Saturday, May 16, 2009

They used the funny script for rolling papers

Pineapple Express (2008)

Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

It was my understanding that this was a funny movie. I had seen several online headlines of positive reviews.

What the hell were they smoking?

This is another in the latest line of “bromance” movies where two unlikely dudes bond together, in this case process server Seth Rogen and small-time pot dealer James Franco, after Rogen witnesses the city’s main drug dealer murder a rival with the aid of a crooked cop. That’s a recipe for good, fun times if I ever heard any.

I usually like Judd Apatow-produced films; this is one of the few exceptions. I blame indie darling director David Gordon Green. His previous movies all sound like long, slow, boring dramas, combine that with Apatow’s patented improv techniques and you have a long, slow, boring comedy, with scenes that go on way too long and beat around the bush getting to the point. It's a bad sign when you look at the DVD counter and think, "It's been 25 minutes, WHEN is this gonna start getting funny?"

This is the second script from Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg, their first being the charming teen bromance Superbad, which was more than a bit autobiographical. Here starting out of whole cloth, they create unsympathetic characters. Rogen plays another fat slacker, who only seems to have a job to support his pot habit, and he smokes A LOT of pot. His character also has a hot 18 year old girlfriend, which, you know, most fat, poor pot heads have. Yeah, right (that’s when it pays off being the movie’s co-writer and co-producer). Danny McBride plays the Danny McBride character, a combination (perhaps "oscillation" is a better word) of his moronic loudmouth from Tropic Thunder and loudmouth moron from Foot Fist Way. James Franco, never my favorite actor, is the most sympathetic character as the pot dealer, perhaps because he’s always talking about his aged grandma. The great Gary Cole is wasted as the drug kingpin (he does fantastic impressions and voices for cartoons, but never seems to do that in his live action roles, save for Mr. Brady in the first two Brady Bunch films).

Similar to the classic comedy Beverly Hills Cop, they go WAY overboard with the violence. In a comedy, even an R-Rated one, I don’t want to see people being shot execution style, with their brains going splat on the window, or see another character lose part of his ear (what is this, a Quentin Tarantino movie?).

That’s not funny. Unless maybe you were totally high when you wrote it.

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