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Monday, October 12, 2015

'Dope' DVD/BD Malcolm In the Middle of the 'Hood and Harvard

Product Details
The very aptly titled 2015 summer comedy "Dope," which Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is releasing on DVD and Blu-ray on October 13 2015, is one of the nicest surprises to show up on the Unreal TV doorstep in a while. The accolades for this joint (no puns intended) project of Grammy-winning musician Pharrell Williams and Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker include a nomination for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

The following YouTube clip of the "Dope" (and dope) trailer includes awesome exposition that tells you everything that you need to know with minimal spoilers. It also does a good job highlighting the humor and the charm of the film.

This amusing coming-of-age story about inner-city soon-to-graduate high school straight A student/self-proclaimed geek Malcolm getting mixed up in the drug trade while trying to get into Harvard has a much stronger vibe of '80s teen comedies then anyone growing up in that era could ever hope. Watching the adventures of this modern-day '90s hip-hop obsessed lad while also loving the new season of the set-in-the-90s sitcom "Fresh Off the Boat" is a wonderful bonus.

The Spike Lee/John Hughes vibes of "Dope" relate to Malcolm and his equally dorky friends Diggy and Jib trying to get through high school without incurring bullying or worse and Malcolm trying to get into Harvard. A still entertaining highly cliched scene has thugs chasing Malcolm through the corridors.

The scene that gets the action rolling has Malcolm catching the attention of local drug dealer Dom after taking a detour intended to avoid a making of a rap video. Hilarity ensues when Dom gets his new friend to act as a messenger between the former and the reluctant objection of his affection; said object not being impressed but feeling affection for our hero requires that Malcolm convey some hilarious but not-so-sweet words to said narcotics entrepreneur.

The events of that afternoon lead to Malcolm and his posse attending a club party that Dom is hosting. The frantic events that are a staple of the aforementioned '80s comedies that occur during that celebration result in Malcolm later discovering a gun and a large quantity of drugs in his backpack. The discovery of contraband leads to hilarity regarding the operation of metal detectors at the high  school that Malcom attends and the general cluelessness of school administrators and faculty members.

Other "dope" humor related to our trio of dopes finding themselves at odds with dope peddlers within a third meaning of that word has them do their best to act tough when threatened, learning the dangers of brandishing a gun without knowing how to use one, and turning to highly eccentric individuals for shelter and other aid.

Blake Anderson of the Comedy Central stonercom "Workaholics" commits grand theft scene as one of the aforementioned oddballs. He plays a drug dealer who is also a former band camp counselor of our group. His shining moments include a hilarious discourse on the definitions of virgin and gay and ongoing frustration regarding apparent consistencies regarding allowable use of the "N word." The most funny part of the latter is that he makes very valid points and makes one want to exclaim "N word please."

The remaining '80s style "how I got into college" aspects of "Dope" are too good to even partially spoil. It is guaranteed that they amuse; it is equally guaranteed that the film will entertain you throughout the entire 1:45 run time. Further, fans of '90s hip-hop will greatly enjoy the soundtrack, which also appeals to the aforementioned '80s kids whose taste runs more to new wave.

The Blu-ray and DVD extras include "Dope is Different," which has the cast and crew sharing their views on being "unique and authentic," and a separate exam of the music in the film.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Dope" is strongly encouraged to either email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.