Up In Smoke (40th Anniversary) – Blu-ray Review

Up In Smoke is a 1978 American stoner comedy film that was directed by Lou Adler and is Cheech & Chong’s first feature-length film. It stars Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Edie Adams, Strother Martin, Stacy Keach, and Tom Skerritt.

Cheech & Chong had been a counterculture comedy film for about ten years before they had started reworking some of their material for their first film. Much of the film was shot in Los Angeles, California, including scenes set in Tijuana, while scenes set on the Mexican border were actually filmed at the border in Yuma, Arizonia.

The film starts out with Anthony “Man” Stoner, a jobless, marijuana-smoking drummer, as he is told to either get a job by sundown or be sent off to a military school by his parents. He leaves the house in a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle convertible (which had his father’s Rolls Royce radiator grille on the front), a car which is subsequently left smoking on the side of the road. Anthony gets picked up while hitchhiking by the equally enthusiastic smoker Pedro de Pacas. The license plate reads MUF DVR (“Muff Diver”), and they share a joint, which Man says, is made with “mostly Maui wowie” and “Labrador” (essentially dog feces, as his dog, a Labrador Retriever, had eaten his stash).  While it was negatively received upon its release, Up In Smoke is credited with establishing the stoner comedy genre.

The Film Itself (2.5/5):

Up In Smoke is one of those comedies that are best served when you’re not really paying complete attention to the screen. Giving a variety of small laughs throughout, and many more notorious lines that have made its way throughout the generations; this movie is one that is good enough to kick back and relax and not really care too much about the quality of the film. It is definitely one of those films that if you see it once, then you really should be set as I personally find it hard at being one of those movies that you can really pick up and re-watch over and over again.

Picture Quality (5/5):

Being made available for the first time onto Blu-ray, Up In Smoke offers a completely remastered visual presentation that takes the imagery that we once saw with the DVD and VHS releases and does a beautiful job at cleaning it up while maintaining the all out original feel that the movie once provided.  Flesh tones were significantly smoother, scenery was much more presentable and just about everything about this release looked phenomenal as it played out across my living room television.

Audio Quality (4/5):

Packaged with an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track, Up In Smoke offers a completely new and freshly remastered audio experience for fans of the franchise.  While it’s not as immersive as it really could have been, I think that is more of a limitation from the source material that the folks over at Paramount had to work with.  That said, dialogue is clean and clear, effects were more distinguished as the story line progressed and the track is an all around masterpiece when comparing it to the earlier releases.

The Packaging (3/5):

The Blu-ray release of Up In Smoke comes packaged in your standard two-disc Blu-ray amaray case.  Within that case is the standard Blu-ray copy of the film, as well as the standard DVD copy of the film.  Neither disc features any artwork that’s relative to the film whatsoever outside of the standard release text and the overly generic blue or grey background respectively.  A digital copy redemption pamphlet has been included so you can make use of the various streaming platforms that are out there as well as a slipcover that’s been made available during the initial print run that features the same piece of artwork that’s provided on the case.


Special Features (4/5):

This all new Blu-ray release of Up In Smoke offers a lot of special features that not only allow you to explore some of the experiences that were had in making this film, but as well as some of the work that went into the film at hand.  Considering that it’s the film that launched the movie career of Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, you can really see and appreciate some of the graciousness that they have for the overall cult success that their first film had.  Included with this release is:

  • How Pedro Met The Man: Up In Smoke At 40 (Includes Interview With Cheech & Chong)
  • Feature Audio Commentary By Cheech Marin & Director Lou Adler
  • Roach Clips (Deleted Scenes) Optional Audio Commentary
  • Lighting It Up: A Look Back At Up In Smoke 
  • “Earache My Eye” Featuring Alice Bowie: Animated Music Video
  • Cheech & Chong’s “The Man Song”
  • Vintage Radio Spots

Technical Specs:


Codec: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1


English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

French: Dolby Digital Mono

Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono

Portuguese: Dolby Digital Mono


English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish


Original Film: 86 minutes

Final Thoughts:

Man, it had been quite some time since I had last seen Up In Smoke; in fact, I do believe it was when VHS was the prominent format for home video.  However, this Blu-ray release of this movie was beautifully done.  The folks over at Paramount Pictures have done an absolutely fantastic job with their remastering work of this release.  The special features that were included were a really nice touch as you can see both Cheech and Chong reminisce about the good times that they had together.  If you’re looking to add this film to your collection, I can only recommend it if you’re a fan of this dynamic duo.  Up In Smoke will be available on Blu-ray beginning on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 with a Deluxe Edition coming out on 4/20.

Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.