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DVD Review: Pineapple Express
Boobies, bathroom humor and bongs collide in Pineapple Express, the latest DVD release from indie writer/director extraordinaire, David Gordon Green. The film follows two dimwitted stoners, Dale (Seth Rogen) and Saul (James Franco), whose connections to the underworld of illegal drugs inadvertently make them witnesses to murder. It's the classic tale of marijuana dealer meets boy, boy meets marijuana dealer and over the river and through the woods into a drug dealer's hideout with guns they go.
James Franco is baked to perfection as Saul, an endearing, misguided marijuana dealer who sells a potent, "pineapple express" blend of the drug to one of his regular customers, Dale. While Dale is very much the epitome of someone to pity--he's an aging, overweight process server with a high school girlfriend--it's his pity for Saul that leads them to form a friendship, moreover a pact to stick together as they find ways to escape Ted Jones (Gary Cole), a notoriously violent drug lord who's out for their blood. For hardcore Gary Cole followers, it's a bit daunting to see him in a role so counter to the infamous Bill Lumbergh (Office Space), but he plays it well nonetheless.
With Ted hot on their heels, eager to cover up his murderous tracks, Dale and Saul perpetually find themselves on the run. The result is a series of paranoia-induced mishaps wherein they get stoned in the wilderness, abandon their car, capture and duck-tape one of Ted's rats (Danny McBride), get arrested at an elementary school playground, steal a police car and shoot-up an illegal storage facility housing thousands of grams of their favorite substance.
While the action rarely stops and the comedic moments in between run the gamut from slap-stick to just plain silly, the film's metaphor for drug use is apparent: while crazy things happen to Dale and Saul, in the end, nothing really happens and they remain as directionless as they were from the start, except for the bruises and criminal records they acquire. In other words, like other Judd Apatow productions of high moral fiber, the film's underlying message really tugs at the heart strings--drugs are bad--and should only be done in secret places like rundown apartment buildings, used cars, the woods, public alleys and parking lots or as fuel for situational comedy.
Film buffs will enjoy the film's opening sequence, an obvious homage to a decades-old propaganda piece, aptly titled Reefer Madness. Stoners and stoner-friends alike may find that the film evokes memories of marijuana past. And if the film alone doesn't quench the thirst for hilariously inappropriate or crude conduct, DVD extras include four deleted scenes and a short gag reel filled with potty-mouthed punch lines and sexual innuendoes. It's good, old-fashioned fun the whole family can enjoy!
Pineapple Express is available on DVD right now!
Photos courtesy of Sony Pictures