a/k/a Tommy Chong (2005)
Average Rating: 6.1/10
Reviews Counted: 22
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 6
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Average Rating: 5.5/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 1,281
When comedy legend Tommy Chong was arrested in 2003 and given a nine-month prison sentence for the manufacture and sale of drug paraphernalia, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's revamped war on drugs soared, like a mighty eagle stricken with vertigo in mid-flight, to new levels of absurdity. Fortunately, filmmaker Josh Gilbert's cameras were rolling at the time, offering viewers a firsthand account of the vengeful American justice system in action. In addition to glamorizing drug use,
Jun 14, 2006 Wide
Aug 26, 2008
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This isn't a great piece of nonfiction filmmaking, but it has its moments.
Even those unimpressed with [Cheech and Chong's] genially lowbrow work will be intrigued by the political tenor of this portrait.
It is also a portrait of resilience: Chong does his time (nine months) and has the last laugh, emerging as a born-again activist-survivor of the culture wars.
Josh Gilbert's film tells the depressing, often ridiculous and generally enraging story of how and why Tommy Chong ended up doing time in a minimum-security prison.
How the feds inadver tently resurrected the performing career of stoner comic Tommy Chong by busting him is the ironic subtext of Josh Gilbert's one-sided documentary a/k/a Tommy Chong.
This genial doc sprinkles Reagan and Nixon soundbites over its vintage stash of C&C clips for a suitably fuzzy squint at America from '69 to the buzzkill present.
Josh Gilbert's curt documentary about the arrest and conviction of comedian and former bong-maker Tommy Chong reveals the federal sting operation that put Tommy Chong in a state penitentiary for nine months for shipping glass bongs to Pennsylvania.
Rather than some rambling, pro-pot film, this flick actually does a pretty good job of documenting the issues surrounding Chong's arrest, and the obvious intention by the Ashcroft justice department to bring down an icon of the debauched 70s.
A very scary documentary considering the carte blanche accorded Big Brother by the Patriot Act.
A very scary documentary illustrating the carte blanche accorded Big Brother by the Patriot Act
What comes across is Chong's innate elegance and intelligence, two qualities often missing from his trademark comedic work.
This is an important propaganda film. After all, Gilbert has all the facts in hand and presents it halfway decently.
What could have been either a scathing critique of the drug war or an intimate portrait of a stoner facing mortality instead comes off as a fawning infomercial for its subject.
Apparently granted unlimited access to Chong's personal archives, Gilbert digs up some great footage and photos from his early years as well his '70s heyday.
Josh Gilbert's smoothly produced documentary a/k/a Tommy Chong should leave even Nancy Reagan aghast at the unfair trials of comedian Tommy Chong.
Its dramatic thinness doesn't dilute its simultaneously ridiculous and terrifying portrait of federal prosecution run amok.
A surprisingly clear-eyed, sober account of what it's liked to be embraced by a culture, while loathed by the Powers That Be.
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February 10, 2006:SF Indiefest Review: "a/k/a Tommy Chong"
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