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Bongwater
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Reviews & Ratings for
Bongwater More at IMDbPro »

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17 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Stunned by consensus

10/10
Author: michaeloday from United States
5 February 2006

I just can't believe the poor rap this movie gets. I watch a great deal of movies and this is in my top 5 favorite movies. This is a movie that I can always watch. It's a smart stony movie that always delivers. There is a ton of very subtle, incredibly funny humor. Jack Black's role is very funny, and this is my favorite of all of Luke Wilson's movies. In my opinion this movie may take a few viewings to fully appreciate. The movie does sometimes have an odd feel to it due to it's being adapted from a novel. The movie skips and omits a lot from the novel, as movies do, and they fail to tie in essential concepts from the book that would make the movie's plot a little more cohesive. If you have not seen this movie, watch it. If you have, watch it again.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Never been stoned than you won't understand

7/10
Author: Christian1967 from Seattle, United States
12 June 2005

Well I may have just indicated my past with this summary. Oh well. If you live in the NW of USA than you either know a stoner, are a stoner or are soon to be one. This movie is just as the title Bongwater says for stoners. It has some big name actors and they play the paranoid stoner role very well. This film is not an Oscar winner by any means but instead has a somewhat sad and mellow. It is a movie about lots of people that live in this part of the country. Just people that are lost and have no real future to look forward to. There only real joy is getting stoned or high on LSD in the woods. Not really a comedy more like a statement about a certain lifestyle. Problems abound and psycho women galore. Poor Luke Wilson the head stoner does a great job as your likable, lonely stoner. Jack Black plays a decent waster that would have been at all the Grateful Dead concerts. Brittany Murphy plays a rather horny psycho girl which is probably not far from the truth. Andy Dick and his gay partner have some pretty funny parts to add to the plot. It just is not a very happy movie though. Kinda like a stoners life it's just there and goes on until the cops or fire department shake things up. Crazy women and stoner dudes what a mellow life.

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14 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

a wry commentary on the old days

10/10
Author: chimchim2729 from san francisco, ca
2 June 2003

Watching this film now, 5 years after it was built and after the massive collapse of the previous carefree era of Fun and only Fun, it seemed a hilarious satire of the self-absorptive allure of a particular flavor of substance saturated post-college scene. It reminded me of an updated Repo Man in many ways -- a celebration as well as a repudiation of hedonistic fun.

You have to enjoy a certain flavor of bludgeoningly subtle pointlessness to enjoy this movie. Personally, I thought it was great.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

I love this movie!

9/10
Author: Tom O'Malley (tomalley2k@hotmail.com) from Syracuse, NY
12 February 2012

It seems like most of the other reviews are hit or miss. That's okay -- I LOVE it! In fact, everyone I show it to also loves it. Contrary to popular belief, you don't even need to be under the influence of anything to enjoy a classic like 'Bong Water' although I'm sure it doesn't hurt. The music, writing and production quality are good but the cast is the real show- stopper for me. It's a hilarious opportunity to see some of my favorite stars in a role you might not normally expect. You've got Luke Wilson, Jack Black, Andy Dick, Brittany Murphy, Jamie Kennedy, Scoot Caan and Kyle Gass together on one screen, in a movie about pot. I highly recommend giving this movie a chance!

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Cult Classic!

9/10
Author: Lukas Quinn from United States
2 February 2012

The title notwithstanding, this drug-laden laugh trip is more Reality Bites than Up in Smoke. David (a sweetly earnest Wilson) is a pot dealer with half-baked ambitions of becoming an artist; Serena (Witt)is his nuttily domineering love interest. Though the pair's lack of real chemistry makes the cuddly ending feel tacked on, the hysterical drug-buddy performances of Brittany Murphy, Andy Dick, and Jack Black really make this joint roll. This isn't a fast-paced broad comedy, it requires some patience. You gotta sit back, and let it envelop you. Let life slow down and enjoy the quirkiness and absurdity of the plot and characters.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

"I don't sell nickel bags, spread the word."

Author: J. Wellington Peevis from Malltown
14 April 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

****Possible Spoilers**** Movie is all over the place, chilling just watching tube with a bunch of stoners, acid trip in the woods with some hardcore crunchers, an acquaintance rape in NYC at a shishi euro-party, an absurd art show, gay porn...by the end your apt to have forgotten a lot of what happened in the beginning. If you do remember, you might ask what was the point? Its focuses on the life and times of a pot dealer and his harmless crew, in Portland Oregon. And there's really not much else to say about the plot. Its how a stoner might find true love perhaps? But I found it engaging, completely non-cohesive, but in the end, damn entertaining. In fact, I've re-watched it more than once now, because I find some of the scenes and lines absolutely hilarious. Alicia Witt and Amy Locane are hot, and Wilson is an extremely likeable lead. On the nay side, Britany Murphy I cant take. She's only acting, I know, and she's playing a real annoying and unlikable character, but its her I always find distracting. Could that be because she's always playing an annoying and unlikable character, and playing them exactly the same annoying and unlikable way? Who knows. I want to see Tim Burton redo His Girl Friday and feature Britany and Leguizamo in the leads. Back to this film, I wholeheartedly recommend giving it a shot, especially if you can handle "out there" material. You will definitely laugh.

