*** Official PINEAPPLE EXPRESS Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Nicholas Vargo, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. Nicholas Vargo

    Nicholas Vargo Second Unit

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    Well, back on Thursday evening, I was given the chance to see Pineapple Express, and i have seen it. What follows is my review courtesy of my MySpace blog (Apologies in advance if there are any spoilers):

    Pineapple Express - ***1/2
    Directed by David Gordon Green

    Although highly anticipated by me, I worried going into the sneak screening of this movie tonight that I might not enjoy it all that much, especially after the positive, but not thoroughly enthusiastic responses I received from some old friends from Pittsburgh last night. However, as the lights went down and the picture started to unfold, i realized that my expectations were going to be exceeded, because this action comedy manages to be a daring studio movie that manages to balance both well in both style and execution.

    Starting with the vintage black & white Columbia logo (from the 1930s), Pineapple Express opens in 1937, when the military is testing the effects that marijuana has on people. This opening sequence is not only a truly inspired sequence, but it also manages to make you laugh out loud at the same time. You'll be drooling at the visuals, but you'll be laughing right along with it too. The film then transitions to present day, where we meet Dale Denton (Seth Rogan), a process server who disguises himself as many different people during his work day so he can deliver them subpenas and other things like that, but also has his own problems, including the fact that he is dating an 18-year old girl named Angie and his recent obsession with marijuana as well. That's where Saul Silver (James Franco, stealing the whole show I might add) comes in. He's Dale's pot dealer, and he is just gotten in some of the most rare pot known to man called the Pineapple Express. Saul's saying alone for it makes the scene itself a very funny affair. While on his way to issue a subpenea to a man named Ted Jones (Gary Cole), Dale discovers quite by acident that he is a drug czar, and that he has a crooked cop named Carol (Rosie Perez) who helps him do his dirty work. We find out because Dale becomes a witness to their murder of a member of an Asian gang, who is at war with Ted's gang. While leaving his butt of Pineapple Express on the ground, Dale hurries back to Saul, this time to find out how rare the drug is and whether it can be traced back to them. Before they know it, both Dale and Saul are on the run and are level-headed enough to notice that they're being chased by just about everyone who is not on their side.

    What follows from that point on is a buddy movie similar in style to comedy classics like 48 Hrs. and Rush Hour as they try to avoid Ted Jones and his goons, who are planning to dispatch of both Dale and Saul, as well as trying to explain their situation to anyone, from Dale's girlfriend all the way to Saul's friend Red (the hilarious Danny McBride). In fact, Red is the character that manages outside of Franco's Saul to deliver some of the biggest laughs of the film. Take the scene where Dale and Saul interrogate Red on what he knows. Once Dale realizes that he is lying, what ensues is one of the funniest violent scenes I have ever had the privlage of viewing on the big screen, as they try to kill him off and fail unbelievably in the process. This idea becomes a running joke, and a very good one at that. You think at first that Rogan and his co-writer Evan Goldberg won't be able to come through with it, but they do, and in spectacular fasion too, I might add. It's also a testament to David Gordon Green's direction that it comes off without a hitch.

    There are numerous other scenes that will have you in stitches, such as a couple of smart car chases (the one I'm referring to specifically is the one that has been seen in the trailers, with Saul's leg going through the windshield), a confession scene where Dale tells his girlfriend that he loves her, only to realize his mistake, a meeting with her parents (Ed Begley Jr. and Nora Dunn) that turns into gunpoint 101, and an extended finale taking place in a barn that involves our heroes, main villains, and the Asians all shooting at each other. It is in fact this sequence that proves Pineapple Express's worth, that it's really an uproarious excuse to make us laugh and watch Apatow and company blow everything up, including the kitchen sink.

    If there are really any complaints that I have with the film, there are really only two. One, we kind of leave Angie hanging at the end. It's unfortunate because just seeing her get out of this mess would've been a little more satisfying. The same goes for its ending, where it seems like it just ends. It seemed that there could've been a true denoumont, but the creators seem to just want to quit while they're ahead. While I wish there was a little more to go after that scene, I guess after the insanity that came before it, ending it with just one scene afterwards might seem like the best alternative. Still, they are minor quibbles in what is truly a funny film.

    My initial reaction leaving the movie was that I had witnessed one of the funniest films of the summer, but in all fairness and honesty, the film has sunk in for two reasons. One, there really hasn't been a truly funny comedy made so far this summer yet, and two, I caught myself quoting the movie as I left it. Here is so far the funniest film of the summer, and although it's not quite the funniest film I've seen this year, it makes for worthy competition for a spot up there. It's really an amazing feat that I'm able to announce that the writers of Superbad have managed to create another comedy classic, this time one where its action and comedy comes together to form a compatible charge that I have not seen in quite some time. When this film hits your local multiplex, expect to laugh until it hurts. One of the funniest films of the year, and easily the funniest film to grace us so far this summer!

    Also, I just want to mention that if you want to hear a good tune during the end credits, stick around for the title song performed by none other than Huey Lewis & The News. This is actually the second time I've heard it (I was introduced to the song on the official soundtrack page on MySpace not too long ago) and I liked it a lot more the second time around. To conclude this review, I repeat my last line from the previous paragraph: When this film hits your local multiplex, expect to laugh until it hurts. One of the funniest films of the year, and easily the funniest film to grace us so far this summer!

    Rated R, 111 minutes. Starts August 6th at theatres everywhere.
     
  2. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    Saw this earlier. Overall, it's a very funny and very good film, but I'm a little disappointed since I loved the trailers so much and expected to flat out love the movie.

    The story construction doesn't seem as smooth nor does the movie seem as well rounded as Superbad, but the movie's about as funny and the action's pretty fun. Plenty of hilarious lines and moments to go around.

    If anything, I was disappointed by the lack of closure. The final scene is great, but...

    Dale's still wanted by the cops, he's probably out of the job, his girlfriend's family is still hiding out, etc. And the whole incident in the desert went unnoticed by cops, etc?
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Pineapple Express". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.



    Crawdaddy
     
  4. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Granted, there are a lot of funny, manic scenes, as well as violently cartoonish segments that produced laughter and wincing, it's a mess of a film and its middle act sags mightily. It felt like they were trying to throw everything and the kitchen sink to elicit laughs from the audience.

    I give it 2.75 stars, or a grade of B-.
     

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