April 5, 2011

Justify My Netflix: Pineapple Express

(Like many Netflix customers, I too can get quite lax with the timely watching and returning of my movies, which of course defeats the entire purpose of having a flat-rate rental plan in the first place. To combat that, I am now writing standardized mini-reviews of each and every movie I end up watching through Netflix, both instantly and on DVD. Don't forget, all previous 'Justify My Netflix' reviews can be found on CCLaP's main movie page.)

Pineapple Express

Today's movie: Pineapple Express, 2008 (Amazon | IMDB | Netflix | Wikipedia)

Why I added it to my queue: Because this is a goofy stoner comedy from a guy who before then had been known exclusively for gritty social-realist dramas, and I've always been curious to know how such a hybrid would play out. Oh, and because he's the director behind the current fantasy-themed stoner comedy Your Highness as well, which has also had me thinking about this earlier film of his.

The reality: So yes, it's true, after helming a series of NPR panty-moisteners like George Washington and All the Real Girls, director David Gordon Green has apparently turned his eye perhaps permanently towards the sillier, more commercial end of the film world, and has hinted around during interviews that he did so basically because being rich and having fun is more enjoyable than making gritty important films that no one sees. That's certainly how Pineapple Express feels for sure, a Burt Reynolds / Dom Deluise comedy for the 21st century that is always much more about watching these real-life friends have fun on-screen than any real coherent plot that might be taking place; and while that kind of movie may be enjoyable as a rare treat, say like having cotton candy at the circus -- and definitely contains the most pot-related jokes per minute of any mainstream movie that's ever been made, for all you tokers looking for something like that -- it's also true that this film is mainly silly fluff, which is curious and disappointing from a man who used to put out projects of such high quality. (And Lord, you don't even want to know what's coming next -- along with continuing his work as a director and producer of his college buddy Kevin McBride's Eastbound and Down, he's producing the Marilyn Manson horror film Splatter Sisters, and is directing himself a high-profile US remake of the classic '70s Italian splatter film Suspiria.) Okay for an easy larf, it's not good for much else, making it a guilty pleasure and a bit of a letdown at the same time.

Strangest piece of trivia: This is the first drug-themed movie in history to gross over $100 million.

Worth your time? Under certain specific circumstances, yes

Filed by Jason Pettus at 9:15 AM, April 5, 2011. Filed under: Movies | Reviews |