Indican Pictures gets high on comedy Apr. 29 with the DVD debut of the directing team of Joshua Staley and Jamie Dewolf’s stoner black comedy, Smoked.
In a riotous blend of ‘70s Super Fly-type Blaxploitation, Hangover buddy comedies and stoner-stupid comes Smoked, starring Rupert Estanislao (as Smalls), slam poet Jamie Dewolf (as Jimmy) and Geoff Kagan Trenchard (as “Ace”), who combine their IQs to get to somewhere south of 100 when they hit upon what they think is the perfect crime.
They are going to pull off the heist — disguised as Oakland cops — of a medical marijuana store to get both a much-need cash infusion (they burned down their home and are broke … don’t ask, it’s a drug-related thing) and a stash (the need to get stoned). Little do they realize, but the legal pot-dispensing store they have targeted is actually a front for drug king Tyrone Shank (L. Abdul Kenyatta).
Shanks has gone legit (snicker, snicker) and this stoner-run place is actually a set up for his drug dealing and money laundering activities. But our trio of wise guys walk right into this honey trap with their eyes wide open (and pupils fully dilated) and get away with a bundle … or so they think!
It doesn’t take long for Shank to figure out that the cops — the real cops — are not involved, which means war, death and annihilation upon those who dared to transgress against him. Enter Smiley (Jaylee Alde), Sniffy (Asher Kennedy) and Salvador (Carlos Aguirre) who are assigned to clean up the mess … the media quickly reports that a new Oakland record for homicides in one day (53!!!) has been achieved as a result of their activities. But Smalls, Jimmy and Ace are not included in the body count … as of yet!!!
Smoked is great fun — and very over-the-top in its violence — as our trio of stoners tries desperately to stay one puff ahead of Shank’s hired killers!
Also on the release calendar from Indican Pictures is the Apr. 8 DVD debut of director Alex Meader’s action/revenge thriller, 5th Street.
The words “the bitch was in the wrong place” pretty much sums up the callous nature of the gang, run by Beto (Christian Monzon) that murdered Joe Montoya’s (played by Eric Arthur Martinez, who also crafted the script) wife. The police are sympathetic, but have had little luck in bringing those responsible to justice … the case grinds on.
Montoya also has a backstory involving personal contact with law enforcement, so it colors his view of just how much effort they are putting into solving his wife’s murder. In a clever twist on the revenge motif, Montoya begins to recruit other victims of crime, who too are frustrated with “the system.”
He, like Charles Bronson’s Paul Kersey in Death Wish, is a motivated individual, but he’s not alone in his quest to find justice. They will clean up the streets and Beto will die … no trials, no mercy and only one rule — they don’t shoot (execute) anyone in the back! The only decision left is just how many will die before his revenge is exacted!
Shifting to May 13, we find the DVD debut of documentary filmmaker Stefan Immler’s heartfelt and award-winning feature-length documentary, History of Jazz: Oxygen for the Ears.
The film has been working the festival circuit, with wins at the Manhattan International Film Festival, the World Music and Independent Film Festival and more … and now makes its way to the home entertainment market place courtesy of Indican Pictures.
Using Washington D.C. as the touchstone for his story, this seemingly unlikely tour guide, Dr. Stefan Immler, who is an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (also a professor at the University of Maryland) takes us on a journey that includes a look at the early history, a visit to New Orleans and both interviews and performance segments featuring the likes of Dwayne Adell, Larry Appelbaum, the late Joe Byrd, Ravi Coltrane, Buck Hill, Eric Lewis, Maurice "Brother" Lyles, Esperanza Spalding and more.
From working musicians to voices from the halls of academia and the media, Immler casts a wide net in exploring this uniquely American art form.
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