Last night I attended an advanced screening for a movie due to be released on August 6th, Pineapple Express, directed by David Gordon Green, written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and starring Seth Rogen, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson and the beautiful Amber Heard from Alpha Dog. This movie is “from the guys who brought you Superbad” (and Knocked Up) and is offered to us by Columbia Pictures.
Before getting into the movie itself, I will explain how the event was. It was hosted by the Just For Laughs Film Festival in association with Cineplex Entertainment at Cinema Imperial at 1430 Bleury. When I arrived, one hour before the show started, there was already a line stretching about three blocks. Thankfully, I got to skip the line and wait in front thanks to friends working security. I have a feeling that had I been in the line, I would have gotten high from second-hand smoke; there was a lot of consumption of illicit substances to say the least. When the doors finally opened after the stars made their red carpet entrance from three black Cadillac Escalades, we were unceremoniously ushered in and asked to hand over any cameras and cell-phones equipped with cameras, as well as any device capable of capturing still images, video or sound. After handing over said devices and being thoroughly worried about getting them back, we were subjected to bag searches and metal detectors, a really ridiculous measure: I don’t see why they are so afraid of having the movie pirated, seeing as it’s already all over the internet (not that I encourage downloading it nor do I even believe half the files are real). Anyways, after being pushed around by rude staff, we found seats and waited for an hour for the movie to begin.
As an aside, the problem with watching a movie about two guys getting high is that most of the people in the theater are high themselves and extremely noisy when funny things happen, which makes it hard for a guy who’s trying to follow the movie for it’s production aspect to concentrate. I found that the crowd detracted from the movie and from the Q&A with the director after.
The movie itself: Pineapple Express is a rather stereotypical “weed action movie”, as described by the director. It is the story of a rather ordinary guy, Dale Denton, a frequent consumer of marijuana, who witnesses a murder by a drug lord after getting some of the world’s best weed – Pineapple Express – from his dealer, Saul Silver. Dale and Saul go on the run after the drug lord sends two assassins to eliminate them. This chase is made hilarious, obviously, by the fact that both are completely blitzed throughout to movie. I will not go further into details nor do I suggest watching the trailer, as they spoil some of the movie’s funnier moments.
If you liked Superbad, you’ll probably like this movie. It’s basically the same story with weed replacing booze, as the authors described it. Don’t expect any sophisticated humour though; it stays in its genre and has very simple yet effective jokes. Quite frankly put, however, there isn’t much to this movie except the jokes. I found Seth Rogen to be quite deceiving in his role (which is curious, since he is pretty much portraying himself). James Franco, on the other hand, did a fantastic job, a performance almost worthy of an Oscar, if there were one for “Best Stoner”. There was nothing spectacular about camera work or lighting, but this is something to expect from this type of movie. The script was clever and witty but at times came at a standstill. Overall, I found the movie to be exactly what I expected, and got quite a laugh out of it. I laughed, I cried, and I give it a 9/10, * * * * 1/2. Crazy laughs guaranteed.
After the movie, there was a Q&A with a couple of actors and the director, and I found that quite interesting, although they were referring a lot to inside jokes. I found David Gordon Green to be a really interesting person, and discovered that Seth Rogen is exactly who he plays in his roles. Unfortunately, I had to leave before it was all over.
I predict that Pineapple Express will be a great success, perhaps not to the heights of Superbad as it targets a slightly more specific target audience, but perhaps a Harold & Kumar. Set the date in your calendar, because on 06.08.08, the country will be set ablaze.
For those of you who insist on seeing a trailer, here it is, although I strongly recommend not watching it as it spoils some of the awesome jokes, but it shows just how funny the movie is:
Comment and appreciate!
The movie’s official website can be found at www.ridetheexpress.com
EDIT: There are contradictory messages about when the movie is due to be released. Sony Pictures says August 6th on its main page then August 8th on the release page. It has finally been cleared up, however. To avoid conflict with the Olympics, the movie will be released on August 6th 2008.