Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pineapple Express (2008)

Director David Gordan Green takes a break from making beautiful slow-paced-art-house-fare (“George Washington,” “All the Real Girls”) to make a stoner-comedy-buddy-action-movie-satire, which is also a nice companion piece to “The Big Lebowski.” The premise for this Apatow production is that a perpetual stoner (Seth Rogan) and his lonely drug dealer (James Franco) must go on the run when the stoner witnesses a murder, and hilarity and male-bonding ensues.

Well for starters, “Pineapple” didn't have rolling in the isles with laughter, but it did keep me enthralled throughout. The stoner humor was funny the majority of the time, but rarely laugh-out-loud funny. Surprisingly, the action scenes in the movie were really strong, and at times shockingly violent, including a rough three-way brawl through a bathroom and living area, not mention a scene in which a character's corpse gets it's foot shot off. Seth Rogan yells like Chewbacca through most of the film, while James Franco delivers a very solid and sympathetic performance. I never really understood why he was famous, but at least I can say I liked him one thing.

There's a lot of duos in the film, a pair of argumentative hitmen (Craig Robinson & the always awesome Kevin Corrigan) & a crooked cop (Rosie Perez) whose in bed with a big time drug dealer (Gary Cole). Their scenes in particular do the most with the least amount of screen time, and I particularly like the scene where Perez tells Cole that she wants out of the whole thing. It felt somewhat improvised and really had some chemistry. There's a subplot about Rogan's teenage girlfriend and her family that ultimately goes nowhere. And then there's Danny McBride's character, Red, a spineless wannabe-gangster-middleman that constantly afraid of everyone, but seems to be impervious to everything. I think if we were to keep the “Lebowski” comparison alive here, Red would be a lot like John Goodman's character in that film, he's a character that most audiences either love or hate. In the end, I think “Pineapple” has more in common with “Lebowski” than just subject matter. I think ultimately it's going to improve with age, and for that matter, viewings.

I watched "Pineapple Express" on 8/5/06 at midnight at the Tinseltown 20

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