Netflix Top Picks: Weed Doc Edition


With so much content on Netflix Instant it is easy for some titles to just get lost in the shuffle, and with so many gamers now using their consoles to watch movies and TV shows on Netflix someone needs to start sorting this all out. Welcome to Netflix Top Picks, where every week I select two items from the Netflix Instant service you just have to add to your queue.  This time I’m looking at films about lighting one up and passing it to the right.  Plenty of films and documentaries have been made about weed and unfortunately, too many of them have been made by people smoking large amounts of it at the time.  So here is a look at a couple of documentaries on the subject actually worth watching, even while sober:

Title: The Union: The Business Behind Getting High
Type: Documentary
Genre: Documentary, Political Documentaries
Rating: NR
Run Time: 104 minutes
Released: 2007
Directed By: Brett Harvey
Starring: Tommy Chong, Joe Rogan, Adam Scorgie, Norm Stamper, Larry Campbell, Jack A. Cole, Jeffery Miron, Steve Bloom, Marc Emery, Ian Mulgrew
Synopsis: Filmmaker Adam Scorgie explores the illegal marijuana industry in British Columbia, revealing how the international business is most likely more profitable than it would be if it was lawful in this enlightening documentary. Marijuana growers, law enforcement officials, physicians, politicians, criminologists, economists and celebrities — including comedian Tommy Chong — shed light on this topical subject in a series of compelling interviews.
My Analysis: I first came across “The Union” one night when my roommates and I were all unable to sleep.  Bored of watching the three channels we got with our digital antenna, we decided to boot up the Xbox and find something on Netflix.  Figuring that this film was equally as likely to put us in the mood to sleep as it was to be interesting, we hit play and were largely surprised by how much we all enjoyed it.  Taking a journalistic approach to the business behind marijuana, The Union was a surprisingly deep and thoughtful examination of the laws that try to regulate the plant, as well as the huge black market that fuels its continued growth and sales.  This is one of those weed docs that is worth watching even if you don’t smoke.

Title: Super High Me
Type: Documentary
Genre: Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries, Indie Documentaries
Rating: NR
Run Time: 90 Minutes
Released: 2007
Directed By: Michael Blieden
Starring
: Doug Benson, Bob Odenkirk, Graham Elwood, Greg Proops, Rob Huebel, Rob Riggle, Brian Posehn, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman
Synopsis: Determined to find out the true effects of cannabis on the human body, stand-up comedian and former Stoner of the Year Doug Benson chronicles his experience as he avoids pot for a month and then consumes massive amounts of the drug for 30 days. More than just an amusing story about one man’s quest to get superhigh, this 2007 documentary also examines the hotly contested debate over medical marijuana use.

My Analysis: Super High Me is bordering on being a stand up comedy special, but ultimately comedian Doug Benson spoofs the Super Size Me formula by replacing McDonalds with large amounts of weed.  Essentially spending 30 days high, they explore how not only this affects his comedy routine, but his health and mental abilities as well.  While often quite funny, the director manages to make the documentary just serious enough to actually explore the issue of legalization and medical marijuana use.

Ok, so we have to admit, not everything rocks on Netflix Instant.  Sometimes this is obvious, other times not so much.  Whatever the case, What Not To Watch is a segment within a segment that will try to influence you from avoiding something genuinely unpleasant.  This particular gem made it to the list for so many reasons:

Title: The Samurai Princess
Type: Movie
Genre: Foreign, Foreign Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Japan
Rating: NR
Run Time: 85 Minutes
Released: 2005
Directed By: Kengo Kaji
Starring: Aino Kishi, Dai Mizuno, Yû Aiba, Takeshi Ayabe, Miki Hirase, Mitsuru Karahashi, Asuka Kataoka, Mao Shiina, Kentarô Shimazu, Eri Shinmoto

Synopsis: When 11 of her friends are raped and murdered, leaving the Samurai Princess (adult video star Aino Kishi) the only survivor, she becomes infused with her comrades’ souls. Transformed into an android, she sets out to avenge their deaths. Dai Mizuno co-stars as the princess’s human partner in this Kengo Kaji-directed gore fest that features breast grenades, detachable chainsaw limbs, deadly guitar riffs and more.
My Analysis: I almost feel like I don’t have to write up an analysis for this one based off the synopsis alone.  Someone thought it’d be a good idea to combine very low budget gore effects, a story that revolves around rape and martial arts, and then rest it all on the shoulders of a porn star as the lead actress.  You don’t need to speak Japanese to see the bad acting in this one, and it never crosses the line from bad to so bad it’s good either.

Due to Netflix constantly updating and changing the content on their service we cannot guarantee that the content listed in this article will be available for any particular length of time, nor can we guarantee it is available in all regions.  We do make a genuine effort though to never include any item that Netflix has marked with a limited availability.

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About Tristan Rendo

I've made movies, written and performed music, and in January of 2011 got bored and started the awesome gaming site you see before you. My gaming roots began with the original NES, and endless hours spent spilling quarters into machines at the local arcade. I have a personal collection of over 200 Nintendo 64 games, and for many years it was the only system I owned. I re-entered the modern generation of gaming consoles when I decided to purchase a 360. I typically prefer the single player experience of games, so I’m usually playing through some single-player campaign, but can occasionally be found doing some damage in Halo Reach.