a/k/a Tommy Chong - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

a/k/a Tommy Chong Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ July 14, 2012
Bill Maher: I can't think of a more ridiculous diversion of manpower than to bust Tommy Chong. If anyone feels safer because Tommy was put in jail, that's a ridiculous human being. 

"United States of America v. Thomas B Kin Chong"

Aka Tommy Chong is a documentary that strives to show just how stupid the government can be when it comes to the "War on drugs." It's solidly made and extremely entertaining if you are into the subject. Chong is a pretty charismatic guy and when he is onscreen, he's funny. Even right before he goes to jail and while he's in jail. He's cracking jokes, yet he's serious because the government made him serious. When he gets out, he says he's going to try to make a difference. 

This film goes in depth on the mission called "Operation Pipe Dream." Mary Beth Buchanan had Tommy Chong hand picked long before this and the DEA used a little loophole in the paraphernalia law to take down Tommy Chong and his glass company. When his company shipped to Pennsylvania, which was one of the few states that were illegal to sell paraphernalia to, the DEA swooped in. Actually the people Chong sent it to were in fact the DEA. He was entrapped. So they raided his business and his home, and when all was said and done, he was convicted to a nine month prison sentence. Nine months in prison for selling a few bongs. That's one of the most ludicrous things ever. If you want a bong, a lot of tobacco stores and sometimes even gas stations and liquor stores will sell them. This whole "War on drugs" is a fucking joke, and Tommy Chong's case just proves that.

The governments stand on drugs is getting ridiculous. Some drugs are okay, others aren't. You can go to a pharmacy and pick up bottles on bottles of dangerous prescriptions, but we can't smoke marijuana, which isn't dangerous at all. I'm under the impression that they should just legalize all drugs. Prohibition of them isn't doing anything except letting criminal organizations thrive off of the illegal sale of them. Sell them in drug stores, then people won't be forced to go to a killers house for their habit. They're going to do it anyway.

This documentary uses Chong's case, as it pertains to the bigger issue. $12 million dollars was used to take down Tommy Chong. There aren't better uses for the taxpayers money? He was selling bongs for christsake. He even makes a joke about his bongs being the only weapons of mass destruction the government found. Gotta love Tommy. 
April 2, 2012
A politically-conscious documentary that steps in to cover the months after world-famous doper Tommy Chong's arrest (for the illegal cross-state sale of glass pipes) but before his nine-month prison sentence. Along the way, we get a quick-and-dirty look at the polarizing comedian's life and times, the roots of his legendary partnership with Cheech Marin, and the state's over-ambitious case against him. Judging by the facts we're presented, there's little question Tommy was entrapped and railroaded by a media-hungry federal watchdog group, but to his credit Chong takes it all in stride, serves his time and emerges ready to take up the cause as a rejuvenated activist. Pro-legalisation viewers will be nodding their heads like a bobble-head from start to finish, while the peek into our government's priorities, practices and punishments might give fence-sitters a few new things to consider. Moral crusaders, on the other hand, will see an entirely different story. At just shy of 80 minutes, it only scratches the surface of an intrinsically deep, complicated political debate. Light viewing with a few mild laughs, it reports the facts and offers a take but isn't equipped to do any really heavy digging.
½ March 3, 2012
Great documentary, interesting views on how the government and politics use their power to influence control and entrap american citizens in order to force the views on the citizens. After seeing how and what he got convicted for I can't believe it actually made it through the courts. Then again I guess the court system is a single young mans game, I mean if you don't have the years to give up and a family to think about you pretty much have to do whatever they tell you. It really is sad.
½ January 29, 2012
Sobering (?) documentary of what happens when a famous person is targeted for political gain. Open and straightforward movie.
½ January 12, 2012
A good doc and well-disturbing... Plus, I still can't get over the fact that Shelby Chong is 63 years old. She looks amazing.
November 11, 2011
Another impressive piece of evidence that the US constitution isn't worth the paper it's written on.
½ April 2, 2011
Worth seeing but a little slow and not enough content. Would have like to have seen a bit more of a factual case made rather than just showing us how ridiculously badly the Bush administration mishandled law enforcement.
March 31, 2011
Tommy Chong basically went to jail for telling jokes. At one point, they interview Jay Leno and he says "if they want to getcha, they getcha", wether you've committed a crime or not.
½ March 30, 2011
Thank the feds for keeping us safe from these brutal criminals.
March 19, 2011
I agree, Tommy Chong, let's vote these dumb fuckers out of office...
March 8, 2011
Railroaded by self-righteous, opportunistic, power-hungry pricks... an infuriating film/tale, but great!!!
March 6, 2011
Enjoyed The U.S. Government vs Tommy Chong Better.
February 27, 2011
the govt is ridiculous
½ February 24, 2011
Such a waste of money, time, and effort.
½ February 20, 2011
As entertainment, this documentary is only average, but the subject matter and political maneuvering depicted makes it worth watching, as the legendary comedian unwittingly becomes a casualty in the completely hypocritical drug and culture wars. The erratically edited narrative of Chong's background, rise to fame, and eventual arrest on trumped-up charges and political imprisonment leaves the viewer outraged at the amount of taxpayer money that was spent on the sting operation "Pipe Dreams", which amounted to little more than entrapment and accomplished little more than unjustly jailing a high-profile member of America's much maligned and nearly extinct counter-culture.
February 15, 2011
Why why why America?!
½ February 15, 2011
A wonderful look at the demented war on drugs and the idiots behind it. 12 million American tax dollars were spent to put away Tommy Chong for 9 months for bong sales. Is the world really safer with Tommy behind bars? Is he really supporting terrorists with his private habits? A glance at how politicians will do anything to make a case for their reelection. I do not condone or condemn the use of marijuana because its just not for me but Tommy is a good man who was put away without reason. Tommy is not the enemy, the people with all the money and power are.
February 9, 2011
We have been attacked by Terrorist on US soil.......i have an idea, let's go Bust Tommy Chong!
½ February 5, 2011
The federal government spent $12 million putting Tommy Chong in prison for selling water pipes. While this documentary is not masterfully done, it is worth noting for bringing attention to this particularly monstrous absurdity in the continuing carnival of absurdities that is the immoral and disgusting "War on Drugs".
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