In case you didn’t know, ’70s comedy sensations Cheech and Chong have reunited and are playing the Sandia Casino on Friday, May 22, beginning at 8 p.m. If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet (and they ain’t cheap), you’ll be pleased to note that longtime University area poster shop Louie’s Rock-N-Reels (105 Harvard SE) will be raffling off a pair of tickets to see the big show. The drawing will take place on Thursday, May 21, at 7 p.m. at the store across from UNM campus. Get in there before then to register! ... Of course, if you don’t win the tickets, you can always come to Guild Cinema on Friday and Saturday night to catch Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong in all their cinematic glory. Alibi Midnight Movie Madness will be presenting the duo’s 1978 stoner comedy debut Cheech and Chong’s Up In Smoke beginning at 10:30 p.m. both nights. Super fans are encouraged to attend both the concert and the movie screening. Bring your ticket stubs from the Sandia show, flash them at the Guild box office and you’ll get $2 off the admission price on Friday or Saturday night.
Thanks to the success of Batman Begins, Casino Royale, Friday the 13th and Star Trek (plus laziness on the part of consumers and a complete lack of creativity in Hollywood), we are now in the era of the franchise relaunch. Film series that burned out years ago are being resurrected, given a spit shine and shoved back into theaters to the tune of hundreds of millions in box office grosses. It’s only a matter of time (mark my words!) before we are subjected to Back to the Future IV or Weekend at Bernie’s III.
From the evidence at hand, German writer-director Veit Helmer isn’t much at home in his own country, having helmed productions in Bulgaria, Portugal, Japan and Kazakhstan. The globe-hopping filmmaker is best known for his magical 1999 comedy Tuvalu, about romantic entanglements at a broken-down bathhouse in Eastern Europe. Helmer’s newest offering, the tonally similar Absurdistan, finds him back on the international scene—this time in the Eurasian nation of Azerbaijan. The result of this cinematic sojourn is an inordinately enjoyable throwback to ’90s cinema when the foreign/art house environment was filled with films that were cute, charming, exotic and slightly naughty.
Chuck Saves a Buck—ABC has agreed to bring the spy-fi series “Chuck” back next season with one caveat: The budget needs to be slashed. The network will only be producing 13 episodes next season, and the show will have two fewer writers and at least one less cast member to work with. (No word yet on who gets the ax.) Apparently, the penny-pinching is not an unusual request these days. At the same time, ABC opted not to renew the Christina Applegate sitcom “Samantha Who?” for a third season after producers failed to trim around $500,000 (ouch!) from each episode’s budget.