Don’t Let ‘Pot Luck’ Disturb Your High

by KB Burke on April 20, 2020

in Print Reviews,Reviews

[Rating: Minor Rock Fist Down]

Dear Movie Watcher,

We accept the fact that you had sacrificed a few minutes to read this. But we think you’re crazy to sit through a documentary about cannabis in Colorado. You see us as you want to see us – in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a pot smoker …and a budtender…and hemp growers… addiction specialists… and law enforcement.

Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, the Pot Luck Club.

There is always some curve in documentary filmmaking that keeps it from having total veritae. Through the directing and editing, the message spin always comes through. I didn’t know what to expect with the film, more than some mountainesque shots of the Centennial state and a few shots of some nice “colas” (large top cluster of buds on the cannabis flower).

I’m unsure of what message filmmaker Jane Wells was trying to spin here but I doubt it’s a positive one. During a series of dead-panned voiceovers by Robin Quivers and interviews with different Coloradans involved in cannabis in a variety of ways, she tries to show the effect the legalization of cannabis has on the state she formally called home. Is she for the legalization? Is she against it? It’s hard to say. There’s less of a celebration of the industry’s explosive growth and more of a criticism of how much things have changed since it occurred.

Technically, while the scenery is quite picturesque at times, the filmmaking is quite rudimentary and poorly edited. For example, the film’s opening is shot within the psychedelic colored International Church of Cannabis in Denver, Colorado. The location is then abandoned until the end of the movie, serving as weak bookends for the film. The church’s co-founder was quite a character and more of him was desperately needed to bring more life to the film.

The interviews range from flat to colorful. From the newly licensed budtender helping customers to the former gang members discussing the addiction and gentrification impacts on their community, we see the supporters and opponents of the recreational use, as well as those who use it for medicinal purposes. If anything is conveyed by all of them, it is that there have been complications in this industry since the original passage of Colorado Amendment 64. The lack of federal regulations and the ever changing legal implications still creates a mystery to the industry. They each have their views of it and that was clearly portrayed. “People thinking they know everything about weed,” says cannabis adviser Campbell Hawkins, “No one knows anything about weed.”

In the end, nothing is truly gained from watching this. I don’t see the point in timing this around the unofficial marijuana “holiday” of 4/20. This was more of a bad trip than anything else.

KB is a native New Yorker/Midwest transplant who’s into tech, sports, and the arts, especially film and music. He still aspires to be a DJ in his other life. You can frequently catch him watching Hitchcock classics, film noir, and anything Star Wars.


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