Left & Loose in The Lot:
Even with the internationally famous comedy duo Cheech and Chong forming the mighty trunk of this family tree, the Pot-Com is a movie genre in pretty short supply. Sure, you can argue with me, but just step into your local rental store (if such things still exist) and ask for some Rom-Com recommendations, wait for a half hour as the clerk rattles off a list, then ask for some Pot-Com recommendations. You'll get a list of about nine titles. But now you can add to that list Left & Loose in The Lot, a movie about a hapless pair of security guards with a little bit too much love for the herb. Whether you have much love for this movie might depend on your relationship with that same plant, but even garden-variety squares will find plenty of laughs in this middle of the road Pot-Com. (If the cops come knocking, just don't answer the door!)
Left (Demetrius Dedmon) and Loose (Waynee Wayne) have little to do as razor scooter riding parking lot cops except cut up and smoke as much weed as they can. Though they're both textbook losers, at least Left ("he ain't right") aspires to be a rap star. But before anything can happen they witness mysterious events and crimes and whatnot, which land them in the middle of an international drug conspiracy. Were this any other movie review, I might ask if viewers think that our heroes will be able to sort out the mess and keep their heads intact. But, since it's Left & Loose in The Lot it's easier to simply note that this weird stuff happens while Left and Loose do their thing, and we'll leave it at that.
Sporting plenty of laughs, for the stoned and sober alike, right out of the gate, it's clear The Lot is meant just for fun. The movie enjoys Dollar Store aesthetics but isn't much concerned about that - or many other things that 'high class' movies with a narrative possess. The whole thing reads as a set-up to let the two comedians riff, with each ridiculous plot twist merely a means to get the duo into ever more ridiculous situations. Sometimes the simple conceits work, and sometimes they don't, but the hit to miss ratio is firmly in favor of The Lot. Whether you buy into proceedings has a bit to do with your proclivities and appreciation of urban culture, but Wayne and Dedmon are quite assured in their improvisational skills, with perfect timing and likable personalities, meaning their comedy chops earn dividends.
Then again, the movie's stupid-ass premise and consistently poor performances from anyone other than Wayne and Dedmon - especially the women, who seem often to be reading lines for the first time - might hamper your enjoyment a bit. Prop gags like gasmask bongs also look funny at first, before devolving into goofy montages that seem mostly to just fill up time. But for these shortcomings, there is plenty of seriously funny stuff to go around, including Left's hilarious but way too short rap videos, and other frantic set pieces. As our heroes scrub down a corpse to conceal involvement, Loose yells out such random weirdness like, "get all the DNA hidin' in the bunion!" And when Loose helps a friend with a tricky waterpipe, it turns into an over-the-top oral sex riff that manages to be riotous without being homophobic. It's that attention to detail that makes The Lot more than just a Pot-Com. It's a Pot-Com with brains! If you aren't looking for your typical movie experience, but rather an almost stream-of-consciousness comedy routine focused on smoking Mary Jane, The Lot could be for you!
This 1.85:1 widescreen presentation faithfully shows up the low budget, with a drab color scheme, just adequate detail levels and a picture that, overall, isn't too sharp. The transfer, however, doesn't suffer from any serious compression problems.
Digital Stereo Audio also shows its roots, with lots of dialog seemingly recorded on set. Listen to the parking lot audio for lots of echoes and background noise. The soundtrack, funky and smooth as it is, is pushed forward a bit too much, often competing with the dialog, and some weird dropouts occur a few times towards the end of the picture. It's not enough to interfere with your understanding of the movie, but it is startling.
First is a funny, four-minute Extended Opening, followed by Crazy Bitches, which is another two-minutes of an extended scene. More Lucinda is three extra minutes of a scene with another one of the movie's comic highlights. Cue up another extended scene for two minutes of One Plant's Journey and then enjoy a three-minute cut scene with a bunch of Teenagers, before watching an extra minute of Left and Loose dealing with The Dead Body. All these deleted and extended scenes eventually get to be too hard to organize, so five minutes worth are thrown together in Bunch of Clips, before less than a minute of Ninja Loose finishes things up. For those counting, all of these extras could as easily have been listed as about 20 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, but who's counting anyway? (I am, I guess.)
Left & Loose in The Lot uses a thin pot-conspiracy plot to string together a feature length reel of comedians Waynee Wayne and Demetrius Dedmon riffing like maniacs. Most of it works, even if production values continuously threaten to bring things down. Full of plenty of stupid-smart drug humor and sexually inappropriate improv, Left & Loose in The Lot packs in lots of laughs for when you want to get giddy. You can't help but get a contact high. Rent It.
- Kurt Dahlke
~ More of Dahlke's DVD Talk reviews here at DVD Talk I'm not just a writer, I paint colorful, modern abstracts, too! Check them out here KurtDahlke.com