Thoughts on "Pineapple Express" . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, August 25, 2008

Worth Full-Price, Matinee or Rental: Maybe if you're stoned, you could justify paying full price, however, this is purely a matinee event for the dog days of summer. Besides, you should save the delta between matinee and evening prices to buy snacks.

Will I Own It On DVD: Possibly. If I could get this on-sale for less than $10, then I might grab it depending on my state of financial affairs.

1) "Pineapple Express" is a semi-ambitious stoner movie as it blends a lot of dope with the 80s action-buddy genre and boasts mixed results. The swing from laughable, dope-addled pals to somewhat brutal violence is a tricky line to walk, and yet this film is only occasionally jarring in the delivery (mainly in the far too long and violent ending).

2) Seth Rogen ("Knocked Up," "Superbad") plays the main character of Dale, a process server in his mid-20s who smokes dope all day while serving court orders and also dates an 18-year-old high school girl. Rogen's character is another spin on the one he played in "Knocked Up," and it's a testament to his inherent liability that you always pull for him to succeed despite a startling lack of ambition.

3) While Rogen has consistently delivered the goods, it was James Franco's performance as the titular pot dealer of a super-strain of weed - Pineapple Express - who was the revelation. In general, Franco ("Spiderman") has done nothing but irritate me in nearly every role I've ever seen him in as I loathed him in the "Spiderman" films.

But he is flat-out excellent in "Pineapple Express" as he slips fully into the role of a dim-witted dealer who runs around in pajama pants and smokes dope all day long.

4) The romance angle in "Pineapple Express" is the most underwritten aspect of the film. It felt like a late perfunctory addition to the script, and it never goes anywhere before essentially disappearing entirely prior to the climax.

That being said, it does offer the chance for Ed Begley Jr, playing the role of an overprotective father, to yell at Rogen to get out of his house or "I will drag you outside and fuck you in the street." Priceless.

5) As in most Judd Apatow productions (he doesn't direct here, but produces), the real relationship is more about male friendship. One of the reasons his films are so likable and the characters so empathetic is that they feature hilarious banter and solid friendship chemistry that rings true. This allows the audience to invest in the characters and follow them through sometimes outlandish scenarios.



  1. Heff Says:
  2. This one may be worth a look. Oh who am I kidding. I'll wait for Dish as always.

  3. This is on my list along with Tropic Thunder. Why I love this genre of movies, I don't know but my whole mute this week is about them. BTW, over the weekend while looking for pictures for my Mute Monday, I randomly clicked on a Google Image of Rodney Dangerfield and was brought to your blog. I've always thought it was a small world and cyber world seems to be the same?

  4. Heff - I think it's best when we're honest with ourselves, eh? Probably a fine move in this case to wait for Dish.

    ANonymous Boxer - I like this genre too as when they're done well, then they are a lot of fun. And that's great bout the Dangerfield click as I wrote about Back to School at some point, and it's a fine association for me. Ha.

  5. Gypsy Says:
  6. Your excellent review just reminded me that there has been no word lately on how your screenplay is going. Any news there that you can divulge?

  7. Linda Says:
  8. The more I think about this one the more I like it. You're right about Franco, he's great in this. Nice review.

  9. Miss Ash Says:
  10. The trailers for this one did not amuse me one bit so I'm not going to bother, I did however see Tropic Thunder on the weekend. For someone who tries to be as PC as possible I did find it rather funny!

  11. I share your irritation of Franco and am surprised to see a good review of his performance here. This alone may be enough for a rental. Do you think Franco is more talented than we thought or would you give credit to the director/script/editing...

  12. Gypsy - Thanks on the review, and I actually have a script update as well, so good timing. Ha. I'll post on it this week or next.

    Linda - It had its moments for me as well, but overrall, I would say that it was far from great (yet very solid). But I'll take sporadically amusing if that's what I'm in the mood for, and the performances were very good.

    Miss Ash - I heard that about 'Thunder' and you finally beat me to a film, so we should note that for posterity. Ha. I'm actually planning to see Thunder this coming weekend, and a review should follow.

    Getoffmylawn - I heard that Franco was actually good on a short-lived TV show called "Freaks and Geeks," which I never saw. I first saw him in Spiderman and loathed him and his performance in that movie and others. But he was very believable and endearing as this pot dealer and I was very, very surprised.

  13. vivavavoom Says:
  14. have you seen Tropic Thunder? I heard it was great...but that person also liked Titanic. Let me know. By the time I get to go it will be at the $1 theater!

  15. grace Says:
  16. I will definitely check this movie out, as I usually like Seth Rogen flicks. Chances are I'll wait till it comes out on dvd though... I'm lazy that way.

  17. Al Gore Says:
  18. I invented stoner buddy movies.

  19. Vivavavoom - Good question. I'm actually going to catch 'Thunder' this coming weekend, so I'll post a review next week.

    Grace - Sometimes it's good to drag yourself out to the theater, but in this case, I think you're justified in waiting for DVD as it will hold just fine.

    Al Gore - . . . and the Internet, eh? Simply amazing. Ha.

  20. movie buff Says:
  21. first half of Pineapple Express was about half as good as Knocked Up; the second half was almost as bad as Freddy God Fingered


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