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TOPIC: Pineapple Express (2008)

Pineapple Express (2008) 9 years 2 months ago #6043

I went to see the latest Judd Apatow stoner-buddy-comedy-action-adventure movie (that's a long name for a genre!) a month ago and would like to post my thoughts here.

As a stoner flick, there's plenty of head-scratching moments which would probably make sense to you if you're under the influence, but there's still tons of fun to be had for non-potties. Rogen and Franco have great chemistry as they play two weed-smoking goofballs who bear witness to a murder of a local Asian crimelord. Corrigan stars as the kingpin guilty of the crime, and he sends three of his goons, a pair of hilarious hitmen (Corrigan and Robinson) and a dirty female cop (Perez) to hunt down the duo and silence them for good.

The chase occurs about two-thirds way through the movie. Rogen has been arrested and being taken to the nearest station by a patrol officer for selling weed to schoolkids. Franco, in a serendipitous moment after being accidentally run over by the cop, jacks her car and attempts to flee with Rogen. They reverse drive but ram straight into the crooked cop tasked with hunting them down. Franco then peels away with the lady cop in hot pursuit. They handbrake turn through an intersection and weave through traffic, while Franco promptly puts his foot through the window because he "can't see" through the mess he made on the winshield. Rogen and Franco's car gets stuck travelling on the median, before sideswiping a car and heading into a park. They swerve to avoid trees while the cop travels on the street parallel to them. J&F then hit a knoll and sail over a lake, before landing in a mall car-park. Franco, in an idea that can only come from a druggie's mind, brakes the car hoping the cop would pass them, but she abruptly stops too and fires off a few rounds in their direction. They take off again and J&F manage to avoid a car crossing their path. The cop was not so lucky, as her attempt to avoid it sends her into the back of a Cadillac Coupe de Ville, the impact making the car turn turtle.

What I liked about this chase was that it brings to mind all the great car pursuits of the 70s era, probably because a large percentage of people at that time were a)hippies and b)crackheads. The chase has all the classic cliches you've come to love: kicking out the windscreen, the hubcaps spinning off the rims, and the impossible Dukes of Hazzard-style leap (complete with an 80s electronica riff).

The cinematography is thankfully merciful, no shakey-cam, just smooth dollying and tracking as the cars swerve and crash through signboards. Again, very in the vein of 70s car chases.

The soundtrack is also amazing, once again, simple guitar riffs, drum beats, some nice electronica, and a great cut-off to silence before final impact.

In particular, I'd like to make a point on the last crash. On the surface, it looks deceptively simple but is really wonderfully shot and truly looks spectacular. The music rising to a crescendo, the cop shrieking before point of impact, cut the music, rear-end collision, the windows exploding in a shimmering shower of glass, followed by a bone-crushing rollover into an elderly scooter innocuously parked in front of it, glass shards and engine parts flying past onto the pavement. Conclude with reaction shot of Rogen and Franco. Two shots in particular are what interest me: the first was where the car's rear bumper swings out to almost swat the camera, and the second, an in-car view as it goes upside-down. Very visceral and breathtaking, it may not match the scale of the flipping semi in Dark Knight, but it is the second best 'crash-scene' of the year, beating Indy and Wanted's fake and cheesy CGI wrecks. Almost beautiful to watch. :D

If there's two things I would like to improve about it, is that I wish it were longer and had more stunts. Granted, Apatow and team probably had a limited budget, given this is not exactly blockbuster material and more of a fall-release indy kind of action movie, but if a sequel is ever made (in fact, they are in talks to crossover this with Superbad), I would like to see them top this above-average effort. You could see they were rehearsing for this scene in Superbad where McLovin takes a cop car out for a joyride. I'm also disappointed that it was not a full-scale cop pursuit (which was the impression the trailers gave me), but I guess a two-way road battle is just as intense.

So I'd say it's worth a matinee if it's still playing in your region. There was also a neat race-against-time sequence with Red's (a middleman drug dealer) Daewoo Lanos, and the pint-sized car is mentioned as part of a side-splittingly funny one-liner he says upon running over a thug with it. If you're too broke or you don't like to sit through a film which hardly makes sense, then check out the full car chase clip on YT.

