opinion may be.

And here's that opinion: Half Baked is a scattershot and aimless little mess. It offers virtually nothing in the plot department, the direction is decidedly dry and stifling, and more than half the jokes miss their mark by about 100 miles. Half Baked also has the extreme misfortune of having Jim Breuer in a supporting role, and this guy is as screechingly unfunny as an SNL reject can possibly be. But while Half Baked displays several obvious shortcomings, it also contains two distinct assets: Chappelle in the lead role and an eclectic roster of funny-to-hilarious cameo spots. Though the movie consistently feels like a thinly-strung-together collection of weed-heavy comedy sketches, Chappelle has enough wit and charm to keep the movie afloat. And the small bits contributed by Janeane Garofalo, Bob Saget, Tommy Chong and Jon Stewart would stand out as highlights in any comedy...even one a whole lot funnier than Half Baked.

But hey, if you dig the green herb and you're looking for a movie to spin during your next bong session, you could do a hell of a lot worse than Half Baked. The funnier bits are randomly littered amongst the more prevalent duds and, as a whole, this goofy little weed-fest is a tough movie to dislike - even if you can tell it's not all that GOOD a movie.
THE EXTRAS
Alternate Ending & 10 Deleted Scenes: Stuff from the cutting room floor, a few of which are actually pretty funny. Considering the movie clocks in around 80 minutes, one wonders why some of these bits got snipped.

Audio Commentary: Director Tamra Davis (who, as a goofball trivia note, is married to one of the Beastie Boys) presents a solo yack-track that's full of bland praise for Chappelle and frequent pauses. Ms. Davis does deliver a worthwhile bit of info here and there, and fans might appreciate the news, but overall it's a fairly dry and uneventful commentary.

Five Minutes with The Guy on the Couch: A gag featurette: a pothead sleeps on the couch while we watch. Not funny.

Different Types of Smokers: A small collection of animated shorts, each of which describe a different type of pot-smoker. (The "paranoid" smoker, etc.) Cute, I suppose, but not something you'll watch too often.

Granny's Guide to Bakin': A strained little comedy bit in which a stoner granny puts together some recipes. Expect lots of puns and groans.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Even the FANS of Half Baked must freely admit that it's not that good a movie, but as far as pot comedies go, it's got just enough laughs to warrant a visit. Wedge this one right between Up in Smoke and Harold & Kumar and you've got yourself one great little Toker Trilogy!
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