Classic of the Week: Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

 

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Drugstore Cowboy is a 1989 American crime drama film directed by Gus Van Sant, based on the autobiographical novel by James Fogle. It stars Matt Dillon,  Kelly Lynch, Heather Graham and William S. Burroughs. At the time the film was being Mae, the source novel was unpublished and later published in 1990, by which Fogle had been released from prison.

The film follows Bob Hughes who leads a group of drug addicts in the 70s – his wife Dianne, best friend Rick and Rick’s teenage girlfriend Nadine- traveling across the Pacific Northwest, robbing pharmacies and hospitals to help their drug addictions.

This film has an indie feel to it and takes you into the life of a crew of drug addicts and dealers and does it so well. Parts are very slow, so the film is boring at times, but you get to take a trip into a life of drug related crimes and health issues. Every single character is both alike in their dope obsession bot also very different. Matt Dillon is great as Bob Hughes the ring leader of the bunch, Kelly Lynch is equally great as Dianne Hughes, his wife. James LeGros is excellent as their best friend Rick and Heather Graham does a fine job as his girlfriend Nadine.

This film stakes you for a long dope filled ride into a an intense world of drug addiction, theft and drug dealing. The characters are so addicted the most feed their habits all the time and in order to do that, they must beg, borrow and steal. At first, they are very clever at being sneaky and stealing the drugs and hiding them, but then they are eventually caught and sent to prison.

This movie is filled with of course with drugs and substance abuse, crime, homelessness, money issues and illnesses. It is done quite well, although much of the movie is a bit boring. Some scenes have .little or no dialogue, but it fits the story. There is nothing exciting about this film at all, it is one horrible event after another.    Despite being rather dull in some scenes, the acting is fantastic, the soundtrack perfect, but the cinematography is rather dull so much of the time, making it seem like a cheap documentary, rather than a drama movie. I guess this was got make it seem more realistic, although it is an independent film. This is only Gus Van Sant’s second film.

This isn’t the most engaging film. In fact, I found much of it to be very dull, almost to the point of nt wanting to continue watching it, but it does get better not outstanding but a lot better. But what do you expect from a movie based off a book with this story? Not a musical that’s for sure.

Overall, this movie is very good, but not great. For a story like this, I was expecting a bit more action. There is violence is some parts, but much of this film just plain slow. They spend too much time in one setting in some scenes. I wasn’t expecting a wildly entertaining motion picture, but definitely not one that bored me nearly to sleep at times. Great plot, well done film. Adults only 3/5

Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics (2020)

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Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics, is a 2020  documentary directed by Donick Cary. It features many different types of celebrities talking about experiences taking psychedelic drugs. Some of the stories are funny, some are serious and some a mixture of both. Each story is different from the others and is reenacted by actors, animation, or a combination of both. Nick Offerman is main star of the film, who plays the scientist, explaining who different hallucinogenic drugs affect the mind and body.

The science behind the drugs is the most interesting part of this film. The celebs mostly talk about what it’s like to on particular drugs, a few actually tell stories of being on them. Many of the tales are like being in Wonderland or My Little Pony World and are not interesting, probably unless you have experienced it for yourself as well. Other tales have seriousness combined with humor, like having fun until something bad happens to someone or something or both. Maybe this film would be enjoyable under the influence of a hallucinogenic or alcohol.

 

There are celebrities from actors, musicians, comedians, television show hosts, writers, etc., so you get a variety of different people, many whom you wouldn’t think would ever do drugs. This documentary takes a deep nose dive into a serious subject and the majority of it feels more like a comedy film rather than something to learn from.

Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann and hippie singer Donovan do appear in the movie and talk not just about their experiences on psychedelics but also how drugs shaped the 1960s and 70s. They provide their encounter with more seriousness than the rest of the guests, also providing historical facts with their happenings.

The film does go into a brief segment about the history of psychedelic drugs and another segment talks about Timothy Leary the clinical psychologist that helped form the Harvard Psilocybin Project from 1960-62 and is considered a pioneer in psychedelic drugs research. This is one of the few interesting parts of this movie, because you actually learn, unlike the majority of the famous guests’ stories.

If you want to learn watch a real documentary on drugs, not this where you learn some, but not enough. If you want to know what it’s like to be on hallucinogenic antidotes, than you will likely enjoy this one.  If you already know what it’s like to live in a yellow submarine, you definitely will be entertained. Major documentary fans, may want to steer clear of this one

The drug tales are entertaining but many are too silly to be in a documentary movie, even though they’re factual, you’re not actually learning about what the drugs do to you only what someone has done under the influence of it, although Nick Offerman explains it.

Not the best documentary I’ve ever seen, but definitely not the worst. At times it feels bad to laugh at someone whacked out on an illegal substance where they’re frying their brain cells. You think they’re stupid for doing it, but you end up laughing anyway, which isn’t exactly a good thing, since the substances are an addictive.

Bottom line, you learn some, but not enough from this movie. More science and history is definitely what this film needs to be an excellent one. It feels like a few of the celebrities interviewed are endorsing hallucinatory drug usage. I know the famous people’s stories are the main point of the film, but it needed more facts and history, to be considered a document style film. Adults only. 3/5