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BLu-ray Review

DVD cover

Pineapple Express


Starring: Seth Rogen and James Franco
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 18
Available 12 January 2009

Lazy stoner Dale Denton and his dealer Saul Silver end up having the adventure of a lifetime after witnessing a murder by a crooked cop. When they realise that their rare strain of weed called Pineapple Express, left behind at the scene, is so rare that it can be traced back to them, they really do have to run for their lives...

Pineapple Express is a stoner comedy from the people who brought us Superbad. So it wasn't a complete surprise to discover that this is a pretty fun movie.

Dale Denton has a lousy job as a process server. He's also dating an attractive girl who's still at high school. His view on life has become jaded over the years and he's convinced that it's only a matter of time before his girlfriend dumps him. He also finds it amusing that people think they have friendships with their drug dealers - when in fact they don't. However, this all changes when Denton's drug dealer gives him a new variety of weed known as Pineapple Express.

When Denton witnesses the head of a drug dealing cartel and female cop kill another drug dealer, Denton panics and flees the scene of the crime. He leaves behind the butt of a spliff filled with Pineapple Express, and is worried that if the drug is that rare then it could be traced back to him. He does the only thing he can think of, he goes on the run with his drug dealer before the criminals can track him down. As the two bumble their way from situation to situation, they both learn many valuable lessons - but will they ever truly change?

What's great about Pineapple Express - apart from the fact it's so damn funny - is that it's a stoner movie with an anti drug message that is rammed so hard down your throat that it's obvious that the producers are taking the Mickey out of movies that have come before.

What's also impressive is the incredible set dressing - I know, not something most people will notice. But it's amazing how many great things are hidden away in plain sight. One of my favourite was a vase, in the Asian's den, that was shaped like a pair of guns pointing upwards - with the flowers poking out of the gun barrels.

The movie is also awash with a great supporting cast - including the comedy hit men and, my favourite character, Red - played by Danny R. McBride.

I also loved the wrap up scene which has our heroes talking through the events of the day as they casually run through the fact they've murdered people. This scene is really hammered home but actually mirrors reality in many ways. How many times have we all sat in pubs with people we only know casually, discussing past adventures exactly as the characters do in the movie?

If I had one complaint, it was that we never got to see what happened to Denton's girlfriend and parents - although it's pretty much signposted that they're at the end of that particular relationship.

Extras, while numerous, to be honest are not overly exciting. We get an audio commentary with the filmmakers and the majority of the cast; two versions of the movie (Theatrical Version (1 hour, 52 min) and Extended Version (1 hour, 57 min, 26 sec)); Deleted Scenes (3 min, 27 sec); Extended and Alternate Scenes (21 min, 06 sec, highlights of which include Denton explaining how he met Angie; Denton explaining why he thinks being a radio host would be a fantastic job; and a longer version of the scene where Denton and Silver sell drugs to some school kids); The Making of Pineapple Express featurette (21 min, 08 sec); The Action of Pineapple Express (12 min, 19 sec featurette. The highlight for me was the explanation of the new Go-mobile and how it was employed to film the car sequences); Phone Booth (6 min, 25 sec. Two different improvised takes of the phone booth scene); Line-O-Rama (3 min, 28 sec look at various takes on lines); Direct-O-Rama (3 min, 47 sec look at actors being asked to do lines in a different style); Gag Reel (4 min, 55 sec); Items (4 min, 17 sec spoof public information films highlighting the dangers of Item 9); Saul's Apartment (13 min, 46 sec improvised, and not very funny, sketches with various actors); Raw Footage (32 min, 43 sec worth of ad-libbed scenes); Begley's Best (5 min, 43 sec look at Ed Begley Jr. - who plays Robert Anderson - and his charity cleaning products business); Red and Jessica's Guide to Marriage (7 min, 12 sec spoof relationship advice); Injury Report (4 min, 56 sec look at the various minor injuries that occurred during filming); Stuntmaster Ken (3 min, 12 sec featurette that looks at the work of Ken Jeong who plays an assassin in the movie); Rehearsal 3/6/06 (5 min, 4 sec rehearsal of the police liaison officer scene); Table Read 3/4/06 (8 min, 36 sec various clips of table reads of different scenes); Comic-Con Panel (7 min, 33 sec of a bizarre Comic-Con Q&A) and Red Band Trailer (2 min 47 sec).

The audio commentary starts to sound like a phone in radio chat show after a while - there are a few too many contributors. It was interesting to learn that shooting in down town LA is rarely a pleasurable experience - with urine balloons usually been thrown out of flat windows at film crews.

At the end of the day I didn't particularly find the extras to be that exciting, but the movie is certainly worth owning. However, you might be better off picking up the cheaper DVD.


Nick Smithson

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