Wednesday, August 06, 2008

"I fly like paper, get high like planes"

(Uh oh. Someone's done it. Some slack-jawed yokel from the Great White North had the moxie to compare Pineapple Express, the new Seth Rogen stoner comedy, to cult classic The Big Lebowski:

As such, "Pineapple Express" is to action movies what "The Big Lebowski" was to film noir: a brilliant pastiche of the genre in which every classic set-up goes spectacularly off-track because the protagonists are always high!

Whatever will Justin say about this? His favorite comedy compared to a rambling movie that takes 111 minutes to do what it could have done in half the time? Stoner jokes stacked on homo jokes alongside racial jokes, violence and grossout humor. Pineapple's plot is an antithesis to the foggy haze of a plot included in Lebowski, the latter of which serves only to confuse watchers, leaving them in awkward suspense while nailing them with off-the-cuff humor. Pineapple's plot is so grossly simplified, it soon turns into a parody of different genre flicks [action, buddy cop] that falls flat in the face of its contemporaries [notably Hot Fuzz].

He probably thinks that Lebowski is forever re-watchable [part of a cult classic's charm], whereas the only reason to watch Pineapple more than once is to figure out what was said when the audience was laughing loudly after a "fuck" joke. The film remains engrossed in its own brand of humor, rarely letting the opportunity for a quick joke about reefer to pass by without one of its characters, alternatively snickering or paranoid, stumbling haphazardly into the joke void, reaching for yet another nugget of stoner wisdom.

Plus, where are all the babes? Justin probably doesn't need to be told that this whole thing is a homo mockfest, but the only woman in the flick was a cop. In full uniform. Sheesh!

I wonder if he'll mention how the trailer was cooler than the movie because of its use of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes," which he expected to be included in the movie at some key moment.

I think he's still waiting.

Whoa! Gotta go! Here he comes...)

Man, I can't believe Pineapple Express was such a disappointment! I mean, the acting was okay, and a lot of the jokes were funny, but after the first third, you might as well just leave the theater and go get some snacks or something. Or pizza... mmm.

Come on! They didn't even use "Paper Planes"!

2/5 stars.


  1. I thought the stoner parts were really funny. However, it went downhill after they spent the night in the woods.

    Like I mentioned last night, the violence had me grimacing--the way they tortured and killed off practically every main character was practically nihilistic (Big Lebowski reference). It totally harshed the office mellow.

    I felt it started to take itself way too seriously, trying to pull off intense action sequences, and essentially making the jokes take a back seat to the over-the-top violence.

    And this is coming from a guy who loves ridiculous violence (see Grindhouse, Kill Bill, Hot Fuzz, Shoot 'Em Up [which on a side note, I finally saw!], etc.).

    The transition from silly stoner hijinks to gruesome violence just didn't work.

    Dale's girlfriend provided a funny scene at the high school, but she never really served a point after that either. The phone calls between them felt tagged on... and we never find out what happens between them or whether the family is safe!

    The film's main redeeming factor was James Franco. He was perfect. Practically everything that came out of his mouth was hilarious.

    Not that it's my place to say so, but it seems like the Apatow/Rogen crew should stick with what they're good at: comedies about relationships and sex.

    Totally unrelated but funny and interesting... apparently, Forgetting Sarah Marshall was based on a lot of the actor/writer's own experiences. He really did go through a difficult break-up with a television star (she was on ER). Also, from the IMDB page:

    Screenwriter and star Jason Segel told New York Times interviewer Dave Itzkoff that both the naked breakup and Dracula puppet musical scenes were drawn from his real life experiences. In the article, Segel admitted that he really did once have a girlfriend who broke up with him while he was completely naked (although rather than being devastated during it, he thought to himself, "This is hilarious. I cannot wait for her to leave so I can write this down.") And before he was a successful actor, Segel tried to write a musical adaptation of "Dracula" for puppets.

  2. Yeah, I love all those ridiculously violent movies that you mentioned as well. But you're right - it doesn't add up in Pineapple Express.

    That's really great about the Sarah Marshall stuff. I want to see it again.