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. For this review I’ll be tackling the mother of them all: the two-disc unrated Blu-ray edition. The unrated Blu-ray version arrives in a standard dual disc Elite Blu-ray 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.
The 1080p AVC images presented here is pretty much what you’d expect from a modern film: clean, clear and nothing to express disdain for. It’s a fantastic looking picture with lush visuals for those wooded area sequences and plenty of deep blacks for the final raid on the hash house at the end of the film. Skin tones are level and quite frankly if you found something to complain about this film, you either were looking too hard or had a tear in your eye from the laughter (or there’s a third venue, but I’m sure we all know what that is and I certainly won’t imply any of you watched this movie high). Audio is a forceful Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix that, as expected…wait no, it wasn’t entirely expected. This movie mixes comedy and action together so well that the usual front focused efforts of a comedic soundtrack are instead all over the place with ample surround usage and plenty of fantastic sound effects and gun blasts to keep your attention rapt. Also included is a French TrueHD 5.1 and Spanish, Portuguese, and Thai DD5.1 soundtracks, as well as English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chiense, Korean, Thai, and Indonesian subtitles.
The extras are well…they’re Apatow extras, what more can I say? The full list includes:
Cast and Crew Audio Commentary
Deleted/Extended & Alternate Scenes
The Making of Pineapple Express
The Action of Pineapple Express
Red and Jessica’s Guide to Marriage
First Table Read
Trailer (Red Band)
So yeah. There’s plenty to check out here and everything from the full length commentary to the incredible amount of deleted/extended scenes and “fake” extras (always nice to see) is well worth watching. In fact, I daresay that not a single one of those extras was any less entertaining than the movie itself, which really quite fantastic.
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. Casuals may be wooed by the single disc editions, but the two-disc or Blu-ray edition is where it’s at—absolutely loaded with extras, two versions of the film and just an absolute riot from beginning to end. Highly Recommended.
Pineapple Express is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.