Oh, and you might want to check out my take on the car chase's 'leap of faith' conclusion in my fan-made redband parody trailer. Just fast-forward to 2:29 to view it, though I highly recommend you watch the rest of the video for general laughs and happiness. And if you liked it, please let me know, either as a comment on YT (preferably) or in this thread. If you didn't, well that's just tough cheese, or should I say, pineapple. 8)

"Put it into maximum overdrive!" -Seth Rogen, Pineapple Express

TDIT's exhilarating mashup of the coolest car flick with the best animated film of the year! Fast & Feathered 5 Click sig to watch!
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Re: Pineapple Express (2008) 9 years 2 months ago #6045

  • adri
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Thanks for the huge review of this chase Andre, i watched the chase i never like to spoil a movie watching a scene before the entire movie but im not sure if this is going to arrive to Spanish cinemas inmediately in the case that it does.

The chase wasnt bad but we've seen betters havent we? i like that it lacks of shacky cam yet a bit more of movement would have probably improve it, i like the end crash it seems that since Michael Bay filmed it on Bad Boys is getting more common to see on modern chases, i feel bad for the poor Caddy such a beauty destroyed...
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Re: Pineapple Express (2008) 9 years 2 months ago #6048

The chase wasnt bad but we've seen betters havent we?

Like I said, it was above average. I thought it was just fine as it is without Shakey Cam, because it was more of a goofy, light-hearted caper, than a serious life-or-death spy thriller kind of movie. For example, I thought Bourne Supremacy and Vantage Point definitely deserved the SC treatment, because they wanted to convey a sense of urgency, that rush, thrill-of-the-moment, race-against-time effect. Whereas here, you've got a bunch of potheads who drive all over the place while making random comments ("Tree! Tree! Squirrel!"), so you can't really take it seriously. Hence, a more relaxed and smooth dolly would work here. Plus, they wanted to give that 70s vibe to it, and back then, S.C. was non-existent, or in small amounts!

I have to agree with you on the Michael Bay rear-end collision style. They had something similar in Swordfish and Vantage Point, didn't they? And yes, I kinda felt sorry for the Caddy... :D

Anyone else caught this flick and has something to say?

TDIT's exhilarating mashup of the coolest car flick with the best animated film of the year! Fast & Feathered 5 Click sig to watch!
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Re: Pineapple Express (2008) 9 years 2 months ago #6049

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True Andre they had that type of crash on both Swordfish and Vantage Point, any other in where its featured? i cant think of any now :?:
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Re: Pineapple Express (2008) 9 years 2 months ago #6056

I saw the film a couple weeks back and was somewhat disappointed with it, although there were several very funny moments and lines of dialogue that made me (and the audience) laugh out loud. I think the film was not as strong as either Superbad or Knocked Up which were funnier and more narratively engaging. I thought Pineapple Express lost the plot toward the end and I wasn't too crazy about the final shoot-out sequence. Still, an entertaining film.

I agree with what AndreTeh has to say about the car chase: by no means the stand out pursuit sequence of the year so far, but certainly better than most car chase fare. The gag of driving a vehicle with a foot through the windshield has to be seen to be believed and was a novel comic spin on the traditional car chase scene. And yes indeed, a lovely Hail Mary leap concluding the sequence.

Not sure if anybody noticed this but doesn't Seth Rogen have a tendency to play potheads in film and TV roles?

Dale Denton in Pineapple Express
Ben Stone in Knocked Up
Ken Miller in Freaks and Geeks

Have yet to see Undeclared, but I would bet good money that Rogen's character smokes dope in that too...
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Re: Pineapple Express (2008) 9 years 2 months ago #6080

Well, I think M:I:3's Shanghai chase and Crank had similar crashes too, Adri. :wink:
And yes, that does seem too much of a coincidence if you ask me, CCK. Don't forget the Spiderman trilogy, although he is not so much stoned as criminally insane from revenge.
By the way, what do you guys think of my parody trailer? Post your comments here or if you have a YT account, under the vid itself! :D

TDIT's exhilarating mashup of the coolest car flick with the best animated film of the year! Fast & Feathered 5 Click sig to watch!
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