"When it comes to herb, you gotta set some standards in your life."

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Tomorrow night at the Parkway Theater -- local writer-director Kevin Hahn premieres his new film Stoner's Run. Judging by the cover art (below), I assumed it was gonna be in the grand tradition of Up in Smoke or Half-Baked, which is to say, a pot comedy all the way. I'm not sure if it's a spoiler to tell you that the giant joint never actually makes an appearance.

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Tonally, I'd actually compare Stoner's Run more to Friday -- there are plenty of hangin' out, trash-talkin' scenes ("When I was your age, I got more ass than a toilet!"), but the film takes a somber turn about halfway through as a drug-bust plot develops alongside the main action. Mostly, though, Stoner's Run is the tale of three buddies who crisscross the Bay Area trying to score some weed for the night's party. This is fortunate, for the film's strongest moments are when the pals are simply hanging out and giving each other a hard time. There's a natural rapport among the actors (lead Andres Sinohui, as the posse's sole married-with-kid dude, is easily the strongest performer) that suggests the friendships probably extend offscreen as well.

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As with any low-budget film, there are some technical limitations -- the camera barely moves, the scenes are overlit, and the acting's not the greatest (think Clerks, for comparison's sake). But Stoner's Run has a certain homegrown charm, pun intended, that makes me think Hahn and the rest of his crew had an awfully good time working on it. Also, where else are you going to find a film that includes a long, passionate monologue on the near-mythical qualities of sensimilla?

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All images c. 2006 Stoner's Run, LLC

Stoner's Run plays Tues/14, 9:15, Parkway Theater, 1834 Park, Oakl. $3. (510) 814-2400, www.picturepubpizza.com
www.stonersrun.com, www.myspace.com/stonersrun

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