Stoner comedies are often some of the best written and memorable comedies to come down the pike. Ok that may not be entirely true, but some of the best comedies do revolve around the drug and if Half-Baked is any indication, we should get a stoner comedy that is really good every ten years or so. Pineapple Express is that latest entry into the genre, and with Judd Apatow and company in tow, you know it’s going to be an entertaining ride from start to finish. And, as with all Apatow outings, we’ll learn something along the way. Assuming we aren’t doubled over with laughter, anyway.
Ride high on the Pineapple Express, the outrageously hysterical blockbuster from Judd Apatow, the director and screenwriter of Knocked Up. A lazy stoner (Seth Rogen) is the sole witness to a murder by an evil drug lord (Gary Cole) and a corrupt cop (Rosie Perez). Marked for death, he runs for his life, dragging his dazed dealer (James Franco) and his supplier (Danny McBride) with him on a hilarious pot-fueled adventure. Directed by David Gordon Green. Screenplay by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg.
Sooo….yeah, this is a funny film. What did you really expect me to say? That Apatow somehow released a bomb (Drillbit Taylor not withstanding) that we all wouldn’t laugh at? Nay, Pineapple Express is everything the trailers promised and then some. The film can easily be categorized as an action/comedy in the truest sense of the word and may even join the ranks of Lethal Weapon in the future when it comes to entertaining, funny and action-packed outings. And to give you an idea the state of mind this film leaves you in after watching it, I accidently typed “joint he ranks” above before realizing my typo, but not before I started laughing silently to myself. Joint he ranks. Superb.
In any case, there are so many things that work about this film, I think I’ll start with the one thing that doesn’t. The whole idea that the entire plot to kill Rogen and Franco stems from Rogen leaving a roach outside of a drug dealers house seems a bit ridiculous and the rapidity that it’s tracked back to them is quite astonishing…but, it did get the plot moving along at a nice pace. The near two hours the film runs doesn’t even feel heavy handed and nearly everything about the film feels as if it should have always been there, although the scenes involving Danny McBride to get a bit long winded (but in a good way).
Speaking of Danny McBride, how awesome is that man? He’s been showing up in all kinds of stuff lately and every time he pops up on screen a smile instantly comes to my face. The brawl inside his house is probably the funniest sequence in the film and my face hurt, literally, for a good five minutes after it ended. It’s such a ridiculous sequence in of itself, yet it’s so easy to get caught up in and really enjoy. That’s really all the entire film is; it’s just one funny moment after another and just when you think Rogen’s character is going to learn something important about his relationship with a high school student (not as weird as it sounds…well it kind of is), he totally stalls and ends up allowing it to all fall apart again.
While you won’t learn much from the film, it really is a fantastic genre mash up for Apatow. First he had a music/comedy with Walk Hard, then his string of romance/comedy with Virgin, Knocked Up, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Now there’s Pineapple Express, an action/comedy that is, admittedly, pretty geared towards the male audience, but there’s still plenty to enjoy here regardless.
Overall Pineapple Express is just as you’d imagine—funny from beginning to end and punctuated with fantastic performances by Seth Rogen, James Franco, Danny McBride, and Gary Cole. The ending is a bit random, but then again this whole movie is set off by pot smoking, so it’s not going to be the most strictly engineered plot. Highly Recommended.
Sony has once again decided to unleash a whole multitude of variations of this film for the home video market: Rated Single Disc DVD, Unrated Single Disc DVD, Unrated Two-Disc DVD, Rated UMD, unrated Blu-ray. Yes…for some reason they’ve once again bothered to release a “rated” version of the film, despite including both on the “Unrated” release. On top of that, that will also be the version I’m reviewing, although I highly doubt it’s the one that people will be picking up.
The rated version arrives in a standard single disc amaray case with an insert inside for the Blu-ray format. Menus are simple and easy to navigate and video for the film is what you’d expect from a modern release. Clean, clear, fair amount of detail and overall a solid picture. Audio is a similarly pleasing area, with a English DD5.1 track taking the dialogue focused film and putting it front and center, while the action sequences (and there are many of them) litter the surrounds with gunfire and thrown punches. Also included is a French DD5.1 track, as well as English and French subtitles.
For the extras we won’t get the usual Apatow trove for this single disc rated release (the two-disc release, however, is pretty packed). First up is a selection of Extended and Alternate Scenes (9:59) which are, as expected, hilarious and well worth watching. Most of them are more extended rather than alternate takes, but I’ll take what I can get—the Apatow DVD extras are, without a doubt, the best being produced for DVDs. Also included is a hilarious Gag Reel (4:56) and a quick Making of (21:08). All of these are presented in anamorphic widescreen.
Of course no set (single disc or no) would be complete without a Cast and Crew Commentary. As you would surmise, the track is a riot and well worth watching if you enjoyed the film. Plenty of jokes are made at the expense of one another, but there’s also plenty of discussion about the production of the film itself as well.
Overall while this is a nice little single disc release, fans of Apatow will in no way be pleased by the small selection. The two-disc or Blu-ray is definitely the way to go for die-hards, and even casuals will want pick up the unrated single disc over this rated single disc. After all, you only get five more minutes of movie…but that’s better than nothing. Skip this release and pick up one of the more fully loaded editions.
Pineapple Express is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.