Just For Laughs 2008: Pineapple Express

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Pineapple Expresspineappleexpress

2008, USA

David Gordon Green

When I first heard about Pineapple Express, I doubted it right away. An action comedy directed by David Gordon Green, the guy who gave us George Washington and Snow Angels? No way in hell could this keep me entertained from beginning to end! But then again you can’t judge a book by its cover and oh Christ, once you get past this book’s cover, it’s all uphill. Forget about everything you’ve seen Seth Rogan in and prepare yourself for the role he was born to play. A STONER.

Consider the comedic talent that conceived this story: Judd Apatow, Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogan. Furthermore, take into account that most of the Apatow-related productions are seriously demented comedies that are right up my alley: Anchorman, Knocked Up, Drillbit Taylor, Superbad, etc. Apatow’s crew keeps a pretty good average at the plate and very few of his projects have been panned by the media (except Talladega Nights, which sucked more than the average socialite). Rogan and his friends constitute the newest “Pack” incarnation, name them as you will, but they are quickly replacing Ben Stiller’s “Frat Pack” as the funniest actors in town. Pineapple Express seals its position as the best comedy of the year, if not the bloody decade, and it should be considered alongside Lethal Weapon and Beverley Hills Cop as the best action comedies of our generation.

What makes Pineapple Express truly special isn’t the (particularly unoriginal) story, but rather its ability to capture the authenticity of a mundane conversation between friends and turn it into something hilarious, in the same vein that Knocked Up and Superbad were able to do (once again due to Rogan). Since recounting his sidesplitting, first-hand depiction of a woman being penetrated by a horse in The 40-year old Virgin, Seth Rogan has carved his own special kind of writing niche and has demonstrated that stagnating punch lines and over the top humor are a thing of the past. Proof of which is Will Ferrell’s rapid decline in popularity amongst the 25-34 crowd that watch his movies. Pineapple’s dialogue shies away from the generic, elaborate progression that leads to a joke and focuses on the moment itself, or rather the improvisation that comes with it. Whether it’s a facial expression, a gesture off camera or a silly question, the give and go between characters is legendary. A man trying to buzz his way into an apartment building has never made me laugh before, but these guys pulled it off.

Furthermore, while the amount of swearing borders the thousand-mark, it is extremely appreciated, considering the childish ratings that other so-called ‘raunchy’ comedies are stuck with. Finally, a studio that knows when to give complete helm to its writers and just let them go wild. Rogan’s experience writing for Da Ali G show and Superbad shines in just about every scene.

At the core, this movie is about friendship and the limits to which they can be subjected to. Rogan and Franco are so in tune with each other that it would have been interesting to see them interact between takes, considering that Apatow-lead movies never really stop filming, a practice with the intention of promoting improvisation throughout the movie. Both Knocked Up and Superbad produced well over a million feet of tape, a feat which had hitherto been unheard of for comedies.

From the opening scene that includes a fantastic cameo by Thomas Haden Church until the final coffee shop exchange, you’d be hard pressed to find a single flaw in this movie. Best of all is the culmination of action scenes that reaches a fever pitch towards the very end, one that leaves you breathless and hoping for just a little bit more….until we get it, in true Rogan style. You’ll know when you see it.

I’ll be looking forward to next year’s Rogan-Goldberg collaboration entitled “Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse”, the teaser trailer for which has already been available on YouTube for the past year or so. Can Hollywood’s new comedy kings reproduce the magic and absolute genius in Pineapple Express? Based on what we have so far, I’d think so!

Myles Dolphin

2008, USA

David Gordon Green

When I first heard about Pineapple Express, I doubted it right away. An action comedy directed by David Gordon Green, the guy who gave us George Washington and Snow Angels? No way in hell could this keep me entertained from beginning to end! But then again you can’t judge a book by its cover and oh Christ, once you get past this book’s cover, it’s all uphill. Forget about everything you’ve seen Seth Rogan in and prepare yourself for the role he was born to play. A STONER.

Consider the comedic talent that conceived this story: Judd Apatow, Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogan. Furthermore, take into account that most of the Apatow-related productions are seriously demented comedies that are right up my alley: Anchorman, Knocked Up, Drillbit Taylor, Superbad, etc. Apatow’s crew keeps a pretty good average at the plate and very few of his projects have been panned by the media (except Talladega Nights, which sucked more than the average socialite). Rogan and his friends constitute the newest “Pack” incarnation, name them as you will, but they are quickly replacing Ben Stiller’s “Frat Pack” as the funniest actors in town. Pineapple Express seals its position as the best comedy of the year, if not the bloody decade, and it should be considered alongside Lethal Weapon and Beverley Hills Cop as the best action comedies of our generation.

What makes Pineapple Express truly special isn’t the (particularly unoriginal) story, but rather its ability to capture the authenticity of a mundane conversation between friends and turn it into something hilarious, in the same vein that Knocked Up and Superbad were able to do (once again due to Rogan). Since recounting his sidesplitting, first-hand depiction of a woman being penetrated by a horse in The 40-year old Virgin, Seth Rogan has carved his own special kind of writing niche and has demonstrated that stagnating punch lines and over the top humor are a thing of the past. Proof of which is Will Ferrell’s rapid decline in popularity amongst the 25-34 crowd that watch his movies. Pineapple’s dialogue shies away from the generic, elaborate progression that leads to a joke and focuses on the moment itself, or rather the improvisation that comes with it. Whether it’s a facial expression, a gesture off camera or a silly question, the give and go between characters is legendary. A man trying to buzz his way into an apartment building has never made me laugh before, but these guys pulled it off.

Furthermore, while the amount of swearing borders the thousand-mark, it is extremely appreciated, considering the childish ratings that other so-called ‘raunchy’ comedies are stuck with. Finally, a studio that knows when to give complete helm to its writers and just let them go wild. Rogan’s experience writing for Da Ali G show and Superbad shines in just about every scene.

At the core, this movie is about friendship and the limits to which they can be subjected to. Rogan and Franco are so in tune with each other that it would have been interesting to see them interact between takes, considering that Apatow-lead movies never really stop filming, a practice with the intention of promoting improvisation throughout the movie. Both Knocked Up and Superbad produced well over a million feet of tape, a feat which had hitherto been unheard of for comedies.

From the opening scene that includes a fantastic cameo by Thomas Haden Church until the final coffee shop exchange, you’d be hard pressed to find a single flaw in this movie. Best of all is the culmination of action scenes that reaches a fever pitch towards the very end, one that leaves you breathless and hoping for just a little bit more….until we get it, in true Rogan style. You’ll know when you see it.

I’ll be looking forward to next year’s Rogan-Goldberg collaboration entitled “Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse”, the teaser trailer for which has already been available on YouTube for the past year or so. Can Hollywood’s new comedy kings reproduce the magic and absolute genius in Pineapple Express? Based on what we have so far, I’d think so!

Myles Dolphin

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