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13 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

An Excellent Movie in the Correct State of Mind

10/10
Author: chao_san23 from United States
12 January 2006

As opposed to the comment on the front page, this movie is no doubt ingenious. While, admittedly, I STILL don't know what the hell was going on in the movie, I watch it often with a select group of friends under special circumstances no doubt. You can't watch a movie like this and get the full enjoyment unless your state of mind is..."tuned" for it. Under correct circumstances, this movie will have you asking all your friends "WTF was that?...." Somebody that watches this movie didn't decide to watch it based on the cover, They decided to watch it based on the title....In other words, If your a part of the "stoner" culture, this movie is a must-see....

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15 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Dirt-weed.

Author: (will@audiogalaxy.com)
5 June 2001

I have a soft spot for the Stoner genre - I can't help it. And, unlike some of the posters about this film, I really enjoyed "Half-Baked" - it was good-natured and humble. Though the cover for "Bongwater" gave me impression of those indie movies given a shamelessly misleading advertising "angle" by companies eager to earn back even a third of the money they spent on it, I took a chance because I like Jack Black and Luke Wilson and there's always room for one more stoner movie. Bad idea. Not a stoner movie (the drug sequences are uniformly embarrassing), not a comedy, and never affecting, "Bongwater" stinks; blighted with a strained script, unfocused direction, and the kind of nebulous yet righteously sadistic morality that belongs in a Joel Schumacher opus, not an indie film. Even more disturbing, this movie shook up my opinions about actors I'd always thought I liked. Luke Wilson, so laconically charming in Wes Anderson's movies, is wooden here, the usually amusing Andy Dick is boring, and comic god Jack Black appears in only one scene that even begins to make proper use of him. And then there's Alicia Witt - I liked her OK in "Cecil B. Demented," but her performance in "Bongwater" is so excruciatingly pretentious, bratty, and shrill (she must have attended the Liza Minelli school of acting) that I pledge to never again watch another movie in which she appears.

Bottom line: I'd take the most braindead of stoner comedies over this tone-deaf, small-minded, and almost utterly unfunny movie. Even if you're a Tenacious D completist, think hard before you spend money on "Bongwater."

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

An interesting movie, uniquely character-centric, with a solid cast full of familiar 90's faces.

7/10
Author: Kame2000
2 October 2009

Bongwater, although its title misleads many people to think of it as a stoner film, is a solid drama/comedy title in the vein of films like Drugstore Cowboy, an 80's film featuring Matt Dillon, or Trainspotting, except with less drug use and more sexual promiscuity - Bongwater, in short, is not a drug-centric movie. However, it is interesting because of its cast. Its obviously bare-bones script requires careful acting from its stars to give it a little extra life. Overall, maybe not enough of that extra energy is awarded to the by-the-rules directing style, but ultimately, what comes out is a solid, engaging flick, worth watching all the way through.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Surprise Unpolished Gem

8/10
Author: librlart from Los Angeles
10 February 2007

I had very low expectations when I rented this, but I was pleasantly surprised and amused. So many of the characters in it were heightened versions of people I've known, hence I do wonder if it portrays an older generation of "stoner." It also portrays regional scenes from NYC and the NW that may not appeal to people elsewhere; others probably won't see the humor in the film. Although it's a comedy, it doesn't present side-splitting jokes with setups; the comedy is in the life the people are leading and the turmoil that follows in their wake.

The plot is haphazard if not absurd, which almost demands the ridiculous ending and opening scenes and provided me with a relief from typical formulaic stories. The plot doesn't drive the story, and you sort of just wander into each scene following the impulsive whims of the character featured in it.

I thought that the vacillating chemistry between Witt and Wilson really worked for the film; their lack of direction in life is totally reflected in their attraction, jealousy, and ambivalence towards each other, and their subsequent attempts to use each other to fill that void.

Alicia Witt's character is much richer than, say, "Two Weeks Notice," and almost as bizarre as her role in Twin Peaks. She's totally unpredictable and never does what you'd expect someone in her position to do. Cases in point: the scenes when they leave the NY party, and the scenes where we first meet her and then, unbelievably find her flirting with Wilson. Amy Locane, on the other hand, doesn't have a role that gives her much depth to work with.

Brittany Murphy and Luke Wilson have an oppositional chemistry that really let their talents play off each other. Hard to believe Jack Black is the same guy who later starred in King Kong! His is a small part in the film, but unforgettable, and the interlude with him really captures the spirit of the NW wilderness hippies I've met.

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