Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pineapple Express -- The Review


Last Thursday my friends and I checked out an advanced screening of Pineapple Express followed by a Q&A with the film's director David Gordon Green at BAM in Brooklyn.


I had originally planned to include a few personal photos of the experience along with this post but WRONG. Before we entered the auditorium we were asked to turn in cell phones to be collected after the screening. I have to admit this was annoying because A. I don't have picture or video on my phone and B. that meant long lines entering and exiting to collect the cameras. Grrr. I then had to have my bag searched and I totally forgot that my camera was in my bag until security started yelling "Camera! Camera! She has a camera!" Seriously overreacting but whatever, I check my items and go in.

Upon entering the theater I notice the room rapidly filling up with a plethora of hipsters and film geeks and I look around the room and realize I am the only black person in the room. I mention this to my friend who then pointed out that no there were two other black people present which brought our totals up to 3 out of about 120 people which I guess sounds about right.

Eventually after waiting about 20 minutes the evening's host enters to introduce the film.

She was very pretty and very French which means I had to strain to understand what she was saying through her very heavy accent. Perhaps she may not have been the best person to choose to MC an event.

At this point my friend points out that Sam Rockwell is sitting in the row ahead of us which prompts me to get a lady boner (schwing!) and pretend to be cool as I crane my neck for a better view.

The director then goes to the front of the room and shares a few words of welcome with everyone and then it begins....

So, I'm not going to include too many spoilers for you (aww) because that would be no fun, but I can share my general perspective.

To be honest the first 15-20 minutes were not really funny even though people in the audience were laughing (albeit somewhat forced laughter). Eventually after the first half-hour of set up, the film finds its groove and is really really funny. Like LOL funny. It's the kind of movie that you want to buy later on DVD because the funniest parts aren't the big gags but that subtle one-liners that you may miss over the laughter of everyone in the audience.


Seth Rogen and James Franco were pretty good in their lead roles. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Franco isn't as thin as I thought he was.

Danny McBride in the role of Red pretty much stole the show every time he was on screen and the rest of the supporting cast was great. I will warn viewers that the movie is ridiculous, which is kind of the point, so please no complaints about anything being "unrealistic." All in all good fun. I will definitely go see it again in theaters, probably high this time (420!) and I will probably be that girl who sneaks in McDonald's into the theater to assuage the munchies.


At the end of the screening David Gordon Green held a Q&A. Most of the questions were painfully bad but here are some of the highlights from the discussion:

  • The suit Seth Rogen wears in the film was selected solely on its ability to allow audiences to see his dick print through the pants.
  • The name of the film came from the fact that the writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg just wanted to name a movie Pineapple Express--that's it.
  • Huey Lewis was originally considered for the role of the main drug kingpin played by Gary Cole.
  • During a scene where they are running through the woods James Franco is supposed to run into a tree but since he is a Method actor he totally goes for it and ends up cracking his head. Because of this, Franco wears a headband for half of the film to cover his head wound.
  • A large percentage of the film is improvised.
  • Gordon Green went to college with Danny McBride and once appeared nude in one of McBride's student films. As repayment, anytime McBride appears on one of David Gordon Green's films he is forced to wear the most awful outfits ever. In Pineapple Express he rocked a sweet box hair cut with a red mesh tank-top and a peach colored FUBU track jacket.

Pineapple Express hits theaters August 6th.

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