Plot: What’s it about?
I was watching a comedian on Comedy Central by the name of Daniel Tonks not too long ago and he said one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard: “I think we should legalize marijuana…just to every pothead out there will have nothing left to bitch about.” And when you think about it, it’s true. There’s no denying that marijuana is at the very heart of “Pineapple Express” as Seth Rogen’s character lights up at least a dozen times a day. But before I delve into the plot details, I will say a few words about Mr. Rogen. I like the guy, I really do. I feel he had a great supporting role in “The 40 Year-Old Virgin” and his proving ground was “Knocked Up”. I recently watched “Zack and Miri make a Porno” and thought he was great in that. Now to his discredit I’ll say that he seems to play the exact same character in every single movie. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, as quite a few actors have made a very good living playing the same part over and over. Rogen is talented, though, and even produced and co-wrote “Pineapple Express” so here’s hoping that we’ll see a little more diversity out of him in the future.
Rogen plays Dale Denton, a process server (someone who tracks people down and gives them papers to appear in court) who’s perpetually high and takes a weird kind of pleasure in his job. He’s dating a girl in high school, which isn’t really explored too much in the film and lives for, well, nothing. On the job, he witnesses a murder by a rouge police officer (my least favorite actress in the world ? Rosie Perez) and local drug lord, Ted Jones (Gary Cole). Dale quickly hurries back to his dealer Saul (James Franco) because the pot he was smoking was left at the scene of the crime. No big deal, right? Well, the pot is so rare that only one dealer has it and Dale feels in his paranoia that Ted will find and therefore kill him. Dale’s right. The rest of the film is more of a buddy film with Saul and Dale trying to elude the drug dealers even hooking up with Saul’s dealer, Red (Danny McBride). There’s also a sub plot about Ted and the Asians being at war for the number one drug dealer in the city, but it takes a back seat to the comedy going on between Saul and Dale.
“Pineapple Express” is a movie I was looking forward to just because I tend to enjoy Seth Rogen’s movies. Having seen it, I did enjoy it but it’s certainly up there with his better films. The real scene-stealer is James Franco who seems to have nailed the slacker/pothead/drug dealer part to a tee. There’s no denying the chemistry between Rogen and Franco and they do maximize it as much as they can. I suppose my main problem with the film is that it couldn’t really decide what it wanted to be. On the surface it’s a comedy, but there’s a lot of action/adventure and violence thrown in for good measure. There’s a character shot in the stomach at least five times, yet never dies. Then again, maybe this movie was made more for people “under the influence”. Nevertheless, it’s got some great moments and the trio of Seth Rogen, James Franco and Danny McBride do make it worth at least one viewing.
Video: How does it look?
The video for “Pineapple Express” looks about what we’d expect from a new to Blu-ray film. The movie takes place in Las Vegas (though you have to be pretty in tune with the details to pick up on that), so there are lots of great, bright outdoor shots. Blue skies look great, though I did notice a little more grain in some scenes than I was expecting. Flesh tones are great as is contrast. Detail is above average and we see every scratch and scuff that the characters accumulate during the course of the film. Overall a good transfer, but I was expecting a bit better.
Audio: How does it sound?
The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack sound fairly good, but there’s not a lot of ambiance going on. There’s no real soundtrack as most of the action is the constant dialogue between Rogen and Franco. If these guys got paid by the word, they’d be billionaires. There are some moments with gunfire, a bomb goes off and there are a few car chase scenes and all of that sounds as we’d expect. Then again this is, by and large, a comedy and comedies aren’t really known for their sound. It’s a good effort, but nothing that stands out as being truly memorable.
Supplements: What are the extras?
“Pineapple Express” comes to Blu-ray in a two disc edition with the second disc being a digital copy of the film. First off we have two versions of the movie, a rated and unrated with six more minutes of footage in the film. We start off with a cast and crew commentary which was far worse than I’d imagined. It’s basically a bunch of people laughing and offering very little insight into the film, I suppose I’m not too surprised but I’d expected a little more content from the filmmakers. There are tons of deleted and extended scenes as well as a couple of featurettes that tell of the “Making of…” the film and the action as well. “Direct-O-Rama and Line-O-Rama” are basically the same thing and might as well be classified as alternate scenes, it’s just the actors doing different takes on the same scene. A gag reel is also included. We get a look at Saul’s apartment, some outtakes (with the hilarious Justin Long making a cameo) on “Item 9” which was the technical name for “Pineapple Express” which was the name of the pot in the film. We also have some rehearsal footage, some outtakes with Ed Begley Jr. and get to listen to James Franco and Seth Rogen whine as they tell us how much physical damage they sustained on the set of the movie. There’s also some footage of the group at the San Diego Comic-Con. I’m sure I missed a few things, but there’s enough supplements here to easily warrant a purchase and I’m sure fans of the movie will be more than willing to fork over their cash to have this in their library. The disc is also BD Live enabled.