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A/K/a Tommy Chong

4.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

a/k/a Tommy Chong chronicles the entrapment and incarceration of comedy icon Tommy Chong of the legendary comedy duo, Cheech and Chong. Josh Gilbert takes on the event in his documentary, and offers a sometimes frightening, often hilarious account of Operation Pipe Dreams, a nationwide drug paraphernalia sting spearheaded by a federal prosecutor named Mary Beth Buchanan, appointed by George Bush three short days after the attacks of 9/11. After fully armed SWAT teams raided the comedian's home and his business, Chong Glass, Chong was sentenced to 9 months in federal prison for "conspiracy to manufacture and distribute drug paraphernalia through his family business, specializing in handmade glass water pipes, or "bongs". The film provides a charming portrait of a counter culture icon set against the backdrop of a War on Drugs gone horribly awry.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Tommy Chong, Cheech Marin, Bill Maher, Jay Leno, George Thorogood
  • Directors: Josh Gilbert
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Infinity Ent
  • DVD Release Date: August 26, 2008
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015SYPDE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,443 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Valdez on August 6, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is simply the movie version of Tommy's book, The I Chong: Meditations From the Joint. As with most movies based on a book, the book is better, but that does not make this a bad movie. It is more that a movie, it is a documentary about human rights in the U.S.A. and the truly fascist direction our government is headed. If you have seen this film, but not read the book, by all means do yourself the favor and read it. Many many gaps are filled in, and you will understand and appreciate the interviews with Tommy's cellie and his wife (who has been in Tommy's life longer than Cheech) and his son, who played a major part in the whole ordeal. This is a great DVD, and like the book, is about a lot more than Cheech & Chong comedy or smoking pot. It is just one more example of a failing nation.
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Tommy Chong's drug story is a sad tale told over and over again in our society where someone who is basically harmless and goofy is made an example of by a repressive segment that simply resents his lifestyle. The citizenry did not benefit from this prosecution one bit and, in fact, a lot of money was wasted.

Sure, let's prosecute scum like the late Pablo Escobar or some low life like that but these pointless foolish celebrity cases of an entertaining doofus who likes bongs are utterly meaningless.
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A/K/A Tommy Chong is an interesting look at the doper comedian's legal troubles in the early 2000s. For those who don't remember, the U.S. Government arrested Chong because he sold bongs over the Internet. Filmmaker Josh Gilbert follows Chong to prison (where he served nine months) and covers his life after his release.

There is a lot to like in this film. The film recounts Chong's life story and he is an interesting character; he grew up half-Chinese, half-Caucasian in 1950s Canada. Chong also played guitar as a member of the 1960s rock band the Vancouvers, for whom he wrote a top-40 hit ("Does Your Mama Know About Me").

The film does a good job of recounting Chong's initial meeting with Cheech Marin and the beginnings of their career as "Cheech and Chong." I did not think that the film did a particularly good job of explaining Cheech's decision to disband Cheech and Chong. The only interviews with Cheech are archival and Cheech's absence is obvious throughout A/K/A Tommy Chong.

The presentation of Chong's drug case is more "hit and miss." Viewers likely will be fascinated at the steps to which the Feds went to bust Chong. (According to Chong, his company did not ship bongs to Pennsylvania because his employees knew that it was illegal; the film details the contrivances the Feds used to get Chong to ship the bongs that ultimately landed him in prison to Pennsylvania). It is difficult to believe that the U.S. Government spent over $12 million to put Chong in jail. While one may question whether there was a vendetta against Chong, it is revealing that he was the lone defendant without a prison record (of 55 charged) to serve jail time.

Other aspects of the film are not as interesting.
Read more ›
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The best documentaries tell a compelling and a surprising story and that is exactly what you get with AKA Tommy Chong. The Comedy of Errors that has been the Bush administration are taken to new heights as they single out one benign member of the counter culture movement to be taken down by all means necessary. Funny, outrageous and all shockingly true. My hats off to the filmmaker- a must see in my opinion.
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this is a great documentery this is how you write when stonned! but this shows how you think you are really free to do your thing watch this,and see what happens when you think you have nothing to worry about! we have same sex couples they passed that law but they wanted to make example of tommy chong!
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What they did to Chong is a bunch of B.S. He is a leader a mentor and a roll model to millions. They are just bitter so many look up to him and since he is the figurehead of millions of people who smoke weed they used him to send a message even though the message was wrong.
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Freaking government sucks!!!! Amazing how some people will try to destroy someone's life just to further they're own careers. Funny how marijuana and its paraphernalia is illegal, but beer, wine, whiskey, etc. and all the things that go with it are legal and even advertised on tv, radio, magazines, etc. Drink all you want, just don't smoke pot! Get drunk and fight, beat your wife... acceptable! But don't smoke pot, sit back, watch a movie and munch out. It's an upside down world!!!!!
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a/k/a Tommy Chong is a good movie, and shows how the government used a big name person to create a spectacle out of a harmless industry. The US government wasted time, money, and resources to shut down a business that wasn't doing anything wrong. Rather than fighting the war on terror or the real war overseas they chose to advance careers, and shut down a legitimate business and sent a man to prison whom didn't deserve to go.
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