Tag Archives: Rachel True

Half Baked (1998)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Half Baked</strong> (1998)

(On Cable TV, September 2015) Stoner humor is such an absurdly specific subgenre that it can feel both juvenile and hermetic to non-stoners.  Given that I live a personal life so clean as to make even straight-edgers feel ashamed of their depravity, I’ve never been much of a good audience for stoner movies.  But I chuckled a few times during Half Baked, and I think it’s because the film almost tries to become an anthropological study of stoners, thus making it a bit more accessible than the usual tripe under that category.  The story is thin: When a pothead gets incarcerated, his friends end up raising bail money by… selling weed.  But on this scaffolding is built a few profiles of stoner types (most of them surprising cameos, from Jon Stewart to Snoop Dog to Janeane Garofalo), some comic exploration of the dirty business of selling drugs and a fairly convincing portrait of their lives.  There are, despite the juvenile nature of the film, a few good jokes in there: enough to keep me amused throughout, and not being exasperated at the film as I expected.  Dave Chapelle helps a lot in making the film fun; so does Rachel True as the sort-of-voice-of-reason.  The last thirty minutes are a bit too heavy on pot and not as heavy on wry observations, but that’s fine given that by that time, Half Baked has already proved to be more enjoyable than it ought to have been.

The Craft (1996)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Craft</strong> (1996)

(On TV, November 1998) Rather more pleasant than I had expected. Granted, the first half-hour of this tale of teen witches is long and tedious as the standard oppressed-teens-take-revenge- on-their-oppressors plot is set up and we go through all the expected scenes of outcast-being-laughed-at, babe-being-courted and nasty-people-doing-nasty-things-to-heroine. It’s after that boring setup, however, when things go past the simple revenge fantasy, that things get interesting. Granted, it never quite goes beyond the “okay entertainment” stage, but despite sloppy screenwriting (threads being abandoned in mid-flight, spring-loaded character evolution, one-to-one climax that leaves other characters neglected), the result is more than expected. Special Effects are nice and in-between leads such as Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell and Rachel True, The Craft is always interesting to look at.