Since 1987, four different movies have tried to make sense of the events that took place at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968 during which hundreds of anti-war demonstrators were beaten by the police, resulting in the notorious Chicago 7 trial starring Yippies Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. The real footage and reenactments in Aaron Sorkin’s latest version are bloody and gruesome. Casting Sacha Baron Cohen as Hoffman is fairly brilliant, a comedian playing the Yippie jester with flair. But Hoffman’s penultimate showdown with Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne), officiated by their lawyer Williams Kunstler (Mark Rylance), is a major downer (and not necessarily accurate).
When Frank (Justin Long) takes a hallucinogenic drug (in the form of an edible dab) and snorts coke at a party, he goes on a movie-long trip. Gille Klabin’s flick may be hard to follow, but it’s a fun ride nonetheless. Along the way the beleaguered Frank encounters several heavy-duty dealers (played by Tommy Flanagan and Ronnie Gene Blevins) and falls for party girl Theresa (Sheila Vand). Both madcap and maddening, Frank’s psychedelic search is a rush.
Waldo on Weed
A cross between a home movie and Lorenzo’s Oil, Tommy Avallone’s pot doc tells the story of how CBD managed to cure the six-month-old Waldo Dwyer of retinoblastoma, a tumor that forms in the eye. Using a “dad-cam,” Brian Dwyer chronicles his and his wife Danielle’s journey with Waldo. Despite her reluctance to treat him with cannabis, Danielle decides to give it a try. Eventually, the Dwyers move from Philadelphia to Washington State to be closer to the CBD oil that worked wonders with Waldo. Now, six years old, Waldo’s a healthy, living example of CBD’s purported powers.
Roy Trakin contributed to this review.
Musical satirist Frank Zappa was not for everyone, as this documentary by Alex Winter of Bill & Ted fame clearly explains. Zappa was anti-drug and anti-hippie, a punk before its time who eschewed commercial success until he finally had a hit in 1982 with “Valley Girl.” In the ’90s, Zappa singlehanded fought the parents’ censorship movement against offensive lyrics. But it’s his music, or anti-music, that remains confounding. Zappa’s aim was to annoy people, not really entertain them. Hence, his songs have little enduring value like those by so many of the great rock artists of his generation. The portrait of Zappa painted in interviews with former bandmates is not warm and fuzzy; instead, he’s described as cruel, aloof and detached, singular in his mission to compose, rehearse and perform, everyone else for the most part be damned. Zappa died of prostate cancer in 1993.